What is a root canal?
A root canal is one of the most common dental procedures performed, well over 14 million every year. This simple treatment can save your natural teeth and prevent the need of dental implants or bridges. This is also one of the most feared procedures in dentistry. It shouldn’t be. You’re numb, just like a filling. You should have no sensation throughout the treatment.
At the center of your tooth is pulp. Pulp is a collection of blood vessels that helps to build the surrounding tooth. Infection of the pulp can be caused by trauma to the tooth, deep decay, cracks and chips, or repeated dental procedures. Symptoms of the infection can be identified as visible injury or swelling of the tooth, sensitivity to temperature or pain in the tooth and gums.
How is a root canal 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. This therapy usually involves local anesthesia and may be completed in one or more visits depending on the treatment required. Success for this type of treatment occurs in about 90% of cases. If your tooth is not amenable to endodontic treatment or the chance of success is unfavorable, you will be informed at the time of consultation or when a complication becomes evident during or after treatment. We use local anesthesia to eliminate discomfort. In addition, we will provide nitrous oxide analgesia 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 treatment?
When your root canal therapy has been completed, we 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 available at all times to respond. To prevent further decay, continue to practice good dental hygiene.
How much will it 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 less expensive than tooth removal and replacement with an artificial tooth. It is important to weigh the predicted success of root canal treatment versus that of alternative treatments. For instance, if we feel that root canal treatment and a crown has a fair or questionable prognosis over 5 years then you may want to consider removing the tooth and replacing it with a dental implant. The initial cost may be higher, and the treatment time longer, but the success rate and long term prognosis are likely much higher.
For more information about Root Canals or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Bewley:
- (502) 244-4474
- Fill out our Appointment Form