A root canal is one of the most common dental procedures performed, with well over 14 million root canal procedures completed every year. This treatment can save your natural teeth and prevent the need for dental implants or bridges.
At the center of your tooth is pulp. Pulp is a collection of blood vessels and nerve tissue that helps to build the surrounding tooth. Infection of the pulp can be caused by trauma to the tooth, deep decay, cracks and chips, or repeated dental procedures. Symptoms of a potential problem can be identified as visible injury or swelling of the surrounding tissues, sensitivity to temperature (hot or cold), biting pressure or as a generalized ache in the tooth and gums. If you experience any of these symptoms, your dentist will most likely recommend non-surgical treatment to eliminate the diseased pulp.
To provide you with a better understanding of endodontic therapy, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to root canals are discussed.
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The injured pulp is removed and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned and sealed. This therapy involves local anesthesia and the use of a rubber dam. It may be completed in one or more visits depending on the treatment required. Success for this type of treatment occurs in about 90% of cases. If your tooth is not amenable to endodontic treatment or the chance of success is unfavorable, you will be informed at the time of consultation or if an unforeseen complication becomes evident during or after treatment. We use local anesthesia to ensure a pain-free procedure. In addition, we can provide nitrous oxide analgesia if indicated. You will be able to drive home after your treatment, and will most likely be comfortable returning to your normal routine.
When your root canal therapy has been completed, a record of your treatment will be sent to your restorative dentist. You should contact their office for a follow-up restoration within a few weeks of completion at our office. Your restorative dentist will decide on what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth. In certain cases you may be requested to return to our office in 6 months or 1 year for a follow-up examination. This is to evaluate your tooth for healing.
The cost associated with root canal therapy will vary depending on which tooth is affected and if there are any complicating factors which are not normal to a standard root canal therapy. In general, endodontic treatment is much less expensive than tooth removal and replacement with an artificial tooth. You can contact one of our patient care coordinators at 804-501-0501 to find out your actual cost.