If you’re bothered by a discomforting toothache, the first thing you’ll think of is a tooth extraction. However, a tooth extraction should only be made as a last resort. The cause of your toothache may be due to deep-seated decay or infection. A root canal treatment is a solution to fix this problem. It repairs and saves a decayed or badly infected tooth.
A root canal is a natural cavity located in the middle of your tooth. It is also where the tooth’s nerve that provides sensory function is located. The root canal has a soft area called the pulp or pulp chamber. Bacteria starts to increase, giving way to tooth infection, when the nerves and the pulp are damaged.
When to have a root canal treatment
These are the root canal infection symptoms to look out for to determine if root canal therapy suits your dental need.
- Damaged tooth nerve or pulp due to decay, dental procedures or trauma in the face.
- Prolonged sensitivity or pain to hot or cold temperature.
- Discoloration of the tooth.
- A severe toothache.
- Swollen and tender gums.
- Recurring pimples in the gum area.
Root Canal Treatment Process
An endodontist is a well-trained specialist in performing a root canal treatment. Aside from that, he specializes in the diagnosis and prevention of diseases that’s affecting the dental pulp and nerves. Basically, the treatment requires one or more visits. Here is the step-by-step procedure of a root canal treatment:
- Prior to the treatment, the endodontist takes a dental x-ray of the patient. Since the affected area is hidden, x-rays help to check the damage caused by root canal infection symptoms.
- Once he locates the area of infection, he administers a local anesthesia to numb the affected tooth.
- By the time the numbing takes effect, the endodontist then places a rubber dam to isolate the tooth. Next, he accesses the infected tooth by making a hole through it. He then proceeds clean the pulp of bacteria, decayed nerve tissues, and other debris. He uses a dental file to scrape and scrub the root canal sides for thorough cleaning and polishing. Finally, the dentist flushes out remaining debris with water or sodium hypochlorite.
- When the tooth chamber is cleared, the dentist applies medication to treat the infection . Other endodontists prefer to seal the tooth after a week to give time for healing. Besides, he places a temporary filling on the tooth’s exterior hole to protect it from contaminants.
- After the root canal treatment heals, the endodontist fills the interior of the tooth with a sealer paste on the next appointment. A crown or dental restoration is placed to protect the tooth and restore its full function.
You may feel discomfort for the next few days after the root canal treatment. However, there’s no need to worry as your endodontist may prescribe you with pain medication like Ibuprofen or naproxen.
Root canal treatment cost
The cost for a root canal therapy ranges from $500 CAD to $1000 CAD for an incisor and $800 CAD to $1,500 CAD or higher for molars. In some cases, endodontists may charge more for the treatment depending on your location.
Root canal treatment complications
While this rarely happens, there are certain complications that may arise following a root canal treatment. Here are some of the complications:
- A tooth’s root has an undetected crack.
- Failure to detect other infected root canals arising from root canal infection symptoms, leaving it uncleaned.
- The sealing material breaks down and the inner tooth is filled with bacteria.
- A defective dental restoration allowing bacteria to reach the inner tooth.
A painful toothache and prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures could mean an underlying serious infection. You won’t need a tooth extraction since a root canal treatment may be the only procedure necessary. Get in touch with your endodontist in Hyde Park if you need a root canal therapy to your precious teeth.