What is a root canal?
When a tooth becomes infected it is usually related to the nerves in the root of the tooth. If left untreated an infection can turn into an abscess that can lead to bone loss in the jaw. A root canal, sometimes called endodontic therapy, is the process of removing bacteria and dead tissue from the the inside of the tooth. The procedure saves the tooth, relieves the pain, and removes infection.
What's the process of a root canal?
The area around the tooth is numbed with a local anesthetic. The dentist will then create a small opening into the canal, enabling the infected tissue to be removed and the canal cleaned. The space is then filled with a special sealant. It is highly recommended that a tooth that has undergone a root canal is fitted with a crown. Dental crowns improve the appearance of the tooth and make it much more likely that the root canal is successful.
The term used to be a scary term for patients to hear, but with the benefits and advances in dental technology, root canals are a relatively routine procedure. Local anesthetics and proper pain medication relieve most, if not all, pain. There can be some soreness afterward, which is normal for most dental procedures. Over-the-counter painkillers normally suffice, though your dentist may prescribe medication. You’re then free to enjoy all the foods you love without any pain from heat, cold, or biting too hard.
When should you call your family dentist?
If you notice an increasing amount of pain or tenderness, a reaction to the medication, or the loss of the temporary restoration (filling) call your dentist immediately. (Learn more about post op care here.)
What's the cost of a root canal?
The cost of a root canal varies depending on the location and condition of the affected tooth. Feel free to call and schedule a consultation with Wichita's friendliest dental professionals at 316-686-3397.