Dr. Beech with assistant and patient

How Root Canal Therapy Can Save Your Tooth

Something as simple as a tooth infection can cause so much pain that it’s hard to focus on daily tasks. Even eating and drinking can become excruciating if you’re dealing with an infection at the roots or an abscess in the gums. Searching for an endodontist near me can help solve any problems with these types of infections through the timely use of a root canal. Here at Great Lakes, we recommend this kind of therapy for our patients when they’re dealing with stubborn infections and pain. 

Root canal therapy can not only relieve pain and solve underlying health issues due to infection, but it can also save your natural tooth.

How Does a Root Canal Work?

A root canal is a specialized form of dental therapy that requires an experienced dentist. A root canal specialist is often known as an endodontist. This treatment is designed to treat infections that are deep in the roots of the tooth without having to remove it. When you turn down a root canal, the only option usually left is tooth extraction. This procedure isn’t used until the infection is serious and deep enough that a round of antibiotics won’t be enough to help.

The dentist makes a small opening in the enamel of the tooth to access the inner canals. These canals run from the center of the tooth to the roots and hold the dental pulp. This tissue includes the nerves and blood supply of the tooth. When infection sets in, it can spread through these blood vessels and causes pain due to the nerves. In the root canal procedure, the pulp is removed and the inside of the dental canals are disinfected and sealed so they can’t decay or hold bacteria. You’re left with the natural structure of the tooth still in place, maintaining a natural smile and avoiding the loss of the tooth to extraction in most cases.

What Affects the Cost of a Root Canal Treatment?

There are many factors that determine the final cost of any root canal therapy. If the tooth needs a dental crown or other treatments, the cost will be higher than if the root canal is completed earlier on before decay spreads. Your dental insurance may cover the majority of the treatment, but you must verify your endodontic coverage before calculating your out-of-pocket costs. If you wait too long to get a root canal, you may find the infection has spread to multiple teeth. Treatments involving more than one tooth will naturally come with a higher cost.

What Can Cause a Root Canal to Fail?

When performed by a skilled dentist with endodontics training, there is only a slight risk of failure with a root canal. It’s perfectly possible to follow up with an extraction without complication if the root canal is not a success. However, the majority of root canals succeed and last for years without issue for the patient. Enjoying your natural tooth’s use until it finally does need extraction could give you years of a complete smile. If extraction is eventually needed, it’s easy to follow up and add a dental implant since the tooth roots were in place over the years to keep the jaw tissue from shrinking.

Do I Need a Root Canal?

You may need a root canal if you’re having issues with returning infections or abscesses. Once the bacteria move into the roots of the teeth, it can threaten your overall health by accessing the blood supply of the tooth and gums. Getting a root canal before the infection becomes too extensive increases the likelihood that the root canal will preserve the natural tooth for many years to come. Only the dentist can assess the damage to your tooth or teeth and determine if a root canal will work. If extraction is recommended, you can always follow up with a bridge or dental implants to fill in the space.

Choose the Advanced Smile Professionals at Great Lakes Dental for help with tooth infections and root canal symptoms like aching teeth, throbbing gums, and fever. We use our experience to minimize any chance of root canal pain for a comfortable experience that helps you feel better as quickly as possible. Contact us today to make an appointment.