Saving your natural tooth
In a root canal procedure, the pulp of the tooth (the living tissue inside) is removed and the resulting space is filled with special, medicated dental materials that restore the tooth to full function. Using root canal therapy not only preserves your natural tooth, extending its lifetime, it also protects and preserves the jaw bone and other supporting tissues around the tooth. Wherever possible, saving your natural tooth will also save you from more pain and expense down the road.
- Sensitivity to hot and cold.
- Severe toothache pain.
- Red or swollen gums near the tooth.
- Discolouration of the tooth.
- An abscess (or pimple) on the gums.
There are a number of signs that suggest root canal therapy may be necessary:
The root canal treatment plan
A root canal treatment usually requires one or two office visits and is performed by either a dentist or an endodontist. Here is how we perform your root canal:
Diagnosis and Treatment Plan
The first step requires an x-ray of the tooth and the surrounding bone to find out what’s causing your symptoms. Your specialist may prescribe antibiotics to help control infection and inflammation. The pressure from infected swelling is what makes an abscess so painful and is often the cause of pain during a root canal. Reducing this inflammation in advance removes this factor during the procedure.
Prepping the Tooth
When we’re ready to perform the root canal, we will patiently numb the area before freezing your gums, teeth and tissues. Your comfort and peace-of-mind are important to us. Once you’re comfortable, an access hole is drilled into the tooth. The pulp, bacteria, decayed nerve tissue, and related debris are removed.
Sealing the Tooth
Depending on the severity of the abscess, we may put some medicine inside the tooth to completely clear up any infection. If the procedure requires multiple visits, a temporary filling will be applied. At this point, you will already feel some relief. Only when your tooth is thoroughly cleaned and healthy can it be permanently sealed.
Cost of a Root Canal
The cost of dental treatment varies widely but saving the tooth with a root canal is more cost-efficient in the long run. With a typical insurance plan, root canal therapy has an average out-of-pocket cost of around $200 to $500+. After an oral exam, we would be happy to provide you with an accurate quote for your insurance company so you can find out your actual out-of-pocket costs. Without insurance, you can expect to pay anywhere from $600 to $1200+ for treatment.
Why is there such a wide ballpark estimate of the cost? A root canal treatment is specifically tailored to treat an apparent infection/inflammation in a tooth. The circumstances surrounding the infection and the state of the tooth and overall oral health of the patient can vary greatly. When we generate a quote for root canal treatment, we consider factors like:
- Some teeth have 1 canal and others have 4 or even 5 canals (molars vs front teeth)
- The severity of the infection/inflammation. More serve infections may require additional treatment before and after the root canal is performed and multiple visits to the office.
- The complexity of the root canal system (curved or calcified canals)
- Complications which may require more time or a delicate and experienced touch.
No dental practice can provide an accurate quote over the phone. Every case is different so it is important to speak with a dentist who can evaluate your unique situation and provide you with all your treatment options for your consideration.
Please note that this range does not cover any needed fillings, posts or crowns. It only covers the root canal treatment.
Is there an alternative treatment?
Root canals are an alternative to the removal of infected teeth.
An abscess or infection in your tooth is extremely dangerous and considered an urgent health matter. Many people think of root canals as some sort of ‘lesser evil’ to end excruciating dental pain. More important than that, root canals remove an infection that can spread and become life-threatening, requiring much more urgent and invasive care. That is why we work tirelessly to fight the reputation that root canal therapy has gained and why your comfort and peace-of-mind are so important to us.
If you think you may have an infection, but you really do not want a root canal, we strongly encourage you to reach out to us anyways. We will not perform any procedure without your full understanding and consent and may have alternative options for you with the goal of resolving your infection and saving your tooth.
Contact us today
to schedule an initial consultation & exam.
Your consultation will include an examination of everything from your teeth, gums and soft tissues to the shape and condition of your bite. Generally, we want to see how your whole mouth looks and functions. Before we plan your treatment we want to know everything about the health and aesthetic of your smile, and, most importantly, what you want to achieve so we can help you get there.