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An aching tooth is nothing to be ignored. You may have an infection in the pulp of your tooth that could cause it damage or even kill your tooth. A bad tooth ache may be a sign it is time to consider a root canal.
What Is Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy, or root canal treatment, is used to eliminate infection from the pulp of a tooth. The pulp chamber is that space inside your tooth that contains its nerves, blood vessels, and other cellular structures. The chamber area stretches from the center of the tooth down through the roots. Root canal therapy is one of the most widely used methods to preserve a patient’s teeth and save them from extraction.
The treatment is no more painful than having a tooth filled. Instead of causing pain, a root canal eliminates pain. Call our root canal doctor at Dental One Associates of Springfield today at (571) 364-7212 to see if root canal treatment is needed to eliminate your toothache and save that tooth.
When Is a Root Canal Needed?
The hard, white covering of your tooth is called the enamel. When your tooth’s enamel becomes cracked, chipped, or severely decayed, the pulp of the tooth can become infected. The only way to repair it is for our dentist to perform a root canal.
A tooth’s nerve is not vitally important to a tooth’s health or its function once the tooth has emerged through the gums. Its only function is sensory — to allow you to feel hot and cold. The presence or absence of the nerve won’t affect the day-to-day functioning of your tooth.
When pulp is damaged, it can break down, allowing bacteria to multiply within the pulp chamber. The bacteria and other dying pulp remnants can cause an abscessed tooth or infection. An abscess is a pus-filled pocket that will form at the end of a tooth’s root.
In addition to an abscess, a tooth infection in the root canal can cause:
- Severe tooth pain
- Sharp pain when biting
- Dental pain that interrupts your sleep
- Deep cavity
- Tooth discoloration
- Severe swelling of the gums around an aching tooth
- Extreme sensitivity to hot and cold or touch
Our general dentist in Springfield can perform routine root canals. The dentist may, however, refer you to an endodontist, or root canal specialist, for a more complex root canal. Call us today for a root canal consultation.
What should I expect from a root canal treatment?
In most cases, the root canal process only takes about an hour or two to complete.
The root canal process includes just a few steps:
- Our root canal dentist will numb the tooth to prevent you from feeling any pain.
- The dentist makes an opening in the top of the tooth (crown) to access the inner pulp.
- Our dentist will use a special set of tools to remove the infected pulp, disinfect the area, and shape the root canals.
- The dentist then fills the canals with a special substance before sealing the tooth.
- During a follow-up appointment, our dentist will place a permanent crown to protect your tooth from fracturing.
How Much Does a Root Canal Cost?
The root canal treatment cost varies in Springfield depending on the complexity of the procedure. A tooth may have one, two, three, or four canals. A root canal on a front tooth is less costly than a root canal on a molar, because molars have more root canals.
Often, your dental insurance will cover some or all the cost of the root canal treatment. To get your estimated, call our office at (571) 364-7212 to schedule a consultation.
What Should I Expect After a Root Canal?
Once a root canal and crown are complete, your tooth is restored to its normal functionality. Because the tooth was not extracted, you will find it much easier to chew, speak, and smile. Best of all, the toothache caused by the infection will be completely gone.
Teeth treated with root canal therapy generally last for a very long time when maintained with proper dental hygiene. Call Dental One Associates of Springfield today to find out how a root canal treatment could help you.