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What is Root Canal Treatment? Options, Procedures & Costs

Root canals are a common dental procedure and are considered very safe. Root canal treatments are designed to eliminate bacterial infections from the infected root canal space, while retaining the natural tooth as much as  possible.

By directly removing the pulp of a tooth that’s been infected or damaged, the dentist prevents the infection from spreading to the surrounding tissues in the mouth such as teeth and gums and saves the tooth from further decay. While the infected pulp is removed, the remaining inside of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned. It is then filled and sealed using a sealer paste and a rubber compound called gutta-percha. 

When Do You Need A Root Canal Treatment?

A root canal treatment becomes necessary when the pulp inside the root canal becomes inflamed or infected. Below are the dental conditions which can cause pulp damage and would require root canal treatment.

  1. If you have deep enough cracks – Cracks can range in severity from small cracks to deeper ones. If a cracked tooth is so extensive that it extends into the pulp, it leads to infection of the pulp tissue or a root canal infection. In this scenario, your dentist will then recommend a root canal treatment to remove the damaged pulp and restore the tooth.
  2. If you have a deeper cavity – While general cavities can be treated using filling but if a tooth decay has penetrated through the layers of your tooth and reached the tooth pulp through the dentin, you require a root canal treatment. The decay which reaches the pulp leads to the growth of microorganisms and bacteria which cause inflammation and the root canal infection. It needs to be fixed as soon as possible otherwise it can spread far beyond the tooth. 

Besides above dental conditions, repeated dental procedures, faulty crowns which cause the inside of your tooth to become infected also need root canal treatment. If you have signs and symptoms such as sharp and throbbing pain which makes it difficult to bite and chew, sensitivity to heat and cold for an extended period of time, this indicates a more severe damage to the teeth. The symptoms must be discussed with a trained dentist who can then help determine whether you will need a root canal treatment.  

Does A Root Canal Hurt?

While performing the root canal treatment to remove the infected pulp, the patients are administered a high degree of local anesthesia to numb the area around the tooth. Thus you wouldn’t feel any pain or discomfort while undergoing the procedure. Also, it is important to have a friendly team of dentists besides you to perform the treatment. They understand that some people are very nervous about having root canals. They not just offer sleep dentistry and other methods of sedation but also help ease the patient’s anxiety and help them feel more calm. 

How Much Does A Root Canal Cost?

Root canal infections are serious dental problems and need immediate treatment. There are various factors which influence the root canal treatment cost such as how many canals need to be filled and if you require a crown. The average cost of a root canal treatment without a crown in Australia can range anything between $2,500 and $3,400. Although dental problems are serious health issues, whether your insurance will cover your root canal procedure will depend on your particular plan. So you might have to check it with your insurance provider for better details regarding the coverage of the costs. 

Where Can I Get A Root Canal Done?

Root canal is a quite detailed procedure and thus needs professional help and a specialized approach. While it can be performed by a dentist too, if the infected tooth has a complex root canal system, an endodontist is the best choice to perform the treatment. Depending on the type of the tooth which is infected, you can choose between a dentist and an endodontist. Remember to choose a dentist with extensive training and experience. A well trained and experienced endodontist/dentist might be able to treat your infection with extreme precision and safety, which will help ensure that there are no future complications. If you are seeking root canal treatment, visit the most professional and experienced dentist near you who can give you back your freedom to smile. 

Root Canal Procedure

A root canal procedure is performed by highly skilled dental specialists known as endodontists. Since they specialize in treating the diseases and injuries of dental pulp or the nerve of the tooth, they are known as specialists in saving teeth. Your dentist will follow the below steps to remove the infected pulp and follow the root canal. 

  • Dentists rely on X-rays to properly diagnose the tooth decay and the damage. So your dentist will first take an X-ray of the infected area to see the structure of the root canals harbouring the disease. A proper visualization of these structures will enable the dentist to predict the complexity of your root canal treatment. 
  • After viewing the X-ray, the dentist will now use local anesthesia to numb the area near the tooth. Due to this, you may not feel any pain and discomfort while the dentist performs the root canal procedure since the nerve is dead. A friendly team of dentists and experienced ones will ease anxiety and help you feel more relaxed. As you stay awake after the local anesthesia, you can also communicate with the dentist during the procedure. 
  • Upon administering anesthesia, the tooth is then isolated by a rubber dam to keep the area dry and free of saliva during treatment. It also helps prevent inhalation and ingestion of instruments.
  • The dentist will now drill a hole into the exterior of the tooth and will use a special tool to remove the pulp, bacteria, and decayed nerve tissues from the tooth. He will reach the full length of the tooth to scrape the sides of the root canals and will also remove bacteria and any debris located in the tooth. 
  • Once the inside of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, it’s sealed using a sealer paste and a rubber like material called gutta percha. In some cases the dentists might like to wait for a week before sealing the tooth in case there is an infection. In usual cases, the dentist chooses to seal the tooth the same day it is cleaned out. 
  • After all the above steps, a filling will be put in to close the access hole and offer protection. Once the filling has been completed, the person can use the tooth as before. 
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