Root Canal Treatment

What is a root canal?

A root canal is one of the most common dental procedures performed, well over 14 million every year. This simple treatment can save your natural teeth and prevent the need of dental implants or bridges. 

At the center of your tooth is pulp. Pulp is a collection of blood vessels 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 the infection can be identified as visible injury or swelling of the tooth, sensitivity to temperature or pain in the tooth and gums.

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If you experience any of these symptoms, your dentist will most likely recommend non-surgical treatment to eliminate the diseased pulp. This injured pulp is removed and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned and sealed. Root canal therapy usually involves local anesthesia and 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 when a complication becomes evident during or after treatment. Your endodontist will use local anesthesia to eliminate discomfort. You will be able to drive home after your treatment, and you probably will be comfortable returning to your normal routine.

For highly apprehensive patients, our office offers oral  conscious  sedation.    For oral conscious sedation, we  prescribe  a mixture of sedative pills prior to the visit so our patients are relaxed to the point where they  comfortably “sleep”  through the appointment.  When used in conjunction with local anesthetic, oral conscious sedation usually achieves a higher level of sedation and comfort than with nitrous oxide and local anesthetic.  A driver is needed prior and after the appointment when using oral conscious sedation.

An example of a healthy tooth
Healthy Tooth
A tooth anatomy diagram highlighting pulp dentin and canal
Tooth Anatomy
A visual of tooth inflammation showing tooth decay and an inflamed pulp
A representation of a tooth with its canals cleaned
Cleaned Canals
An illustration of root canal filling placed in a tooth with cleaned canals
Filling Placed
An example of a tooth healed by root canal therapy
Healed Tooth

Endodontic Presentation

To provide you with a better understanding of endodontic procedures, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to root canal therapy are discussed.

What happens after treatment?

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. It is rare for endodontic patients to experience complications after routine endodontic treatment or microsurgery. If a problem does occur, however, we are available at all times to respond. To prevent further decay, continue to practice good dental hygiene.

How much will a root canal cost?

The cost associated with root canals can vary depending on factors such as the severity of damage to the affected tooth and which tooth is affected. In general, endodontic treatment is much less expensive than tooth removal and replacement with an artificial tooth.

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