Root Canals

Root Canals have a reputation in the United States for being painful, but the adaptation of modern dental technology such as nickle titanium files, and electronic guidance systems has led to much more predictable outcomes with fewer side effects and less discomfort.  Often times the treatment can be completed in one day – a technique that didn’t used to be predictable.  Endondontics is the dental specialty focused with infections of the root systems of teeth.  While Dr. Scherer is not an endodontist, root canal treatment is one of the specialty areas in dentistry that Dr. Scherer has a great deal of experience, and he completes roughly 90% of root canals needed in his office without referral.

What is a root canal?

A root canal is simply the removal of an infected or otherwise damaged tooth nerve & dental pulp (the tooth’s blood supply) through a small hole in the biting surface of the tooth, the disinfection of this space, and the sealing of the space left behind with an inert material.   Contrary to popular belief, the root of the tooth itself remains in the bone.  Success for this type of procedure is typically around 90%, and can drastically improve symptoms if the tooth has been painful.

What happens after treatment?

For most back teeth, the root canal treatment weakens the tooth such that it will fracture if no protective treatment is provided.  A crown or partial coverage crown is indicated in these teeth.  There are many different designs and techniques for stabilizing the tooth after root canal therapy, and Dr. Scherer will guide you through the process.   If the tooth already had a crown, this crown can usually function for years even after a root canal.

How much will it cost?

The cost associated with this procedure can vary depending on factors such as the severity of damage to the affected tooth and which tooth is affected. In general, root canal treatment is less expensive than tooth removal and replacement with a dental implant,  However, if the tooth was severely damaged a dental implant can provide a more predictable long term solution. Dr. Scherer provides implant services as well, and can help you answer this question for your tooth.