Absolutely not! General dentists are skilled in performing root canal therapy and have the tools and training required for successfully completing most procedures. But there are some situations when even dentists who routinely perform root canals will refer their patients to an endodontist .
Severe cavities For larger cavities, however, a filling is not sufficient to protect the tooth. In this case, the dentist will refer the person to an endodontist . This dentist has the knowledge and training to perform a root canal. Without timely intervention, the dentist may have to extract the tooth.
The endodontist removes the inflamed or infected pulp, carefully cleans and shapes the inside of the root canal, then fills and seals the space. Afterward, you will return to your dentist, who will place a crown or other restoration on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function.
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.
If your tooth is knocked out, you can go directly to an endodontist . They will reattach the tooth if the conditions allow it. First, they will anchor the tooth in place by splinting it to adjacent teeth. Then they will perform a root canal to deal with injured dental pulp.
Signs you may need root canal therapy include: Severe toothache pain upon chewing or application of pressure. Prolonged sensitivity (pain) to hot or cold temperatures (after the heat or cold has been removed) Discoloration (darkening) of the tooth.
Endodontists Have Specialized Expertise Endodontists don’t place fillings or clean teeth — they dedicate their time to diagnosing and treating tooth pain. They are skilled specialists in finding the cause of oral and facial pain that has been difficult to diagnosis.
Root canal This is the most common endodontic procedure and is typically done to save a tooth that would otherwise need to be removed. Root canal treatment is necessary when the pulp, which is the core layer of the tooth, or the canals holding the pulp becomes inflamed or infected.
This is usually caused by deep decay (cavities) or through a chip or crack in the enamel of your tooth. This infection in the pulp can spread down through the root canals of your teeth into your gums forming an abscess — a very severe and painful infection that can spread to your heart or brain, endangering your life.
What happens after? A root canal often weakens the outer tooth. Because a big part of the tooth’s structure is removed during a root canal , the outer tooth is likely to crumble if it is not reinforced with a crown .
If you do not get a root canal when you need one, the infection can spread from the tooth in question to the gum and jawbone surrounding the decaying or infected pulp. This could lead to the loss of the tooth or, in severe cases, the loss of part of your jaw.
A dental crown after a root canal provides reinforcement to your tooth and restores its health and functionality. Although adding a dental crown is not necessary after every root canal procedure, all root canal procedures need tooth reinforcement. Read more to learn if you require one.
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.
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.