What Is a Root Canal?
For many people, the words “root canal” ring fear. Root canals have a reputation for being painful and extremely unpleasant. However, root canal treatment is a routine procedure that dentists do every day, and they are not worth being afraid of.
The best way to prepare for a root canal treatment is by fully understanding it. Keep reading to learn exactly what a root canal is and how to know if you need one. As a bonus, we’ll tell you where to find a Sacramento root canal specialist.
What Is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a dental procedure where infected material – known as tooth pulp – is removed from your tooth and then filled in. Pulp is a soft tissue found inside of your tooth and can become inflamed or infected from a variety of causes, including:
- Repeated dental procedures on the tooth
- Deep decay
- A crack or chip in the tooth
Moreover, you may have damage to the tooth pulp even if the tooth has no cracks or chips. If an infection or inflammation in the dental pulp nerve tissue is not treated, it can be excruciating and lead to a tooth abscess requiring a root canal.
The point of a root canal is to eliminate the bacteria in the tooth and prevent further infection in your mouth.
Root canals are an extremely common dental procedure. In fact, according to the American Association of Endodontics (AAE), over 15 million root canals are performed in the United States alone each year.
There are several signs that you may need a root canal. Some of the most common signs to look out for are:
- Severe toothache pain or pressure
- Increased tooth sensitivity
- A cracked or chipped tooth
- Significant problems in the gums (discoloration or darkness)
- Loose tooth
If tooth pain is extreme and unbearable to the point where it takes minutes or hours to go away, cannot be relieved with over-the-counter medication, and is spontaneous and unprovoked, then you have a true dental emergency and need to get a root canal sooner rather than later.
How Long Does a Root Canal Take?
Let’s talk about the process of getting a root canal and what you can expect.
To start, your dentist will place a rubber dam around your infected tooth to prevent the infection from spreading to adjacent teeth and other areas of your mouth during the procedure.
Next, your dentist will give you local anesthesia to numb the infected tooth and surrounding gums. Once the area is numb, the dentist gets to work and cleans out the internal tooth decay. This also includes disinfecting the roots to ensure the infection is gone from your mouth and will no longer spread.
Once cleaned out, the tooth will be filled in to replace the missing dental pulp and protect it. For further protection, the dentist may place a crown afterward.
The whole process should take between 30 to 60 minutes. However, this largely depends on the seriousness of your infected tooth. The more complex the infection, the longer the procedure can take.
Another thing to note is that sometimes root canals require additional appointments. In particular, if you need several root canals, most dentists will only do one or two in one sitting.
How Much Does a Root Canal Cost?
Many people have a common follow-up question: How much does a root canal cost?
There’s no straightforward answer to how much a root canal costs. It varies depending on the Sacramento root canal specialist you go to. You’ll need a consultation to get an estimate on how much the treatment will cost.
However, in general, a single root canal can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands, depending on the tooth infection’s severity. You should expect to pay $500 to $1500 for a single root canal in Sacramento.
The good news is that some dental insurance plans will cover some or all of the cost of treatment.
How Long Do Root Canals Hurt?
Considering you’re sedated throughout the treatment, it isn’t the root canal procedure that causes any pain. Typically, people complain about the pain after the procedure. However, this isn’t always the case; the pain may not be as bad as you think.
Once the root canal procedure is complete, you can expect to experience minor soreness in your mouth for the first day or so. This soreness can usually be managed with pain medication such as Advil or Tylenol, but your dentist may prescribe stronger pain medication. However, in general, the pain level does not surpass mild soreness.
The soreness will slowly relieve itself and should be entirely gone within a couple of days to a week. That said, there are rare times when some patients experience complications after the procedure, like a root canal infection. This is often caused by poor dental hygiene following the procedure. To avoid this, brush and floss as usual, and avoid eating foods that may get stuck in your teeth.
If the tooth pain persists, you must contact your dentist immediately to ensure that your root canal surgery is healing as it should and that there are no further infections or complications.
Conclusion: Where to Find a Sacramento Root Canal Specialist
To conclude, root canal surgery may get a bad rap, but they are routine procedures that dentists are skilled at.
Do you think you need root canal therapy? If you’re experiencing significant pain in your tooth, there’s a chance that you do. Contact Arden Dentistry to book with Dr. Celaj, a Sacramental root canal specialist with many hours of continuing education and hands-on training using the latest technology available in endodontic therapy today.