Everything You Need to Know about Root Canal Treatment
Asad A | October 23, 2023
Root canal treatment is a dental procedure designed to salvage a tooth that is severely infected and/or damaged. Many patients are afraid of this procedure because they are concerned about the pain. However, the truth is, it is no more painful than any other treatment.
Patients are given anesthesia before the procedure, which promotes relaxation and mitigates pain. Some patients report minor discomfort as the anesthesia wears off, but it’s tolerable.
Dr. Zaruhi Shahbazyan at Shahbazyan Dental Studio in Fresno acknowledges the importance of helping her patients understand their procedures. This article explains everything you need to know about root canal treatment in Fresno.
What is a Root Canal Treatment?
Root canal treatment, or endodontic therapy, is a dental procedure that involves the removal of infected dental pulp, which saves the structure of the tooth. The dental pulp is made up of blood vessels, connective tissue, and nerves. After the infected/inflamed dental pulp has been removed, the tooth will be sealed. Dental experts recommend having a crown placed on the tooth to protect it from future damage.
Signs/Symptoms that indicate a root canal is necessary
Several signs/symptoms indicate root canal treatment is necessary, including:
Severe tooth pain
Increased/prolonged sensitivity to hot/cold temps
Swelling and/or tenderness near the affected tooth
A tooth abscess, or pus-filled pimple, on the gumline near the affected tooth
Benefits of root canal treatment
Root canal treatment offers several benefits, including:
Relieves pain/discomfort caused by the infected tooth
Prevents the spread of bacteria and infection to other areas of your mouth and body
Maintains the appearance and functionality of your teeth and smile
How does a root canal procedure work?
There are several steps involved in root canal treatment:
During the initial visit, the dentist will physically examine the tooth and often will take X-rays and other necessary imaging. This will help to determine the severity of the infection and the extent of the damage to determine the best option for treatment.
If Dr. Shahbazyan determines root canal treatment is appropriate, anesthesia will be administered. Typically, only local anesthesia is required- but sedation is available for patients who need a little more help relaxing.
Opening the tooth
A hole is drilled in the tooth, which will be used to clean out the infected dental pulp.
After the infected dental pulp is removed, the tooth will be cleaned and disinfected to eliminate any bacteria that is left behind. This will mitigate the risk of the infection returning in the future.
The tooth will be filled with a biocompatible material to support it from the inside and the hole will be sealed with a dental filling.
Restoring the Tooth
Since the tooth is not as strong as it once was, dental experts recommend that patients have a dental crown put on it to protect it.
Root Canal Cost
The cost of root canal treatment ranges from $1,000 to $1,600, depending on several factors including the location of the tooth, the severity of the infection and extent of damage, the location of the clinic, the experience/expertise of the dentist, and more. If you are having a re-treatment, you can expect to pay an additional 18% to 20% on top of the base fee.
The good news is that most dental insurance plans will cover a portion of treatment costs.
Is root canal treatment painful?
For many years, root canal treatment has been considered one of the most painful dental procedures. However, thanks to advancements in dental technology and anesthesia, this procedure is no more painful than a dental filling.
In some cases, patients experience minor discomfort following the procedure, which is easily treated with OTC pain relievers.
Maintenance and Aftercare
Dr. Shahbazyan will provide you with specific aftercare instructions based on your personal needs. However, the basic maintenance/aftercare instructions are:
Practice proper oral hygiene
Attend all follow-up and check-up appointments
Avoid biting on hard objects/food with the affected tooth
Report any discomfort or signs of infection/inflammation immediately
When to call a doctor?
Patients who follow their aftercare instructions should experience a fairly smooth recovery, but some patients experience complications. If you are having severe/uncontrollable pain, bleeding, swelling, and/or other signs of infection, contact the doctor immediately.
Schedule Your Root Canal Consultation at Shahbazyan Dental Studio
If you have questions about root canal treatment, Dr. Shahbazyan and the team will be happy to address those. Below are a few of the most common questions that are asked:
What do I need to know before a root canal?
The first step in the root canal treatment process is consultation. During this visit, Dr. Shahbazyan will discuss your condition and needs, as well as what you should expect to happen during the treatment process. Make sure to make the team aware of your medical conditions, medications, and allergies.
Can I eat after a root canal?
Experts recommend waiting until the anesthesia wears off to eat anything and when you do eat/drink, avoid using a straw. Also, stick with soft foods for at least a few days and avoid biting directly on the affected tooth.
Can I brush my teeth after a root canal?
Yes, you can practice proper oral hygiene after root canal treatment. However, you’ll want to make sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and be extra careful around the affected tooth for a few days to avoid causing pain/discomfort.
How long does a root canal take to heal?
Healing is a very personal thing and, while most patients can return to their normal activities within a few days to a week, others require several months for full healing. This depends on the severity of the infection and the effectiveness of the treatment, as well as other factors. Dr. Shahbazyan can guide you in what to expect in your situation.