Root Canal Therapy for San Antonio Families
At Laith Family Dentistry, Dr. Kadamani and her staff strive to help patients retain happy and healthy smiles with their natural teeth. With this in mind, Dr. Kadamani may suggest root canal therapy. Now we know what you’re thinking—root canal. However, the truth is that with modern dental techniques and anesthesia, a root canal is no worse and no more time-consuming than repairing a cavity.
What is Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy, often referred to as simply a root canal or in more technical jargon as endodontic therapy, is necessary when the soft pulp tissue at the center of a tooth is damaged. This pulp is comprised of nerve and lymph tissue as well as blood vessels. Damage can happen because of severe tooth decay, a deep crack, trauma to the tooth or the failure of a filling or another type of tooth restoration.
Tooth Infection Symptoms
Regardless of how it happens, a damaged pulp chamber will eventually lead to an infection. This infection can extend through the root tip and begin to affect the surrounding bone, resulting in an abscess. (Left untreated, an abscess can actually be life-threatening.) At this point, the only two treatment options are either a root canal or a tooth extraction. And a root canal is the choice that helps you avoid having a tooth extracted and all of the consequences a missing tooth entails.
Symptoms of a tooth infection may include:
- Moderate to severe pain
- Sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks
- Redness and swelling of gum tissue around the tooth
- Pain when you bite or apply pressure
- Bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
- A tooth that suddenly becomes discolored
Sometimes, however, there are no symptoms and a person may be unaware of any problem until a checkup.
What to Expect from Your Root Canal Procedure
Before beginning a root canal procedure, Dr. Kadamani always makes sure that a patient is completely comfortable. Understanding that a root canal can make some people nervous, our office has sedation dentistry to help you relax. We offer sedation with nitrous oxide, or laughing gas. A mask is positioned over your nose and as you inhale the mixture of gas and oxygen, you’ll feel your body relax and your anxiety will melt away.
Once you’re ready, Dr. Kadamani will access the pulp chamber, clean out the infected tooth pulp and disinfect the canals of your tooth. Then, once the infection is cleared, the canals are filled with a biocompatible material to prevent any further infection. More than likely, Dr. Kadamani will want to place a crown over your tooth to protect and restore it. Your tooth will be prepared for a permanent crown, and in the meantime we’ll cover your tooth with a temporary.
Schedule a Root Canal Therapy Consultation
If you are you experiencing any of the above symptoms, then call Laith Family Dentistry and ask about root canal therapy. We’ll be glad to answer your questions and schedule a consultation, so we can assess your smile and talk to you about your treatment options.
Understanding the Cost of Root Canals
Admittedly, you may hesitate to get a root canal due to its price. A procedure wouldn’t work out if it exceeds your budget, after all. However, Dr. Kadamani can’t give you a treatment estimate without an in-person consultation. The cost of a root canal in San Antonio varies from patient to patient, so our team must know your situation first. You can trust Laith Family Dentistry to explain the pricing factors and make care affordable. To learn more, just keep reading or call our office for the details!
Factors That Can Affect Root Canal Cost
Generally, a root canal’s cost depends on the state of the affected tooth. Its final price is thus influenced by factors like:
- Tooth Type & Location: Different teeth have varying numbers of roots. For example, the front ones have less than bicuspids or molars. As such, treating the latter types costs more.
- Treatment Complexity: If your tooth’s infection or damage is severe, it may require a specialist’s help. In that case, the treatment’s price will rise.
- Additional Services: Often, root canal therapy needs to be followed by a dental crown procedure. If that applies to you, the expense will go up.
Is It Cheaper to Pull My Tooth?
Tooth extraction does have a lower upfront cost than root canal therapy. Therefore, many patients are tempted to skip a root canal for the former. The truth is that doing so is often a mistake.
You see, it’s crucial to consider the effects of natural tooth loss. Besides causing a smile gap, an extraction could hurt your bite as it makes your other teeth shift out of place. Consequently, you’d face challenges with eating and general discomfort.
All in all, an extraction also has more long-term costs. Most patients need to get implants or bridges after one, resulting in more money spent. It’s cost-effective to save a natural tooth instead of pulling it. You shouldn’t delay, either, as waiting to get a root canal raises your risk of needing an extraction.
Does Dental Insurance Cover Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy is a major dental procedure, so most dental plans will partially cover it. Specifically, coverage extends to 50-80% of the cost after you pay the deductible.
That being said, there are exceptions since every dental plan is different. Therefore, you must confirm the details with your insurance company first. Our team can even help you with this process!
Other Options for Making Root Canal Therapy Affordable
Even if you lack insurance, there are ways to make root canal therapy affordable. It’s just a matter of finding the right option.
For instance, we offer flexible financing through CareCredit. This third-party service allows patients to pay for treatments with monthly low-interest installments. That way, you can cover the cost bit by bit instead of all at once.
In the end, Laith Family Dentistry can help you get a root canal at a reasonable cost. Therefore, don’t hesitate to book a visit with us for help!
Root Canal FAQs
Our team at Laith Family Dentistry understands that you might have some initial questions and concerns going into a root canal—and we’re happy to help! Even though this procedure might sound a little intense on the surface, it’s designed to alleviate discomfort and give your compromised tooth the help it needs. We’ve gathered a few of the most frequently asked questions that we receive about root canals along with their respective answers for your convenience. Of course, if you have any other questions about root canal therapy, feel free to give us a call for assistance!
How Long Does a Root Canal Take?
While the exact length of the root canal process will vary from patient to patient, the procedure can typically be completed in a single appointment; often anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes. The overall length depends on factors such as the type of tooth being replaced; since molars (back teeth) have more roots than front teeth, they have more root canals that must be disinfected, which means the process takes longer.
Are Root Canals Painful?
Thanks to advancements in dental technology, getting a root canal isn’t nearly as painful as you’d think; in fact, most patients compare it to receiving a dental filling. We’re also proud to offer sedation options if you’re feeling particularly nervous about your appointment. Remember, a root canal is designed to stop the pain at its source and to prevent it from spreading further—not to cause it! It’s worth noting that some soreness in the days following a root canal is normal. To ease this discomfort, you can place a cold compress against the outside of your cheek or take an over-the-counter pain reliever. If after a few days your symptoms don’t improve, don’t hesitate to give us a call; it might be a sign of a complication!
Do I Still Need a Root Canal If My Toothache Went Away?
It might seem like a good sign if your toothache has gone away; however, this doesn’t mean the problem has disappeared entirely! This is often the result of the infection essentially “killing” the nerve of the tooth, reducing the pain that you feel. In these cases, root canal therapy is usually the best option for preventing the infection from spreading further.
Can Root Canals Be Prevented?
In many cases, the answer here is yes—and it boils down to keeping your teeth healthy and free of decay. This means that brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting us for regular preventive care are among the best practices for preventing a root canal in the future. However, other things to keep in mind include reducing your intake of sugar, avoiding unhealthy oral habits like smoking, and using a mouthguard when playing sports.