Root Canal Therapy
What is a root canal?
A root canal is one of the most common dental procedures performed, well over 14 million every year. This simple treatment can save your natural teeth and prevent the need for dental implants or bridges.
At the center of your tooth is pulp. Pulp is a collection of blood vessels 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 repeated dental procedures. Symptoms of the infection can be identified as visible injury or swelling of the tooth, sensitivity to temperature or pain in the tooth and gums.
If you experience any of these symptoms, your dentist will most likely recommend non-surgical treatment to eliminate the diseased pulp. This injured pulp is removed and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned and sealed. This therapy usually 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 90% 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 when a complication becomes evident during or after treatment. We use local anesthesia to eliminate discomfort and to provide profound numbness and comfort while in the chair. In addition, we will provide nitrous oxide analgesia if indicated. You will be able to drive home after your treatment, and you probably will be comfortable returning to your normal routine. Conscious sedation is also an option.
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 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.
But it is very likely that your tooth will be sore for a few days. This is due to the previous condition of your tooth being treated and manipulation within the root canal during treatment. There is no cause for alarm since this is a perfectly normal reaction. Over the counter or prescription medications will usually relieve this situation. To prevent post-operative discomfort it is best to take your first dose of medication before the anesthetic wears off. Should you experience swelling or have discomfort to a greater degree than can be controlled as stated above, please contact our office right away. We are available at all times to respond.
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.