Root canal treatment is one of the most common dental procedures and well over 14 million are performed every year. This simple treatment can save your natural teeth and prevent the need for dental implants or bridges.
At the center of your tooth is the pulp, which consists of soft tissue, blood vessels and nerves that help form 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 by extreme, prolonged sensitivity to temperature, or pain in the tooth and gums. Swelling adjacent to the tooth can also indicate an infection within the tooth.
If you experience any of these symptoms, your dentist will most likely recommend root canal treatment to eliminate the diseased pulp. This injured pulp is removed and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned and sealed. 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. We use local anesthesia to keep you comfortable during all treatment procedures. You will be able to drive home after your treatment, and be able to return to your normal routine.
When your root canal therapy has been completed, a record of your treatment will be sent to your restorative dentist. We have permanently sealed your root canal system. However, the outer surface is sealed with a temporary restoration. A follow-up restoration must be placed to protect your tooth against fracture and decay. Please telephone your restorative dentist for an appointment. Your restorative dentist will decide on what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth.
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.