Root Canal Therapy is also known as endodontic therapy, it refers to a procedure that tries to remove an infection that has occurred inside the tooth. In best-case scenarios it can also protect the tooth from getting future infections.
Fast facts about root canal therapy
- Root canal therapy removes nerves from the pulp of a tooth.
- It is thought to be painful surgery, but it is about as painful as a filling
- Root canal therapy and endodontic therapy are the same procedure!
- Root canal therapy costs vary, but are much more affordable than replacing a tooth with a crown or bridge.
What Is a Root Canal?
A root canal is part of the tooth. This is a hollow section of the tooth that contains nerve tissue, blood vessels, and other cells, which are referred to as the pulp. The root, is one major part of the tooth, the other part of the tooth is the crown.
the root Vs. the crown
- The root – This part of the tooth sits below the gumline. As mentioned, this contains nerves, blood vessels, and pulp.
- The crown – This part of the tooth sits above the gumline.
How is root canal therapy performed?
There are three major steps to preforming root canal therapy. Generally this procedure can be done in as few as 3 visits or less.
- Cleaning the root canal – The dentist will remove everything inside the root canal. The dentist will put the patient under anesthesia, they will make a small hole, then the dentist will remove all the dead and impacted pulp.
- The dentist shapes and cleans the hollow area, using small files and irrigation solutions. The tooth is filled with a rubber-like material, using an adhesive material to seal the canal closed.
- Adding a crown or filling – A tooth with no pulp gets its nourishment from the ligament that joins the tooth to the bone. This supply is will work, but eventually, the tooth will become more brittle, so a crown or filling offers protection.
Until the crown or filling is implemented, the patient should refrain from biting on the tooth as it may damage the tooth.
How painful is root canal therapy?
People often believe that a root canal is incredibly painful. These fears are unfounded, as the root canal procedure is no more uncomfortable than getting a filling done.
Dental surgeons do as much as they can to make the procedure as painless as possible. Dentists also use anesthesia to help numb the oral pain.
The dentist may also provide an antibiotic to treat or defend from infection.
Who needs root canal therapy?
Here are some reasons why root canal therapy might be recommended:
- The pulp is damaged significantly and cannot repair itself.
- There is a crack, or deep cavity that will allow for bacteria to enter the tooth causing infection.
If bacteria sets inside the pulp of the tooth and the pulp gets infected, it could lead to a dental abscess which is a terrible problem and is a very serious issue.
What does root canal therapy cost?
At Smiles Dental Group, we guarantee that it will cost less than the Alberta Dental Fee Guide. Our costs for root canal treatment can be seen on our dental costs page, along with lots of other procedural costs.
How can one prevent the need for root canal therapy?
Infections, tooth decay, and gum disease are the main causes of Root Canal Therapy:
- Brushing teeth in the morning, and at night. (If possible, brush or pick your teeth at lunch time as well)
- Flouride is highly reccomended for oral health, use a toothpaste with flouride.
- Regular checkups help a great deal with infection prevention.
- Floss, toothpics, and mouth wash are great tools to add to your aresenal