7 Things You Need To Know about Root Canal Therapy

root canal therapyA root canal refers to the removal of the pulp and nerves that are housed within the tooth. Since this pulp is not necessary to the appearance and function of the tooth, it can be removed by a dentist if it is causing discomfort whether from an infection or over sensitivity.

There are some things that you should know about root canal therapy, and we’ve compiled a list of seven that should be considered before you plant your butt in a dentist’s chair.

1. It’s Expensive: As with most oral surgery procedures, having a root canal performed can be an expensive endeavor. In most cases, root canal cost runs between $500 and $800 dollars. If further complications present after having the root canal performed, the cost of making those repairs or performing those treatments will be added to the existing cost of having the root canal performed. In most cases, root canal therapy is covered at least in part by insurance, however its wise that you check with your insurance provider prior to having the root canal performed to determine what your specific out of costs may be. Remember the cost of the procedure can vary slightly and what one root canal dentist may charge for the procedure may be different than another.

2. Root Canal Infection: Regardless of how careful a dentist is during root canal therapy, there is a potential risk for infection after the tooth is cleaned and sealed. This can be caused from a crack in the tooth, undetected bacteria remaining in an unknown canal that gets sealed up within the tooth or other factors. A root canal infection will require additional treatment above and beyond the initial root canal therapy and can involve antibiotic treatments or even additional surgery. This is a known risk during the root canal process and one that your dentist is prepared for, which is why they take precautions to prevent it.

3. Repeated Procedures Can Cause A Need: The most common causes for a need for root canal therapy involve damage or decay to the tooth either as a result of injury or trauma or existing tooth decay however there is another lesser known cause that may prompt the need for the procedure and that is repeated dental work on the tooth in question.

4. It’s Might Not Be as Painful as You Think: Most people think that a root canal is one of the most painful procedures ever to be performed in a dental chair and they seek out a root canal alternative such as extraction instead, simply to avoid the discomfort and pain that they are expecting. However, after the procedure, many report that the pain is not substantially more than that of having a filling done or other minor dental work. Anesthetic is still used to numb the area; although a bit more may be employed when working with the sensitive pulp of the tooth.

5. They Can Prevent The Need For Other Procedures: In most cases, root canal therapy is used as a means to save a tooth that would otherwise need removed due to symptoms such as pain and sensitivity to hot and cold. Therefore, having them done can prevent the need for extractions which, if on front and visible teeth would normally require either a dental implant, bridge or other option to fill the void left from the extracted tooth. Not only can these alternate routes be expensive, they also will make for more pain and time spent in a dentist’s chair.

6. Recovery Varies: Root canal recovery time varies, and most people start feeling better just a few hours after a root canal; however others may experience discomfort for a day or two following root canal therapy. Regardless, if the procedure has been performed on teeth that are used for chewing, it may take longer to fully recover from root canal therapy and, chewing on those affected teeth is not recommended initially. This is not only to reduce potential discomfort, but also to reduce the risk of infection that can be reintroduced by eating.

7. Proper Dental Care Can Prevent The Need For Them: Root canals are not required dental procedures, they are somewhat preventable. That’s not to say that people with healthy teeth never will need a root canal, however brushing regularly (at least twice per day), flossing, and preventing foods that will cause damage and decay to the teeth are all ways to ensure that you won’t have to have a root canal.