Root Canal Therapy
At our dental office, we complete root canal treatments in one visit, unless the issue has gone untreated for an extended period of time and calcification occurs. In these instances, it may be necessary for us to refer you to a root canal specialist. In all other cases, our dentists use high-resolution cameras and top-of-the-line special rotary nickel-titanium instruments to complete root canal therapy in our Lawrence, KS dental office efficiently and painlessly.
Care of Mouth After A Root Canal
Once bacteria or decay reaches a tooth’s nerve, filling the tooth is no longer an option. At this point, the bacteria have invaded the living part of the tooth – the part that has blood supply. There, bacteria have all the food and protection they need to stay inside the tooth. This can often result in pain as well as poor oral health. The only way to remove this bacteria is to either remove the tooth or remove the tissue inside. Sometimes, the pain associated with nerve decay can be tremendous. A root canal procedure can instantly relieve you of considerable pain.
During a root canal procedure, the dentist will remove dead or dying tissue from inside the tooth’s root and replace it with a sealant made of a biologically-friendly material. This seals and protects the remaining tooth from any future bacterial invasion. Teeth that have had root canal treatment are more brittle than untreated teeth. Without the blood supply, they can become dry and prone to fracture. For this reason, many teeth that have been treated with a root canal have a crown placed to cover and protect them.
Root canal therapy is a safe way to prevent additional dental issues later on. Here are just some of the benefits:
With all of the misinformation floating around regarding root canals, it can be difficult to find out how much the procedure will cost. In truth, the cost of a root canal in Lawrence can vary due to the complexity of the treatment. This means that we can’t provide an accurate price estimate until our dentists have examined your unique situation. Ahead of your visit, it may help to read the following information about root canal cost.
After your emergency dentist in Lawrence has had the opportunity to look over your tooth, our team can begin drawing up a cost estimate for your root canal. Multiple factors come into play here, including:
If your tooth is severely infected or damaged, and especially if it’s causing pain, you might have considered simply having the tooth pulled instead. While a tooth extraction may be initially cheaper than a root canal, you have to think about the long-term consequences of losing a natural tooth. Even a single missing tooth can result in misalignment; the surrounding teeth will likely drift out of position over time, which could lead to discomfort and difficulty chewing. Additionally, the jawbone may begin to lose density in the area, increasing the risk of further tooth loss.
By choosing a tooth extraction when you have the option of a root canal, you may end up having to pay for a tooth replacement with a dental implant or bridge, as well as possibly gum disease therapy, bone grafting, and orthodontic treatment. That’s why root canal therapy is the better option for your smile and your wallet.
Since root canal therapy is considered a major restorative procedure, it’s quite common for dental insurance companies to cover a portion of the cost. In most cases, they’ll cover root canals up to 50%, but this can of course vary from plan to plan. Heck Family Dentistry of Lawrence is in-network with Delta Dental Premier and BlueCross BlueShield, but we accept many other plans and are more than happy to help you maximize your benefits and save as much as possible when you visit.
Patients with or without insurance who need assistance paying for their root canal can split up their costs by signing up for a monthly payment plan from CareCredit. This company offers multiple plans to choose from, most of which come with zero or low interest rates attached. As a result, you should have no problem fitting the cost of your root canal into your monthly budget! Our team can gladly help you with the application process.
If you need a root canal in Lawrence, don’t worry. Your dentist will explain everything during your consultation for root canal therapy to ease any apprehensions. While you wait for your appointment, here are the answers to a few frequently asked questions to calm your nerves.
Antibiotics are effective in treating bacterial infections throughout the body; however, they don’t have any effect on those involving a tooth. Antibiotics target infected areas of the body by circulating through the bloodstream. Since your bloodstream doesn’t travel to the pulp, antibiotics will never reach the infection. Other than an extraction, root canal therapy is the only way to treat the source of the problem.
Often, an infected tooth causes intense pain, but that’s not the only symptom. In fact, the absence of pain can be very concerning because it can mean the nerve in your tooth has died. Infection or trauma can cause it to die, which can occur without experiencing any discomfort. Although the nerve may have died, the infection will remain. It’s best to follow your dentist’s advice to have your tooth treated promptly, even if you don’t have a toothache. If you wait too long, you may lose your tooth or those surrounding it.
Root canals have a bad reputation for being painful, but there isn’t anything to fear. New technologies and techniques make the procedure less invasive. Many patients report the discomfort isn’t any worse than having a filling placed. Your dentist in Lawrence will use a local numbing agent, so you won't feel anything. If you are concerned about pain or need a little extra help to relax, our office offers sedation, like nitrous oxide. The inhaled sedative, better known as “laughing gas,” is safe and effective. You won’t have to worry about feeling groggy or any lingering side effects. While you won’t feel any pain during the root canal, it’s normal for your mouth to be a little tender for a few days. You can manage any discomfort using an OTC pain reliever and eating softer foods. Apply a cold compress to numb the area temporarily while reducing any swelling. After about 2-3 days, any pain will improve gradually. If your pain doesn’t get better or worsens after 3 days, contact our office for further instructions.
Root canals are designed to serve as a long-term solution, which means they can last for a lifetime. They have a high success rate, but various factors will affect the longevity of your procedure, like your oral hygiene routine and regular care from your dentist. You can ensure successful results by having your temporary restoration replaced quickly to prevent bacteria from causing another infection. Your dentist will review any additional aftercare instructions to ensure your tooth stays healthy for many years to come.
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