SERVING MESA, PHOENIX, TEMPE, AND SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA
For most people, the thought of a root canal brings images of repeated trips to the dentist and severe discomfort. However, improvements in general dentistry have made almost all root canals relatively pain free, as well as significantly reduce the time it takes to perform them. Also, there are times when a root canal is the best way to save a damaged tooth.
What is a Root Canal?
When a tooth has been severely damaged by decay or has become infected a root canal may be performed to remove the interior pulp tissue. This provides a viable alternative to extracting the tooth. While dentists can replace an extracted tooth with various artificial dental appliances, in the long run, it’s much better to maintain your original teeth as long as possible. A root canal can help you maintain your natural teeth for a much longer period leading to much better oral health.
Signs you NEED A ROOT CANAL
Warning signs that you may need a root canal include:
- A persistent or recurring pimple on the gums
- Extreme decay
- Facial swelling
- Infection in the tooth
- Injury or trauma to the tooth
- Pain, swelling or tenderness when chewing or applying pressure
- Sensitivity to heat and cold
- Tooth discoloration
What is a Tooth Infection?
Tooth infection, or an abscessed tooth, is most often marked by increased pain in a specific area of the mouth. With time this pain can extend to the jaw and neck, and may even result in difficulties chewing or complete lockjaw. To help avoid more significant issues, it is important to bring persistent tooth pain to the attention of one of our experienced dentists right away.
Symptoms of Tooth Infection
Even if the following symptoms do not relate to a dental abscess they often indicate a serious problem. To prevent future complications patients should seek an examination to help prevent future complications. It is best to call our office right away.
- A foul taste in the mouth
- A pustule on the gums
- A swelling or reddening of the gums
- Bad breath that does not respond to brushing
- Changes in tooth color
- General discomfort
- Increased sensitivity to hot and cold
Tooth Infection Treatment
In order to treat a tooth infection patients have a root canal. For this procedure, one of our dentists, Drs. Scott LeSueur, Charles Dodaro, or Glenn LeSueur, will first make a small access hole in the infected tooth. Then, they will remove debris and bacteria. Finally, they will seal the tooth to prevent reinfection. While the process can sound frightening, it is no more invasive or uncomfortable than a typical dental filling.
Root Canal Treatment
A root canal becomes necessary when infection harms the pulp chamber of a tooth. In a root canal, the interior nerve tissue and pulp is removed as well as any infection or other debris. If you have a severe infection inside the tooth, this area might be filled with medication for a period of time until the infection heals. After eliminating any existing infection, the resulting empty cavity inside the tooth is filled with a sealing agent.
If necessary, our Drs of Smiles dentists will also place a permanent restoration, such as a crown. Teeth that are severely damaged often require a crown. More than one visit may be required to complete the process, particularly if the infection is severe. This can be discussed during your consultation. While the root canal itself is actually located within the tooth, the term is typically used in reference to the procedure necessary for removing the infection from the pulp chamber.
tooth extraction vs Root Canal
In most cases, tooth extraction should be a last resort. It is best to save your tooth whenever possible. Often replacing your damaged tooth with a dental implant or dental bridge may be more complex, time-consuming, and costly in the long run. While dental implants are an effective option to replace missing teeth, you are still better off with your natural tooth. Root canal procedures experience a very high success rate, and your repaired tooth can often last a lifetime.
Root Canal Recovery
You should be careful chewing or biting with your tooth until our team completes the restoration. It may take several weeks for the lab to create your dental crown. Until this time, your tooth will be susceptible to breakage. However, once it is protected by a dental crown, your tooth will be fully functional. It is important to maintain good oral hygiene practices after your root canal to prevent additional decay or damage down the road.
root canal Therapy and Sedation Dentistry
The majority of people who’ve undergone root canal therapy find that, similar to tooth infection treatment, it’s no more painful or invasive than a routine filling. Advances in dentistry technology and local anesthesia have improved our ability to perform, in most cases, root canals to the level of painlessness. It can be unnerving to those who suffer from dental phobia but don’t let unfounded fear of the root canal procedure keep you from pursuing much-needed work. If you are made nervous by the idea of a root canal, we would be happy to discuss your sedation dentistry options prior to your procedure.
Does Dental Insurance cover Root Canal Cost?
Insurance companies typically cover general dentistry treatments, but may not provide full coverage for restorative or aesthetic services. We believe that finances should never get in the way of smile perfection and take great steps to ensure our patients are provided with the most pleasing and cost-effective treatments available.