This more invasive treatment involves the removal of pulp tissue that has become infected within the tooth itself. Dr. Parnaik works with a local endodontist to complete the root canal procedure and then handles the restoration of the tooth with either a filling or a dental crown in her Medford dental office.
Root Canal vs. Tooth Extraction
If you have tooth pain, it may seem like a tooth extraction is the best solution. In most cases, however, Dr. Parnaik will support the decision to preserve the natural tooth either through a root canal procedure or other treatment method.
It is best to keep your original teeth whenever possible. Missing teeth need to be replaced or they can lead to other problems such as shifting teeth, TMJ dysfunction, gum disease or tooth decay. The process of having a tooth extracted and replaced is often more expensive and complicated than the root canal procedure.
About the Root Canal Procedure
The goal of root canal therapy is to remove all infected tissue from the inside of the tooth and then fill the tooth to prevent further infection.
The endodontist will make a small hole in the tooth to access the tooth pulp. The infected tissue and damaged nerve will be removed and the root canal will be throughly cleaned and disinfected. Antibiotics may be prescribed, if infection is found, and the tooth will be temporarily sealed until the infection has healed.
Once the infection is clear and the root canal is free of debris, it will be filled with a biocompatible rubber compound called gutta percha. Dr. Parnaik will then cover the tooth with either a dental filling or dental crown to add strength and protect it from future damage.
Root Canal FAQs
Does a root canal hurt?
The pain associated with a root canal comes from the infection and pressure inside the tooth. The root canal procedure will provide relief from that pain and start the healing process. A root canal procedure feels similar to having a dental filling placed. There are also sedation dentistry options to help you feel more comfortable and relaxed during your treatment.
Are there any alternatives to a root canal?
If you do not have a root canal, it is likely that the alternative treatment is a tooth extraction. When considering a root canal vs extraction, it is important to remember that missing teeth must be replaced to avoid other problems. Dr. Parnaik will evaluate your condition and help you decide which treatment is best for your long term dental health and wellness.
What is the cost of a root canal procedure?
The cost of root canal therapy will depend on your specific circumstances. Some dental insurance providers will pay for all or part of the cost of root canal therapy.