What is a root canal?
A root canal is one of the most common dental procedures performed, well over 15 million every year. A root canal is a treatment procedure to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or infected. A root canal can save your natural teeth and prevent the need for extractions, dental implants, bridges, or dentures.
At the center of your tooth is a collection of blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue called the dental pulp. Infection of the pulp can be caused by trauma to the tooth, deep decay, cracks, or repeated dental procedures. Symptoms of infection can be identified by visible injury, swelling, sensitivity to cold and/or heat, and tenderness with chewing. During the root canal procedure, the infected or inflamed pulp is removed and disinfected, then filled and sealed with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. Dr. Caudillo will then recommend the tooth to be restored with a crown or filling to prevent future fracture of the tooth and to allow for normal functioning of the tooth.
How is a root canal performed?
Root canal treatment usually involves local anesthesia and may be completed in one or more visits depending on the treatment required. A referral to a root canal specialist or endodontist can also be provided if necessary.
Success for this type of treatment occurs in about 90% of cases. If your tooth is not amenable to endodontic treatment or the chance of success is unfavorable, you will be informed at the time of consultation or when a complication becomes evident during or after treatment. We use local anesthesia to eliminate discomfort. In addition, we will provide nitrous oxide analgesia if requested. You will be able to drive home after your treatment, and you probably will be comfortable returning to your normal routine.
What happens after treatment?
When your root canal therapy has been completed, Dr. Caudillo will decide on what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth. It is rare for endodontic patients to experience complications after routine endodontic treatment. For mild pain relief after root canal treatment, pain meds or antibiotics may be prescribed. If a problem does occur, however, we are available at all times to respond. To prevent further decay, continue to practice good dental hygiene.
How much will it cost?
The cost associated with this procedure can vary depending on factors such as the severity of damage to the affected tooth and which tooth is affected. In general, endodontic treatment is much less expensive than tooth removal and replacement with an artificial tooth.
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