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What Is a Root Canal Procedure?
Root canals are endodontic procedures that remove infected or diseased pulp from your inner tooth and tooth roots. Your dentist may recommend this procedure if the soft pulp tissue inside your tooth and its roots become damaged from a deep cavity, injury or crack. This restorative procedure is virtually painless and permanently relieves your painful tooth infection symptoms. It also allows you to return to normal biting and chewing again.
Why Did My Dentist Recommend a Root Canal?
Infected tooth pulp cannot take care of the infection on its own, so a root canal is one of the best ways to save the tooth. If your dentist recommended the procedure, you likely have an infected or damaged tooth that can still be saved. You may also be experiencing a number of symptoms. Having an infected tooth can be quite painful, and persistent pain is one of the most common warning signs that you have a tooth that needs a root canal. The pain can range in intensity from mild to excruciating, but it is often nearly constant for many of our patients. The following may also be clues that you need a dental root canal:
- Tooth pain that keeps you from sleeping at night or wakes you up
- Pain upon eating
- Lingering sensitivity to hot or cold foods or drinks
- Red or swollen gums
- Tooth discoloration
How Do I Find a Root Canal Dentist?
If you’re experiencing dental pain that you fear may be the signs of an infection, you can find help in our office. Once your condition has been evaluated by one of our skilled dentists, we can determine your best course of treatment. Both general dentists and specialists called endodontists can perform root canals. General dentists tend to handle cases that are straightforward, while endodontists are called upon to perform more involved root canals or cases where root canals require re-treatment. Endodontists, who have completed an additional two years of specialty dental training, also perform other dental surgeries to treat traumatic dental injuries, place dental implants, and repair other conditions that affect the interior of the tooth.
How Are Root Canals Performed?
Taking one to two hours, simple root canals are routine procedures that help millions of Americans save their natural teeth. Your dentist will make sure that your tooth is entirely numb before beginning the procedure, so you don’t need to worry about painful surgery.
Here’s what to expect after the dentist numbs your mouth:
- A latex shield is placed around the tooth, isolating it and keeping it dry and clean.
- Your dentist drills a small hole in the top of the tooth, providing access to the pulp chamber.
- Your dentist uses a variety of small instruments to remove the pulp and clean out the root canals.
- Fluid is used to disinfect the pulp chamber and root canals and remove remaining bacteria and debris.
- Small posts may be placed in the root canals to provide extra tooth support.
- Gutta-percha, a biocompatible rubbery material, is then placed in the root canals to support and seal them.
- The opening on top of your tooth is sealed, and a temporary root canal crown caps the tooth.
- In a few weeks, you return to our practice for a permanent crown that restores your tooth to normal function.
Will a Root Canal Cost Less with Insurance?
Many dental insurance providers cover part of the cost of root canals, and that coverage can save you significantly. Your cost is based on many issues, such as how badly your tooth is damaged and how much preparation it needs. The type of dentist you select also affects overall costs. Typically, root canals on front teeth cost less than root canals on molars, since molars have four roots while front teeth have only one root. Call our office to schedule an evaluation with our dentists who can give you a more precise estimate.
Do Root Canals Differ in Type?
Root canals differ slightly according to the type of tooth being treated. While incisors, cuspids, premolars and molars can all be saved by root canals, molars are the teeth most frequently repaired by the treatment. If prior treatment is unsuccessful, you may be a candidate for an apicoectomy. This treatment removes the tooth root’s tip and any remaining tissue that is diseased. While not a very commonly performed procedure, it allows some people to save their natural teeth even when prior root canals haven’t worked.
What Else Should I Know About the Treatment?
Dental root canal treatment is not the painful experience that everyone likes to joke about. We administer local anesthetics to ensure your comfort throughout the procedure so you can enjoy nearly instant relief from the pain of an infected tooth. If you are suffering from tooth pain, get the relief you need with a root canal in Bradenton. It’s easy to make an appointment with one of our experienced dentists by calling us as soon as possible.