root canals

Root Canals

What is root canal therapy?

Root canal therapy or endodontic treatment” is a very common dental procedure to eliminate inflammation or infections deep inside the tooth. This treatment can save your natural teeth and prevent more costly tooth replacement procedures. In the center of your tooth is the root canal space which contains the pulp tissue. The pulp is the collection of nerves and blood vessels within the tooth that stimulates tooth development when we are young. As we get older, the pulp serves only a sensory purpose.

Causes of pulp infection are:

  • Trauma to the tooth
  • Deep decay
  • Cracks and chips
  • Repeated dental procedures

Symptoms of pulp infection are:

  • Visible injury
  • Swelling around the tooth
  • Sensitivity to temperature
  • Pain in the tooth and gums

How is root canal therapy performed?

If you experience any of these symptoms, your dentist will most likely recommend non-surgical treatment to eliminate the diseased pulp. This injured pulp is removed and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned and sealed. We use local anesthesia to eliminate discomfort and the procedure may be complete in one or more visits depending on the treatment required. Root canal therapy is successful in about 90% of cases. If your tooth is not amenable to the treatment or the chance of success is unfavorable, you will be informed at the time of consultation or when a complication becomes evident. We will provide nitrous oxide analgesia in addition to local anesthesia if indicated. You will be able to drive home after your treatment, and you probably will be comfortable returning to your normal routine.

What happens after root canal therapy?

When your root canal therapy has been completed, a record of your treatment will be sent to your restorative dentist. You should contact their office for a follow-up restoration within a few weeks of completion at our office. Your restorative dentist will decide on what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth. It is rare for endodontic patients to experience complications after routine endodontic treatment or microsurgery. If a problem does occur, however, we are always available. To prevent further decay, continue to practice good dental hygiene.

How much will root canal therapy 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.