If your dentist (have a peek here for more information) has told you that you need to get a root canal, then you might have some questions about the process. Will it be uncomfortable? Will it be expensive? Should you be worried? Here are some of the basics to help alleviate your concerns:
What does a root canal feel like?
You may have heard people say that root canals are quite painful, but that is really only half the story. The reality of the situation is that infected dental pulp can be incredibly painful while the solution (a root canal) will help alleviate that pain. In other words, root canals aren't all that painful, but you will feel a lot of pain before you actually get the root canal. All the root canal will do is alleviate that suffering and make you feel better.
How does the actual process of a root canal work?
The purpose of a root canal is to excise infected dental pulp. Since that infection can easily spread into the nerves in your teeth, it's imperative that you get the infection neutralized and removed as quickly as possible. To do this, your dentist will first inject some anesthesia into your gums. Simply rubbing anesthetic isn't enough, since it won't reach deep enough to desensitize the nerves of the tough that is going to be worked on.
Once it is nice and numb, your dentist will start methodically removing the infected sections of the tooth. In the most serious of circumstances, the majority of the tooth may be compromised. Once all of the infected material is gone, then you will need to figure out a way to replace the pulp, which is often done with a crown.
How do crowns factor into the process?
Once the infection has been removed, your dentist will usually need to take measurements of your tooth and order a custom crown. This crown will take a while to manufacture, so until then, you will need to make do with a temporary crown. The temporary crown may not be quite as comfortable as the final product, but it should keep your tooth protected in the few weeks or months that you will need to wait.
How much should you expect to pay for a root canal?
If you do have insurance, then you should expect to pay $608 on average for a root canal. The crown should additionally cost around $618 for metal and porcelain whereas other materials and combinations tend to cost more.