Root Canal Therapy

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 extraction and the need of dental implants or bridges.

At the center of your tooth is pulp. The pulp is a collection of nerves, blood vessels, and cells that help to build and nourish the tooth. Disease or infection of the pulp can be caused by trauma to the tooth, deep decay, cracks and chips, or repeated dental procedures. Signs and symptoms of disease may include infection, visible injury or swelling of the tooth, sensitivity to temperature, or pain in the tooth and gums.

If you experience any of these signs or 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. This 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 over 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. We use local anesthesia to eliminate discomfort during treatment.  In addition, we can also provide nitrous oxide analgesia, if indicated. You will be able to drive home after your treatment, and you probably will be comfortable returning to your normal routine.  For some patients, an oral medication to help with anxiety can also be used.

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 4-6 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. However, if a problem does occur, please contact our office.  To prevent further decay, continue to practice good dental hygiene.

How much will it cost?

The cost associated with this procedure 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.