Root Canal & Endodontic Therapy
- What is a Root Canal?
- Do I Need a Root Canal?
- The Root Canal Procedure
- How Long Is a Root Canal?
- Root Canal Recovery
- Root Canal Cost
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a dental procedure performed to treat a tooth that has developed an infection in its pulp. The pulp is the inside portion of the tooth where the nerves are located. Typically, a tooth that needs a root canal is very painful. The root canal procedure is aimed at eliminating the infection and saving the tooth from extraction. Usually, a crown must be placed on the treated tooth to protect it from further damage, restore full function, and create natural-looking aesthetics.
How Do I Know If I Need a Root Canal?
If you are experiencing intense tooth pain when you chew or speak, there is a good chance that you have an infection that requires treatment. Most often an infection begins as a result of decay or other forms of tooth damage that allow bacteria to enter the pulp. Key symptoms that accompany an infection of this type include:
- Sharp pain and aching
- Tenderness surrounding the tooth
- Sensitivity to hot and cold
- Sensation of pressure
- Swollen gums
Your dentist at True Dentistry can determine whether you need a root canal by performing an examination and using diagnostic imaging techniques.
How Is the Root Canal Procedure Performed?
Your root canal at True Dentistry may be performed during either one or two appointments—depending on the severity of the infection and the type of restoration that is placed over the tooth to complete the procedure. Most root canals take two appointments to ensure that the infection has been completely eliminated before the final restoration is placed.
To begin, local anesthetic is applied to numb the affected area and keep you comfortable throughout the procedure. If you wish, sedation dentistry techniques may be incorporated to help relax you during your root canal. Your dentist will access the infected pulp through the crown (top) of your tooth to remove the infected tissue. Specialized endodontic tools are used to thoroughly clean the space inside the root, ideally eliminating all of the bacteria. Any tooth decay that is present will also be removed. When this process is complete, the tooth is usually filled and sealed with a temporary filling. During the second visit, your dentist will remove the temporary filling and check to see that the infection has been eliminated. Next, the internal space is sterilized and then sealed with a permanent filling. In many cases where the tooth has been weakened or reduced in size, a custom porcelain crown is placed to protect and restore the tooth. The techniques and quality materials our dentists use for restorations help deliver natural-looking results that are durable and functional.
How Long Does a Root Canal Take?
The length of time your root canal will take depends upon the size of the tooth (molars typically take longer), severity of the infection, and the amount of damage the tooth has sustained. Most root canal appointments at True Dentistry take about an hour to an hour and-a-half. Your dentist can discuss an approximate treatment time during your initial appointment.
What is Recovery Like After a Root Canal?
For a few days following a root canal, your tooth may feel sensitive and a bit tender. Most patients report feeling much more comfortable after the procedure than they did before treatment. Over-the-counter pain relievers are recommended for managing discomfort while you recover. If uncomfortable sensations last longer than a few days, it is important to call True Dentistry to speak with a knowledgeable member of our team to see if you should come in for an appointment.
How Much Does a Root Canal Cost?
The overall price for a root canal at True Dentistry depends on a variety of factors:
- The complexity of the procedure
- Which tooth is treated
- Type of restoration required
- Material the restoration is fabricated from
- Any sedation fees
Before your root canal begins, you will be informed about the full cost for your treatment. Our knowledgeable office staff will also review your dental insurance benefits and calculate any out-of-pocket costs you may incur. If you are interested in using financing to help with the cost of your care, we offer options through trusted third-party lenders, CareCredit® and Lending Club®. Qualified applicants may be able to obtain no/low-interest loans and flexible payment arrangements that can help treatment become more budget-friendly. Our team is always willing to help you find the best way to receive the high-quality dental care you deserve!
If you have questions about root canals or any of the other dental services we offer at True Dentistry, we encourage you to contact our practice to learn more or schedule an appointment.