You have probably at least heard about root canals, and you may have unfortunately heard tales of how they are torturous experiences. This may be one of the reasons why many people suffer from dental anxiety and phobia, but the truth is that while a root canal might sound frightening, today’s technology means it is not so different from having a filling. Your dentist will numb your tooth and gums so that you will remain comfortable throughout the procedure. In fact, you may find one of the worst parts is a sore jaw from holding it open for an extended period.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a common, quick procedure used to treat a damaged or diseased tooth. Every year, millions of root canals are performed to relieve pain and save teeth that in the past would have simply been extracted. By preserving the natural tooth, we have several advantages such as maintaining the natural appearance of your teeth, efficient chewing, and natural biting force and sensation.
Root canal is an endodontic treatment, from the Greek words for “inside” (endo) and “tooth” (odont). Under your tooth’s enamel and a layer called the dentin, there lies a soft tissue known as the pulp, which contains blood vessels nerves, and connective tissue. The pulp extends from the crown down through each root of the tooth, nearly to the tip. A root canal involves removing the pulp, and cleaning and disinfecting the inside of the tooth, which is then filled and sealed.
When Do You Need a Root Canal?
A root canal is performed when the pulp of the tooth becomes infected or inflamed and needs to be removed. This may come about due to deep decay, repeated dental procedures, issues from a previous filling, or a crack or chip in the tooth. The pulp may be damaged during an injury even when no crack or chip is visible. Leaving the inflamed or infected pulp untreated can lead to pain or the formation of an abscess.
Some of the signs of needing a root canal include:
- Severe pain when chewing or biting
- A chip or crack in your tooth
- Swollen and/ or tender gums
- Pain from hot or cold foods and drinks, lingering even after the stimulant has been removed
- Deep decay
- Darkening of the gums
How Much Does a Root Canal Cost?
The cost of a root canal can vary based on the complexity of the problem and the tooth affected. Molars are more difficult to treat and thus will cost more. If a crown is needed, that will also increase the cost. In general, one can expect the procedure to cost anywhere from $1,316 to $2,799, but it is best to consult with your dentist to get a better idea for your situation.Leave a reply