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Knowing when to get a Root Canal

patient woman at the dentist complains of toothache. Looking at camera.

Blog Highlights:

  • Although there are a lot of probable causes for tooth pain, tooth decay and tooth infection are still the most likely culprits
  • Seeing your dentist every six months is important as it will allow the dentist to check your teeth for problems and it will help you get preventative treatments
  • Tooth pain can be easily alleviated with the help of pain relievers, severe tooth pain on the other hand, can be too intense and it might even make it very hard for you to get some sleep
  • Bumps in your gums can be a sign of abscess
  • The price of the root canal treatment will depend on what kind of dentist you go to and what kind of tooth will need this procedure

A lot of people have no idea what a root canal is all about. But if you are suffering from severe toothaches, it may be high time for you to know exactly what this procedure can do for you.

When bacteria invades your teeth, your tooth root can get damaged or diseased, this is why it needs to be treated right away. Although there are several probable causes for having tooth pain, having tooth decay or a tooth infection should be on top of your list if you are looking for the culprit.

If you have tooth decay, you need to understand that a root canal procedure might be your last hope when it comes to saving your tooth. This procedure is recommended by dentists who want to avoid having to extract your diseased tooth. It might also be your best bet when it comes to ending the intense pain.

You should understand however, that some patients will not show any sign of needing endodontics, this is why seeing your dentist every six months for a checkup is very important. This will allow the dentist to assess the condition of your teeth and to provide you with preventative treatments before irreparable damage occurs.

However, if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you might be needing a root canal ASAP:

Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity can present itself whenever you are eating foods or beverages that are hot or cold. It is usually characterized by pain and discomfort as soon as the food or beverage comes into contact with your teeth. Although tooth sensitivity can sometimes be considered normal, if you have been experiencing it for a long time, it might be a sign that something wrong is going on inside your teeth.

Severe tooth pain

In most cases, tooth pain can be easily remedied by pain relievers, severe tooth pain however, will not go away so easily. As a matter of fact, most people who experience it are not able to sleep at night because of the intense pain. If this happens, it is highly recommended that you see your dentist right away before the pain gets any worse.

Having pain in one tooth

As soon as you find out that the pain can only be felt in one tooth, you might want you dentist to check this tooth carefully. If this tooth is decayed, you will feel intense pain when pressure is applied, and it can even be sensitive to touch.

Bumps in your Gums

If your gums have pimple-like bumps especially in areas where your teeth hurt, you might be having an abscess. These bumps might even discharge blood or puss if you touch it or if you apply pressure.

Pain that is spreading to other areas

If the pain feels like it is spreading to your jaw, ears, or other parts of the mouth, you need to see your dentist right away as you might be suffering from something serious.

What kind of dentist should I go to?

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, you might want to see an endodontist. This dentist specializes in treating what is inside your teeth. The endodontist has taken courses and training that makes them experts when it comes to performing root canals. It might also be possible for you to ask a general dentist to do this treatment for you.

There are a lot of general dentists who can do a root canal without complications, however, if your problem is severe, the general dentist may want you to get treatments from a specialist.

How much does a root canal cost?

Root canal prices can differ depending on which tooth must be treated and depending on the kind of dental professional you hire for the treatment.  General dentists typically charge less than specialists or endodontists. Molars are also more expensive simply because the dentist has to treat several canals. The price for the molar root canal can range from $500 to $1000 or more.

Single teeth on the other hand, will only cost anywhere from $400 to $1000. Just be sure to ask your dentist about the cost of the root canal treatment before having it done. You can also ask if your dental insurance will cover the cost of the treatment or if a copay is required.

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It's time to clean those pearly whites!