Root Canal Q & A

A root canal involves the removal of the pulp or living tissue that resides inside of a tooth. The tissue contains the blood supply and dental nerves of the tooth. Here are a few questions and answers about root canals:

Why is a root canal performed?

A root canal is performed to stop the spread of an infection and lessen dental pain. Once a tooth becomes infected, the infection can spread to neighboring teeth or even to the jawbone. Serious infections may even invade the blood stream and become systemic. 

In addition, the swelling that can result from an infection or other dental trauma can cause the nerves inside of a tooth to become inflamed. This inflammation can cause excruciating pain. 

As the pulp of the tooth is removed, the inflamed nerves and infected tissue is eradicated.

How can your dentist determine that a root canal is necessary?

There are multiple signs that a root canal candidate may exhibit. Here are a few:

  • throbbing toothache
  • foul-smelling liquid leaking from the area surrounding a tooth
  • a pimple-like access on the gums near a tooth
  • increased dental sensitivity to cold and heat
  • pain in the jaw
  • discoloration of a tooth

In addition to the symptoms that can be readily seen or communicated by the patient. A dental x-ray can also display signs of trauma or infection that indicate the need for a root canal.

Why is a root canal preferred over a dental extraction?

A root canal allows you to keep your tooth. As a result, the tooth can remain a placeholder to prevent adjacent teeth from shifting into misalignment. In addition, the root of the tooth remains in place to stimulate the jawbone and help prevent bone loss. Keeping your tooth also allows your smile to remain unaltered by the space left from an extraction. 

How much do root canals cost?

The cost of a root canal is often dependent on the location of the tooth in the palate. Front incisors usually have fewer roots than molars. As a result, the cost of a root canal for front teeth is generally less. 

A root canal on a front tooth is usually priced between $300 and $1.500, but the cost of a root canal for a molar is generally between $500 and $2,000.

If you are experiencing tooth pain, a root canal may be able to alleviate the pain and still allow you to keep your tooth. To find out if a root canal is right for you, schedule an appointment with a dentist in your area today.

To learn more, contact a dentist like Rick Chavez DDS