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What Are Root Canals?
Root canals are routine procedures that remove the inflamed or infected pulp from inside a tooth. Since the pulp contains the tooth’s nerves, a root canal alleviates toothache pain permanently.
Why Would I Need a Root Canal?
You would need a root canal to save your natural tooth if the pulp is damaged or affected by trauma or decay. Signs that you may need treatment include:
- Agonizing tooth pain
- Tooth darkening
- The gum near the tooth swells
- You have tooth pain that wakes you up at night
- You have lingering sensitivity to heat and cold
- It hurts to bite down on the tooth
If you have any of these symptoms, please contact our office. We will schedule an appointment for you with our dentist.
What Type of Dentist Performs a Dental Root Canal Treatment?
A root canal dentist is a general dentist who is skilled in the procedure. Complex root canals are referred to endodontists, who are specialists in diagnosing and treating dental pulp.
What Are the Steps in a Root Canal Procedure?
Straightforward root canals take one to two hours, depending on how many roots hold the tooth in place. Typically:
Your dentist will administer a local anesthetic to numb the area.
- A dental assistant will place a rubber dam around the tooth to keep the area where the dentist will work sterile.
- Your dentist will drill a small hole in your tooth to access the canals.
- Using special instruments, your dentist removes the pulp.
- After disinfecting the canals, your dentist will fill the canals with gutta-percha, an inert rubber-like material and seal them.
After a week or two, you will return for a root canal crown to cover the tooth. The crown is essential as teeth become weaker after the procedure and they can break without the added strength of a crown.
What Does a Root Canal Cost?
Factors that influence your cost includes the number of roots the tooth has and whether a general dentist can perform the procedure or you need a referral to an endodontist. If you have dental insurance, it may cover a percentage of the cost. Your dentist can tell you your anticipated cost after assessing the tooth.
Are There Different Types of Root Canals?
Standard root canals are by far the most common; however, there are treatments for failed root canals, apicoectomies, which involves removing the tip of the root. For children, a dentist may perform a pediatric pulpotomy, removing the pulp but leaving the nerves intact.
Is There Pain During a Dental Root Canal?
Despite what you may have heard, root canals are painless procedures that stop toothache pain. Your dentist will ensure that the tooth is numb before beginning the procedure.
For virtually painless root canals, call us to schedule your appointment with our dentist.