Root canals are one of the most common dental surgeries done today. This type of surgery allows for the preservation of a tooth that has decay on its inside. Dr. Gerald A. Cioffi at Gerald A. Cioffi DMD, PA in Orange Park, Florida, is a comprehensive dentist and oral medicine specialist who can save your natural tooth with a root canal and then protect it with a custom crown.
A root canal is a treatment that addresses inflammation or infection inside the tooth (the pulp area.) This inflammation or infection may be caused by serious tooth decay, a crack in the tooth, or trauma to the tooth. If damaged pulp isn't removed, you may experience serious pain and over time facial swelling. Over time, you may even develop an abscess.
In a root canal, Dr. Cioffi removes the damaged pulp and then cleans and disinfects the tooth's interior canal. The now-empty area is filled with a dental sealant known as gutta percha. This rubbery material adjusts to fill the empty area perfectly, which allows your tooth to have a strong core again. Once the gutta percha has been placed, a temporary crown is placed atop the tooth for protection. This is replaced with a permanent custom fitted crown. Once a root canal is complete, your tooth works just as it did before the pulp became inflamed or infected.
Since you'll have anesthesia during the whole root canal procedure, it won't be painful. Many patients say it feels the same as having a new filling placed in the mouth. Any temporary discomfort is well worth it, as a root canal provides you with long-term pain relief.
Pulling the tooth is an option, but it's always better to preserve your natural tooth whenever possible. A root canal procedure saves teeth that would otherwise have to be pulled.
The root canal may be done in a single visit. Visits usually last around an hour. The tooth canal and pulp chamber are treated and the tooth is restored with a build-up. Subsequently, the tooth typically needs full coverage with a crown.
It depends on your specific dental insurance plan. Some dental insurance plans cover part or all of this procedure. If you don't have dental insurance or your insurance doesn't cover root canals, financing options may be available.