Let’s start with the basics. The tooth is a 3-layered structure. The outer two layers (enamel and dentin) are hard tissues that protect the tooth. Whereas the innermost layer is a soft tissue that consists of the living components of the tooth like the nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. This living portion of the tooth is known as the pulp.
A root canal therapy is a treatment that is done following the infection of the tooth pulp. It is intended to eliminate the infection from within the tooth and protect the decontaminated tooth against any future bacterial invasion. Our team of reputed Endodontists helps restore the full form and function of your tooth. In other words, we save your natural tooth instead of having to extract it.
When is a Root Canal Needed?
Typically, a root canal is necessary if your tooth has incurred severe damage. This can be in the form of deep tooth decay, cracked tooth, issues from a previous filling, or genetically damaged teeth. So, as a last-ditch effort, a dentist will attempt to patch up your tooth and save it from removal.
The American Association of Endodontists (AAE) states that there are a few symptoms you may experience that could mean that you need a root canal. These are:
- Severe pain while chewing or biting
- Pimple-like lesions on the gums
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Lingering sensitivity to hot or cold, even after the stimuli has been removed
- Swollen or tender gums
- Deep cavities or darkening of the gums
What is the Procedure to Get a Root Canal?
According to the AAE, more than 15 million root canals are performed every year. Although millions of people undergo this procedure, it is still shrouded in mystery and misconceptions. A root canal procedure is relatively simple procedure performed by an Endodontist.
Here is the procedure step by step:
Preparing the Area
You might possibly be in an incredible amount of pain when you come in for a root canal. First, local anesthetic injections are given to numb your gums and tooth roots. Once the area is numbed, our dentists place a rubber dental dam in your mouth to isolate the tooth while also keeping the area dry and sterile during the procedure.
Accessing and Cleaning the Roots
Next, your dentist will drill through your tooth and gain access to the root canals and pulp chamber, areas where the pulp resides. The entire pulp chamber and root canals are cleaned out thoroughly using special instruments. After this, an antibacterial and antiseptic solution is used to clean and disinfect these canals from bacteria and the remaining debris of the pulp. By doing so, it treats the infection located in these canals.
Shaping the Canals
After the pulp chambers and the root canals have been evacuated, the dentist places a filling and condenses it in place. For this, the canals must first be shaped. Using tiny instruments, the dentist shapes the canals and prepares them to receive the filling material. Once shaped, these canals are cleaned and irrigated for a second time.
Filling the Canals
A core material known as gutta-percha is used to fill these canals. It is a rubber-like material that is placed into the canals and then heated. This allows the material to compress and fit snugly against the walls of the canals. After this, adhesive cement is added to further seal the canals and protect is from contamination.
Filling the Access Area
Now that the canals are sufficiently packed, the dentist must seal the cavity they made in order to access the canals in the first place. Filling this cavity prevents bacteria from entering the tooth and strengthens the overall structure of the tooth. This is only necessary when the tooth is grossly damaged and cannot support restoration on its own.
Healing and Antibiotics
You will be sent home with a prescription for antibiotics and strict post-care instructions. It is normal that you experience slight discomfort for a few days following the procedure. You may take over-the-counter pain medications to alleviate pain and discomfort.
Adding the Crown
If a root canal was done on one of your back teeth, it is important that you come back for a crown installation. On your second appointment (after healing is complete), the dentist will place a permanent crown around the treated tooth in order to protect it from reinfection and to strengthen its structural integrity. This crown is fabricated to match your existing teeth and will allow you to chew and bite down on food as with your natural teeth.
How Much Does a Root Canal Cost?
The price of extractions varies depending on the clinic and the complexity of the case. Below is a list of prices you can expect to pay in various countries.
|Root Canal Cost Table|
|Country||Root Canal||Post/Core Build Up||Crown|
|United States of America||$1,000||$220||$1,100|
If you are in need of a root canal, it is important that you act quickly, so a dentist can save your tooth. An endodontist can clean, disinfect, and repair the affected tooth and prevent further damage or the loss of the tooth.
- American Association of Endodontists, “Root Canals Explained” – https://www.aae.org/patients/root-canal-treatment/what-is-a-root-canal/root-canal-explained/#:~:text=A%20root%20canal%20is%20performed,it%20to%20its%20original%20function.
- National Health Service, “How is it Performed: Root Canal Treatment” https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/root-canal-treatment/what-happens/
This article is intended for informational purposes only. It is not meant to be used as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider with any questions you have surrounding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it as a result of anything you read on this Site.
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