Root Canal Therapy – Westminster, CO
Save Your Tooth and Relieve Your Pain
Root canal treatment has been around since the mid-19th century. It began as a necessary but extremely unpleasant procedure that gained a reputation for the pain associated with it. Modern root canal therapy is completely different. In fact, it is quite comfortable for patients. If you have an aching tooth, there is no need to be afraid of root canal therapy; this emergency treatment can relieve your pain, save your smile, and get you on the road to a happier, healthier smile.
Root Canal Therapy Is Necessary
The root canal is the area inside the tooth’s root that contains the pulp, a soft substance that’s full of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues. When this area becomes infected, the result is significant pain. There is also a risk that the infection will spread and affect the surrounding teeth and gums; it could even lead to systemic illness.
In most cases, an infection reaches the root canal via tooth decay. The bacteria in plaque produce acids that eat away at the tooth enamel, eventually leading to cavities. As a cavity worsens, it first penetrates the tooth’s enamel (the outermost layer) and then the dentin (the tooth’s second layer). Eventually, the bacteria that caused the tooth decay reach the sensitive pulp and cause it to become inflamed. The purpose of a root canal is to clean out the tooth’s interior, thus putting a stop to the infection and the pain.
The Root Canal Therapy Procedure
The first step during root canal therapy is to ensure patient comfort. Dr. Bancroft, your dentist in Westminster, offers both local anesthetic and oral conscious sedation. The sedation does not put you to sleep, but it does produce a powerful calming effect so you can remain relaxed throughout your treatment.
Once she is sure you’re comfortable, Dr. Bancroft will use special tools to access the root canal. She’ll clean out the infection and remove the nerve that is sending pain signals to your brain. Then, she’ll use a special material, called gutta percha, to fill in the tooth to help it maintain its structure. After your procedure is done, you can expect any lingering soreness to dissipate within a few days.
Following a root canal, most patients need to return to our office to receive a crown to protect the tooth against further damage.
The Cost and Benefits of Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy is a major procedure, and some patients hesitate to pay for it. They may opt to have the tooth extracted instead. However, bear in mind that an extraction may lead to further complications. For example, the teeth around the empty space may drift out of place, leading to misalignment. A misaligned bite, in turn, can cause painful TMJ problems. Additionally, a missing tooth can even lead to further tooth loss. Replacing a missing tooth with a dental implant also presents a significant cost. It is generally best for both your budget and your dental health to save a tooth via root canal therapy rather than to have the tooth extracted.
In many cases, dental insurance covers up to half the cost of root canal therapy. If you do not have insurance, our team will be happy to help you apply for affordable financing.