Root Canal Therapy
To provide you with a better understanding of endodontic therapy, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to root canals are discussed.
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What is a root canal treatment?
A root canal treatment is one of the most common dental procedures performed, with well over 14 million being completed every year. This simple procedure can save your natural teeth and prevent the need for dental implants or bridges. Success rates of root canal treatments are about 95%.
A root canal treatment involves removing inflamed or infected dental pulp, which is the soft tissue in the middle of the tooth consisting of blood vessels, nerves, lymphatics and other connective tissue. The pulp is located in a hollow chamber in the middle of the tooth and extends along the lengths of the roots in small tubes called root canals. Inflammation and infection of the pulp can be caused by deep decay, traumatic injury, cracks, chips or repeated dental procedures. Symptoms of pulp inflammation and infection include temperature sensitivity, pain, swelling in the gums, and visible injury to the tooth. If you experience any of these symptoms, your dentist will most likely recommend non-surgical endodontic treatment to eliminate the diseased pulp.
How is a root canal treatment performed?
During a root canal treatment, the injured dental pulp is removed from the inside of the tooth and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned and sealed. Local anesthetic is administered before the procedure to eliminate any discomfort. Additionally, nitrous oxide analgesia and/or oral conscious sedation can be used in certain cases. The procedure is typically completed in one or two appointments, with each appointment lasting between 60 and 90 minutes. In the event that your tooth is not amenable to endodontic treatment or the chance of success is unfavorable, you will be informed at the time of consultation or when a complication becomes evident during or after treatment.
What happens after treatment?
When root canal treatment has been completed, a case report and copy of the final x-ray will be sent to your restorative dentist. You should contact their office to make arrangements to have the permanent crown or filling placed within a few weeks. Your restorative dentist will decide on what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth. It is rare for endodontic patients to experience complications after routine endodontic treatment or microsurgery. If a problem does occur, however, we are available at all times to respond. To prevent further decay, continue to practice good dental hygiene.
How much will it cost?
The cost associated with this procedure can vary depending on a variety of factors such as the severity of damage to the affected tooth and which tooth is treated. In general, endodontic treatment is significantly less expensive than tooth removal and replacement with an artificial tooth. Our front desk staff will provide you with an estimated fee schedule before treatment is initiated.