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What Should I Know About Root Canals?
Have you ever wondered just what a root canal is? If so, then continue reading. Root canals are a routine dental surgery that consists of a skilled dentist removing the pulpy area of the tooth. The pulp of the tooth is a soft tissue located inside of the tooth. This area can become injured, infected, or exposed via tooth decay. When this happens, dental root canal treatment is necessary in order to relieve the patient of pain and to save his or her tooth. This treatment option is also known as endodontic treatment.
Are You In Need of a Root Canal?
The following symptoms are often indicators that you may be in need of endodontic treatment.
- Tooth pain that won’t go away
- Moderate to severe pain in one or more teeth
- Tooth pain that awakens you when you are asleep
- One or more teeth that are sensitive to cold, heat or touch
- Pain experienced when biting
- Deep cavities or tooth discoloration
- Gum tissue around the tooth that appears to be swollen
Extensively damaged or infected pulp will not heal itself. If you leave this issue untreated, you can cause severe damage to your dental health. In these instances, it is necessary for a dental root canal to be performed in order to save the tooth.
Who Can Provide Me with Endodontic Treatment?
You may be wondering if you need to see a special root canal dentist to treat your tooth pain. If you are, then you will be pleased to know that many patients are able to have their surgery performed by a general dentist. In extreme cases that require a specialist, you will be referred to an endodontist. An endodontist is a dentist who has trained in identifying and treating diseases and other issues surrounding the pulpy area of the tooth.
What Should Patients Expect During Endodontic Treatment?
You may be a little nervous about having your root canal procedure done. If so, please be aware that routine cases usually only take an hour or two to complete. During this time, your dentist will perform the following steps.
1. Your tooth and the surrounding area will be numbed with a local anesthetic.
2. The dentist will place a shield that isolates the tooth and assists in keeping the area around the tooth clean.
3. An opening in the tooth’s crown is made so that the dentist can get to the pulp chamber.
4. Your dentist will remove the pulp, then clean and shape the root canals.
5. The exposed canals are flushed out with fluids. This works to disinfect and to remove debris from the canals.
6. Gutta-percha (a rubbery material) is used to fill in the canals. The canals are then sealed in.
7. Your dentist will cap your tooth with a root canal crown that will make your tooth sturdier and help to prevent fracturing.
The above steps generally happen during routine procedures. If you require a more complicated surgery, there may be additional steps. A more complex procedure may also take more time to complete.
How Much Will Your Bill for a Root Canal Cost?
It is difficult to give an exact cost for root canals until a thorough examination has been performed. Your bill for your surgery will take into account the severity of the damage to your tooth and the kind of preparations needed to have the procedure completed. The cost will also be impacted by how many roots are in the tooth. Molars have more roots in them; therefore, they are more expensive than other teeth are. Additional elements that will determine your costs include your dental insurance and if you are in need of a specialist.
What Kinds of Endodontic Treatments Are Available?
You might be surprised to learn that there is an array of different types of root canals available. The standard type of endodontic treatment is what is typically used on the molars and on other teeth. This treatment is most often used in routine cases. More complex root canals include the apicoectomy and the pediatric pulpotomy. The apicoectomy is performed when prior treatments have failed. This consists of the dentist taking out the tip of the tooth’s root. A pediatric pulpotomy is a surgical procedure that leaves the nerves inside of the tooth intact when the pulp is removed.
Will I Experience Any Pain During My Procedure?
Unless rejected by the patient, each root canal is done under local anesthetic. You will not be able to feel any discomfort during your surgery. To learn more about how endodontic treatment can relieve you of your tooth pain, contact our highly qualified team in Voorhees.