Root canal treatment is the last line of defense for treating a tooth that might otherwise need to be extracted. It’s necessary when the inside of a tooth — specifically the nerve — is infected, damaged, or dying. By definition, the term endodontics (root canal therapy) is a type of treatment that focuses on the inside of your tooth.
Instead of removing your tooth, the best thing a dentist can do is to remove the dying nerve, medicate the hollow canal left behind, and then seal it off to prevent reinfection.
The cost of a root canal is more than a filling, but in the long run it’s the most affordable alternative to extracting and replacing the tooth with something else. It’s likely covered by your insurance, too!
Symptoms You Need a Root Canal
Although not all dental nerve damage is obvious, there are some common symptoms to look for, including:
• Pain when biting down
• Cracked teeth
• Abscessed teeth
• Past trauma to the tooth
• Large, deep cavities
• Visible darkening of the tooth
• Cavity under an existing crown
The causes of nerve damage can vary. Unfortunately, if your dying nerve is left untreated, the infection can lead to other side-effects such as bone infections, emergencies, tooth loss, and damage to adjacent teeth. In rare situations, dental abscesses have been known to spread into the face and brain, requiring hospitalization.
Do I Need to See an
Endodontist or Specialist?
The complexity of a root canal is dependent on which tooth is being treated. Some teeth have one root, while others have 2-3. On occasion, tooth anatomy such as curved roots can make endodontic treatment more challenging. Although there are situations that call for referrals to a root canal specialist (endodontist), most treatments can be completed here in our Boulder dental practice.
In other cases, you may be referred to a different type of specialist like an oral surgeon, periodontist, or even orthodontist.
What to Expect: Root Canal Steps
Getting a root canal at PeakView Dentistry is similar to having other routine types of dental work completed. Although the procedure can take a little longer, Dr. Esmaili will ensure that you’re as comfortable as possible from start to finish! You should feel just as relaxed as you would during a filling.
The steps of a root canal involve numbing the tooth with a local anesthetic to ensure nothing is sensitive. If there’s an active infection, our Boulder dentist may prescribe an antibiotic leading up to the procedure.
Next, an opening is created to access the nerve canal. From there, we remove the dying nerve, clean out the hollow chamber, medicate the inside of your tooth, then seal it off with a filling material.
Since your tooth is no longer alive, it can be more brittle and susceptible to side effects like wear or chipping. We recommend a crown with each root canal treatment to ensure your tooth withstands everyday use.
Once the anesthetic wears off, you’ll be back to normal after a short recovery!
In Pain? Call PeakView Dentistry for Affordable Dental Care
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