About Root Canal Therapy
A "root canal" actually refers to the area inside of the tooth where the tooth pulp and nerves are located. More commonly, however, the term root canal is used to refer to an endodontic procedure that removes decay from the tooth chamber, restoring the tooth to optimal health.
Root Canal Symptoms
In some cases, there may be no obvious signs or symptoms that a root canal is needed. Other times, patients may experience:
- Sore, swollen or red gums
- Tooth sensitivity
- Toothache (often severe)
About the Root Canal Procedure
Most patients will receive root canal therapy in our comfortable Bedford, TX dental office. If a specialist is needed, our dentist will prepare your treatment plan and refer you to a local endodontist.
The procedure is relatively simple. First, the dentist makes a small hole access the tooth pulp. The infected tissue and damaged nerve will be removed and the root canal will be disinfected. The tooth will be temporarily sealed to keep food and saliva out until the next appointment.
Once the infection is clear and the tooth's chamber is free of debris, the dentist will fill the tooth with a biocompatible rubber compound called gutta percha. Finally, the dentist will cover the tooth with either a dental filling or tooth cap to add strength and protect it from future damage.
Root Canal FAQs
How much does a root canal cost?
The cost of root canal procedures depends on your specific circumstances. It is difficult to quote an average cost because it will depend on the extent of your tooth decay and the type of restoration that is needed. Some patients may need a full tooth cap while others can be restored with an inlay or parital crown.
Most dental insurance carriers will pay for a portion of the root canal procedure costs. Davis Family Dental Care works with all dental insurance companies and we will take care of all the necessary paperwork and billing to help you maximize your benefits.
Does a root canal hurt?
For the most part, the pain associated with a 'root canal' comes from the diseased nerve inside the tooth. The endodontic procedure will relieve tooth pain and start the healing process. There is generally little or no pain after the root canal procedure. Most patients can manage their post-op pain with asprin or over-the-counter pain relievers.
What if I don’t have the root canal treatment?
A tooth extraction is an alternative to the root canal procedure. When considering a root canal vs. extraction, it is important to remember that once a tooth is lost, the replacement options typically become more difficult and complicated.
If an extraction is the ultimate choice, your dentist will determine which is the best replacement choice: dental implants, bridge or denture.