What Is a Root Canal?
Endodontic therapy, commonly called a “root canal,” is a procedure that treats the interior of your tooth. At the center of the tooth, beneath its hard exterior layers, lies what is called the pulp—a soft tissue that surrounds the nerves and blood vessels. Sometimes the pulp of a tooth can become infected or inflamed, often caused by serious tooth decay or traumatic damage. This can cause tooth pain, increased sensitivity, and a darkened or shadowy color.
In a root canal procedure, a dentist or endodontist (tooth-interior specialist) removes the damaged pulp and then fills and seals the tooth with a crown to protect it from infection and maintain a natural-looking appearance.
Do Root Canals Hurt?
At Platinum Dental, we are committed to ensuring that your experience is as comfortable as possible. For a root canal, both the tooth being treated and the surrounding gum area will be anesthetized, or numbed. While this does process does require shots, topical anesthesia before the shot will help to minimize the pinch. After receiving the injections, your dentist or endodontist will give some time for the anesthesia to take effect.
If you still feel anxiety about getting a root canal, anti-anxiety medication or sedation can be a great way to help you relax through the procedure. Talk to your dentist to determine what type of medication or sedation is right for you.
Post-Procedure Pain and Recovery
You may experience tenderness or pain in and around your tooth and jaw after your root canal, however, these are usually minimal and easily treated with over-the-counter painkillers.
How Much Does a Root Canal Cost?
The out-of-pocket cost of a root canal will vary based on several factors, including the severity of the problem, the specific tooth affected, whether a general dentist or endodontist performs the procedure, and what amount your insurance policy covers. The price of root canal treatment can range from about $300 for a simple front tooth to $2,000 for a complex treatment on a rear molar, however, most patients report a pre-insurance cost of about $1,000.
After treating the root canal, a dental crown will usually be placed over the tooth to protect it from future infection and restore the appearance of the tooth. This crown can cost from $500-3,000, depending again upon the specific tooth being affected, as well as the material being used to form the crown, etc. In some cases, only a filling will be needed to seal the root canal.
Root Canal Procedure Summary
(1) Tooth pulp is infected/inflamed due to decay or injury, (2) An access hole is drilled in the surface of the tooth, (3) Damaged pulp is removed and the root canals of the tooth are thoroughly cleaned and decontaminated, (4) The canals are filled with an inert material and the tooth is covered with a natural-looking crown.
Looking to brighten your smile? White teeth are not only associated with youth, attractiveness, and overall health, but studies also show job applicants with white teeth are more likely to get the job than their yellow-toothed counterparts. Brushing and flossing everyday will help keep your teeth free of stains and healthy, but if your smile lacks some sparkle or appears more yellow than before, you’re not alone. In fact, 90% of Americans when asked what they would most like to improve in their smile responded, “Whiter Teeth.”
So, if you are thinking about whitening your teeth, here are some commonly asked questions.
How do Whitening Toothpastes Work?
All whitening agents employ Hydrogen Peroxide as their active ingredient, and, ultimately, the “strength” of a whitening product in bleaching teeth comes from the content of hydrogen peroxide and the time allowed in contact with the tooth. Whitening toothpaste works to remove surface stains. However, in order to “bubble up” deeply held stains caused by years of coffee, red wine and other strongly pigmented food consumption, whitening agents need a stronger concentration of hydrogen peroxide and more time to penetrate the tooth than a brief 2-minute brushing allows. So, if you are trying to brighten up your teeth after a meal, reach for the whitening toothpaste. However, is you are looking to reverse years of yellow stain build up, you will want a stronger whitening product.
What of Over-the-Counter Whitening Products?
Whitening strips or gels employ a stronger content of Hydrogen Peroxide and are recommended to be left on the tooth for 5 to 60 minutes at a time. When used as recommended, these products penetrate deep stains in the enamel of the tooth and over multiple uses can cause noticeable difference in the whiteness of the tooth. If used with whitening toothpaste beforehand, smiles can combat old stains and surface stains before they sink in. Most people prefer strips because they stay on the tooth easier, but with the same active ingredient and concentration, either method will produce similar results.
Professional Whitening Products
Your dentist can offer stronger whitening gels than can be bought over the counter, and can even create custom whitening trays (that look a lot like an Invisalign product) in order to keep the gel in place and match the stability of whitening strips. These gels contain the highest concentrations of hydrogen peroxide and are often refrigerated for best results. Professional whitening products produce faster results, although their over-the-counter counterparts could theoretically produce the same results over a longer period of usage. Dentists can supply multiple strengths of whitening agents in order to satisfy the needs and timeframe of their patients, but typically lower concentrations of hydrogen peroxide are preferred as to avoid the nerve sensitivity that teeth whitening can typically produce as a side-effect. For faster results, however, the strongest gels can bleach teeth up to 5 shades whiter in just a week of use.
Laser Teeth Whitening
Laser teeth whitening is perhaps the most potent method of all, and the most expensive. Laser teeth whitening can be a great solution for the groom getting married tomorrow, the Miss Universe contestant about to compete, or the Extreme Makeover participant ready to reveal. However, most people can experience the same results at a lower cost to them using at-home solutions prescribed by their dentists.
At Platinum Dental, we understand the importance of a bright smile in making a good first impression and offer free whitening to all our patients as a service when requested at a regular appointment or cleaning. Whichever whitening solution best fits your needs, budget, and desired timeframe, our staff will help you achieve the whitest smile you’ve ever had at the lowest cost to you.
Be our Valentine! Platinum Dental care is sharing the love of dentistry February 12th. We are so happy to be able to provide oral health care to those will special needs and their families during such a loving time.
What do you need to do?
1. Contact one of the following locations to schedule your appointment. Patients can choose a cleaning, extraction OR a filling.
2. Fill out New Patient Paperwork (Note: Our doctors will need to review your medical history as soon as possible to be sure we can accommodate you or your loved one.)
**Platinum Dental and it’s staff members have the right to refuse treatment to any patient if they feel that they could be jeopardizing the patients health and/or if they cannot preform effective treatment on any patient.**