Your general dentist is more likely to refer you to an endodontist if you have pain in a tooth or a history of injury to a tooth which could impact the pulp or roots. While general dentists can and do provide root canal therapy, many people prefer to visit endodontists because they have more training and experience.
By now you’re probably familiar with who your general dentist is. As your go-to provider, your general dentist manages your oral health and takes care of most your dental needs, which may include: dental exams, preventive care, fillings, crowns , veneers, bridges and root canals .
All dentists are trained to treat and diagnose diseases of the pulp. However, some teeth can be especially difficult to diagnose and treat. For example, certain general dentists will do their own root canals on anterior or bicuspid teeth, because these teeth are easier to access and only have one or two roots .
Root canal therapy requires one or more office visits and can be performed by a dentist or endodontist. An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in the causes, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and injuries of the teeth’s dental pulp.
Does a root canal hurt ? A root canal procedure sounds scary, but with today’s technology, it’s typically not a whole lot more different than having a deep filling. There’s little to no pain because your dentist will use local anesthesia to numb your tooth and gums so you’re comfortable during the procedure.
NerdWallet estimates that national average costs for root canals are $762 for a front tooth, $879 for a premolar and $1,111 for a molar. The region of the country in which you live can also determine the cost. If you live closer to the coast, expect a price higher than the national average, says NerdWallet.
A root canal is performed when the endodontist removes the infected pulp and nerve in the root of the tooth, cleans and shapes the inside of the root canal , then fills and seals the space. Afterward, your dentist will place a crown on the tooth to protect and restore it to its original function.
Filling the root canal After root canal therapy, the tooth is dead . The patient will no longer feel any pain in that tooth because the nerve tissue has been removed, and the infection has been eliminated.
To confirm that a tooth does indeed require root canal treatment , the dentist will take an X-ray of the root and may perform a pulp vitality test . Most pulp tests involve placing a cold stimulus on the tooth to check for a healthy response. Many teeth will be tested to compare the responses.
Anaerobic bacteria, which do not require oxygen to survive, thrive in these side canals and excrete toxicity from digesting necrotic tissue that leads to chronic infection. Blood supply and lymphatics that surround those dead teeth drains this toxicity and allows it to spread throughout your body.
According to the American Association of Endodontists, root canals have a success rate of over 95% and in most cases they last a lifetime.
One of the most popular alternatives to root canals is extraction of the offending tooth and the replacement with a bridge, implant or partial denture. According to the American Association of Endodontists (AAE), this doesn’t compare with the advantages of saving the natural tooth if possible.
Preparing for a root canal Avoid alcohol and tobacco for a full 24 hours before the procedure. Eat before the procedure. Take a painkiller before the procedure. Ask questions. Get a full night’s sleep before and after.
Going under unconscious sedation for a root canal is unnecessary and will only put your body through more distress. For patients dealing with fear, a severe gag reflex, special needs, dementia, or other complications, we recommend and will provide, nitrous oxide analgesia to help you relax.
Post Treatment Care Severe pain or pressure lasting more than a few days. Visible swelling inside or outside your mouth. An allergic reaction to medication (rash, hives or itching) Your bite feels uneven. The temporary crown or filling, if one was put in place, comes out (losing a thin layer is normal)