Root canal therapy has come a long way since the 1990s. Today, the procedure is virtually painless from start to finish. The purpose of a root canal is to eliminate all infected material from your tooth root, after which your tooth should never cause you any more pain. In fact, it would be impossible for you to feel pain from that tooth, since the root — the pulp and nerve — have been removed. Ensure the success of a necessary root canal procedure by visiting the Albany County Dental Associates.
All dentists do everything in their power — summoning all the experience and techniques at their disposal — to save your teeth. If they’re unsuccessful, they may resort to extracting the tooth to save your other teeth and improve your overall oral health. One of the steps that your local dentist at Albany Dental takes to save a tooth is a root canal procedure.
A root canal is required when the blood supply or nerve of your tooth, called the pulp, becomes infected by decay or injury. When the infection is in the early phase, you may not even feel any pain. In some instances, your tooth darkens in color, which means the tooth’s nerve is dead or dying. This is a clear signal that you need root canal therapy.
The Road to Root Canal Therapy
When your dentist can’t save the pulpy center of your tooth, but the tooth’s structure is still intact, a root canal procedure becomes an option. The purpose of a root canal treatment is to remove all areas of infection from your tooth’s root. Once the root is cleaned, disinfected and sealed, your tooth can still last a lifetime. Reasons to get a root canal treatment include:
- A crack or chip in your tooth that exposes the pulp to bacteria
- Deep decay in the tooth
- A faulty crown on your tooth
- An abscess
- Several dental procedures on the same tooth, which weakens it
Undergoing this treatment maintains your natural smile and allows you to eat the foods you enjoy. And today’s root canal treatment can be accomplished without any root canal pain. After the procedure, you can return to your normal routine, with absolutely no pain after root canal therapy.
The Procedure and Root Canal Recovery
The root canal procedure involves numbing your tooth and then accessing the pulp. Your restorative dentist in Albany County cleans out the canal — the root, nerve and any infected matter. After a disinfectant wash, the canal is filled with a rubbery substance, and it’s fitted with a crown to protect the tooth.
Once you begin your root canal recovery, root canal pain, in the form of tenderness and mild soreness, is common once the anesthesia wears off. These sensations are temporary and tend to respond well to over-the-counter medications. Rarely will you need stronger medication from pain after root canal therapy. Contact your dentist if you experience root canal recovery symptoms like:
- An awkward, uneven bite
- Intense pain after root canal therapy that lasts longer than a few days
- Swelling anywhere around the affected tooth
- Any allergic reaction, such as hives, itching or a rash
- Problems with the crown, whether it’s a temporary or permanent one
How Much Does a Root Canal Cost?
Most dental insurance companies cover a significant amount of the root canal cost. The procedure is considered medically necessary. Even with that, your root canal cost may not be as expensive as you think. So how much does a root canal cost? The answer depends on a number of factors, including:
- What type of tooth needs the treatment, as a molar is easier to treat than an incisor
- Where the tooth is located and how long it takes to fully treat
- The type of crown you choose to cover the root — porcelain, zirconia, eMax or BruxZir
- Whether you need a root canal retreatment, which is rare
Talk to your dentist about payment options. While you always receive the best dental care possible, your dentist is committed to providing you and your family members with affordable dental options.
Root Canal Retreatment
Even if you followed your dentist’s aftercare instructions to the letter, sometimes the treated tooth doesn’t heal properly. Usually, your dentist discovers problems on a follow-up visit, but if you’re still experiencing root canal pain a few days after the procedure, schedule your own follow-up visit. Root canal retreatment can save you from pain after root canal therapy.
Your dentist reopens your tooth and examines the root canal filling material. If an infection has re-established itself, your tooth is cleaned and disinfected again. This time, you may get a temporary crown so it’s easier to check again. Once the root canal retreatment is completed, you need to visit your dentist once more to have the permanent crown put in place.