Root canal therapy is one of the most common dental procedures performed with well over 14 million completed every year. This treatment can save your natural teeth and prevent the need for a dental implant or bridge.
At the center of your tooth is a soft tissue referred to as the dental pulp. Pulp tissue is a collection of fibrous tissue, blood vessels and tiny nerve endings. During childhood the pulp tissue helps to create the surrounding hard tissue dentin of the tooth. Inflammation or infection of the pulp can be caused by , deep decay, cracks, trauma or repeated dental procedures. Signs of pulp damage include spontaneous pain, prolonged sensitivity to cold or heat, pain to chewing, discoloration of the tooth and swelling or tenderness in the adjacent gums. Sometimes, there are no symptoms.
If you experience any symptoms, your dentist will evaluate the tooth and most likely recommend treatment to eliminate the diseased pulp. This injured pulp is removed and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned, disinfected and sealed. This therapy usually involves local anesthesia and may be completed in one or more visits depending on the complexity of treatment required. Success for this type of treatment occurs in well over 95% of cases. If your tooth is not amenable to endodontic treatment or the prognosis is unfavorable, you will be informed at the time of consultation or when a complication becomes evident during or after treatment. You will be able to drive home after your treatment, and you will be comfortable returning to your normal routine.
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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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 (crown or onlay). 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.
The cost associated with this procedure can vary depending on factors such as the severity of damage to the affected tooth , the complexity of the root canal anatomy, the requirements for profound anesthesia and the location of the tooth affected. Endodontic treatment is much less expensive than tooth removal and replacement with an implant restoration or fixed bridge.