Patients usually require a post and crown following a root canal treatment. Why ? A root canal treated tooth is hollow and brittle so that post/core build retention and support and a crown is needed to hold everything together.
Some patients receive root canals but do not follow through with receiving the post and crown. This can lead to an infected or fractured tooth. When that happens the tooth either needs to be extracted because it is beyond repair or another root canal must be performed which can be costly and will only weaken the tooth further.
Is a root canal painful? A root canal procedure is no more painful than getting a filling. The difference is that it takes longer to perform a root canal and the cost is 10 times more. However, if the tooth has a chronic infection the body’s metabolism increases to fight the infection. When the metabolism is going through the roof a person’s anesthetic has the potential to wear off very quickly and getting numb is difficult. Only then should a person have pain during a root canal procedure. Lots of noise comes from the drills and files in the dental chair but no one should experience pain.
Contrary to popular belief regular flossing and brushing cannot prevent a root canal. Why? A root canal can happen from having an infection or decay that is so large that the pulp nerve of the tooth becomes exposed. Once decay has reached the nerve you will experience pain.
“I don’t need a root canal, Doc, I don’t have any pain!” It is not uncommon for decay to be present in the tooth and for a person to have little to no pain. Once the pulp is exposed that is when extreme pain occurs that you can feel all the way up to your brain. It is these factors that make early prevention so important for your teeth and your pocket. Fillings cost about $200-$300 but a root canal costs ten times more. You can expect to pay $2000-$2500 per root canal. So how do you prevent having to get a root canal?
Maintain a regular and consistent dental regimen with flossing and brushing to avoid getting cavities in the teeth you still have. Brushing and flossing twice a day is recommended but if you can only floss once do it before bed.
See your dentist regularly so that cavities can be caught early.
Get your cavities filled promptly. Bigger cavities means bigger fillings. Don’t put it off because they can grow quickly and in the absence of pain you won’t know how big it is getting.
Receive a fluoride treatment from your dental hygienist when you go in for your cleanings. Most people opt not to receive fluoride because of the $15-$20 out-of-pocket cost or rinse too quickly after receiving the treatment. They are doing their teeth an injustice! Fluoride helps mineralize the weak areas in your teeth and is essential to preventing cavities (which can lead to a root canal)
Avoid amalgam fillings which have the tendency to pull away from the tooth and create pockets for bacteria to enter and multiply. The use of amalgam is controversial but the tooth expands and shrinks when exposed to changing temperatures.
Eat foods that help to clean your teeth. Cheese and celery are foods that are proven to help clean teeth.
Dr. Truong is a family dentist with a comprehensive dental facility based in Sacramento. Our care is patient-focused. No pushy sales people just good dentistry. Dr. Truong educates and trains herself and her staff rigorously to provide her patients with the very best care as well as cutting-edge technology. Dr. Truong and the Gateway Oaks Family Dentistry staff follows strict safety procedures.
Why is Dr. Truong so great? She has the smallest hands in Sacramento! Small hands means maximum comfort for her patients.