It can be off-putting to hear the term “root canal” come from your Dentist after a routine appointment. But, it doesn’t have to be as scary as you may think. Check out these eight most common frequently asked questions about root canal treatments to learn more about what to expect, the truth about root canal treatment costs, and the real root canal treatment side effects.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal treatment is a serious Dental procedure that is performed when the pulp in your tooth becomes infected. It could also be performed if the nerves are killed by tooth decay. In some cases, this procedure is necessary when a tooth that only needs a filling is left to rot or crack from trauma or hard foods.
Recurring abscesses may also occur in that area, indicating a problem. An abscess will appear as a bump on the gum–almost like a pimple in your mouth. This bump is full of bacteria and pus. If your dentist determines this is the best course of action, it must be treated with antibiotics or a root canal.
During the procedure, the decay is removed from the inner part of the tooth and replaced with a temporary filling. The area must then dry before the inside of the tooth can be filled with a sealer paste and tooth cement. Finally, a permanent crown is secured to protect the tooth's root and prevent future damage.
Is the Procedure Long?
Root canals used to take what felt like several hours and weren't comfortable for the patient or even the dentist. Today root canals can be completed within 15-30 minutes after the anesthetic has been applied. Technology improvements have allowed for root canals to be done more efficiently, with the removal of the infection reaching higher completion rates in recent years to help avoid reinfection.
Root canal aftercare consists of avoiding eating with the affected tooth until the numbing agent has worn off. Within 24-48 hours, eat soft foods and avoid anything hard or sticky, e.g., taffy, until you have a permanent crown.
Why Would I Need a Root Canal?
A root canal is a primary treatment to save your tooth from extraction.
Why Couldn't I Just Remove My Tooth?
Removing your tooth may be cheaper, but it won't be cosmetically sound nor wise. Every tooth pulled prematurely that could have otherwise been saved will affect your smile, especially if not replaced with an implant, bridge, or denture. Extracted teeth change the shape of your face, as that tooth essentially fills out your face, and its roots make up your facial structure.
Will the Affected Tooth Always Hurt?
Not necessarily. A tooth that needs a root canal can appear asymptomatic on the surface while it's doing damage within. See other symptoms of a root canal here.
My Tooth is Cracked. Do I Need a Root Canal?
A cracked tooth does not always indicate a need for a root canal. A dental consultation is best to determine the needs of your teeth.
How Much Does a Root Canal Cost?
Root canal treatment costs can vary for many; they will vary depending on your location. Root canals in India range from Rs. 1,500 to 12,000. To reduce the barrier to receiving a root canal treatment, many dentists offer root canal treatment cost payment plans, which divide your payments into a few monthly payments. Discuss your options with your dentist.
What are the Side Effects Of a Root Canal Treatment?
Some common root canal treatment side effects include:
swelling at the site and outside of your mouth
pain, which requires prescription-strength pain relievers provided by your dentist.