Root Canal Therapy
When a tooth is cracked or has a serious cavity, the connective tissue inside that tooth (the pulp) is at an increased risk of becoming infected. Once the pulp becomes damaged or infected, a person will begin to experience significant pain. When this happens, root canal therapy is your best option for correcting the infection and making sure you do not have to have your tooth extracted. Root canal therapy can typically avoid the need for a tooth extraction, however it is essential that the issue is treated as early and quickly as possible. If the infection cannot be treated with root canal therapy, the tooth will need to be extracted to prevent the infection from reaching your jawbone and to alleviate pain.
As a native of Greenville and fourth generation dentist, Dr. Preston Hamrick is proud to serve his community by developing personal relationships with all his patients and working hard to understand their needs and goals. Read on to learn more about root canal therapy, or to schedule a consultation or learn more about our services, call us today at 864.292.5125.
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Indications a Root Canal May Be Necessary
Although nobody wants to have a root canal performed, it is an incredibly important procedure that can ensure you do not have to have your tooth extracted, which is why it is so important to address the issue as quickly as possible. If you notice any of the following symptoms commonly associated with an infected pulp, contact our office immediately:
- Pain when applying any pressure to your tooth, including chewing food
- Severe toothache
- Swollen gums
- Extreme sensitivity to cold or hot foods
- Change in the color or shade of the tooth
Although root canal therapy has a negative connotation to it as popularized in movies and popular culture, advancements in dental technology and improved techniques have made root canal therapy a far less painful process than it once was. The most important thing to remember when debating on whether to schedule an appointment for root canal therapy is that the pain you will experience will be significantly worse if you do not have the procedure performed.
Root Canal Therapy Process
The root canal therapy process begins with an initial consultation with Dr. Hamrick, who will conduct a thorough oral examination to determine whether root canal therapy is necessary, and if so, the underlying cause of decay. If the decay is minor, it may be treatable with a filling or crown, however if the pulp has become infected, root canal therapy may be your best option.
At your next appointment, Dr. Hamrick will first clean your mouth then numb the area to reduce or eliminate discomfort. Dental sedation will also be available to ensure you remain comfortable throughout the procedure. Next, Dr. Hamrick will remove the injured pulp and disinfect the root canal system. Finally, a filling or dental crown is placed to seal the tooth, which will strengthen he tooth and protect it from further infection.
If a dental crown is to be placed, Dr. Hamrick will take an impression of your teeth which will be used to fabricate a custom-made crown designed for your exact mouth to ensure optimal functionality and aesthetic appearance. It will take approximately 2-3 weeks for your crown to be finished, during which you will wear a temporary crown to protect your tooth. Once your crown is finished, the temporary crown is removed and the permanent crown placed and tested for proper fitting, then bonded into place. Finally, Dr. Hamrick will polish and buff your new tooth and the procedure will be complete.
Healing Process and Maintenance
Following root canal therapy, it is important to follow good oral hygiene habits to avoid needing additional root canals in the future. Be sure to continue brushing and flossing your teeth twice daily, eat a healthy and balanced diet, and avoid use of tobacco. We also encourage our clients to schedule regular dental cleanings at least every six months to ensure the health and sustained brightness of your smile. In addition to giving your teeth a professional cleaning, these visits are also an opportunity for Dr. Preston Hamrick to evaluate your overall oral health, as he looks for any indications of gum disease or any other underlying issue that may require treatment. If you follow these best practices, you will enjoy a bright, white, healthy smile for many years to come.
Cost of Root Canal Therapy
The total cost of root canal therapy will depend in part on the number of appointments necessary and whether additional treatment is needed. For patients with dental insurance, the total cost of root canal therapy will depend on whether the procedure is covered under your plan, and if so, how much is covered. Our staff are happy to review your coverage to determine whether your plan does cover root canal therapy and ensure you maximize your benefits and have minimal out of pocket expenses.
If you are a patient at our practice and do not have dental insurance, consider joining our membership club. Because we value your loyalty, we have launched this club to help save you money on treatment and simplify payments for preventative care. We offer three levels of membership: child, adult, and perio membership. Professional dental cleanings, doctor exams, necessary X-rays, and a 5% discount on all other treatment (some exclusions apply) are included in all membership packages.
You can sign up today and start saving money on treatment online or call us at (864) 292-5125.
For your convenience, we accept all forms of credit and debit cards, including Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express.
Fall in Love with Your Smile Again
At Heritage Dentistry in Greenville, South Carolina, we are committed to providing 5-star customer service that is relationship based, along with a comprehensive range of treatment options that will ensure your sustained oral health and make you fall in love with your smile again. To schedule a consultation for root canal therapy or learn more about our services, contact our Greenville dental team today at (684) 292-5125