What You Need to Know About Root Canals

Endodontic therapy is the term for what is commonly known as a root canal. Endodontic means “inside the tooth,” and that’s exactly what a root canal is. A root canal is a treatment for removing infection from the inside of a tooth.

Why Do People Need Root Canals?

The tooth consists of two parts- the crown and the roots. The crown is mostly above your gum, while the roots attach the tooth to the jawbone. Inside the tooth is a hollow section that contains the nerve tissue, blood vessels, and other cells. This is the root canal, which is also referred to as the pulp. If there is a way for bacteria to enter the root canal, it will eventually destroy the pulp. If it can penetrate through the root openings, it can cause an infection in the bone. When the pulp becomes infected or inflamed, it will cause sensitivity and pain. This can be caused by decay, repeated dental procedures, or a crack/chip in the tooth.

What Happens During A Root Canal?

There are three general steps to a root canal. First, the dentist cleans the root canal, removing the nerves and tissue. Second, the dentist shapes the space for the filling and fills the root canals. Finally, they protect the tooth by adding a crown or filling.

Will It Hurt?

Contrary to popular belief, a root canal should be relatively painless. The pain comes from the infection, which the procedure is intended to alleviate. Some tenderness and sensitivity afterwards is normal, and can usually be treated with over the counter painkillers.

How Much Does It Cost?

The cost varies depending on the situation. Generally speaking, a root canal is cheaper than having a tooth extracted and replacing it with a crown or bridge. They are typically covered at least partially by dental insurance, as well.

How Do I Know if I Need a Root Canal?

Signs of infection include:

  • Pain when eating or applying pressure to the tooth
  • Pain and sensitivity caused by hot or cold temperatures
  • Inflammation of the gums near the tooth

 

For more information on endodontic therapy, contact Hyde Park Dental today!

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