When most people hear the words “root canal,” it sends shivers of fear down their spine. They imagine an incredibly painful procedure. However, there is absolutely nothing to fear if your dentist tells you that you need root canal therapy. In fact, it’s quite a comfortable procedure that can both relieve your pain and save your tooth from having to be extracted! Keep reading below to learn more about root canals and how both of our dentists, Dr. Fromuth and Dr. Langlois, can ensure your comfort during this treatment.
The innermost layer of your tooth, where the nerve is located, is called the pulp. When decay or damage reaches the pulp, it can result in a world of pain that distracts you from living your daily life. At this point, the only treatment option besides extracting the tooth is root canal therapy.
The first step of the procedure is numbing your mouth to ensure you don’t feel pain. Thanks to local anesthetic, most patients report that getting a root canal is about as comfortable as receiving a standard filling. We also offer sedation options for those who are nervous about their root canal.
Once the tooth is numb, we access its center and remove the damaged pulp, including the nerve, so that the pain shouldn’t bother you in the future. We then sanitize the inside of the tooth and fill it with a synthetic material called gutta-percha to help maintain its structure. After getting a root canal, we typically recommend that most patients receive a dental crown to protect the tooth from further damage.
More often than not, a root canal is needed due to decay or infection deep within the tooth. If left untreated, this infection could spread to surrounding teeth, gums, or even your jawbone, resulting in a slew of oral health problems.
Not to mention, root canal therapy saves your tooth from having to be extracted. Missing teeth can compromise your dental health in many ways. For example, they make it harder to enjoy healthy crunchy foods like vegetables, and they weaken your jawbone, putting you at risk for additional tooth loss. Not to mention, getting a missing tooth replaced can be costly. Root canal therapy saves you from having to deal with all of those problems.
While only a dentist can determine whether a root canal is necessary, call us right away if you experience any of the following symptoms:
Because there are so many factors that influence your unique situation, there is no set cost of root canal therapy. For example, treating teeth toward the back of the mouth tends to cost more, since molars have more root canals that must be cleaned out. Thus, the procedure requires more time and skill.
Most dental insurance plans cover at least the partial cost of root canal therapy, but you’d have to check with your individual policy to determine your exact level of coverage. Since root canals are considered a major restorative treatment, most insurance carriers will cover about half of it. If you have any questions about the cost, our team is more than happy to help you out.