If your dentist has recently told you a root canal treatment is necessary or you think you have a tooth infection, you may have a lot of questions. People tend to shy away from root canal therapy, but there's nothing to fear. If you would like to know more about root canal therapy, check out these three frequently asked questions.
Can the Infection Be Cured?
If you get an infection in a cut on your finger, you don't need to have your arm removed. The infection can be treated, and the arm will heal. A tooth, however, is a little different. If there is an infection in your tooth, there is a reason. The root may be damaged, which will simply lead to repeated infections. Antibiotics are important to help reduce the pain, but they won't solve the problem. The only ways to "cure" a tooth infection are to extract the tooth or perform root canal therapy, which saves the tooth but removes the pulp.
Is It Expensive?
Depending on the number of roots in the tooth, a root canal treatment can cost $300 to $2,000 or more. If you have dental insurance, your plan may cover 40 to 80 percent of the cost. If you don't have insurance, or your policy doesn't cover the treatment, however, you'll have to pay it all out of pocket. To protect the tooth, your dentist will also place a crown, which may increase the price further. An extraction is only $75 to $300 for a fully erupted tooth. However, unless you want a gap in your smile, you'll need to pay for a partial denture, bridge, or dental implant, which is expensive.
Is The Procedure Painful?
Many people are afraid of root canal therapy because they think it's painful. However, during the procedure you are completely numb, so you can't feel anything. The pain typically comes before the procedure. The pressure placed on your nerves from the infection can cause intense pain that won't even go away with painkillers. The root canal treatment eliminates the infection. You may be sore after, but the pain is usually minimal. If you do notice severe pain after the treatment, contact your dentist as you may need a round of antibiotics.
If you have an infected tooth, your options are limited, but with root canal treatment, you can find relief. If you are in severe pain from a bad tooth infection, don't hesitate. Contact an emergency dentist in your area today and save that tooth.