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Patients often dread root canals. Yet, root canals give patients an effective option to repair an infected or damaged tooth. Instead of extracting the tooth and replacing it with an implant, a root canal preserves its structure while removing the infection to achieve healing and restoration.
The Atlanta Smiles dental team provides effective root canal therapy. Let us restore your oral health and smile with proven root canal treatment.
What Is A Root Canal?
Root canal therapy cleans and treats a severely infected or damaged tooth caused by bacteria seeping through a large cavity or crack. The infection happens when the soft tissue inside the tooth, which contains blood vessels and nerves, becomes infected and ultimately dies.
During a root canal, the dentist removes the infected pulp and any damaged tissue. Then, the dentist fills the empty root space with a replacement material to strengthen the root and prevent new bacteria from entering the area.
When left untreated, the infection can cause swelling and pain in the mouth and jaw. Severe cases can lead to tooth extraction.
How Do You Know If You Need A Root Canal?
Several warning signs indicate an oral infection has spread to the root of your tooth. When this occurs, we typically recommend root canal therapy.
Common symptoms of a root infection:
- Severe tooth pain
- Sensitivity to cold and hot that lingers after exposure
- Darkening of the tooth enamel
- Swelling of the gums around the tooth
- An abscess or large pimple near the tooth
If you are experiencing any of these issues, schedule an appointment with Atlanta Smiles. Unfortunately, waiting can extend the damage and increase the time and resources required for healing.
Does A Root Canal Hurt?
There is a common misconception that root canals are very painful. As a result, many patients avoid treatment and allow the infection to escalate. If the condition becomes too severe, your dentist may have no choice but to extract the tooth. In our experience, most patients equate the pain during a root canal to a dental filling.
You do not need to fear root canal treatment. If your dentist recommends that you have root canal therapy, have it done as soon as possible. The problem will only worsen over time.
What is the Root Canal Treatment Process?
The dental team at Atlanta Smiles has extensive experience with successful root canal procedures. We create a customized treatment plan for each patient. We prioritize your healing, health, and comfort.
We use a local anesthetic to make the patient comfortable during the procedure. Like with a dental filling, the dentist begins by applying a numbing gel to the gums. Once the gel takes effect, the dentist injects the anesthetic into the gums to block pain receptors.
Next, the dentist performs the pulpectomy. The pulpectomy includes opening the tooth at the crown to gain entry to the inside of the tooth. Through this opening, the dentist removes the infected pulp. Then, the dentist clears out and widens the canals. Once opened and cleared, the dentist cleans and disinfects the root area.
The dentist fills the roots and tooth cavity with a temporary filler. A temporary filler allows the swelling in the tissue to go down before placing the permanent filler. It remains in place for roughly a week. A cap usually covers the tooth until the follow-up appointment, where they receive the permanent filling. After applying the permanent filler, the dentist seals the tooth’s surface or places a crown.
We may schedule follow-up visits to check the healing process.
Care After Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy is highly successful with proper tooth restoration. To maintain the integrity of the root canal, practice excellent oral hygiene following the treatment. Brush and floss daily to maintain oral health. Also, schedule routine dental checkups and keep your follow-up appointments. Your dentist uses that time to monitor the healing process.
Patients do not have to receive a crown as part of the root canal procedure. However, applying a custom crown to the tooth after a root canal helps protect the tooth. While necessary to heal the infection, removing the tooth’s pulp takes away the natural strengthening of the tooth.
A crown restores the tooth. Plus, a crown adds cosmetic appeal by creating a more realistic tooth appearance. Investing in a crown after a root canal enhances the smile and the tooth’s strength.
The Atlanta Smiles dental team typically recommends a crown to cover a root canal. We work with each patient to create the right treatment plan based on your health, comfort, and budget.
The cost of a root canal includes cleaning and removing the infection, placing the temporary filler, and the permanent seal. The cost varies depending on the customized treatment plan for each patient.
Costs for root canal therapy depend upon several factors:
- The number of teeth treated
- Number of required visits
- The severity of the infection
- Whether the patient receives a crown
Most dental insurance policies cover a portion of the cost of a root canal. Contact your insurance provider regarding specific coverage.
The typical root canal lasts around 10 to 15 years. However, depending on how well you maintain good oral hygiene habits, your tooth might last longer than expected. Also, adding a crown to a tooth with a root canal can extend the life of the procedure. A crown adds strength and durability to the tooth.
Practicing good oral hygiene and maintaining oral health also helps a root canal last longer.
Atlanta Smiles Provides Trusted Dental Procedures
Atlanta Smiles offers effective dental treatment to patients throughout the Atlanta area. For over 20 years, we’ve served patients with trusted dental treatments, including root canals. Our expert dental team has the knowledge, experience, and technology to provide the best possible treatment options to improve your oral health and your smile.
To learn more about root canal therapy, schedule a consultation with Atlanta Smiles.