About Root Canal Treatments
If you have an infection in your tooth, removal isn’t the only option. A root canal can potentially save it. Though after the procedure the tooth will essentially be ‘dead’ with no root, root canals are superior to implants in most cases—and less expensive.
What Is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a relatively straightforward procedure to deal with an infection in the pulp of your tooth. It gets a bad rap, but it is an alternative to extracting a diseased tooth.
Extraction is not ideal because it leaves a gap. This can result in the other teeth shifting and so affect your smile as well. Some people prefer removal for budgetary reasons. The standard tooth extraction cost can range from $75 to $600 depending on whether surgery is required or not while root canal treatment cost will depend on which tooth is being dealt with. It usually starts at about $850. However, when you add the potential cost of an implant, which runs closer to $1,200, a root canal is actually the more affordable choice if you plan to replace the tooth after pulling it.
Symptoms Indicating You Need A Root Canal
Root canal causes are usually related to trauma to the tooth. This may be where it has chipped or cracked, but not always. If the tooth is left untreated, there’s a good chance that the pulp will become infected. Root canal pain symptoms are usually the primary indicator that you’ll need this treatment, but recurrent abscesses or foul-smelling breath can also be indications. The best way to know for sure is to go in and see our dentist.
Root Canal Treatment
A lot of people worry about root canal treatment pain. In the early days, it was an intense treatment, but modern techniques and anesthesia make it bearable now.
The procedure is simple. The tooth is numbed using local anesthesia. You might feel a little bit of a pinch when the needle is inserted, but it’s not all that bad. You’ll be left for a little while so that the anesthesia has a chance to kick in.
A dental dam may be inserted to isolate the tooth so that it can remain dry and clean throughout the procedure.
A small hole is then drilled through the enamel until the pulp of the tooth is accessible. A file is then inserted into the hole to help remove the pulp. It may be necessary to shape the inside using the file. Water may be used to rinse the chamber and get any leftover bits of pulp.
An antimicrobial solution is usually added to kill off any bacteria that might have survived the process. The point is that the chamber is cleaned thoroughly so that no infection remains. It is then dried and filled. A temporary crown is put in place to close off the opening.
You’ll need to go back a few weeks later to have the new crown put in place. At this stage, the dentist will decide whether the tooth needs further support. If it does, a post will be placed inside the chamber. This makes the crown more stable. The permanent crown is then placed.
Root canal recovery is usually quite quick and will go smoothly if you follow our dentist’s directions. There may be some tenderness in the area, but this will abate pretty quickly and is easily overcome with over-the-counter medications.
Overall, the discomfort is bearable and a lot better than dealing with an aching tooth or recovering from an extraction.