A root canal is a procedure carried out to save and repair a badly damaged or infected tooth instead of extracting it. In this procedure, the dentist makes a small hole or an incision in the infected tooth and removes its innermost layer, the pulp, which consists of various nerve endings and blood vessels.
Root canal treatment deadens the tooth and effectively eliminates the discomfort the patients have felt. Root canal treatment is required when a tooth shows signs of infection or significant pulpal nerve damage.
When the tooth is chipped or cracked and has a significant cavity, bacteria enter the pulp, and if left untreated. It can lead to oral issues like infection, bone loss, or in severe cases the loss of the entire tooth.
There are multiple benefits of root canal treatment, including:
- Prevents tooth loss.
- Prevents infection of adjacent teeth.
- Restores the aesthetics of teeth.
- Prevents jawbone degeneration.
- Boosts oral and overall health.
- It is virtually painless.
The most common symptoms that indicate that a person might need a root canal treatment are as follows:
The main purpose of a root canal procedure is to treat the infection by removing the infected tooth pulp which effectively eliminates the pain and discomfort. In this procedure, the dentist generally removes the infected pulp and nerve endings of the affected tooth. This procedure is not complicated but involves various steps:
- X-ray: If a dentist suspects that a patient might need a root canal, he will initiate the treatment by taking a number of X-rays to know where the decay is located.
- Anesthesia: In this procedure, local anesthesia is administered to the affected tooth to minimize the discomfort and to make it a painless treatment procedure.
- Pulpectomy: After the administration of anesthesia, an incision is made, and the diseased tooth pulp is removed.
- Filling: The roots that have been opened are then filled with gutta-percha material and sealed off with the help of cement.
The estimated costs of root canal treatment usually depend on the location of the infection in the mouth. Root canals on the molars are typically more expensive as they have more canals that require filling. A root canal treatment typically costs $1000 to $1200 without insurance.
It is a procedure that helps preserve the natural tooth, so it is definitely worth the price. Preserving the natural tooth structure requires fewer dental visits and saves the expenses of various artificial dental alternatives in the long run.