Root Canal (cont.)
Steven B. Horne, DDS
Dr. Steve Horne began his career at Brigham Young University obtaining his BA in English. He earned his Doctorate of Dental Surgery in 2007 from the University of Southern California where his pursuit for academic excellence landed him on the Dean's List. He was recognized for his superior clinical skills and invited to help teach other dental students in courses on restorative dentistry, prosthodontics, and tooth anatomy. During dental school, he provided dental care for underserved populations of Los Angeles and Orange County, Mexico, and Costa Rica with AYUDA. Following dental school, Dr. Horne entered active duty with the U.S. Army and practiced dentistry at Fort Knox, Kentucky, for four years. During this time, he was deployed to Baghdad, Iraq, and received multiple Army Achievement Medals, the Army Commendation Medal, and served as Company Commander. Dr. Horne currently practices full time at Torrey Pines Dental Arts in La Jolla, California, as a general dentist. Dr. Horne is a member of the American Dental Association, the California Dental Association, and the Academy of General Dentistry. Dr. Horne is married to his wife, Christy, and they have a chocolate Labrador named Roscoe.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- What is a root canal?
- Why is a root canal necessary?
- What happens during a root canal procedure?
- Is there pain associated with getting a root canal?
- Are there special considerations for getting a root canal during pregnancy?
- What kind of problems or complications may occur after getting a root canal?
- How long do root canals last?
- How much does a root canal cost?
- Are there any alternatives to a root canal?
- Find a local Doctor in your town
How long do root canals last?
Root canals are over 95% successful and can last a lifetime. The most important thing to do to make a root canal last as long as possible is get the permanent restoration (fillings or crowns) on the tooth immediately following the root canal and maintain that restoration with impeccable hygiene. A tooth that has had a root canal can still get a cavity, so a person must brush and floss the tooth thoroughly to keep it healthy. Since there is no nerve in the tooth, a person will not feel any symptoms if the tooth gets a cavity. The tooth will only hurt if it gets fractured or gets another abscess around it. The dentist will want to take check-up X-rays from time to time to make sure the root canal hasn't gotten re-infected.
How much does a root canal cost?
The cost of root canals varies depending on the tooth and whether it is being treated by a general dentist or an endodontist. Molars have more canals that need to be filled, so they are more expensive, and endodontists typically charge more due to their specialty training. The cost of a single-rooted tooth (incisor or canine) may be anywhere from $400 to $1,000, and a multi-rooted tooth (premolar or molar) may be anywhere from $500 to $1,400. Most dental insurance plans cover root canal treatment.
Are there any alternatives to a root canal?
Saving the natural tooth is usually the best option, so root canal treatment is generally the treatment of choice. The only alternative to having a root canal is extracting the tooth and having it replaced with an implant, bridge, or denture. These procedures are more expensive than a root canal and often require more time and additional procedures to treat the surrounding teeth and tissues. If a tooth is extracted and not replaced with some type of restoration, chewing function will be impaired and teeth may shift.
American Dental Association Division of Communications. "Getting to the root of endodontic (root canal) treatment The goal: preserving the tooth." Journal of the American Dental Association 132.3 (2001): 45-54.
Watkins, C. A., et al. "Anticipated and experienced pain associated with endodontic therapy." Journal of the American Dental Association 133.1 (2002): 45-54.
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