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What Is the Purpose of Root Canal Treatment?
We want to help you keep your natural teeth, and root canals help us save teeth plagued by deep decay and infection. When a cavity reaches the inner part of the tooth, the soft pulp tissue inside can become infected. This infection often causes searing pain, and it also eventually leads to tooth loss. To prevent tooth loss, root canal surgery removes the diseased pulp tissue inside the tooth and its roots. This removal allows the tooth to be restored with a crown so that you can eat without pain or dysfunction.
When Are Root Canals Required?
Sometimes, a cavity or injury to the tooth leaves the inner pulp tissue exposed to bacteria and infection. There are often warning signs that infection has set into your tooth. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact our practice for an appointment right away.
- Persistent tooth pain
- Severe pain that wakes you at night
- Red, swollen gums or a small blister-like bump on your gum
- Pain when you eat hot or cold foods and that pain lingers long after you finish eating
- Sensitivity to touch or pressure
- Pain when you chew
- Discolored tooth
Can I Go to a Root Canal Dentist?
If you’re experiencing symptoms of pain and infection, your first evaluation should occur in our office. After your exam, our dentist can help determine your best course of treatment and connect you with the provider who can help repair your tooth. Both general dentists and endodontists frequently perform root canals, but you may be referred to an endodontist if your case is complicated or if you’ve already had dental root canal treatment performed on the affected tooth.
Endodontists have completed general dentistry training as well as an extra two years of specialty education. Since they focus on the diagnosis and treatment of conditions, injuries and infections that affect the inside of the tooth, endodontists are qualified to perform a wide variety of dental surgeries. If your tooth has been traumatically injured or requires a dental implant, endodontists are qualified to perform those necessary surgeries.
What Happens During Root Canals?
Simple root canals are virtually painless and can be completed within an hour or two. The typical root canal procedure involves a number of steps designed to keep you comfortable, eliminate the infected tooth pulp and seal your tooth so that you can enjoy a healthy, functional smile again. Here’s some of what you can expect during your procedure:
- Your tooth is numbed with local anesthesia so that you are comfortable during the procedure.
- Your dentist places a small rubber dam in your mouth to keep the treatment area clean.
- An opening is made in the crown of the tooth. Your dentist uses this small hole to access your tooth’s pulp chamber.
- Your dentist removes the infected tooth pulp and cleans out the tooth’s root canals.
- The root canals and pulp chamber are flushed with a disinfecting fluid to remove debris and bacteria.
- Your root canals are filled with gutta-percha or similar rubbery material to seal the open canals.
- A temporary root canal crown is placed on top of the tooth to keep it strong and prevent fracturing.
- You’ll likely return to the office a couple of weeks later to have a permanent crown placed on the tooth.
What’s the Typical Price for Root Canals?
The price for root canals varies tremendously from one patient to the next, depending on a number of circumstances. Your root canal cost is based on issues such as whether you need preparatory treatment first, how badly your tooth is damaged and the type of tooth to be repaired. Your price also depends on whether a general dentist or an endodontist performs your treatment. Dental insurance can reduce your overall cost if you have coverage for endodontic procedures like root canals. We can provide you with an estimate and coordinate with your insurance provider once our dentists have examined you. You can make an appointment with one of our skilled dentists by calling our office today.
Which Type of Root Canal Will Work for Me?
There are a number of endodontic procedures that can save your natural teeth. Root canals are most frequently performed on molars, but they can successfully save any tooth. An apicoectomy and a pediatric pulpotomy are alternative endodontic procedures that may be considered in certain circumstances.
Should I Seek Treatment Right Away?
A dental root canal is not the painful treatment it’s rumored to be. In fact, a root canal in Philadelphia can relieve your tooth pain right away. Our patients also receive local anesthesia during the procedure to ensure their complete comfort. Don’t risk your health by delaying treatment. Call us today to find out how easy it is to start taking control of your dental health.