No one is excited to get a root canal. However, if your tooth is damaged or decayed to a certain point, you need this procedure in order to save the tooth and avoid an extraction or serious complications.
The modern root canal procedures perfected by Santa Rosa dentist Dr. Michael Rice are practically pain-free, allowing you to keep your tooth and prevent further deterioration. Dr. Rice has many years of experience performing these procedures, so you can be confident in his ability to perform the treatment successfully.
What Are Root Canals?
The term “root canal” actually refers to narrow passages found within each of your teeth. These passages connect your nerve tissue and dental pulp, which is composed of blood vessels responsible for providing nourishment to your nerves.
The hard white enamel of the tooth is responsible for protecting the root canals from damage and keeping them sterile. Unfortunately, when you have a cavity or a crack in the enamel of your tooth, or when you have an infection in the gums or bone, bacteria can infiltrate the root canals and cause damage. Infection of the root canals can lead to significant symptoms, including pain, darkening of the tooth, bone loss, soreness in the gums and swelling. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should make an appointment for a dental exam as soon as possible.
When Is Root Canal Treatment Necessary?
Dr. Michael Rice is an experienced endodontist who recommends root canal treatment only when no other restorative dental treatment option is suitable. If the tooth cannot be preserved with a dental filling or crown, root canal treatment is often the best choice. Not only does root canal treatment provide relief from pain and other symptoms in these cases, but it also offers a lasting restoration that allows you to continue biting, talking and chewing normally after the procedure is complete.
Most root canal treatments are performed because the decay and/or infection in the tooth has become too extensive to treat using other methods. Without a root canal treatment, extraction of the tooth would be the only other option in these cases.
Dr. Rice can determine whether you need a root canal procedure by examining your tooth carefully and taking dental x-rays. These x-rays provide a picture of the inside of your tooth, allowing Dr. Rice to assess the extent of the infection and damage. Based on this information, he will explain all of your restoration options.
About Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment is the most common endodontic procedure. Before beginning the root canal procedure, Dr. Michael Rice will first anesthetize the area so you will remain comfortable from start to finish. He will also place a rubber dam over the tooth to isolate the treatment area and protect surrounding structures. During root canal treatment, Santa Rosa dentist Dr. Michael Rice will work to eliminate the infection from damaged root canals. The first step in the process involves removing part of the top of the tooth with a drill to gain access to the infected canals. Next, Dr. Rice will hollow out the infected canal by removing the pulp, infected nerve and other products of infection with thin round files. The root canals will be sterilized with a bleach-like liquid and sealed to prevent any future infection. After the canal is clean, Dr. Rice will fill the empty space with a hard, rubbery material called “gutta percha,” which is designed to provide support and stability to the tooth after treatment. In the final step, Dr. Rice will place a natural-looking dental crown on top of the treated tooth to provide a suitable surface for biting and chewing.
Benefits of Root Canal Treatment at Santa Rosa Dental
Some of the benefits of trusting our Santa Rosa dentist with your root canal procedure include:
- A strong restoration – Dr. Michael Rice uses only the highest grade of materials when performing root canal treatments. The material used to fill the canals and cover the tooth are both durable and long-lasting.
- A comfortable procedure – Using safe medications, Dr. Michael Rice will fully anesthetize the treatment area to keep you pain-free throughout root canal treatment.
- A beautiful, natural-looking tooth – Our dentist uses carefully-constructed, life-like dental crowns that are indistinguishable from neighboring teeth so you can smile with confidence.
- Compassion and care – Our Santa Rosa dental team understands that root canal procedures can be a frightening experience for some patients, especially if you are already in pain. We treat every patient with compassion, taking the time to ease your nerves and make sure you are as comfortable and relaxed as possible.
At Santa Rosa Dental, we want our patients to be able to make informed decisions about their dental care. Before we schedule your root canal procedure, we will explain the procedure in detail. If other options are available, we will go over the advantages and disadvantages of each possible course of treatment. Should you have any questions about your treatment plan, we will provide clear answers so you can make the right choices.
How Much Will It Cost?
The cost of root canal treatment can vary based on several factors. If you have dental insurance, your policy may cover some or all of your treatment expenses. If you don’t have dental insurance, you will pay for your treatment out-of-pocket. Before scheduling your procedure, we will provide you with a detailed quote of your expenses so you will know what to expect. We will also discuss all payment options available so there won’t be any surprises.
Dr. Michael Rice has extensive experience with endodontics and general dentistry. He can examine your teeth and determine whether root canal treatment is the best option for you. He can also perform this procedure safely and comfortably. To make an appointment, please contact Santa Rosa Dental today.