What is a root canal treatment?

A root canal treatment is a procedure performed when injury, infection or decay reach the inner tissues of the tooth. A qualified dentist will clean out the infected pulp tissue within your tooth roots, sterilize the canals, then fill them with medicated material and seal the tooth to prevent future infection. While root canal therapy has a reputation of being painful, advances in dentistry have made it possible to perform your treatment comfortably as well as effectively.

Does root canal therapy require multiple appointments to complete?
Not usually. Thanks to advances in treatment techniques and dental technology, most root canal treatments can be completed in one or two visits.

Even with a root canal treatment, will my tooth eventually need to be extracted?
No. If your tooth is properly restored and you maintain good oral hygiene and visit the dentist regularly, your natural tooth can last for the rest of your life.

Are there alternatives to root canal therapy?
Not usually. If a dentist recommends a root canal treatment, it is because they think that your tooth can be saved. Often the only alternative to root canal therapy is an extraction.

Is having a tooth extracted a better option than a root canal treatment?
Tooth extractions are always the last resort. Our goal is always to help you preserve and protect your natural teeth, as keeping your teeth for as long as possible is important for proper eating and chewing functions and promotes good long-term oral health. There are a number of options available for replacing missing teeth, including dentures, implants and dental bridges, but these alternatives may be more expensive than saving your tooth with endodontic treatment.

What are some signs that I may need a root canal treatment?
There are a few common symptoms that may indicate if you need a root canal treatment. These include:

Do children ever need root canal therapy?
It may occasionally be necessary for a child to receive a root canal treatment if their dental pulp becomes infected or decayed. This treatment is known as a pulpotomy, or baby tooth root canal. There are several other conservative treatments that a qualified dentist may also recommend if your child needs endodontic care.

What is root canal retreatment, and when might I need it?
Root canal retreatment is the exact same procedure as your original root canal treatment. This treatment may be necessary if bacteria and infection re-enters the tooth or if hidden canals inside the tooth were not treated initially. While we do everything possible to prevent the need for retreatment, it may sometimes become necessary to prevent an extraction.

How much does root canal therapy cost?
The cost of your treatment will depend on the extent of the damage. Most offices will provide you with a cost estimate of your treatment during your initial consultation and will work with you to maximize your insurance benefits.