Are you feeling little strokes of pain in your teeth? Or whenever you take a bite of any hot or cold substance, you feel sensitivity in your front teeth? If yes, then you have to see a dentist. All these symptoms are of the root canal infection. You may have heard about this term before, as many people are familiar with this treatment. But for those who don’t know about it, through this article, we have explained the whole procedure in detail.
After listening to your friend’s experience in her dentist’s appointment, you’re scared of going to a dental hospital. Don’t worry; this happens with all the people. For your information, root canals are ubiquitous. You will be surprised to know that every year in the United States, there are more than 15 million root canal treatments take place.
A root canal is always done by a dentist or an endodontist (Endodontists have more specialized training for root canal treatment). This treatment is done to remove the pain and infection from the tooth. So if you have doubts in your mind such as What happens during root canal treatment? How long does a root canal take? Do root canals hurt that much? Read this article till the end because here we have explained everything from root canal cost to the oral hygiene tips.
What is Root Canal Treatment?
A root canal is a procedure in which the infected tissues or the dead, inflamed or infected pulp of the tooth is removed. This dental pulp is a soft substance consisting of connective tissue, nerve, and blood vessels and is located in the center of a tooth.
A root canal treatment is also known as “Endodontic treatment.” It can be a series of treatments in which root canals are treated, removed, and replaced with dental materials. When the pulp chamber, which is the hollow part of a tooth, gets infected, and it extends through the roots of the teeth and also in the surrounding bone, then it is removed. This whole dental procedure gets rid of the tooth’s roots and infection while preserving your natural tooth.
Who Needs a Root Canal?
Every tooth has pulp, and many things can damage this nerve or pulp. Often a patient feels pain or sensitivity or other symptoms, but many times that they don’t feel any symptoms or warnings. You’ll need a root canal treatment if you are experiencing any of these dental conditions:
- Teeth that are cracked or chipped
- Teeth that have undergone repeated dental work
- Teeth with an infection due to big cavities
While a root canal can be temporarily uncomfortable, but this treatment is much better than the alternative side effects of severe infection.
Without a root canal, these tooth infections can spread along the gum line and later infect the other teeth. In most cases, the teeth become yellow or black and also cause some pain, but sometimes you have no idea that your teeth have a serious dental issue. So what are the symptoms of root canal infections?
Here are some common symptoms:
- Tooth discoloration or darkening of the affected tooth
- Inflammation, abscess formation or swelling of the gums (only around the infected tooth)
- Pimples on the gums
- Gum tenderness when biting or chewing on the affected side
- A chipped or cracked tooth
- Hypersensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks
- Severe pain when eating or chewing.
- Small lump growth on the gum around the affected tooth
Root Canal Procedure
Now we are going to tell you about the whole root canal treatment in the detailed steps. It is a combination of several straight forward steps. So this is what you can expect in your dentist appointment:
- When you visit a dentist, there are high chances that he will take an x-ray of the affected tooth. This is important because after seeing the x-ray, the dentist will be able to understand the true condition of a tooth and also whether you need a root canal treatment or not.
- Then the dentist will numb the infected area with local anesthesia to reduce the pain.
- He’ll also clean the part of your tooth several times and use medication to kill off the remaining bacteria.
- Then the next step is to drill a small hole in your tooth, and for that, they’ll use sterilized equipment. It is done to access the pulp cavity. And they’ll also use a rubber dam to isolate the affected tooth from saliva.
- Sometimes they also take X-rays to make sure the root is completely clean.
- Then they’ll remove the infected pulp, nerves or tissues and then clean the pulp cavity properly.
- And the last step is to restore the tooth crown using either a temporary or a permanent filling.
How Long Does a Root Canal Take?
After reading the root canal procedure, you might be thinking that it will take many days to do the full treatment. But that is not true at all, with the new advanced technology, all the treatment can be done in a single dental visit. It hardly takes 90 minutes to 3 hours, and in some cases, it may require two appointments. See, all this depends on the condition of your tooth infection.
A minor root canal case usually takes between 30 to 60 minutes, while more complex cases take a longer time. So, you should be prepared to spend about 90 minutes in the dentist’s chair for your root canal appointment. As these days, with the recent technology, the whole procedure is simple and can be done in one sitting. In short, approximately:
Anterior: 1 hour
Premolar: 1-1.5 hours
Molar: 1.25-2 hours
Retreatment: Highly Variable
But if you have root canal infections in more than one tooth, then it will undoubtedly take time. Many people fear to have this treatment and have anxiety about going to a dentist, but it is entirely safe.
Is a Root Canal Painful?
We won’t lie to you that a root canal treatment is not painful. But it is not as painful as you’re probably thinking. The treatment, of course, causes a little discomfort, but it also depends on your bearing capacity. Everyone has a different pain tolerance capacity, right? But having a one time pain is much better than a cracked tooth or pain for a lifetime!!
All dentists use local anesthesia to numb your tooth, so you hardly feel any pain during your actual appointment. Actually, the root canal is a treatment to take away the pain from a tooth. Doctors also give you some pain killers and medicines to tame down the pain, but if you’re still experiencing it, then immediately consult your dentist.
How much does a root canal cost?
The root canal cost totally depends on the tooth. For example, the filling of the molars is more expensive. The total treatment cost of a single tooth (incisor or canine) is around $400 to $1,000, and a multi-rooted tooth (premolar or molar) may cost from $500 to $1,400.
Oral Hygiene Tips
To keep your teeth and gums healthy, follow these things and your teeth will remain white and healthy forever:
- Brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day and floss daily between the teeth to remove dental plaque.
- Do not use any tobacco products; if you smoke, quit.
- Drink fluoridated water and brush with fluoride toothpaste.
- Visit your dentist at least once a year for regular checkups and teeth cleanings.
A root canal is necessary when you have a dead or infected pulp or cavity. It is considered as a severe treatment. but in reality, it is not that painful. Remember that it’s better to be in the dentist’s chair than in the emergency room due to an unaddressed dental issue.
Life is short, so smile while you still have teeth!! But seriously, if you feel any discomfort or pain in the tooth, then immediately contact your dentist. After reading this blog, you’re now aware of the procedures, costs, and aftercare, so don’t worry about your teeth. For more health-related information, visit Healthclubfinder.