If you have been experiencing a combination of pain, prolonged sensitivity, tenderness when you chew, signs of swelling or severe tooth discoloration, there is a chance you may need a root canal. However, there have been cases where no symptoms show at all! Keep up with your regular dental checkups to make sure you are not in need of an emergency root canal. A root canal is referred to as an endodontic treatment. This procedure is necessary when the soft tissue inside your tooth’s root canal (known as pulp) becomes inflamed or infected. Inflammation or infection occurs for a variety of reasons, such as:
- Deep decay
- Repeated dental procedures
- A cracked or chipped tooth
- Injury to a tooth that causes pulp damage
If left untreated, pulp inflammation or infection can cause serious pain or, worse, lead to abscesses.
Root canals may seem very scary and painful, but thanks to modern techniques and anesthetics, most patients report feeling surprisingly comfortable during the procedure. Having the root of your tooth (the pulp) inflamed or irritated normally causes patients serious pain as it is. The longer this is left untreated, the worse the pain may get. Root canals are meant to relieve you from the pain you are already in. It is normal to feel tooth sensitivity after the first few days after the procedure, especially if you experienced pain and had an infection before the root canal began. Over-the-counter or prescription medications are available to relieve this discomfort. Be sure to speak to your endodontist about your medication options. You may notice your treated tooth feels slightly different from your other teeth. This is normal, and you may experience this weird sensation for some time after your endodontic treatment is completed. Please call your endodontist immediately if you experience severe pain, intense pressure or pain that lasts more than approximately three days.
Special Care and Additional Treatments
An unrestored tooth is susceptible to fracture. It is highly recommended you see your dentist for a full restoration as soon as possible. You should avoid using a treated tooth for chewing or biting until it is restored by your dentist. Otherwise, after a root canal, you are only required to practice good oral hygiene. This includes brushing, flossing, regular checkups and following up with cleanings. Endodontically treated teeth typically last as long as your other natural teeth. Few cases have reported scenarios where a tooth that has undergone endodontic treatment does not heal or continues to be painful. The tooth may become painful or diseased over time after successful treatment. This may not be noticed until months (even years) after your successful root canal. In cases when this occurs, the tooth has the opportunity to be saved by simply redoing the endodontic procedure.
New infection in your treated tooth may be caused by new trauma, deep decay, or a loose, cracked or broken filling. Leaving this untreated puts you at risk for new infection in your tooth. In some cases, your endodontist may discover additional slim, narrow and curved canals that could not be treated during the initial procedure.
Costs of root canal therapy vary depending on the number of the roots of a tooth, difficulty of the procedure, and the position of the tooth. Dental insurance providers typically cover a portion of the cost of root canal treatment, and the cost may vary from $300 to $1500. Speak to your dentist or contact your insurance provider to be certain cost of root canal treatment is covered.
Call Paradise Dental Practice at 949-481-2121 to make an appointment with Dr. Mojgan Niktash and learn more about root canal therapy in San Juan Capistrano, California!