In the past, the idea of a root canal terrified most patients. But today, root canal therapy aka endodontic therapy is typically painless and the success rate is very high. While nothing is guaranteed one hundred percent, most root canals are performed successfully, especially when paired with a long term restoration such as a crown.
What Is A Root Canal?
Root canal is the term used to describe the procedure of decontaminating and cleaning the physical hollow space inside the tooth. These spaces are called the pulp chamber and the canal spaces. Once these spaces are cleaned and decontaminated, the area is filled in as the final step in the root canal.
Root canals are necessary when a tooth becomes infected, either from decay or from some sort of serious trauma to the tooth. The tissue inside the tooth is occupied by nerve tissues, blood vessels and the unique cellular composition of the inside of a tooth. When a tooth is decaying, or is traumatized, the tissues inside the tooth can break down or become infected with bacteria.
During endodontic treatment, thin flexible files are used to carefully clean the dead or infected spaces inside the tooth and then fill the area with a biocompatible filling material. Most commonly, a substance called Gutta Percha and a biocompatible cement are used. Gutta Percha is a natural polymer prepared from the Percha tree.
Root Canal Success Rate
Success rates for root canal therapy depends on whether or not a crown is placed after the root canal. For those patients who are fitted with a long term filling material, such as a crown, studies have shown that the success rate is above ninety percent.
The Cost Of A Root Canal
The cost of a root canal will vary based on how many canals the specific tooth has. Maxillary first molars are commonly more complex, and a root canal may cost more on these teeth. Most teeth have between one and four canals, and the cost will be based on the canals of each specific tooth. The cost of most root canals will be anywhere from 400 dollars to over 1000 dollars.
Alternatives To Root Canal Treatment
If you are uncomfortable with root canal therapy, there are other options available in the form of an extraction, a bridge denture or an implant. There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these alternatives, but typically endodontic therapy is the most simple and the most successful procedure on a tooth that is decayed or dying. A root canal with a long term restoration remains a very good choice for any patient with a decayed or dying tooth.BACK