Blackstone Family Dentistry

Root Canals

Here at Blackstone Family Dentistry we want to keep you and your teeth healthy and happy. Our goal is to make sure you understand the dental procedures and are confident that you are receiving the best possible treatment for all your dental needs.

Nobody wants to undergo a root canal procedure. Blackstone Family Dentistry will help you get back to your life quickly and make sure your experience is as comfortable and pain-free as possible.

What is a Root Canal Procedure?

Endodontic treatment is the medical term for a root canal, a procedure that treats the nerve inside of your tooth. An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in treating and preventing diseases and injuries inside of teeth. Most dentists can perform root canals.

Brief anatomy of a tooth:

Under the white enamel (tooth surface) and the hard layer called the dentin is a soft tissue called pulp. Pulp is living tissue that contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue.

The root canal is the network of tiny chambers that contain the pulp. Pulp is important during the development of the tooth but a fully developed adult tooth can survive without the pulp.

What causes the problem?

There are a number of potential causes for inflammation or infection of the pulp: repeated dental work on the tooth, a crack or chip in the tooth, or deep decay. Even trauma to the tooth that doesn’t cause a crack or chip can lead to damaged or infected pulp.

Root Canals for Children

Children may need a root canal if they have pain in a tooth, have sensitivity to hot or cold food temperatures, swelling or redness around the tooth, or a broken tooth. Root canals can be done on both adult and baby teeth.

We preform root canals on baby teeth because they are important for chewing, speaking, and hold the space for the adult teeth to grow in. If the baby tooth is removed too early, neighboring teeth might move into the empty space, blocking the permanent tooth from growing in properly.

Root Canal FAQs

What is the difference between a root canal and endodontic treatment?

Endodontic treatment is the medical term for a root canal.

What is an Endodontist and why go?

An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in treating the inside of the tooth. Your dentist may refer you to an endodontist if there is a potential for complications, there are unique circumstances to your treatment, or if they don’t feel comfortable performing the root canal themselves for a number of other reasons.

Is a root canal painful?

Typically, no.  The dentist uses anesthetics to numb the area. After the root canal your tooth may feel sensitive and you may experience mild swelling and discomfort. Pain is usually minimal if any, and treated with over the counter options like aspirin or ibuprofen.

If you experience pain, pressure, or discomfort that lasts more than a few days after your root canal, follow up with your dentist.

How long does a root canal take?

The amount of time really depends on the complexity of your procedure and how many roots need to be cleaned. Some teeth have just one root and others have up to four. The more canals the tooth has the longer the procedure may take.

Often a root canal can be completed in one visit of 1 to 2 hours. Sometimes a second appointment is necessary.

What happens after a root canal?

Usually a follow-up appointment is necessary within a few weeks of the root canal to make sure everything is healthy and to put a crown on the tooth on to completely seal the outside of the tooth.

How long does the tooth last after a root canal?

A restored tooth may last the rest of your life if you care for your teeth and gums well! Regular checkups are necessary to make sure the roots and tissue around the tooth are healthy.

Why not extract the tooth?

Preserving your natural teeth is the best option if at all possible. That way you can continue to bite and chew normally and not have to avoid some foods. Extraction should be reserved as a last resort.

What does a root canal cost?

Costs can vary depending upon the complexity of your root canal.  Some dental insurances help a portion of the cost.