About Root Canals
A root canal is when the pulp and nerve in the root of the tooth is removed. The inside of the root will be cleaned and shaped and then filled and sealed.
Additional Costs & Procedures
Additional treatments or procedures may be associated to 'Root Canals'. These procedures may be required before, during or after treatment. Additional dental treatments which may be required are listed below.
- Root Canal Re-Treatment - If the original root canal fails, a re-treatment may be recommended.
- Tooth Extraction - If a root canal fails, a tooth extraction may be recommended.
- To relieve or prevent pain, your dentist may use local, regional or general anesthesia.
- To prevent or stop infections, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics.
- To relieve pain or discomfort after treatment, your dentist may prescribe painkillers.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can a root canal fail?
Sometimes a patient may still feel pain or sensitivity after a root canal. In this case a re-treatment may be suggested by your dentist.
- How long does a root canal last?
A root canal is a permanent solution and can last a lifetime with good hygiene.
Our authors have taken the opportunity to share their first hand experience in the dental chair with you.
Personal experiences with root canals.
Published by: iLL
Root canals are a way to get rid of tooth pain for various reasons. It could be because the tooths root/pulp is infected or, a dentist might even recommend a root canal because the source of the pain is hard to diagnose and therefore killing the root would hope to resolve it. Regardless the reason, there is a lot I've learned about root canals. Take it from experience, I've had 6 root canals from 4 different dentists in the past couple years! Let me share some insights based on my experiences sitting in the dental chair.
It's all about experience.
There is a reason why Endodontists are popular, It's because these specialists deal with the tooths cavity/root/pulp and are highly trained in root treatments. Compared to a general dentist who maybe does two or three root canals per week or month; An Endodontist my perform hundreds of root canal treatments per month. This experience can make a big difference in the quality and overall outcome. I'm not saying that general dentists lack the required experience, but where a general dentist fails you will likely be directed to a root canal specialist. Based on my experience I've had root canals performed by regular dentists (with two failures) and also by a specialist (0 failures). The benefit to a general dentist performing a root canal is the price and convenience. A specialist however could cost upwards of 500% more than what a general dentist would charge for the same procedure. Luckily for me, I have recently found a highly trained root canal specialist that works at a general dentist office.
Don't rush your treatments.
When it comes to your teeth there is no point in rushing your treatment just to get it out of the way. You may have heard of people that had a root canal treatment completed in a single day while others required two or three visits throughout a couple weeks. There's a reason why root canals are often performed in two or three visits instead of one. The most important factor is making sure your root canal is successful and to ensure the entire root has been removed or killed before sealing off the tooth for good. The last thing you want is a re-treatment because of tooth pain after a root canal has been completed; Or even worse, after a root canal post has already been installed. Personally if a dentists says we can complete a root canal in a single day, I would personally request that I'd feel more comfortable completing it in multiple stages. I've never had a dentist or specialist decline this request.
Root canal failures.
Nobody wants a failed root canal of course, but it can happen. It's possible that after a root canal has been completed your tooth is still aching or giving you severe pain. There are many reasons why this could happen. Perhaps the dentist did not find all the canals that contained roots, or perhaps there are branches of roots that are hard to find. There's also a possibility that during treatment the 'bur' (tool dentists use to perform root canals) protruded through the walls of the tooth. Or perhaps your tooth is possibly cracked or fractured. No matter the reason, we still have a problem with the tooth and a root canal re-treatment will likely be recommended.
Worst case outcomes.
I've personally been through some worst case scenarios with root canals. Imagine paying for fillings, a root canal, dental crown, a re-treatment and then eventually having to just extract the tooth. All the time, pain, and money spent trying to fix a tooth that ends up getting pulled in the end. Is a dental implant next? These are the possible risks everyone faces when getting dental work done.
This article is written by a dental patient with extensive dental treatment experience. This is for informational and educational purposes only and the publisher does not provide any medical advice.