When decay reaches the pulp (inner tissue) of a tooth, infection and a host of painful symptoms can result, eventually causing tooth loss.
A root canal is the complete removal of the pulp. This relieves pain, eliminates infection, and preserves the exterior tooth structure.
But a root canal is painful, right?
A root canal is no more uncomfortable than receiving a filling, thanks to local anesthesia and modern techniques. Meanwhile, it can stop the considerable pain of a tooth infection.
By removing infected tissue, the healthy exterior can continue to contribute to chewing and other functions. The remaining tooth structure is usually restored with a crown.
A dental infection can affect surrounding teeth and gum tissue. It can also cause deterioration of the jawbone.
How does a dental infection affect my smile?
Contact a dentist immediately if you are experiencing:
With prompt attention, an infected tooth can often be saved with a root canal.
The only alternative is tooth extraction, which would be excessive in many cases. Meanwhile, extraction alone will eventually result in bone atrophy at the extraction site. This can be prevented with a solution such as a dental implant, but this treatment is far costlier and more complex than a root canal.
When is extraction a better solution?
If my tooth can be saved, what can I expect during a root canal?
Give me a closer look at what the dentist will do to my tooth...
What happens after a root canal?
Once the short recovery period is over, your smile will be healthier and more comfortable than before. Thanks to modern restorative techniques, your tooth will look healthy and natural. If you receive a dental crown as part of your root canal treatment, you can expect it to last at least five to 15 years with proper care.
Maintaining your oral health after a root canal is easy – just continue to brush twice a day, floss daily, and visit your dentist every six months.
Give me a closer look at what my tooth will look like after treatment...
Just how much does a root canal cost?
On average, a root canal procedure costs $762 to $1,111 per tooth.
However, the exact amount will vary depending on which tooth needs treatment and a number of other factors.
Tell me more about the cost factors...
Your dentist will first need to assess your tooth with an x-ray, which carries an additional cost. Immediately before the procedure, your dentist will provide local anesthesia. If you choose to receive sedation as well, you can expect to pay more.
After the procedure, you will need to visit the dentist for follow-up appointments. You will also likely need a dental crown to repair and protect the tooth, although a dental filling may be sufficient in certain cases.
Sounds like it can get expensive. How will I pay for my treatment?
Still thinking of waiting out the pain?
I think my tooth may be infected...
If you are experiencing any symptoms of a tooth infection, it is time to meet with a dentist. Remember also that in some cases, the condition presents no obvious signs. Attending regular six-month checkups can reveal dental infection regardless of symptoms. Whether you are experiencing pain or simply need to establish ongoing dental care, you have everything to gain by scheduling an appointment with a dentist today.
Dr Perry is a great dentist. Very kind and informative. I feel like he is personally invested in my health. He always takes the time to sit and discuss any issues I'm having - I never feel like they're rushing me out.