Q & A For Root Canals

Dentist Blog

The cavity that is located in the root of a tooth and filled with living material is called a root canal. However, when most people hear the term, they usually think of the endodontic procedure that bears the same name. Here are a few questions and answers about root canals:

What is a root canal procedure?

A root canal procedure is a dental treatment that involves the removal of the pulp or living material from the center of a tooth. Once the pulp has been fully removed, the interior of the tooth is thoroughly disinfected, and the tooth is filled. The filled tooth is then capped with a dental crown to restore its beauty and functionality.

Why is a root canal performed?

A root canal is performed to stop the spread of infection or to quell tooth pain. 

Once a tooth becomes infected, the dental nerve within the tooth can become inflamed. The inflammation of this nerve can cause extreme discomfort or excruciating pain.

What symptoms suggest that a root canal may be needed?

Here are some of the symptoms that may indicate the need for a root canal:

  • A throbbing toothache
  • Pain radiating down the jaw or neck
  • A discolored tooth
  • Foul-smelling liquid leaking from a tooth
  • A pimple-like abscess on the gums

Why would a root canal be preferred over an extraction?

A dental extraction may be a cheaper alternative to a root canal. However, it has several drawbacks:

  1. An extraction may alter the look of your smile.
  2. The gap left by an extraction can allow other teeth to shift out of alignment.
  3. Once the roots of a tooth are removed, the jawbone does not receive stimulation at the site of the extraction, and bone loss may result.

How much does a root canal cost?

A root canal generally costs between $300 and $2,000. However, the cost often depends on the location of the tooth and the number of canals in the affected tooth.

A root canal on a front tooth is usually $300 to $1,500. However, a root canal on a back tooth is usually more expensive, ranging between $500 and $2,000.

How many dental visits does a root canal require?

A root canal can typically be completed in one or two visits. If a standard lab-created crown is used, two visits may be required. The first visit includes the endodontic treatment and the creation of a dental impression that the laboratory can use to make a crown. The permanent crown is placed during the second visit.

However, if a single-day crown is used, the procedure can be performed in one day, since the crown is created in-office.

If you are experiencing symptoms that suggest you may need a root canal, schedule an appointment with a dentist in your area for a full dental assessment today.


15 December 2015

Coping With Dental Emergencies

My son was outside playing with some friends when he accidentally fell down and hit his mouth on the sidewalk. The fall knocked out his front tooth, so I immediately placed the tooth in a small jar and added some milk. I rushed my son to the dental clinic and the dentist immediately took us into the examination room. The dentist placed the tooth back into the socket and saved it. My name is Beverly Tillman and thanks to the quick work of the dentist, my son didn't lose his tooth. Since this was a scary time for me and my son, I wanted to write this blog as a source of information for other parents who are facing a dental emergency. First of all, don't panic and get to your dentist as soon as possible. I hope this blog will help to answer your questions about dental emergencies.