What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is one of the most common dental procedures performed, well over 14 million every year in North America. This treatment can save your natural teeth and prevent the need for extraction.
At the center of your tooth is pulp. Pulp is a collection of blood vessels and nerves that helps to build the surrounding tooth. Infection of the pulp can be caused by trauma to the tooth, deep decay, cracks, and chips, or multiple dental procedures. Signs and symptoms of a diseased pulp can be identified by visible traumatic injury or decay of the tooth, sensitivity to temperature, spontaneous pain in the tooth, or swelling of the gums or adjacent tissues.
If you experience any of these symptoms, your dentist will most likely recommend endodontic treatment to eliminate the diseased pulp. This injured pulp is removed and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned and sealed. This therapy involves local anesthesia and may be completed in one or more visits depending on the treatment required. Success for this type of treatment occurs in about 95% of cases. If 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 sometimes during the course of treatment.
Most patients are comfortable returning to their normal routine following treatment including driving.
What Happens After Treatment?
When your root canal therapy has been completed, a record of your treatment will be sent to your restorative dentist. You should contact their office for a follow-up restoration within a few weeks of completion at our office. 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 factors such as the severity of damage to the affected tooth and which tooth is affected. In general, endodontic treatment is much less expensive than tooth removal and replacement with an artificial tooth.