Non Surgical Root Canal

A root canal is a very common dental procedure in which the pulp, or nerve, of the tooth is removed from within the tooth and its roots. This treatment is utilized in order to save your natural tooth and avoid the need for dental implants or bridges when the pulp becomes injured. A root canal may be required due to a fractured or cracked tooth, deep decay that approaches or reaches the nerve of the tooth, or trauma. Symptoms that may indicate need for a root canal include hot and/or cold sensitivity, pressure sensitivity, aching or throbbing pain or biting sensitivity. If you experience any of these symptoms, call for an exam right away. 

How is a root canal performed?

During the procedure, diseased pulp (nerve) of the tooth is removed from the inside of the tooth. The inside of the tooth is then thoroughly cleaned,  shaped, and sealed with a rubber like material called gutta percha. At our office, we use local anesthesia to ensure you are comfortable for the procedure, which is usually completed in two separate visits. This type of non-surgical root canal treatment is successful in about 90% of cases.  More complicated cases may be referred to an endodontist who specializes in diagnosis of pulpal disease and root canal treatment. If your tooth is not a good candidate for 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.

                         What happens after treatment?

Following root canal therapy, your tooth will require a permanent restoration. In most situations, we recommend that root canal treated teeth be restored with a crown in order to prevent fracture of the tooth. Teeth become more brittle following root canal therapy, therefore in most situations we recommend that your tooth be crowned following endodontic treatment. This is especially important if the root canal was required as a result of a cracked tooth, fractured tooth, or large filling. Sometimes we are able to restore a root canal treated tooth with a simple filling. Your options will be discussed with you prior to treatment. If you have been referred to an endodontist for your root canal treatment, they will inform us when your treatment is complete so that we may proceed with a permanent restoration.

How much will it cost?

The cost of root canal treatment varies according to the tooth requiring treatment and the extent of the damage. In general, root canal treatment is less expensive than extracting a tooth and replacing it with a bridge or implant.