Root canals are needed when the pulp or soft tissue of the tooth becomes inflamed or diseased. Drs. Reagan or Smith would need to remove the disease pulp, clean the chamber and root canal to save your tooth. If you have diseased pulp and do not remove it, the tooth will likely be lost.
Root canals tend to have bad stigmas associated with them, such as extremely painful procedures and high costs. In reality, the process isn’t too painful and can save your natural teeth and smile. But, the stigmas exist because many patients aren’t aware of the facts.
If you’ve been told you need a root canal—or would simply like to know more about them—here are some common questions and answers concerning the infamous procedure:
- What is a root canal? A root canal is a treatment that repairs and saves a tooth that has become badly decayed or infected. Since it usually involves matter inside the tooth, it qualifies as an endodontic (“inside the tooth”) treatment. Root canals are actually fairly common, as the American Association of Endodontists (AAE) estimates that more than 15 million people receive a root canal each year.
- When do you need a root canal? The main reasons for a root canal are infected nerves and/or damaged pulp inside teeth. Both of these can lead to intense pain, inflammation, deep decay and even cracked or chipped teeth.
- What is the process like? The procedure for a root canal involves removing any inflamed, infected or damaged pulp and nerves, cleaning and disinfecting the inside of the tooth and sealing the area with a rubber-like material. It’s then covered with a crown or filling for protection.
- Is it painful? Contrary to popular belief, root canals are usually no more painful than a dental filling. The process tends to only take one or two visits and involves anesthesia. In fact, the most pain you’ll likely experience with a root canal is during the time leading up to the procedure.
- How much do root canals cost? While root canals tend to cost more than fillings or crowns, they are fairly affordable and covered by most insurance companies. Payment plans can also be arranged and the investment is well worth it since it saves your natural tooth.
- How can I prevent a root canal? Good hygiene practices like brushing, flossing and mouthwash will help eliminate most of the bacteria that causes damage inside the tooth. Other dental procedures like a crown can also add protection.
If you’d like to know more about root canals, schedule a visit with North Heacock Dental Group today. Now taking new dental patients from Moreno Valley, Riverside, Perris and more.