Root Canal Endodontist

What is Root Canal?

Root canal, also known as endodontic treatment or root canal treatment, is a dental procedure that is performed to replace an infected or damaged pulp with a filling. Although it is a simple procedure, it plays a major role in relieving toothaches, stopping tooth infections and preventing the need of dental bridges or implants.

The pulp comprises of numerous specialized blood vessels, nerve fibers, connective tissues and dental cells located in the hollow spaces at the center of roots of a tooth. It can be damaged or infected by deep or untreated dental decay, repeated dental procedures, trauma to the tooth, advanced gum disease, deep cracks or habitual tooth grinding (bruxism).

Symptoms of an Infected or Damaged Pulp

Symptoms of a diseased tooth may include loosening of the tooth, swollen gums, pain when biting or chewing food, sensitivity to temperature, pus oozing from the affected tooth and spontaneous pain in the affected tooth or gums.

Diagnosis of Pulp Problems

After listening to your symptoms, a professional root canal endodontist or dentist will examine your teeth and carry out special tests and x-rays. These tests are meant to help the endodontist plan for the root canal procedure by identifying the depth, size, curvature and number of the affected roots and determining how complicated the procedure may be or how long it may take.

Root Canal Treatment Procedure

After diagnosing a root canal problem, the root canal endodontist will numb the affected tooth or teeth using a local anesthesia such as Lidocaine to reduce pain and make you as comfortable as possible

When the tooth has become sufficiently numb, the endodontist may separate the affected tooth from the other teeth using a protective rubber dam to keep it clean and free from saliva and other contaminants during the procedure. The rubber dam also prevents tooth chips and liquid from entering your throat and mouth

The root canal endodontist then makes an opening through the crown of the affected tooth to reach the root canal system and remove the infected or unhealthy pulp. The canal is then cleaned using a recommended disinfecting solution such as sodium hypochlorite before being shaped with a series of special files to get rid of the whole infected tooth structure and make room for an adequate root canal filling. The endodontist will take a series of X-rays to make sure that the files are reaching the bottom of the root canals and that the canals are being cleaned and shaped adequately

After the canals have been cleaned and shaped appropriately, they are disinfected and dried before being filled with a permanent rubber-based material known as gutta-percha to keep them free of infection or contamination

Once the root canal treatment is complete, the tooth is restored (fixed) to make it look, feel and work like any natural teeth and protect it from fracturing in the future. The endodontist will seal the crown with a temporary filling and send you to your prosthondontist or dentist for permanent tooth restoration. The choice of restoration will be determined by the strength of the remaining part of the tooth. In some cases, a post may be required to give the tooth extra support

How Much Does a Root Canal Cost?
The cost of root canal treatment depends on how severe the infection or damage is and the affected tooth. An estimation for the treatment (excluding tooth restoration) performed by a general dentist ranges from $350 to $600 for an incisor and $600 to $1,000 for a molar. The cost of tooth restoration is approximately $250 to $350.
Is There Pain After a Root Canal?
A root canal is already painful, the root canal treatment is meant to relieve the pain and its recovery period is very minimal. When the local anesthesia wears off, the gums become sore from the rubber dam, causing a slight pain. The pain can be controlled by taking painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol.

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