Root Canals get a bad rap. So let me set the record straight.
Root canals don’t hurt. No really, quit squirming! I know reading this and thinking about root canals is making you cringe. After all, we’ve all heard horror stories of root canals taking many long visits to complete and of pain and agony accompanying each and every visit. This may have been the case 20, maybe even 15 years ago, but not today.
Technologies have improved, techniques have improved and more importantly I actually perform lots of root canal procedures and am very experienced at them.
Here’s the real story on modern day root canals in my office:
- Root canals do not hurt. You will be numb during the entire procedure, I will make sure of it.
- Your root canal and crown will be completed in one office visit. I can complete the root canal procedure and utilizing my CEREC technology, make you a crown at the same visit.
- I am very experienced at root canals. My wife even needed a root canal and our marriage survived the procedure. Did I mention it won’t hurt?
What is a root canal?
A root canal can save a badly damaged tooth by removing disease from the tooth’s canals, filling the canals, and placing a crown on the tooth to strengthen it.
Why does my tooth hurt so bad?
Whenever a tooth begins to ache, it is usually a result of a chain reaction that occurs when bacteria invades the tooth. The most common way bacteria invades a tooth is through a crack or a deep cavity. The by-products of this invasion cause the nerves to swell and block the blood flow to the tooth, causing a toothache.
As a result of the block of the blood flow to the tooth, eventually the nerves of the tooth will die, thus killing the tooth. The process of the bacteria invading and killing the tooth can take several weeks. During this time, patients often experience cold sensitivity around the tooth and can even be wakened at night by the pain. To repair the tooth and alleviate the pain, a root canal is necessary.
Eventually, once the nerve and tooth are completely dead, patients will no longer experience pain. However, without root canal treatment, more serious problems can occur. Infection will set in because the tooth is filled with dead materials. Pus builds up at the root tip, in the jawbone, forming a “pus-pocket” called an abscess. An abscess can cause damage to the bone around the teeth. When the infected pulp is not removed, pain and swelling can result. Certain byproducts of the infection can injure your jawbone and without treatment, your tooth may have to be removed.
Why Shouldn’t I Just Have the Tooth Removed?
When a tooth is removed and you are left with an open space, many problems can occur, unless you replace the missing tooth. The space left by a missing tooth may cause some teeth to tilt forward, or opposing teeth to move down – which is called over-eruption. The tilting of teeth creates areas between the teeth where food debris and bacteria collect. These areas are especially difficult to clean so tooth decay and gum disease often develop in these areas. Also, a missing tooth can create spaces between teeth, changing your bite and smile. When your teeth start shifting and drifting due to open spaces, it can lead to changes in your chewing muscles, bones and joints, making chewing difficult or painful.
Missing teeth can be replaced with a bridge or implants, but these procedures are more costly than simply restoring the tooth’s health with a root canal.
What Should I expect from my Root Canal Procedure
Most routine root canals are completed in our office in one visit lasting about two hours. This includes having a crown placed on the tooth. Dr. Omeltschenko begins by getting your numb and then open the tooth and remove any filling or decay. The tooth will be cleaned out, so that the pulp, the inner “live” parts, of the tooth are removed.
Next, the canals of your teeth will be filled, an x-ray will be taken to insure all canals have been found and treated. After the inside of your tooth has been treated, the outside will be restored to protect your tooth’s underlying structures and give your tooth a healthy appearance. Dr. Omeltschenko will make a CEREC crown to restore the outside of the tooth. The crown is necessary to prevent fracture of the now weakened tooth.
How Much Does a Root Canal Cost?
Restoring a tooth with a root canal can also involve other procedures, such as a crown and buildup. While dentist’s fees vary, in Cincinnati the average price range for a root canal only is $800 – $1,200. Usually to complete the treatment with a crown the range is $2,000 – $2,500. To see our price for root canals and crowns, visit our price list page.