Root Canal Basics

Root canal surgery is a dental procedure that removes diseased or damaged tooth pulp from the center of your tooth. The pulp, which contains blood vessels and nerve tissue, may become unsalvageable due to infection, decay or injury. Root canals are also referred to as endodontic treatments. This common dental surgery permanently relieves pain and discomfort.

Why Do I Need a Root Canal Treatment?

When you need a root canal, the following signs and symptoms may occur:

  • Tooth pain, which may be sharp or severe
  • Sensitivity to cold, heat and touch
  • Tooth pain that interferes with sleep or concentration
  • Pain when biting or chewing
  • Deep cavities or visible decay
  • Gum swelling near the affected tooth

What Type of Dentist Performs Root Canals?

In most cases, a general dentist can perform root canal surgery. If your surgery is expected to be complicated or you need specialized care, you may be referred to a special root canal dentist called an endodontist. We can help you find a local provider to meet your needs. Contact us for more information regarding your endodontic procedure options.

What Is Involved in the Root Canal Procedure?

Simple root canals take between one and two hours and include the following steps.

  • A local anesthetic is injected to numb your mouth.
  • A small cover or shield is placed around the surgical area to keep it clean.
  • Your dentist opens the crown of your tooth to expose the pulp chamber.
  • The tooth pulp tissues are removed, and dental tools are used to shape and clean the canals.
  • Liquid is placed into each empty root canal to disinfect it and rinse away debris.
  • The empty space in the canals is filled with a rubber-like substance called gutta-percha and sealed.
  • The final step is placement of a root canal crown.

How Much Do Root Canals Usually Cost?

Root canal cost depends on factors such as the location and condition of the diseased tooth, preoperative requirements and the type of dentist who is performing the surgery. Your insurance may pay for part of your dental root canal. The exact price of your surgery can only be determined after a comprehensive evaluation. Contact us to connect with a qualified dentist who can help.

Alternate Types of Root Canal Surgeries

Most endodontic procedures are performed on molars, but the surgery can save any tooth. Two less common variations of the treatment are the apicoectomy, which is the removal of the tip of a root left behind from a previous endodontic procedure, and the pediatric pulpotomy, which removes the pulp tissue but leaves the tooth’s nerve intact.

Pain During and After Dental Root Canal Treatment

Although many people are anxious about having a root canal, today’s anesthetic options make the procedure comfortable and virtually pain-free. If you experience mild pain after your anesthetic wears off, over-the-counter pain medications usually provide relief. The pain of an endodontic treatment is nothing when compared to an ongoing, severe toothache caused by a tooth that needs a root canal. To explore your options for getting a root canal in Peoria, call our office today.

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