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What is a Root Canal

Needing a root canal can sound scary for many. The root canal procedure is often misunderstood. While is the procedure can be complex and fairly invasive, it is a routine procedure with a high success rate.

Here are a few more Root Canal facts to help you understand this simple dental procedure:

1. Surgery. The root canal procedure is a minor surgery. The infected part of the root of the tooth is accessed, cleaned and filled through to the end. So, while it is routine, it is taken very seriously and performed only by a dentist or endodontist.

2. Options. The alternative to a root canal, in most cases, is to extract the tooth and either leave the space or fill it with a bridge or implant. Depending on your unique situation, you and your dentist can make the best decision for you. As with anything, there are pros and cons.

3. Success Rate. Root canal treatment is successful 50-80% of the time. Success rates have dramatically increased in the last 10 years. (Read more from the CDA here).

4. Cost. Cost for a root canal varies, but most dental insurance will cover a percentage of the procedure. If you don’t have insurance, we offer a Saving Plan designed to help lower the costs of these treatments. If you have concerns, our team can walk you through your options and the costs.

5. Time. The procedure takes about an hour. The first day will be the hardest. Your dentist will provide you with a  pain relief regiment, which will consist of over the counter medicines, or a prescription for a pain reliever. Most people choose to take the day off of work following a root canal. Pain should subside after several days.

6. The Root Canal Treatment. After the canals (the nerve and the pulp of the tooth) are cleaned, they will be filled with a composite material and a temporary filling will be placed. Without treatment, the tissue surrounding the tooth will become infected and abscesses may form.

7. Next steps. A new crown will be added after the tooth and gums have had time for healing. This follow-up appointment will take about an hour and is usually scheduled before you leave the office on the day of the root canal. If you have pain after 1 week, or if you develop a fever, please contact the office immediately.

Root canals are a common and safe procedure that will allow the patient to save a tooth after severe decay. If you want more information about root canals or need to have one done, we are happy to make you a consultation appointment today. Just give us a call and we will get your scheduled!


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