Every year, root canal therapy helps save about 17 million teeth. A root canal is a procedure for teeth that are experiencing deep decay or nerve damage – leading to inflammation and infection. Root canals have a very high success rate for saving and preserving the functionality of natural teeth, often eliminating the need for tooth extraction.
What is a root canal?
The term root canal actually refers to the area inside of the tooth that contains the tooth pulp including nerves and other sensitive tissue. Most patients, however, use the term root canal as a general reference to a root canal procedure where the tooth is treated for disease or decay.
Root Canal Symptoms
Some patients do not experience any symptoms that would indicate the need for a root canal procedure. Other patients, however, may experience painful symptoms including:
- Severe toothache or tooth pain, particularly when chewing or biting
- Prolonged tooth sensitivity, especially to hot or cold foods and drinks
- Discoloration of the tooth (darkening)
- Soreness or tenderness of the gums surrounding the affected tooth
About the Root Canal Procedure
Although rumored to be extremely painful, most patients report that a root canal is no more painful than a dental filling. A root canal is actually a simple dental procedure that can normally be completed in just one visit.
After a comprehensive examination, Dr. Wallach will remove all debris and damaged tissue from the tooth’s pulp chamber and associated canals. Once the tooth has been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, it is filled with a biocompatible material and sealed. With proper care, teeth that have received root canals will function normally for many years.
Root Canal FAQs
Does a root canal hurt?
The pain from a root canal actually comes from the infection itself. The root canal procedure will provide relief from that pain and start the healing process. A root canal procedure feels similar to having a dental filling placed.
What if I don’t have the root canal treatment?
The alternative to root canal treatment is a tooth extraction. When considering a root canal vs. extraction, it is important to remember that once a tooth is lost, the replacement options become more difficult and complicated. In most cases, the dentist will support the choice to preserve the natural tooth. During your consultation and examination, he will help you to make the best choice for your long term health.
What does a root canal cost?
The cost of root canal procedures depends on your specific circumstances. Our staff will submit all dental claims on your behalf so that you may be reimbursed directly. We also offer payment plan options to fit your budget.