What Is A Root Canal?

Root canal treatment is a dental procedure for repairing a tooth that is severely damaged or decayed. It’s an effective treatment that alleviates pain and saves the natural tooth. Millions of teeth are repaired and saved through root canal therapy every year.

Root canal therapy is performed when the pulp of a tooth becomes infected or inflamed. The pulp is the inner part of a tooth that contain nerves and blood vessels that provide sensitivity and nutrients to the tooth. However, once a tooth is well established, it gets nutrients from surrounding tissues; hence the pulp’s function is only to sense stimulus. Therefore, the removal of the pulp will not affect the normal functioning of the tooth. The pulp can be infected due to deep decay, large fillings, fracture, trauma, or repeated dental procedures.

When Is A Root Canal Needed?

Once the pulp is infected and breaks down, the bacteria multiply and spread. As the infection progress, you may get symptoms such as

  • Swelling of gum around the affected tooth
  • Pain in the tooth or gums
  • Discoloration of the tooth
  • Abscess from the affected tooth
  • Facial or neck swelling

It’s important to visit a dentist for a thorough examination and diagnosis to determine if a root canal is suitable.

Root Canal Procedure

Root canal treatment needs one or more appointments, depending on the treatment. The first step is to take an x-ray to determine the extent of infection and shape of the root canal. We will then apply local anesthesia to numb the area and make you comfortable. A rubber dam will be placed around the tooth to keep the area dry. Our dentist will make an access hole at the top of the tooth to expose the infected pulp. Using special tools, we will remove the damaged pulp, then clean and seal the root canal system. In various cases, we may apply a topical antibiotic to remove any infection before sealing.

The root canal treatment is not painful and can be compared to a routine filling. The therapy has more than 90% success rate.

What to Expect After Root Canal Treatment in Pittsburgh

On the first few days after completion of root canal therapy, you may experience sensitivity or discomfort. These symptoms can be alleviated with over the counter medications and will go away within a few days. You should be able to get back to your normal activities after the procedure.

Within a few weeks of completion of the therapy, you will need restoration to protect your tooth and get it to full function. Your restoration dentists will determine the best restoration suitable for you.

It’s important to follow a regular oral care routine to maintain your restored tooth. Visit our dentist two times a year for check-up and cleaning, so that we can be able to identify problems before they escalate.

Cost of Root Canal

The cost of a root canal is dependent on various factors, including the type of tooth and severity of the damage. Endodontists may also charge higher than a general dentist. Generally, root canal therapy is cheaper compared to other alternative procedures, such as a dental implant. Most dental insurance plans cover root canal therapy.