A root canal treatment is also known as an endodontic procedure. It is used in three situations whereby the tooth has gotten infected through bacteria. These situations are:
• A leaky filling
• Tooth decay
• Trauma to the teeth, such as after a fall
What Is Root Canal Treatment? How Does the Procedure Work?
The root canal procedure involves trying to save an infected tooth by removing the various bacteria that have colonized the root canal system. This avoids full tooth extraction. Although people worry about root canal pain, they can rest assured that they will be fully anesthetized in the local area, so won’t feel anything else than they would if they were to get a filling. Generally, the procedure is successful in 90% of cases, with a tooth being given an extra 10 years of life on average after a procedure. If you have a particularly bad root canal infection, your dentist may send you to a specialist, but most dentists are able to deal with the work themselves.
Your dentist will start by taking x-rays to understand just where the problem is and how bad the damage is. Then, they will give you a local anesthetic so if you are wondering “does a root canal hurt?” you don’t have to worry about that. However, if your tooth is completely dead, no anesthetic will be used as it is unnecessary.Your tooth will then be covered with a rubber dam to dry it completely. This will also stop you, as the patient, from breathing in or swallowing any chemicals. Then, your tooth will be opened from the crow and the pulp of the tooth will be accessed, from where any infected tissue will be removed. If you have any abscesses, they will be drained too.
Once the pulp has been removed, the root canal will be enlarged and filled. It can take a few hours to complete this and you may have to come for several treatments. Some teeth, particularly your molars, sometimes have more than one root canals, which generally means you have to come back for further treatment. In this case, the dentist will place some medicine in the canal to stop you from feeling any pain.
Lastly, the filling will be inserted, sealing the tooth and stopping further infections from happening. You do have to take care, as the tooth will be weaker than others from now on, although a crown may be placed on top of it for extra strength. If the tooth has died, it may go black, but this can be treated with tooth whitening chemicals too.
Results of Root Canal Filling
In 90% of cases, a root canal is completely successful, thereby clearing an infection and saving the tooth. Your healthy tooth should last for another ten years or so, particularly if a crown has been fitted. Naturally, you have to perform good oral hygiene. The length of time your tooth will remain generally depends on:
• How well you clean your teeth
• How much of the original tooth is left intact
• How much biting force you place on the tooth
If a further infection occurs, the treatment can be repeated. Alternatively, an apicoectomy, where the root tip is removed, may be offered.
You must look after your teeth properly after a root canal. Hence, do not bite any hard foods until completion of the treatment. Root canal recovery generally doesn’t take very long, and your dentist will be able to advise you on this.
Root Canal Cost
Different dentists charge different prices. It generally depends on the extent of your root canal infection and how difficult the procedure will be. Generally, people without insurance can expect to pay between $450 and $650. If you do have insurance, you can generally recover between 20% and 40% of the cost. However, you generally also have to add further costs for your crown, which is usually between $800 and $1,500. Hence, you can expect to pay around $2,000 in total for each tooth if you don’t have insurance. This demonstrates the importance of having some form of insurance.However, you can also opt for a discount dental plan, which can save you up to 60% on the procedure.
Root Canal Treatment Video