In cases of severe infection or pulp damage, a root canal may be necessary. If a cavity is left untreated for an extended period of time, it could lead to an internal infection. If the pulp inside the tooth becomes inflamed, this can cause pain in the tooth which is the most common symptom of an internal infection.
How Are Root Canals Performed?
It varies on a case by case basis but more than one appointment is usually required before a root canal can be completed. Your dentist will apply a local anesthetic and may offer mild sedation for the procedure. A rubber dental dam is placed in the mouth and the tooth is drilled down to the pulp of the tooth, usually through the top or back. X-rays or electromagnetic imaging devices are used to scan the tooth and determine the size of the canal.
The diseased pulp is completely removed from the tooth and the canal is rinsed with an antiseptic solution. This solution disinfects the canals inside the tooth. After the canal has been completely cleaned and disinfected, it is filled with gutta percha, a flexible plastic resin. Then a temporary filling is installed and a crown or permanent filling is installed at a later date, once it has been confirmed that there is no infection.
Misconceptions Regarding Root Canals
A common misconception about root canals is that they are painful. In fact, root canals are performed to relieve pain, not cause it. If a root canal is recommended as a possible treatment, it is likely because the patient is already experiencing significant pain or discomfort. When the pulp of a tooth becomes infected and inflamed, this can create painful pressure inside the tooth and gums. Root canal operations relieve this pressure and inflammation and through the use of anesthesia, most patients are fairly comfortable during the procedure. Root canals gained a reputation for being painful operations because they used to be painful. But modern advances in anesthesia and other dental techniques have minimized the level of discomfort.
Another popular misconception about root canals is that they can lead to illness. Actually, the procedure is considered to be fairly safe and effective. Studies have found that there was no increased chance of illness after a root canal. Of course, there is always bacteria present in the mouth and teeth, but recent findings by the American Association of Endodontics have supported the assertion that root canals do not lead to illness.
One other misconception about root canals is that tooth extraction may be a better treatment for the infected pulp. Most dentists agree that whenever possible, the best course of action is to preserve the original tooth as much as possible. Endodontic treatment (a root canal) used in conjunction with cosmetic restoration can be a cost-effective way to deal with infected teeth and is usually lower in price than a complete extraction and installation of a bridge or implant.
How Much Does a Root Canal Cost?
The average cost of a root canal procedure is determined by a few different things. The amount of care and severity of condition, dentist selection, and geographic location can all impact the final price of a root canal procedure.
Root Canal Financing Options
If you need help paying for a root canal, there may be financing options available. Click here to learn more about Dental Loans.com and see what root canal financing is currently available in your area.