A root canal is a type of dental treatment for an infected tooth. The procedure involves removing the nerve and pulp tissue from the infected tooth, followed by a thorough cleaning of the infected area. The next step involves filling and sealing the tooth using a rubber-like material.
Root Canal Treatment
When tooth decay penetrates the inner layers of the tooth, it necessitates more extensive treatment than a mere dental filling can offer. Root canals, although commonly associated with significant pain, become the final option for preserving the tooth when it is in dire need.
Opting for a root canal procedure is the preferred treatment to rescue a tooth from certain death and the need for extraction. While some patients may consider tooth extraction as a solution for troublesome teeth, they often overlook the fact that removing a tooth can lead to more expensive consequences and significant issues for neighboring teeth.
Root canal treatment boasts a high success rate and typically provides a lifelong solution, although occasional retreatment may be necessary if new infections occur.
Do I Need a Root Canal?
If you experience persistent, pulsating pain in your tooth, it often indicates the need for a root canal (endodontic treatment). However, an infected tooth can sometimes be painless despite severe damage. Regular preventive care can help prevent the need for a root canal, but delayed dental visits may lead to minor issues escalating into complex problems. Be attentive to your teeth and seek prompt treatment if you notice any issues.
Warning signs a tooth requires a root canal:
- Continual, persistent toothache or throbbing pain.
- Lingering sensitivity to hot, cold, or pressure.
- Unpleasant odor emanating from the tooth.
- Discoloration of the tooth, appearing dark or black.
- Persistent soreness around the tooth that persists beyond a couple of days.
If you’re unsure whether you’re in need of a root canal, schedule an appointment with our Dental Choice dentists today.
What is involved with the
Root Canal Procedure?
Our dentists will create a treatment plan to restore your tooth’s health through a comfortable and efficient root canal procedure. The number of visits required at Dental Choice varies based on the infection severity, and typically involves the following 8 steps:
- Anesthesia or sedation will be administered.
- A small hole will be drilled to access the tooth’s interior.
- Special instruments will be used to eliminate all infected tissue.
- The canals will be measured and reshaped.
- The tooth will be filled with a material called gutta-percha.
- A temporary or permanent filling will be applied to the tooth.
- An antibiotic will be placed on the root canal to enhance healing.
- If necessary, a permanent crown may need to be installed.
If you’re interested in learning more about root canal therapy or want to speak with one of our dentists, contact us today!
Frequently Asked Questions About Root Canals
What is a root canal?
When would I need a root canal?
Root canal treatment becomes necessary when dental X-rays indicate your nerve and pulp tissue have a bacterial infection. The source of the bacterial infection is usually tooth decay, but trauma and structural damage (eg, cracks) are other possible causes. If left untreated, a bacterial infection of the pulp can lead to loss of the affected tooth, and the infection may spread to cause damage to the surrounding tissues and adjacent teeth. Signs of a pulp infection can include:
- Extreme sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks
- A dull ache or sharp shooting pain in the tooth
- Swelling around the gums of the tooth
- A tooth that is noticeably discolored compared to the others
How long does a root canal take?
Root canal treatment may require more than one or more appointments, depending on the severity of the infection and the type of infected tooth. A simple procedure may take an hour or less. A complicated root canal procedure may require multiple visits of approximately 90 minutes in length.
Will I feel any pain during a root canal?
Your doctor will use local anaesthesia before beginning the procedure to ensure you don’t feel any pain. You may also use over-the-counter pain relievers in case of any pain or discomfort.
What are the side effects of root canal treatment?
Some patients might feel sensitivity and slight discomfort after the procedure. This feeling of discomfort or sensitivity usually subsides after three to five days. Complications might also arise in case of an undetected crack in the tooth or a breakdown of the sealing material. However, your dentist will be able to notice these issues in subsequent visits.
How quickly will I recover from a root canal?
In most cases, patients resume their regular schedule immediately after completing treatment. If the tooth was very painful prior to the root canal, or if it had been infected for a long time, the recovery period may take a little longer. However, taking good care of your oral health is important to enhance the recovery process.
What are the costs associated with a root canal?
Like many procedures we perform at Dental Choice, the cost of a root canal will vary depending on a few variables associated with your case. The best way to minimize costs is not to delay booking an appointment if you suspect a problem. The longer you wait, the more complications may arise which will involve a great cost.
Before proceeding with your root canal treatment, your dentist will discuss pricing with you. Some factors that may come into play with the overall cost include:
- Location of the tooth that needs to be repaired – molars can have four or more nerve canals, as opposed to the one root nerve canal found in the front teeth
- Condition of the affected tooth and the severity of the cavity
- The process used to repair the tooth
- If the tooth has already undergone a root canal
- Receiving a filling versus a dental crown
Schedule an Appointment and See if a Root Canal is the Right Treatment Option for You!
If you are concerned you may require root canal therapy, schedule a consultation with one of our experienced dentists at Dental Choice today!