If you have heard your dentist talk about root canal therapy, there is no need to panic. The root canal is the natural cavity of the inside of the tooth. Also known as endodontic therapy, root canal therapy, is extremely beneficial when it comes to saving teeth and reducing any pain that you may be having. It is essentially a form of relief for a situation that can be extremely uncomfortable for your mouth. Your dentist is dedicated to ensuring that your teeth are as healthy as possible, and therefore, he or she will let you know if root canal therapy is necessary at any time. In this blog, we will take a look at the process of having root canal therapy, as well as explore all aspects of root canal therapy in detail, so that you can be fully prepared when it comes time to have the procedure done.
What Exactly is Root Canal Therapy?
For those who are not aware, root canal therapy is a type of endodontic treatment in which the infected pulp in a root canal of the tooth is replaced. The pulp is a soft tissue that is located inside the tooth, beneath the enamel and the dentin. In the canal of the tooth is the nerve, which can sometimes become infected for different reasons. Root Canal Therapy may take one or two appointments to complete, and the benefits of the procedure include:
- A restored force of biting.
- More efficient chewing.
- Visual appeal.
- Elimination of pain.
- The surrounding teeth are protected from strain or excessive wear.
Why Do I Need Root Canal Therapy?
If your dentist has told you that you need root canal therapy, you may be left wondering what the reason for the procedure is. There are a few different reasons as to why root canal therapy may be needed. These reasons include:
- Decay has caused the tooth to become infected.
- The decay has penetrated into the pulp of the tooth, causing pain.
- The nerve of the tooth has become exposed due to trauma, such as breaking or chipping. Root canal pain results and the procedure is needed.
What Signs Indicate That I Need Root Canal Therapy?
There are signs to be aware of that may indicate that root canal therapy is needed. If you experience any of the following, make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.
- The gums become tender, painful, or swollen.
- You notice that a tooth has become dark in color as compared to the rest of the teeth.
- You experience severe pain during eating.
- Your teeth and gums are sensitive to extremely hot or cold temperatures that tend to linger.
- There is a small bump on the gums which accompanies the extreme pain.
Cases such as these may indicate a problem that is severe enough to require a root canal. Your dentist can advise as to if this is the best course of treatment.
What Does the Procedure Entail?
Those who are scheduled to receive the treatment are often wondering what exactly will happen during the appointment. With the available technology, root canal therapy is virtually painless, so there is no reason to be nervous or put off having the treatment done! The first thing that will happen is that you will receive an x-ray so that the dental professional can determine the severity of the infection that is causing pain. Next, a local anesthetic is given, and a rubber dam is placed around the tooth so that it stays dry. After drilling an access hole into the tooth, the dentist will then remove the decayed tissue, as well as the pulp tissue, using root canal files. The debris is cleaned using water or sodium hypochlorite. Tooth restoration, such as a crown or filling is then placed over the previously drilled hole, or a temporary filling may be used so that the infected material can drain thoroughly. The permanent filling is applied a week or so later. The procedure is then complete!
The Aftercare for Root Canal Therapy
Your dental professional will advise you of the appropriate aftercare that is required. Keep in mind that you may experience slight sensitivity for the first few days after the procedure, in which case the dentist will most likely recommend an over the counter pain reliever. Make sure that you wait until the numbness in your mouth is completely gone before you resume regular eating, and avoid eating hard foods that are difficult to chew. It is also important to limit sugary foods immediately following root canal therapy. After that, it is important to maintain a regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing routine each day to keep the teeth free from infection. Root canal therapy has a high success rate, though you must visit your dental professional as recommended to check the permanent fillings. In the days following the procedure, contact your dentist if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Extreme pain or sensitivity that is not responsive to medication.
- The gums become inflamed or swollen.
- The pain lasts longer than a few days.
What is the Cost of Root Canal Therapy?
One of the main concerns of a root canal for many people is the cost. While the cost can vary due to several factors, such as location, the severity of the infection, and which tooth is affected, patients can typically expect to pay approximately $760.00 for a front tooth to be treated, $880.00 for a premolar, and $1000.00 for a molar.
At Blue Ash Dental, we understand that everyone’s needs are unique. We will take all of the necessary steps to ensure complete comfort before, during, and after root canal therapy. We realize that some patients may have anxiety regarding the procedure, so we encourage you to share your concerns with us so that we can help you feel more at ease. We provide individualized, private, and comfortable treatment for every patient in order to maintain the excellent health of your teeth and gums. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.