The commonest cause of toothache is inflammation of the nerve in the tooth, or a dead/infected nerve causing an abscess. Root canal treatment is a procedure to save a tooth that has an inflamed, infected or dead pulp (nerve) and to stop the dead pulp from spreading infection.
Each tooth contains a pulp that provides it with a nerve supply as well as nutrients. There are instances where the pulp tissue can die when damaged or infected. A root canal treatment involves removal of the diseased pulp and also reshaping of the canal the pulp lies in. Afterwards, the canals are filled and sealed to ensure that the bacteria cannot re-enter the root canals.
Infection is usually triggered by bacteria that exist inside the mouth and attack the teeth. This may be caused by the following:
- Tooth decay
- Leaky fillings
- Injury to the teeth due to trauma (for example a fall)
After completion of root canal treatment, most back teeth need crowns for further protection, and prevention of fracture of the tooth.
The cost of the root canal treatment depends on the number of canals in the tooth and the complexity of the procedure. It starts from $650. In complex cases, it can cost up to $2,000.
In the past, teeth with damaged pulps were extracted. Luckily, these days root canal treatment provides dentists with a solution that is both safe and affordable to help you save the tooth and maintain your natural smile. Nothing is ever as good as the natural tooth, and hence whenever practically possible, the ideal is to save the tooth.