While the term ‘root canal’ is often referred to as a treatment or procedure, it actually is the hollow part of a tooth that consists of nerves and blood vessels, called the pulp. The pulp’s purpose is to provide nourishment and moisture to the surrounding area. When the pulp becomes infected or damaged, a procedure called endodontic therapy, also known as root canal therapy, occurs to remove the problem area. This treatment is what most people mean by a root canal. Whatever you prefer to call it, Lincoln Smiles offers this service in a friendly, comfortable setting.
Why Do I Need Root Canal (Endodontic) Therapy?
We may recommend root canal therapy if you have a cracked tooth, a deep cavity, or an otherwise diseased or injured tooth. If the affected tooth is not treated, additional damage like an abscess or bone infection can develop. Such conditions will continue to worsen, leading to increased time, money, and discomfort to effectively treat them in the future. Left alone, the tooth likely will need to be extracted.
If you experience pain while biting or chewing, a cracked or chipped tooth, tiny sores or pimples on your gums, or tender, swollen gums, call us right away to schedule an exam.
What Can I Expect During Root Canal Therapy?
We will first take x-rays to get a good look at the root canals and to determine the extent of the damage. While you recline comfortably in our dental chair, we will inject a local anesthetic to numb the affected area. Once the area is numb, we will drill a small access hole in the tooth. Next, small files are used to clear the affected area of any debris, bacteria, and decayed nerve tissue. We will then shape and disinfect the area, fill the tooth with a rubber-like material, and seal the canals using an adhesive cement. The repaired tooth often requires further restoration via a crown to provide protection from breakage.
The fees associated with root canal therapy vary. The particular tooth that is affected is one aspect of endodontic therapy cost. Molars, for instance, are generally more difficult and therefore more expensive to treat than are incisors. Other factors that determine the cost of the procedure include the severity of the problem as well as insurance coverage.
What Can I Do to Avoid Needing Root Canal Therapy?
The easiest problem to fix is one that never occurs. The best way to avoid root canal therapy is through excellent oral hygiene practices and regular dental examinations. For optimal results, brush at least two times a day for two minutes each time, and floss thoroughly once a day. Also, visit us every 6 months for a professional cleaning to help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health problems.
Other habits affect your oral health as well. Maintaining a nutrient-rich diet, avoiding chewing tobacco and cigarettes, and limiting acidic, enamel weakening things like coffee and orange juice go a long way for a healthy mouth.
Call Lincoln Smiles today at 916-543-8800 to schedule an appointment.