What is a root canal?
A root canal (formally referred to as “endodontic treatment”) is a common dental procedure, with well over 14 million root canal being completed every year. This treatment can save your natural teeth and prevent the need of 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.
How is a root canal performed?
If you experience any of the symptoms described above, Dr. McDougall may recommend a root canal to eliminate the diseased pulp. This injured pulp is removed and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned and sealed. This therapy involves the use of local anesthesia to ensure your comfort 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 a good candidate for 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. 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.
When your root canal therapy has been completed, a decision will be made regarding what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth. In the case of posterior teeth, a crown will be required to protect the tooth and a post and core may be necessary to support the crown. In the case of anterior teeth, a filling may be all that is required, but it is not uncommon for these teeth to require a crown after root canal therapy.
It is rare for endodontic patients to experience complications after routine endodontic treatment. 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.