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Root Canal Therapy

What is a root canal?

A root canal is one of the most common dental procedures performed. Every year, over 14 million root canals are performed in effort to save your natural teeth and prevent the need of dental extractions. 

In the center of each tooth you have the pulp tissue. The pulp is comprised of blood vessels that supply your tooth with necessary nutrients to develop and survive. Tooth trauma, deep decay, cracks and chips, or repeated dental procedures may lead to inflammation of the pulp which can lead to pulp necrosis (death). If the pulp becomes necrotic it can lead to infection thus affecting the tissues surrounding the tooth. Symptoms of pulp inflammation can vary, they're most commonly identified as visible injury to the tooth, sensitivity to temperature or spontaneous pain. Symptoms of infection can also vary and often present with no pain. Other symptoms of infection can be identified by swelling of the surrounding tissue of dull aching pain associated with chewing/biting. A root canal may be indicated even if the tooth is not causing any pain or swelling. 

Based on several diagnostic factors, your dentist will most likely recommend non-surgical root canal therapy to eliminate the diseased pulp. During root canal therapy the pulp is removed and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned and sealed. Local anesthesia is always administered for patient comfort, and the root canal may be completed in one or more visits depending on the treatment required and the complexity of the case. Nitrous oxide sedation, and IV sedation, are available upon request. Success for this type of treatment is high. If your tooth is not amenable to endodontic treatment or the chance of success is unfavorable, you will be informed at the time of consultation or when a complication becomes evident during or after treatment. You will be able to drive home after your treatment, and you probably will be comfortable returning to your normal routine unless otherwise specified by the doctor. 


What happens after treatment? 
Upon completion of your root canal therapy, a record of your treatment will be sent to your dentist. It is the patients responsibility to contact their dentist office for a follow-up restoration within a few weeks of completion of root canal therapy. You and your dentist will decide on the best type of restoration to protect your tooth. Complications after routine endodontic treatment or microsurgery are rare. If a problem does occur, we are available at all times to respond. It is our goal to make our patients as comfortable as possible before, during, and after root canal therapy. 

How much will it cost?
The cost of endodontic procedures varies depending on several factors. Typically, endodontic treatment is much less expensive than tooth removal and replacement with an artificial tooth. An estimate of patient's out-of-pocket expense will be given prior to the start of any procedure.

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