With more than 14 million being performed each year, root canals are among the most common dental procedures. A root canal is a safe, simple treatment that is designed to preserve the natural teeth and prevent the need for dental bridges or dental implants.
What is a Root Canal?
The interior of each tooth contains a collection of blood vessels that are known as the tooth pulp. These blood vessels support and build up the surrounding tooth structure. Unfortunately, tooth pulp can become infected as a result of chips, cracks, multiple dental procedures and general tooth trauma. The signs of a pulp infection include swelling of the tooth, visible injury, extreme sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, persistent tooth pain and discomfort in the surrounding soft tissues.
If any of these symptoms currently exist, your dental care provider will likely suggest a non-surgical procedure for eliminating the infection. During root canals, injured or infected pulp is removed and the entire root canal system is cleaned. Local anesthesia is often administered during this treatment. A root canal can usually be completed in just one to two office visits, depending upon the magnitude of the infection or decay and the required treatment.
How Likely is Success?
Approximately 90% of root canals result in success. If endodontic treatment cannot amend a damaged tooth or if your provider believes that there is little chance of a successful root canal, you’ll be notified during your initial consultation or at any time during or after your procedure if a complication arises.
We limit the discomfort of root canals with local anesthesia. Moreover, we can additionally provide nitrous oxide analgesia as necessary. Patients can drive themselves home after their treatments and are often able to immediately return to their normal activities.
What Can I Expect After My Root Canal Treatment?
Once your root canal treatment is complete, a record of this care will be forwarded to your restorative dentist. You will need to schedule a follow-up appointment for restoration with this professional within several weeks. A restorative dentist will determine which methods of restoration will best protect the remaining tooth structure. It is uncommon for endodontic patients to experience serious complications after microsurgery or routine endodontic treatments. Should any problems ever arise, however, we are always available to help. To limit the likelihood of additional decay, we recommend diligent maintenance of a good dental hygiene plan.
How Much Do Root Canals Cost?
There are a number of factors that can affect the cost of a root canal procedure. These include the severity of tooth damage and the specific tooth that is affected. In most cases, endodontic procedures are far less costly than tooth extraction and the installation of an artificial replacement tooth.