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Are Root Canals Common?
About 15 million root canal surgeries are performed each year, helping to restore the teeth of millions of Americans. This endodontic procedure is one of the most effective ways to save a tooth that is plagued by an infection or injury to the tooth’s soft pulp tissue. When pulp tissue becomes infected by advanced tooth decay or injury, this infection threatens the entire tooth. Because dental pulp is full of blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue, an infection can also cause considerable, persistent pain. Root canals remove the painfully infected pulp tissue, restoring your tooth and permanently relieving your pain.
Do I Need a Root Canal?
Dental pulp can’t often repair itself once infection has set in, so it’s important to pay attention to your body’s warning signs that you may need dental root canal treatment. Here are a few symptoms you may experience when you need immediate treatment:
- Unrelenting mild to severe tooth pain.
- Swelling and inflammation of the gum tissue near your infected tooth.
- Tooth pain that increases when you touch or put pressure on the tooth during biting and chewing.
- Tooth pain that lingers or worsens after eating hot and/or cold food.
- Tooth discoloration.
- Dental pain that keeps you from sleeping or that wakes you up.
Allowing these symptoms to continue without treatment can threaten your tooth and lead to significant health complications. These warning signs are your body’s cue to call our dentist right away to schedule an exam. With quick treatment, we can better relieve your pain and save your tooth.
What Type of Dentist Is Qualified for Root Canals?
General dentists and endodontists are qualified to perform root canals. Endodontists, with their extra two years of specialized training, are often consulted when cases are complicated and when cases require retreatment. If you require a root canal dentist, contact us today. We can help connect you with one of our skilled providers who will be best suited to your individual needs.
Are Root Canals Long Procedures?
You can expect a simple dental root canal to last an hour or two. Your dentist will begin by numbing your tooth so you can stay comfortable during the procedure. It may take a few minutes for the anesthetic to fully numb your tooth, then your dentist will proceed with the following steps:
- A latex shield is stretched around the tooth to keep it clean and dry.
- Using small instruments, your dentist makes a tiny opening in the top of your tooth to access the inner part of the tooth.
- The infected tissue is removed and your pulp chamber and root canals are carefully cleaned, shaped and flushed with a disinfecting solution.
- A rubbery material called gutta-percha is used to fill the exposed canals, and the tooth is sealed.
- A crown is placed over the top of the tooth to protect the tooth and help you return to normal eating habits.
Will My Insurance Cover My Root Canal?
Many dental insurance providers cover a significant portion of patients’ root canal cost. Be sure to check with your dental insurance provider for coverage amounts and annual limits that may affect your benefits.
Every patient’s needs are unique, and your actual cost will hinge on your specific condition. Some of the factors affecting your price include the complexity of your case, whether your procedure is performed by a general dentist or an endodontist and the type of procedure you need. The number of roots in your tooth also affects your price. Front teeth have fewer roots and are easier to treat than back teeth, meaning root canals on front teeth are usually more affordable than procedures on back teeth.
Our dentist will evaluate your tooth’s needs and develop a treatment plan for you. Our professional staff will then provide you with an estimate based on your individual treatment plan and your expected insurance coverage. We’re always happy to answer your questions about your treatment. Feel free to call us today to find out more.
Can Other Endodontic Procedures Restore My Tooth?
If you’ve had prior treatment, but your tooth has become reinfected, you may have a couple of options. Your dentist may recommend a second root canal procedure. In this case, the dentist will either make a small hole in the top of your previous root canal crown or remove the crown altogether to access the infected root canals. In other cases, an apicoectomy may be more effective. This procedure involves removing the tip of the tooth root where infection may linger.
Is There Tooth Pain After Root Canals?
Some patients report having slight discomfort for a few days after the procedure. Luckily, over-the-counter pain medication can relieve this discomfort. For many patients, this post-treatment discomfort is negligible compared to their pre-treatment pain. If you have a tooth that is causing you pain, don’t risk your health by waiting to seek treatment. Call us today to find out more about a root canal in Suwanee.