by Carlston Dental Group
Not too long ago, we read that about 15 out of 100 completed root canal-ed teeth eventually need re-treatment. We think that research in the future will find that that 15 number will decrease significantly.
Mainly because these newer methods of instrumentation make it easier for the dentist to properly clean out the infected nerve material so that re-infection is less likely over time. Although the materials dentists use to fill the canal after instrumentation have changed over the years, there are cements we've been using for 20 years that provide very high long-term results.
Most cements in use these days to seal the root canal are hydrophilic, allowing them to harden in the canal, even in the presence of minute amounts of interstitial fluid, into a hard-non-water-soluble material.
Root Canal Symptoms
There are several symptoms that lead dentists to consider the need for root-canal therapy.
Often, the first symptom is sensitivity to cold; however this single symptom is rarely enough to cause a dentist to proceed with root-canal treatment. Sensitivity to sugars can also lead to considering root-canal treatment; but this type of symptom can just as likely be solved by placing or replacing a dental filling.
If, however, heat sensitivity is present, the need for a root canal is far more likely, although it can be due to other conditions that do not necessarily lead to root-canal treatment. If heat sensitivity is accompanied by a painful pulse throbbing in and around the tooth, it can mean that the nerve has become necrotic, and the heat is causing the gasses that are associated with necrosis to expand and release pressure from within the tooth out into the supporting structures that surround the tooth. This gas pressure causes intense pain which often pulses in conjunction with the pulse from the beating heart.
The pain from heat can be so severe that prescription pain killers simply don’t do the job! Often the only thing that helps until you can get to the dentist/endodontist is to take a piece of chipped ice about the size of the tip of your pointing finger and place the ice under your lip at the point where you suppose the tooth root tip ends. The theory here is that you constrict the gasses in the necrotic tooth canal thus stopping the expansion of gasses out of the tooth into the surrounding area.
Root Canal Treatment
It is our opinion that the most important factor in preserving teeth that are in need of root canal therapy, is the diligent removal of the infected, necrotic nerve tissue with as little reduction of the actual tooth mass as possible.
Root Canal Dentist
By that we mean the dentist should not over instrument the canal space by removing sound tooth structure within the tooth canal space. This is important because when the tooth loses the nerve and blood vessels inside, it also loses the flow of nutrients and interstitial fluid that keep a vital tooth flexible and vital.
As time goes by, the root canal-ed tooth becomes more and more rigid and brittle. Often this results in a fracture during chewing pressure; and results in the loss of the tooth. So, leaving as much tooth structure within the tooth during the root canal process is vital to retaining as much strength as possible for that time when the tooth becomes brittle and less able to withstand chewing pressure.
Performing minimally invasive, tooth structure preserving techniques are in our opinion the factor that sets dentists apart from one another where root canal treatments are concerned.
Cost Of Root Canal
Though every dentist has their own distinct items included in the service and at different prices, it's important to see if you are a good candidate for a root canal first. You may think you need a root canal but sometimes it could just be a cavity filling. We are available to help when you are ready. Our rates start at $900 depending on need.
Depending on the reason why the nerve is infected, you might also need an extensive restoration on the tooth such as an onlay or a crown. This would also be done in our office once the root canal is completed, and the cost for the restoration would be quoted to you at your initial exam (typically around $1,000 if the tooth does need a crown or an onlay).
For patients who have PPO insurance, we are typically in-network with your company, and in most cases root canals are covered at 80%, and buildups and crowns are covered at 50%.