Root canal therapy is performed to save a tooth which otherwise may have to be removed. This service removes an inflamed or infected nerve from a tooth and fills the nerve space (the middle of the tooth, or “root canal”) with a sealing material designed to prevent recurrent infection.
If you feel unprovoked pain, prolonged sensitivity/pain to hot or cold, or pain to biting pressure in a tooth, you may need root canal therapy.
And if you require a root canal that is very complex, we will refer you to an endodontist (root canal specialist) to perform the procedure.
In many cases when a root canal is done someone is in pain beforehand, and the root canal is done to relieve the pain. If a tooth is badly infected it can be difficult (and sometimes impossible) to complete the procedure in one visit. Sometimes antibiotics are prescribed before the appointment or in between visits to help the tooth and the tissues around it “calm down”. Afterwards there may be some discomfort while the tooth is healing, and everyone is different in this regard. The end goal is for a tooth to have no pain at all after a root canal is done.
Root canals have a fairly high success rate. A recent study* followed 487,476 root canals and monitored how many of them didn’t require any additional work to the root(s) of the tooth (98% at 1 year, 92% at 5 years, and 86% at 10 years). Sometimes, despite our best efforts, a root canal is not effective due to various technical reasons (complex nerve anatomy, resistant bacteria, etc). In these cases the tooth can sometimes be saved by additional surgical therapy performed by either a root canal specialist (endodontist) or an oral surgeon, or the tooth may have to be removed.
* Burry, JC et al, Outcomes of Primary Endodontic Therapy Provided by Endodontic Specialists Compared with Other Providers. J Endod. 2016 May;42(5):702-5. doi: 10.1016/j.joen.2016.02.008. Epub 2016 Mar 19.
It depends. If you have a root canal performed on a front tooth then possibly not. If the tooth doesn’t have a large cavity, broken segment, or large existing filling in place, then a crown may not be indicated for root canaled front teeth, it may only need a filling to seal up the root. However, for back teeth, which are under much more pressure from biting/chewing forces, a crown is generally required to minimize the chance of fracture and/or reinfection of the tooth.
|Tooth Type||UCR Fee||In Office Benefits Plan fee (25% off)|
* Fees shown here are for root canal therapy only and do not include core fillings or crowns, x-rays, exams, or any anxiety control services. Firm treatment estimates can only be done after an in-office evaluation. Fees shown do not apply if you have dental insurance, in which case an exam must be done prior to estimates being given.