Root canal treatment gets a bad rep. They’re often seen as one of the “scarier” dental procedures, but the reality is that it’s actually one of the most common procedures. And the right dental team and experienced dentist should make you feel comfortable every step of the way.
Otherwise known as endodontic therapy, it’s a safe and effective way to treat teeth that have infected or inflamed pulp. It allows your natural tooth to stay intact while alleviating pain and preventing any bacteria spread to your jaw.
Your tooth is made up of a variety of layers: enamel (the hard, outer layer), dentin (below the enamel), and at the center of it is the pulp. The dental pulp is made up of blood vessels, cells, and nerves and is the softest tissue in your tooth. The last part of your tooth is everything below your gums, otherwise known as the root. The tooth roots keep your teeth connected to the bones of your face.
Regular dental visits are a great way to keep tabs on your oral health and help catch concerns early. There are a few things you can look out for as signs of infection, most notably pain when biting or chewing, but other potential symptoms include:
- Swollen gums (or even black gums)
- Throbbing or severe pain
- Sensitivity to hot or cold items
- Recurring bad breathe or a bad taste in your mouth
These symptoms don’t necessarily indicate the need for a root canal, but it’s important to make an appointment with a dentist near you to determine what the cause may be. Addressing a root canal infection as soon as possible is crucial. If left alone for too long, infected pulp can become an abscess and lead to missing teeth and bone loss in your jaw in the long term. Or even a more serious spreading infection.
The pulp of your tooth can get infected for a variety of reasons. It can be from trauma, chips and cracks, intense decay, or even repeated dental procedures. Endodontic treatment means removing the infected or inflamed pulp so that your tooth can be saved. The root canal procedure is quite simple in reality. It involves going into the tooth to widen the canal, removing the damage, and then filling and sealing both the canal and the tooth with either a permanent or temporary filling. This is typically done in one appointment, although complex cases can require more visits. If you’re someone who is anxious about visiting the dentist, there are options like sedation dentistry to help you feel more comfortable and get you the treatment you need.
The first couple of weeks after your endodontic treatment it’s common for your tooth to feel tender. If you experience any swelling or intense pain, please make sure to contact your dentist or endodontist.
It’s important to note that root canal therapy can leave your tooth brittle. At our Winnipeg dental office, we typically recommend your tooth be restored with a crown or veneer after the root canal treatment to ensure the integrity of the tooth. Root canal therapy is also not a cure-all for preventing cavities or gum disease – it doesn’t prevent other damage. The best way to ensure the health of your teeth is with regular dental visits and proper care at home.
In Winnipeg, the cost of a root canal is typically anywhere between $300 to $1,500 based on the Manitoba Dental Association fee guide. Private insurance does often cover the partial, if not full, cost of root canals. We do offer direct billing to most insurance companies, accept credit cards and offer financing for those who want to pay for their treatment over time. Come in for a completely free no-obligation consultation with us today.