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Root Canal Therapy – Gainesville, FL

Saving Teeth From Extraction

Animated smile with pain radiating from the inside of a tooth in need of root canal therapy

When an infection enters the innermost layer of a tooth, time is of the essence. What can start out as a minor toothache can quickly develop into a serious problem. From increasing pain to possible tooth extraction, Drs. Art and Kim Mowery will need to move swiftly in order to save your tooth and prevent further damage. In situations such as these, root canal therapy in Gainesville, FL is the only effective way to treat an infected tooth. Find out more about this beneficial treatment and how to tell if you need the assistance of Drs. Art and Kim Mowery by calling us today.

What is a Root Canal?

Animated root canal dissection

A root canal is a surgical procedure that removes harmful bacteria from the infected root canal within your tooth. As a form of endodontic treatment, which means to treat the inside of the tooth, the infected and inflamed pulp that is at the center of your tooth is removed.

By cleaning out the decayed and infected area, it can be filled to prevent reinfection and ultimately, save a tooth in Gainesville from possible removal.

Signs and Symptoms of Needing a Root Canal

A woman holding her cheek in pain before root canal therapy

Apart from the pain you may be experiencing, you might not recognize the signs or symptoms that are associated with needing a root canal. The best solution is to schedule an appointment with Drs. Art and Kim to have them examine your oral cavity and look at what is happening beneath the surface. Through a visual examination and X-rays, they will be able to tell if you are in need of a root canal.

The reasons they might recommend this type of procedure include:

  • Severe decay
  • Damage such as cracks or chips in the tooth
  • A defective dental crown
  • Multiple dental procedures that have caused your teeth to weaken

However, before you even see our team for an exam, there are other signs and symptoms that can lead you to believe that a root canal is in your future:

  • Pain while chewing or biting
  • Pimples that appear on the gums
  • Swollen or tender gums
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold foods or beverages

How Does the Procedure Work?

A patient preparing for a root canal

The easiest way to explain how a root canal works is by following these steps:

  • Your dentist will begin by numbing the tooth and the area surrounding it, including your gums, with local anesthesia. This will ensure you are comfortable and pain-free during the procedure.
  • A small hole will be made in the enamel of your tooth to allow us to navigate down into the inner layer.
  • Removing the infected pulp, we will clean the area thoroughly before sanitizing it.
  • The last step will be to fill the tooth with a rubber-like material (i.e. gutta-percha) and cover it with a custom-made dental crown.

Your restoration will be created in a dental lab by technicians who will match the color, size, and shape of your crown to your natural teeth. This will make it possible to have a seamlessly blended smile.

Are Root Canals Painful?

An older gentleman smiling and holding his glasses after root canal therapy

While this is a common misconception, root canals are not the reason for your pain. In fact, the procedure itself is designed to remove the infection that is causing immense pain. You can expect some discomfort during your recovery time, but as long as you take the prescribed pain medication or antibiotics as instructed by your dentist, you can expect the pain to dissipate within a few days.

Root Canal FAQs

young man smiling while talking to his dentist after root canal therapy

Contrary to popular belief, there is nothing to fear about root canal therapy. This procedure should be quite comfortable, and it can allow you to keep your natural tooth for life. However, there are still a lot of misconceptions about this treatment floating around, so we thought it would be a good idea to answer some frequently asked questions about root canals in the section below.

What Can I Expect After My Root Canal?

After the local anesthetic that we used to numb your mouth wears off, you can expect some soreness and tenderness around the site for the next few days. This discomfort typically responds well to over-the-counter pain relievers, but we may prescribe you another medication if necessary. Any pain should subside after a week at most. If it doesn’t, call us right away.

While you’re healing, be careful when brushing and flossing around the treated tooth. Try to avoid chewing directly with that tooth until you see us for your follow-up appointment to place your permanent crown.

Why Do I Need a Root Canal If My Tooth Doesn’t Hurt?

Some patients may experience a toothache that goes away on its own. However, if your pain was the result of an infection, that doesn’t mean your problem is over. In many cases, it means that the infection has damaged the nerves inside of the tooth to the point that they can no longer relay pain signals to your brain. While you might not be hurting, root canal therapy is needed to prevent the infection from spreading. Otherwise, the tooth may have to be extracted entirely.

How Long Will My Root Canal Take?

The length of your procedure depends primarily on what type of tooth is being treated. Generally, the farther back in the mouth you go, the greater number of root canals a tooth has. As a result, there are more sections of the tooth that need to be cleaned out, so the procedure will take longer.

Usually, a root canal can be completed in one appointment that lasts between one and two hours.

How Much Will My Root Canal Cost?

The price of your root canal is mainly affected by your level of insurance coverage. Most dental insurance companies consider root canals to be a major restorative procedure and will only cover about half of the cost, but others may cover up to 80% of it. Our team will gladly look over your insurance plan and maximize any coverage you may have. If you don’t have insurance, we can help you apply for a low-to-no interest loan through the third-party financing company CareCredit.

Keep in mind that saving your tooth with root canal therapy is significantly less expensive and invasive than extracting and replacing a tooth. That’s why you should consider getting a root canal as soon as possible after we recommend one.

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