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Root Canal Therapy in Plymouth, MA

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More than 15 million root canals are performed each year in the US. It is one of the most common dental procedures. Root canal therapy deals with the complex structure found inside the teeth, such as tooth pulp, nerves and arterioles.

When the tooth is infected, the nerves inside the tooth need to be removed, and a root canal treatment needs to be initiated in order to get rid of the infection and preserve the tooth. If left untreated, an infection can turn into an abscess, which is a much more serious problem by possibly spreading the infection to the surrounding vital structures in the head and neck area.

How to tell if a tooth is in need of a root canal?

  • Teeth that are sensitive to cold and hot food, or having spontaneous pain
  • Teeth that are tender when chewing and biting
  • Swelling and tenderness in the gums
  • Teeth that are discolored
  • Teeth that are dislodged due to injury

Clinical Steps of Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy usually takes one to three visits to complete. Digital radiographs will be taken before the treatment begins.

  1. Initially, the tooth will be totally numbed by local anesthesia. A dental rubber dam (protective sheet) will be placed to ensure the surgical area remains free of microorganisms in the saliva and to ensure the patients’ safety.
  2. An opening will be created on the tooth and the infected nerves will be completely removed. The canals will then be cleaned and shaped and completely sealed by a biocompatible material called gutta percha. A temporary filling will be placed prior to the permanent restorations.
  3. Crowns are strongly recommended for teeth after root canal therapy especially for posterior teeth, because crowns will prevent the tooth from fracture, increase the success for root canal and improve the appearance.

Does Root Canal Therapy Hurt?

Root canal therapy is used to relieve pain. Most people who have root canals admit they did not experience any pain during the appointment and felt better afterward. It is not uncommon that patients fell asleep during the procedure with Dr. Sheng in our office.

How Much Will the Procedure Cost?

The cost varies depending on how severe the problem is and which tooth is affected. Molars are more difficult to treat and usually cost more. Most dental insurance plans provide coverage to this procedure at 80% of the total cost. Generally, root canal therapy and restoration of the natural tooth is less expensive than the alternative of having the tooth removed. An extracted tooth must be replaced with a bridge or implant to restore chewing function and prevent adjacent teeth from shifting. These procedures tend to cost more than root canal therapy and appropriate restoration.