Root Canal

What Is a Root Canal? A Complete Guide

Your tooth is aching with the fury of a thousand gods. You’re finding it difficult to chew and eat food. There’s clearly something wrong here.

Though we can’t be too certain, in all likelihood, that “something” is an infected tooth. For this reason, you might very well require a root canal procedure.

What is a root canal, you ask? Great question! We’re going to discuss the procedure and its many facets in detail below.

What Is a Root Canal?

A root canal is a procedure wherein the pulp and root of the tooth are removed. This is done as a means of stopping infection and eliminating any pain that has come about as a result of that infection.

Root canal procedures are fairly intensive dental procedures. During this procedure, the dental specialist (known as an endodontist) pierces a small hole in the crown of the tooth. He or she then uses instruments to dig the pulp and the root out from that hole.

Once the pulp and the root have been removed, the tooth is filled with a synthetic material (called gutta-percha) which then hardens and allows the tooth to serve its normal use.

Curious as to whether root canals hurt? They will leave a little pain (temporarily) after they’ve been finished. However, while they’re in occurrence, any pain that they might cause is masked by a topical and local anesthetic.

In many cases, root canals are a necessity. If you don’t undergo a root canal in time, your tooth can rot, causing it to fall out of your gums.

When Is a Root Canal Necessary?

There are a number of scenarios in which a root canal might be necessary. These scenarios include but aren’t limited to the following.

When a Tooth Is Cracked

One of the most common situations that necessitates a root canal is a cracked tooth. This is only true, however, if the crack extends to the pulp of the tooth.

If this is the case, the pulp and root will need to be removed. Otherwise, decay will spread, causing the tooth to become discolored and eventually fall out.

Once the root canal has been performed, the affected tooth will need to be given a crown. This includes patching the top of the tooth with a synthetic substance.

When There’s a Deep Cavity

Another situation that calls for a root canal is a deep cavity, one that reaches down into the tooth’s pulp. A cavity of this extent is bound to cause severe pain, and, if left untouched, will cause the tooth to decay.

As such, the pulp must be removed, and the tooth must be filled with gutta-percha. In some cases, a crown will be needed as well.

When There’s Extreme Pain Present

Do you feel extreme pain in one of your teeth? If so, you’re probably going to need a root canal.

Extreme pain is a sign of severe decay in the root or pulp of the tooth. Until the root and pulp have been cleaned out, the pain will grow worse. Do away with this pain for good by undergoing a root canal.

When Your Tooth Is Becoming Discolored

Another thing you should look out for is tooth discoloration. If a tooth is getting darker and darker by the day, it’s probably infected. At this point, the only way to stop it from getting darker is to undergo a root canal.

The root canal will remove the infection from the tooth, stopping the spread of decay, and allowing the tooth to maintain its present color.

Tooth discoloration and tooth pain are the surest signs that an infection is present. These root canal symptoms should throw up red flags immediately.

Recovering From a Root Canal

Recovering from a root canal is generally fairly routine. You’ll experience some pain for the next week or so; your mouth will also be numb for a few hours after the procedure has ended. However, you’ll be able to go on with your life as usual.

The key is to take measures to minimize pain as much as possible. Apply ice packs to the affected area, take pain relievers like Ibuprofen, and avoid eating hard foods.

You should also maintain your oral hygiene routine. Brush your teeth, floss, and consider using mouthwash.

What Is the Cost of a Root Canal?

The cost of a root canal can vary based on a number of factors. These factors include the dentist who’s performing the procedure, whether dental insurance is involved, the complexity of the procedure, the position of the affected tooth, and more.

Without dental insurance, you should plan on paying between $700 and $1,100 for a front tooth, between $800 and $1,200 for a bi-cuspid tooth, and between $1,200 and $1,800 for a back tooth.

With dental insurance, it’s dependent on the specifics of your plan. However, you should expect to see at least a few hundred bucks knocked off the original price.

Common figures for root canals with dental insurance are between $200 and $1,100 for front teeth, between $200 and $1,200 for bi-cuspid teeth, and between $330 and $1,500 for back teeth.

For more specific cost information, give a call to your local endodontist in London or elsewhere. He or she will give you a rundown of the costs and will help you determine whether your insurance will benefit you in any way.

A Root Canal Can Make a World of Difference

And there it is, an answer to “what is a root canal?” If you’re in a constant state of pain and agony, make no mistake: a root canal can make a world of difference. See a dentist, get diagnosed, and start reaping the benefits of this advantageous dental procedure as soon as possible.

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