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What Is a Root Canal?
Root canals are ways to preserve irreversibly damaged or diseased teeth. Saving your natural tooth is always the best option. Teeth have three layers; the enamel, dentin and the pulp. Pulp contains blood vessels tissue and the tooth’s nerves. When decay or an injury reaches the pulp inside a tooth, the only way to keep a tooth is to have a dentist remove the pulp. The tooth can live without the pulp as the surrounding gum will get nourishment to the tooth.
Since the pulp contains the tooth’s nerves, root canals stop your painful toothache permanently. Root canals are routine, virtually painless procedures which you shouldn’t fear. Root canals have an undeserved reputation for being painful, but that is just a myth. The pain associated with needing the procedure is what is agonizing.
When Do Individuals Need Root Canals?
Signs you may need treatment include:
- Severe tooth pain which may radiate to your ear or jaw
- Gum swelling near the tooth
- Lingering sensitivity which remains after the stimulus is gone
- Pain when chewing or biting down
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Your tooth darkening
Only a dentist can determine what type of treatment you will need and only after performing an examination and taking x-rays. If you have any of these symptoms, please call our office to arrange an appointment.
What Is a Root Canal Dentist?
There are dentists who routinely perform root canals; they are very efficient at the procedure and can get you in and out of the chair as quickly as possible. In fact, dentists perform hundreds of root canals each year. Dentists refer patients needing complex root canals to endodontists, who have additional training in a two or three-year residency program after dental school in treating the insides of teeth. If you would like to see a dentist skilled at performing root canals, call us to schedule an appointment.
How Does a Dentist Perform a Dental Root Canal?
The one to two-hour root canal procedure includes the following steps:
- Your dentist administers local anesthesia to numb the tooth and surrounding area.
- You’ll wear a rubber dam to keep the area where your dentist will work clean. Since your dentist will disinfect the canals, he or she has to keep saliva away because of the bacteria it contains.
- Your dentist will drill a small hole in the tooth’s crown to reach the roots. If he or she is working on one of your front teeth, the hole goes in the back of the tooth.
- The dentist removes the pulp from the canals and then shapes them so they are easier to disinfect.
- Your dentist will fill the canals with a rubbery, biocompatible material and seal them.
- Your dentist will place a temporary filling in the access hole and discuss putting a root canal crown over the tooth to give it added strength. If you don’t get a crown, the tooth could crack easily.
You may experience slight discomfort for several days after the procedure, and your dentist may recommend an OTC pain reliever.
What’s the Typical Root Canal Cost?
Our dentist can give you an accurate estimate after examining the tooth. Several factors affect the cost including, the severity of the infection, the tooth’s condition, and the number of roots the dentist will have to clean out. Your cost also depends on whether a dentist or endodontist performs the procedure. If you have dental insurance, please bring your insurance information with you since many dental insurance providers will cover a percentage of the cost. Call our office for an appointment to learn your anticipated cost.
What Are the Types of Root Canals?
Besides conventional root canals, which are the most common, there are apicoectomies and pediatric pulpotomies. An apicoectomy, or root end surgery, is where an endodontist removes the tip of the root, which will remove an infection that reappears after a conventional treatment fails. It’s the ideal procedure if a crown is already on the tooth as removing the crown would weaken the tooth. Pediatric pulpotomies remove the pulp from inside a child’s tooth if he or she has a large cavity, and then your dentist will cap the tooth with a stainless steel crown. The procedure relieves your child pain until the baby tooth falls out.
Is a Dental Root Canal Treatment Painful?
Despite the procedure’s unfortunate, painful sounding name, root canals do not hurt. You’ll have a local anesthetic so the tooth and surrounding gum are numb, and you won’t feel anything at all. Don’t fear the procedure; it will relieve the pain you’re feeling. If you believe you need a dentist for a root canal in Sweetwater, call our office to arrange an appointment. We welcome new patients.