Has your dentist told you that you might need a root canal? If so, you have nothing to worry about. It’s normal for dentists to perform root canal therapy almost daily. Root canals are the perfect solution for patients who have an infected tooth because it can prevent them from needing to extract their tooth. If you’re expected to have a root canal in the near future, you might have some questions for your dentist. To give you some immediate answers prior to your procedure, we have compiled a list of root canal FAQs for you to read through. Take a look and let us know if you have any additional questions. Our root canal dentist at Rivercrest Family Dental in New Braunfels is happy to help.

What is a Root Canal?

A root canal is a dental procedure that removes the infected pulp from your tooth to save it from extraction. After your dentist verifies that a root canal is needed via x-ray, they will numb your tooth up. From there, they will drill into your tooth to reach the canal where they remove all of the infected pulp as well as debris related to bacteria. They will also reshape your tooth’s canal. Once it’s clean and bacteria free, your dentist will seal the hole to keep your tooth safe from further damage and to keep out bacteria and debris from entering your tooth. Following your procedure, we recommend that patients receive a dental crown to protect their tooth for the rest of their life. The procedure may vary from patient to patient depending on the severity of the tooth infection and damage of the tooth.

Why Do I Need a Root Canal?

There are several different reasons that you might need a root canal. However, in all cases, a root canal is needed because the tooth is infected. How the infection is caused is what separates patients. A tooth infection can be caused by severe damage to the tooth. This can be a crack or even a chip on the tooth. In other cases, root canals can be caused by dental decay or cavities that have gone untreated. When decay and cavities aren’t treated, they only grow worse. As a result, your tooth can become quite infected resulting in the need for a root canal.

Is a Root Canal Painful?

When you tell people you need a root canal, it’s common to hear them wince or tell you how painful it is. When you hear these responses, you can be under the impression that root canal therapy in New Braunfels can be a painful experience. This is not true. It is not the root canal that is painful, it’s actually the infected tooth you feel prior to your root canal procedure. An infected tooth can cause an immense amount of pain when you chew near it, or just in general. During your root canal, our dentist ensures that your tooth is numbed up before doing any sort of dental work. You shouldn’t feel any pain during the procedure, if you do, please let us know and our dentist will do everything in their power to help you feel comfortable.

If My Tooth Isn’t Bothering Me, Why Do I Need a Root Canal?

Not every patient will show symptoms of an infected tooth. In some patients they might not feel any pain at all, this does not mean that you shouldn’t put off getting a root canal. Your tooth may potentially cause you pain in the future, or it might just fall out after it has rotted completely. Listen to your dentist if they suggest that you need a root canal.

Is an Extraction a Better Alternative Than a Root Canal?

One of our top root canal FAQs is this one. You might wonder if it’s worth it to just extract your tooth instead of receiving a root canal. We don’t recommend this. When you extract your tooth, you need to replace that missing tooth otherwise it can throw off your bite, change your smile, or perhaps even cause surrounding teeth to shift out of place. Replacement teeth can be expensive and not provide as many benefits as a natural tooth would. You would need to choose between a dental implant, dental bridge or partial dentures to replace your tooth. This can cost more than the root canal so it only makes sense to save your existing tooth with a root canal instead of an extraction.

How Long does a Root Canal Take?

A root canal is not a lengthy procedure. In most cases, it will take somewhere between one to two hours to complete. This doesn’t include the time it takes to place your dental crown at a future appointment. The length of your procedure will depend on how severe your tooth infection is.

Are Root Canals Expensive?

Another one of our top root canal FAQs involves how much a root canal costs. You will need to inquire with your dentist to see just how much your root canal will cost. You can also check with your insurance company to see if they will cover part of the procedure as it is quite likely. If you’re worried about the cost, don’t. We offer a variety of different payment options to make dentist affordable in New Braunfels.

How Can I Avoid a Root Canal in the Future?

If this is your first root canal, you should know that there are ways to prevent you from needing a root canal in the future. First, you should take care of your teeth. This means that you visit us every 6 months to check for cavities, signs of decay or other dental problems. When problems are caught early, they are easier to treat and will prevent them from growing into bigger problems. Next, you should be brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day. This helps remove plaque, tartar, and debris that can cause decay or cavities. You should also wear a night guard at night if you’re prone to bruxism. This will save your teeth from cracks or decay. In addition, if you play contact sports, we highly recommend wearing a mouth guard. Lastly, be sure to visit us if you crack or break one of your teeth. The sooner we can treat it, the more likely we can prevent you from needing a root canal.

How Can I Schedule a Root Canal in New Braunfels?

Now that you’ve read through our most important root canal FAQs, it’s time to schedule your appointment at our New Braunfels dental office. Give Rivercrest Family Dental a call or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment today.