WHAT IS A ROOT CANAL?
When a tooth is damaged or diseased sometimes a root canal is necessary. A root canal is done to relieve the pain from an infected tooth or prevent infection and pain from developing without removing the tooth. Saving a tooth prevents shifting of the other teeth, leading to problems with the teeth, gums and jaw joint.
A root canal is the removal of the nonfunctional soft tissue middle of a tooth through a small opening. The inside of the tooth is cleaned. The cleaned space is filled with material and sealed to prevent bacteria from reentering.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) I’ve heard stories. Will it hurt?
Root canals are the subject of many jokes and tales about dental experiences. When making health care decisions it is important to get the facts. A root canal is a treatment for a painful, or potentially painful, condition that is only going to get worse if ignored rather than a painful procedure. The alternatives to a root canal are the removal of the tooth or neglect. Both are difficult experiences with damaging consequences. Today, new techniques and technology have made root canals virtually painless and more comfortable than ever.
2) Will my tooth break after a root canal?
A tooth that has required any treatment (even a small filling) may eventually fracture. If a root canal has been necessary and the tooth fractures it will generally break along the root of the tooth. The tooth can not be restored if this happens. So even though the root canal has been successful the tooth is lost and even more treatment is needed to replace it. If a tooth requires a root canal a crown rather than a filling should be placed once the root canal is completed. A crown will help prevent such root fracture, a filling will not.
3) Won’t I lose my tooth anyway?
Once a root canal is completed and the tooth restored, it is a healthy, functioning tooth.
4) Does a root canal take many appointments?
Depending on the case, it may require just one or a series of appointments. We will advise you which is best in your case.
5) Do root canals work?
Yes. Root canals have success rates equal to other dental procedures.
6) How can I prevent needing a root canal?
Root canals are most commonly needed in cases of new, deep cavities or deep cavities that were treated many years ago. Regular care and early attention to problems is the best prevention of the conditions that lead to root canals.
Many dental plans cover the root canal fee at the percentage covered for “basic” treatments. There is an instrument fee that is not covered
At your convenience, let’s meet and discuss how you can benefit from the new techniques and technology that have made root canals virtually painless and more comfortable than ever.