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Root Canal Dentist - N. Jacob Praff, D.D.S.

Root Canal Dentist

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In the past, dental diseases meant losing your teeth. There was nothing you can do to cure a diseased nerve. Fortunately, we have advanced dental treatments and procedures, such as the root canal, that can save our teeth. While we must strive to prevent disease from taking hold in the first place, root canals are among the most straight forward treatments in all of dentistry.

What is a Root Canal?

Root canals repair and save badly decayed or infected teeth. We use them when other treatments fail. During the procedure, we remove your tooth’s damaged nerve and pulp before we clean and seal the tooth. It prevents the disease from spreading to nearby tissue without affecting the day-to-day function of the tooth.

The term root canal refers to the central natural cavity within your teeth. Your teeth’s pulp, pulp chamber, and nerves all lie within the root canal. Nothing inside it is actually a part of your teeth or important to their function and health, but they are how you sense hot or cold food and drinks.

Why have a root canal?

While your root canals only have sensory functions, but the canals are perfect breeding grounds for bacteria. Bacteria enter the canals through cracks, chips, and cavities in your teeth where they develop into an infection. This infection can damage your jaw bone and your overall heath if not treated.

You may need a root canal if you experience:

  • Pain while chewing
  • Persistent temperature sensitivity
  • Extreme toothaches
  • Gum swelling
  • You have dark tinted teeth

If you have any of these symptoms, you should call our office right away!

What can I expect in my root canal?

Root canals take about one to three office visits depending on their severity. First, we will exampine your tooth to see how far the infection has spread. Secondly, we drill into your tooth to extract the infected tissue using local anaesthesia. Then, we will clean the inside of your teeth before closing it with a protective seal. Finally, we will use a dental composite to completely fill your teeth. Your dentist or an endodontist, a dental pulp and nerve disease and injury specialist, will see you through the entire procedure. We will affix a crown to fortify the tooth if your infection is severe.

With a consistent oral care plan – flossing, brushing, and recurring visits to your dentist – the repairs should last forever.

What Should One Expect After the Root Canal?

Most patients report that the procedure is no more painful than a filling. However, it will leave your tooth sensitive for a few days, especially if you had pain or an infection before the procedure. Still, most patients can return to their normal activities the next day. You will want to minimize the use of the tooth until the procedure is completely finished.

Despite our best efforts to thoroughly clean and seal your tooth, new infections may emerge after your root canal. This is can happen if you have multiple root canals in your tooth, future cracks develop, or the sealant breaks down over time. While we expect your treatment will last for the rest of your life, we will monitor your health through follow up visits to make sure your teeth remain clean and healthy.

Cost of a Root Canal

Root canal costs depend on how severe your problem is and which tooth is affected. Most dental insurance plans cover root canals at least partly, and we have excellent financing options for those with plans that don’t.

Alternatives to a Root Canal and Prevention

While root canals work, they have the last resort when all other treatments fail.

We will always work with you to keep your teeth healthy to avoid root canals as much as possible. Your natural teeth allow you to eat a wide variety of foods necessary to maintain proper nutrition.

Your nerves and pulp become infected from decay, repeated dental procedures, and large fillings. Therefore, you want to keep your teeth healthy with proper oral hygiene (brushing twice a day, flossing at least once a day, and scheduling regular dental visits).

However, once the infection takes hold, a root canal is the only way to maintain your natural teeth as much as possible. The only alternative is replacing the teeth with more expensive bridges, implants, or dentures.