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Root Canal Therapy – Louisville, KY

Save Your Smile with a Root Canal

If you have a severely damaged or infected tooth, do not have it removed. Bell Dental can save it with root canal therapy in Louisville. Although they have a bad reputation for being painful, new advancements in dentistry make them no worse than a traditional filling. Using the latest methods, we will rehabilitate the health of your tooth to save your smile.

What is a Root Canal?

root canal

A root canal is an endodontic procedure that removes the inner most layer of your tooth, known as the pulp. Although the pulp is necessary while your tooth is still developing, it can survive without it after it is fully formed.

The procedure involves removing the areas of decay and damage prior to extracting the pulp through the crown. Your tooth is sterilized and sealed using a material called gutta-percha. Now that its health is restored, we improve its function and appearance by placing a custom-made crown over the tooth. It is crafted to meet your exact size, shape, and color needs to look and feel natural.

Why Do I Need a Root Canal?

dental crown illustration

When a tooth is compromised by decay or infection, the easy answer may appear to just have it pulled. While this provides a quick fix, it leads to new complications due to the missing tooth. To fill the empty space and to protect your oral health, you will need to make a lifelong commitment to a dental prosthetic, like a bridge.

Although it may be tempting to put your root canal on hold, it is never a good idea. The longer you wait, the more damage that will occur. If too much time passes, we may not be able to save your tooth.

How Does Decay Start?

decaying tooth

Your teeth have 3 layers. The hard outer layer you see is the enamel, which protects the dentin. The dentin contains tiny tubes that connect to the inner layer known as the pulp. When you consume sugary foods and drinks, it combines with your saliva to create an acid. As it sits on your teeth, it eats away at your enamel until a small hole forms, known as a cavity. At this point, it can be treated with a filling; however, if you delay care, it will progress until it extends beyond the dentin to infect the pulp.

After the pulp is affected, it leads to many painful complications, which can only be stopped with a root canal.

How Do I Know If I Need a Root Canal?

woman holding cheek looking at dentist

There are some obvious signs you may need a root canal, such as:

  • Pain.
  • Tenderness when placing pressure on the tooth.
  • Lingering sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks.
  • Darkening of your tooth.
  • A pimple-like bump appearing on the gum near the tooth.

Root Canal FAQs

dentist showing a patient in the dental chair their x-rays

If you have been told that you need a root canal, you likely have some concerns that need to be addressed. Don’t worry; we’ve decided to soothe some of your worries by answering some of the most frequently asked questions about root canals. If you have a question that you don’t see answered somewhere on this page, just give us a call for more information.

 

Are Root Canals Painful?

Contrary to rumors you might have heard, root canal therapy shouldn’t hurt. The procedure is actually designed to relieve pain by removing the infected portion of your tooth. Thanks to the power of local anesthetic, you shouldn’t feel any discomfort during the treatment. You might feel slightly sore for a few days afterward, but applying a cold compress to the area and taking an over-the-counter pain medication as needed should be more than enough to alleviate it.

How Much Does a Root Canal Cost?

Whatever your root canal costs, keep in mind that extracting and replacing the tooth may cost several times that amount. Not to mention, you’d have to spend significantly more time in the dental chair. For this reason, your mouth and your wallet are both better off by getting a root canal now rather than an extraction later.

The good news is that most dental insurance plans will cover at least the partial cost of a root canal. Many insurance carriers consider root canal therapy a major restorative procedure, so they’ll often pay for about half the cost. You’ll have to check the details of your specific policy to determine how much coverage you’re eligible for. If you need help getting in touch with your insurance carrier, our team is always here to help.

How Long Does a Root Canal Take?

The overall length of the procedure varies depending mainly on what type of tooth is undergoing treatment. Generally, the farther back in the mouth you go, the more time is needed to complete a root canal. This is because molars (back teeth) have more root canals inside them that need to be cleaned out, so that can take longer. On average, a root canal will take about 90 minutes. At your consultation, we can give you a more personalized estimate of how long it will take.

If My Tooth Doesn’t Hurt, Why Do I Need a Root Canal?

Many patients experience severe tooth pain when an infection is present. This is the result of the infection reaching the pulp of your tooth, where the nerve is located. In some cases, however, the infection progresses to the point where the nerve is do damaged that it has essentially “died,” preventing it from sending pain signals to the brain. At this point, you’re going to need a root canal to keep the infection from spreading to other areas.

Save Your Smile Today!

If you have a damaged tooth, do not have it pulled. Bell Dental will save your smile. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation for a root canal.