Root Canals

 

What is a root canal?

A root canal is one of the most common dental procedures performed.  Over 14 million are done every year. This simple treatment can save your natural teeth and prevent the need of dental implants or bridges.

Inside each tooth lies a pulp chamber with one or more nerves, which provides nutrients to the tooth. This pulp reaches all the way down to the tooth’s root. When a tooth’s pulp becomes infected or irreversibly inflamed, a root canal or endodontic treatment is urgently needed – otherwise the tooth itself may be at risk of dying. Root canals are used to save teeth in such situations.

Infection of the pulp can be caused by trauma to the tooth, deep decay, cracks and chips, or repeated dental procedures. Symptoms of the infection can be identified as visible injury or swelling of the tooth, sensitivity to temperature or pain in the tooth and gums.

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How is a root canal performed? 

If you experience any of these symptoms, Dr. Chan will most likely recommend a non-surgical root canal  to eliminate the diseased pulp and nerve tissue. This injured pulp is removed and the root canal is thoroughly cleaned and sealed. This therapy usually involves local anesthesia and may be completed in one or more visits depending on the treatment required. Success for this type of treatment occurs in about 90% of cases. If your tooth is not amenable to endodontic treatment or the chance of success is unfavorable, you will be informed at the time of consultation or when a complication becomes evident during or after treatment. We use local anesthesia to eliminate discomfort. In addition, we will provide nitrous oxide analgesia if indicated. You will be able to drive home after your treatment, and you probably will be comfortable returning to your normal routine.

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What happens after treatment?

After a root canal is performed and the pulp or nerve(s) removed, the tooth is no longer vital or “alive”.  However, despite being non-vital, the tooth is still functional.  To protect and maintain function, the weakened tooth is covered with a dental crown made of porcelain or gold.

When your root canal therapy has been completed, we will schedule an appointment for a follow-up restoration within a few weeks of completion at our office. Dr. Chan will decide on the  best type of restoration necessary to protect your tooth. It is rare for endodontic patients to experience complications after routine endodontic treatment or microsurgery. If a problem does occur, however, we are available at all times to respond. To prevent further decay, continue to practice good dental hygiene.

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How much will it cost?

The cost associated with this procedure can vary depending on factors such as the severity of damage to the affected tooth,  which tooth is affected, and the number of nerves or root canals.   In general, endodontic treatment is much less expensive than tooth removal and replacement with an artificial tooth.

Dr. Chan has performed thousands of successful root canals.

Most of the time, a root canal is a relatively simple procedure with little or no discomfort involving one visit. Best of all, it can save your tooth and your smile!

Please contact our office located in Gilroy today for more information on root canals.

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Gar N. Chan, D.D.S., Inc.

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