What is root canal treatment?


A root canal is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or becomes infected. During root canal procedure, your dentist removes the damaged area of the tooth (the pulp), cleans and disinfects it, and then fills and seals it to protect from future bacterial infection.




How much does root canal treatment cost?


On average, the root canal procedure costs about $500-$2000, depending on whether they are premolars or molars, anterior or posterior, and the level of damage, and the local rates. Note that most of the time, root canal treatment does not include tooth restoration costs.




Is root canal treatment painful?


Most people assume that the root canal treatment is painful. However, your dentist performs root canal treatment under local anesthesia to relieve the pain and discomfort.




When do I need a root canal treatment?


Serious pain when you eat or put pressure on the tooth, pain and sensitivity to hot or cold, darkening of the tooth bottom near the gum, and tenderness or swelling in the gums near the painful tooth. Note that all types of tooth pain don’t need root canal treatment. See your dentist if you have tooth pain.




How is root canal treatment done?


Root canal treatment involves several steps. First, if your dentist suspects you need a root canal, he/she will take X-rays or examine existing X-rays to determine the location of tooth decay. Second, your dentist administers local anesthesia to the affected tooth. Third, your dentist opens the decayed tooth to remove the pulp. Fourth, after the pulp is removed, and the tooth is disinfected, your dentist will fill the tooth with appropriate material to seal off and prevent future infections.




How to prevent root canal treatment?


Brush daily twice: Sounds simple, but many skip this step at night.

Floss daily once: Many skip this every day. Flossing will get-rid of bacteria where a regular tooth brush cannot reach.

Avoid candies and sugary foods: Difficult to avoid, but bacteria entering the root canal love these foods.

Avoid crushing ice: Many likes the temptation of crushing ice, but it can crack or break a tooth or its filling and allows bacteria to grow.

Wear a night guard: If you are a grinder or clencher, this will prevent teeth from fractures and prevent the exposure of root canals.

Wear a mouth guard: This option is not only for professional sports, but also needed for every sport that makes you vulnerable to fractures.

Avoid sodas: Sodas contain acids that break down enamel and loaded with sugars that allow bacteria to grow.

Visit your dentist regularly: Have regular dental checkups that can spare not only a root canal, but also to prevent future oral health issues.




Is root canal treatment safe?


The thought of getting root canal treatment makes most people fearful or uneasy because of common misconceptions such as root canal treatment is painful, causes illness, and should be avoided at all costs. These are not true. In fact, the longer you postpone root canal treatment the more likely you lose your tooth.




What to expect after root canal treatment?


After the root canal procedure, your dentist or endodontist will send you home with instructions for pain management. You may feel some tenderness in the area for a few days during the healing. You can get relief from over-the-counter medications. However, your dentist may prescribe stronger medications if needed. If you had a temporary filling or crown, pay more attention and avoid hard and crunchy foods. Consult your dentist if you experience severe pain that lasts more than a week.




How to relieve root canal treatment pain?


Use over-the-counter medications or stronger medications such as narcotics prescribed by your dentist. Avoid handling heavy machinery and driving while taking narcotics. Consider pain management activities such as meditation, yoga or tai chi to take your focus off the pain.




What happens after root canal treatment?


After a root canal procedure, your dentist may place a temporary crown on top of the tooth that need to be restored.




How many visits root canal treatment takes?


Root canals may be treated in one or multiple visits. Your situation depends on the condition of the infected teeth, the location, and the complexity of the root canals. Your dentist will provide you more information during the treatment.




Do I need a crown after root canal treatment?


After root canal treatment, the tooth becomes brittle and may fracture since it loses blood supply. To prevent the tooth from fracture, it needs to be protected with full coverage and restoration with a crown. Sometimes, you may need filling-only restoration. Your dentist is the one that ultimately help you determine the best option for restoring a tooth after a root canal.