Root Canal Treatment
Endodontist in Owatonna, MN
Regular oral care and hygiene, including brushing and flossing your teeth each day and seeing a dentist for an exam and cleaning twice a year, can help keep your teeth and gums in the best shape possible. Sometimes, though, your teeth might need treatment beyond preventive care and cleaning. If a tooth cracks, breaks or becomes severely decayed, you might need a root canal to remove the affected pulp and any signs of infection inside the tooth. A root canal can save your teeth and is often the best option for most people.
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What is Endodontic Treatment?
Endodontic treatment, also known as root canal treatment, aims to save the tooth where the pulp of the tooth has become infected. The pulp is a collection of blood vessels and nerves that enters the tooth from the end of the root via the root canal. Root canal treatment is designed to eliminate bacteria from the infected pulp, prevent reinfection of the tooth and save the natural tooth. When you undergo a root canal, the inflamed or infected pulp is removed, and the inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned and disinfected, then filled and sealed.
When Do You Need a Root Canal?
There are a few symptoms that mean you might need a root canal, including:
- Severe pain while chewing or biting
- Pimples on the gums
- A chipped or cracked tooth
- Lingering sensitivity to hot or cold, even after the sensation has been removed
- Swollen or tender gums
- Deep decay or darkening of the gums
What is an Endodontist?
An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in treating infected or damaged dental pulp and repairing the tooth. They obtain over 2 years in additional training in endodontics beyond regular dental school. Usually, you will be referred to an endodontist by your primary care dentist.
Endodontic Treatment at Owatonna Endodontics
At Owatonna Endodontics, our root canal dentist provides two types of endodontic treatment, including:
- Non-surgical Root Canal Treatment: In most cases requiring root canal therapy, a non-surgical procedure will be sufficient to restore a tooth. This procedure is very similar to receiving a deep filling, but during non-surgical root canal therapy, we drill farther than we would during a filling to access the root canal to clean it. We remove the injured pulp, clean the root canal, and place a filling material to seal the hole to prevent further infection. We administer local anesthesia during the procedure to ensure your comfort.
- Surgical Root Canal Treatment: In some rare cases, if the tooth is too infected or damaged for non-surgical root canal treatment, we may need to resort to surgical root canal therapy. The procedure involves making an incision in the gum to access the root canal and remove the infected tissue safely.
Endodontics Treatment and Diagnosis
Root canal treatment can often be performed in one visit and involves the following steps:
- Exam, Diagnosis, and Treatment Planning: The endodontist examines and x-rays the tooth to determine if root canal treatment is the best course of action. Depending on tooth type and complexity, a 3-dimensional radiograph may be taken.
- Root Canal Therapy: If a root canal is warranted, a local anesthetic is then administered to make you completely numb and comfortable. Our root canal dentist, Dr. Beasley, then places a dental dam over the area to isolate the tooth and keep it clean and free of saliva during the procedure. We will then drill down to the root canal to remove the diseased pulp, clean and shape the root canal before filling it with gutta-percha, a biocompatible material, to prevent further infection or damage. At that point, either a temporary or permanent filling is placed to close the opening. If a temporary filling is placed, it will be removed before the tooth is permanently restored.
- Aftercare and Recovery: Following a root canal, you should be able to resume normal activity almost immediately. The tooth may feel sore for a few days after the procedure, especially if there was pain beforehand, but this discomfort can easily be managed with over-the-counter medications. After the final visit, you must return to your dentist to have a crown or other restoration placed on the tooth to protect it and restore it to full function. Dr. Beasley may want you to return for a free recall examination after about 6 months or a year to ensure the bone is healing properly.
What Happens if the Initial Root Canal Treatment isn’t Successful?
Root canal treatment has a very high rate of success, but sometimes a tooth that has had root canal treatment doesn’t heal properly, becoming painful or diseased months or even years after treatment. When this happens, a root canal retreatment procedure may be the best option to preserve your tooth.
Benefits of Endodontic Treatment
- It can save your tooth and your smile: Removing the decay and any infectious material from the inside of the tooth means you most likely won’t have to have the tooth pulled.
- It’s relatively comfortable: While you might feel some soreness afterward, you aren’t going to feel much of anything during the root canal treatment itself, thanks to the anesthesia.
- It’s cost-effective: A root canal can often be the more economical option, especially when compared to tooth extraction.
Root Canal Treatment Cost
Root canal treatment costs vary depending on how complex the problem is and which tooth is affected. Molars are more difficult to treat, and the fee is usually higher. Luckily, dental insurance typically provides coverage for endodontic treatment.
Need Root Canal Treatment in Owatonna, MN? We Can Help!
At Owatonna Endodontics, our mission is to provide highly personalized and comprehensive endodontic care to our patients in Owatonna, MN. We understand that many patients are apprehensive about root canal treatment and always strive to provide our patients with a safe, comfortable and positive root canal experience. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!