Root canal therapy is often needed in extreme circumstances when the nerve of your tooth has been severely damaged, either by infection or decay. Once it has been determined that a root canal is needed to save the tooth, our Prescott Valley dentists will extract the pulp, known as the living tissue inside the tooth, and leave the empty tooth as a natural implant.
Although root canal therapy may come as a result of a dying tooth, they’re often long lasting, more cost-effective in the long run, and are recommended over tooth extraction. In fact, having a tooth extracted may result in a need for a more costly procedure to fill the missing gap in the smile.
Signs You May Need Root Canal Treatment
There are several important warning signs that occur when a tooth is damaged and in need of attention. Symptoms you should look out for when looking for a damaged tooth include:
- Pimples or abscesses on the gums
- Severe toothache
- Tenderness or sensitivity
- Sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks
If you find that you have any of these symptoms which correlate with an infected or decayed tooth, it might be time to seek professional treatment.
Process: What Does Treatment Involve?
Root canal therapy involves a process typically completed over two visits to Larson Dental and generally consists of cleaning out the tooth completely – leaving an empty shell of a tooth which can then be filled with a temporary or permanent filling.
The steps include:
- Numbing the tooth and using a sheet of rubber, known as a rubber dam, to keep the tooth protected, dry, and saliva free.
- Making a small opening either on top or behind the tooth in order to remove the bacteria, nerve tissue, pulp, and any remaining tooth decay.
- Once the tooth has been cleaned out, the inner pulp chamber will be sterilized and filled with composite filling and biocompatible material.
After one week of recovery, our patients return for crown placement. Made of highly durable porcelain, the crown restoration helps restore oral function and prevent infection from recurring and damaging the tooth once again.
Common symptoms following treatment include inflammation and tooth sensitivity. However, these symptoms are not permanent and will subside as the tooth heals. Additionally, understanding that every patient recovers at their own pace and according to their particular case is important and will help in the recovery process.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does a root canal take?
In most cases, root canal therapy is completed in one to two appointments, lasting about 90 minutes each. However, treatment time varies from patient to patient and depends on several factors. This includes the condition of your oral health and how many teeth need to be treated. We’ll provide you with an accurate breakdown of your treatment during your initial consultation.
Does root canal therapy hurt?
Before your procedure, we’ll provide you with a local anesthetic to relieve any pain you may experience during your root canal. It’s likely you’ll feel mild discomfort after the procedure but this should subside within a few days. Dr. Larson recommends taking an over-the-counter painkiller to relieve pain and applying a cold compress over the affected area to reduce swelling.
How much does root canal therapy cost?
The average cost of root canal therapy is around $1,400 but most insurance companies will cover a portion of treatment. However, the cost is different for each patient and numerous factors, like their insurance and how many teeth are treated. We suggest contacting your insurance provider to get a better understanding of your coverage.
Are there any possible complications with root canal therapy?
It’s uncommon to experience any complications after root canal therapy, but can happen in very rare cases. If your tooth becomes broken, infected, or fractured, contact Dr. Larson as soon as possible by calling (928) 772-8128 or filling out a contact form. He’ll assess the damage and determine the best solution to restore your tooth and get you back on track.
Dr. Larson Can Relieve Your Pain
If you’re in need of a root canal, give us a call at (928) 772-8128 or fill out a contact form located to the right of the page. We’ll be happy to schedule your free consultation with Dr. Larson so he can help relieve your pain and restore your oral health.