Root canal treatment has a reputation of being one of the most complicated and painful dental treatments, but this is a common misconception. This therapy actually relieves dental pain, with most patients reporting little to no discomfort or pain following the treatment.
What is Root Canal Therapy?
The root canal is the space in the center of a tooth which contains the blood vessels, nerves and pulp. It is this section of the tooth which allows you to feel hot and cold, and if there’s an infection in your tooth. If the root canal itself becomes infected, the infection may actually spread to other places in your mouth in addition to the discomfort in the currently affected tooth.
Why Do You Need Root Canal Treatment?
When a tooth is so severely decayed or fractured that it affects the center of the tooth and harms the pulp and nerves there, root canal treatment may be recommended.
Sometimes people try half measures to relieve the discomfort or pain instead of visiting the dentist, usually due to financial reasons or dental anxiety fuelled by misconception. But if the tooth is not treated properly, the bacterial infection can migrate to other teeth and the tissues surrounding the infected tooth. This can lead to other serious diseases, more pain, and more extensive treatment plans. In addition to the pain, you may actually end up losing teeth.
Abscesses can also form around the infected area which are also painful.
What are Root Canal Symptoms?
Root canal symptoms may include:
- Sharp pain while chewing or applying pressure
- Sensitivity to hot or cold
- Darkened tooth color
- Swollen and sore gums
What is the Root Canal Procedure?
Root canal therapy can often be completed in a single procedure, but may require two or three depending on the extent of the infection and the precise nature of the treatment necessary. The treatment steps are:
- X-rays are taken to visualize the root beneath the gum. The shape and size of the canals and any signs of infection in the bone tissue are also checked.
- Local anesthetic is applied to numb the area around the tooth.
- The area being treated needs to remain dry, so a dental dam is placed around the tooth to keep saliva away.
- A hole is drilled in the tooth so that the pulp area of the tooth can accessed.
- A special tool is used to remove the pulp, bacteria, and decayed nerve tissues, and smooth down the sides of the canals.
- Any remaining debris is also cleaned from the canal and the mouth using water and suction tools. This is done repeatedly during the course of treatment.
- Thermoplastic filling material (gutta percha) is used to fill and seal the canals in your tooth so that bacteria doesn’t find its way back in. The hole is also sealed.
- A crown or filling may be needed to permanently restore your tooth which requires further visits.
What Does Root Canal Therapy Cost?
The cost of this therapy depends on the complexity of the procedure and the experience of the dentist. Root canals of molar teeth tend to cost more than treatment performed in front teeth. At Grand View Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we charge fair prices and you will be satisfied with our quality of work. Talk to us about any information your insurance needs or to arrange a payment schedule for the cost of your treatment.
If you require root canal therapy or need more information to make a decision, call Grand View Family and Cosmetic Dentistry now at 920-996-0123. Dr. Stephen Moore, DDS, will take good care of you. You can also visit us at 381 South Kools St, Appleton, WI 54914.