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A root canal treatment is done to save a tooth that is infected and causing pain and would otherwise need to be extracted. An extraction is more costly and may cause complications with adjacent teeth.

A root canal is often done by an endodontist, but many general dentists also complete this procedure.

A root canal or endodontic therapy is often needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or an infection. The dental pulp (the living tissue inside the infected tooth) and any decay are removed and treated with disinfectant to help save the tooth. Once the decay is removed, the resulting hole in the tooth is filled and sealed to restore the tooth to its full function. A crown may be required to complete the restoration.

Root canal treatment is a highly effective procedure with a good prognosis for success.

When Do You Need A Root Canal?

Root Canals

If you experience these symptoms, you may have an infected tooth or an infected root canal.

  • Bumps on the gum below the affected tooth
  • Painful, inflamed gums
  • Severe tooth pain when eating or when putting pressure on or near a specific tooth
  • Extreme sensitivity to hot/cold beverages and food

If you need a root canal, you should not avoid dental care. It is best to treat the infected tooth promptly for the best outcome. If left untreated, the infection can spread further and cause tooth loss.

Schedule your consultation today.

Root Canal Symptoms and Treatment

Signs and Symptoms
of Possible Root Canal

A root canal may be needed when you face problems, including decay that has reached the living tissue inside the tooth (tooth pulp), infection, dental abscess inside the tooth or the root tip, or injury to the tooth.

Symptoms that can indicate the need for a root canal procedure include:

  • A dental abscess (or pimple) on the gums
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Severe toothache pain
  • Swelling and/or tenderness
  • However, sometimes no symptoms are present

Root Canal Treatment

  • A root canal procedure typically requires one to three appointments and is performed by a dentist or an endodontist (a root canal specialist)
  • Before the dentist begins the procedure, an x-ray of the tooth will be taken
  • The dentist will numb the tooth with a local anesthetic. Once your tooth is numb, the dentist will use a series of root canal files to access the infected area
  • The dentist will remove the dental pulp, nerve tissue, and any bacteria from the infected tooth. If there is tooth decay present, it is also removed. Once the tooth is cleaned thoroughly, the tooth is sealed with a permanent root canal filling. If additional appointments are needed, often, a temporary filling is used
  • At the next appointment, the roots and the cavity of the tooth are filled and sealed. A root canal filling is placed to cover the opening of the tooth
  • After a root canal, the tooth should have a dental crown (cap) set to help protect the tooth and prevent it from cracking or breaking
  • After treatment, your tooth may still be sensitive, but this will typically subside as the inflammation reduces, and the tooth heals
  • Your dentist will provide you with care instructions after each dental checkup. Remember that good oral hygiene and regular dental visits will help maintain your teeth

Root Canal Treatment

Getting root canal treatment rather than an extraction has many advantages. It can reduce and eliminate pain, so that you can eat and drink properly. It also reduces the risks of further tooth damage that can lead to more complex and expensive treatments, like dental implants, to replace missing teeth.

After a root canal, if you maintain proper oral hygiene, your root canal can last for many years.

Other advantages:

  • Improves chewing
  • Protects other teeth from being removed and maintains the integrity of your teeth

When Should You Get a Root Canal?

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you should see a dentist who is experienced and will ensure you receive the best outcome. At Gentle Dental, our team of dentists and dental hygienists have the experience you can trust. All of our dentistry services are performed in a caring and comfortable environment.

Additionally, if you are experiencing any discomfort or complications with a prior root canal and need retreatment, or are having a sensitivity to heat or cold, contact Gentle Dental today to schedule an appointment.

Payment Options

Many dental insurances cover root canals. Gentle Dental accepts many types of dental insurance, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Delta Dental, Met Life, Guardian, Cigna, Altus, United Concordia, Assurant, Aetna.

If your insurance does not cover root canals, or you do not have dental insurance, we offer a few payment alternatives.

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If your request is a dental emergency, or you would like to call and schedule your dental appointment, contact information for our offices can be found here: Gentle Dental Locations. New patient offer not valid for emergency appointments.