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Root Canal Therapy – Kernersville, NC

Comfortable, Smile Saving Root Canals

Couple embracing at the park after root canal therapyWhen a filling is insufficient for restoring a decayed or damaged tooth, a root canal procedure may be in order. This is a common oral surgery in which Dr. Walker removes all of the tissue inside the affected tooth and restores it with a sturdy filling or crown. Root canals have the reputation of being something to dread, but there is nothing to fear from this treatment. In fact, it’s just what you need to save your smile! Keep reading to learn more about root canal therapy from our Kernersville, NC dentist and what you can expect if you need one.

When Is a Root Canal Necessary?

A root canal will likely be Dr. Walker’s recommended method of treatment when the interior of a tooth has been affected by infection or injury. This is often the result of an untreated cavity. Tooth decay which begins on the outermost layer of the tooth is allowed to progress until it reaches the interior, or the “pulp” of the tooth.

A tooth that requires a root canal will often ache, as the interior is where all of the sensitive nerve endings live. If you have pain in a tooth that does not go away, get in touch with us right away. Watch out for these other warning signs of a root canal as well:

  • Sensitivity in the tooth
  • Pain when biting down
  • Abscess
  • Gum recession
  • Red or inflamed gums around the tooth
  • A foul odor coming from the tooth
  • The tooth changing to a dark or gray color

What Are the Steps of a Root Canal?

Woman giving thumbs up after root canal therapy

Most root canals are completed over the course of two visits to our dental office. During the first appointment, the majority of the procedure is completed. After we make sure you are completely comfortable, Dr. Walker will access the interior of the tooth and remove all of the infected tissue with a special vacuum-like tool. Then, the root canals are cleaned, reshaped, and a biocompatible material called “gutta percha” is placed within the tooth. A temporary or permanent filling then goes on top of the tooth. If you need a crown, you will have it placed in a follow-up appointment.

What’s the Recovery Like after a Root Canal?

Closeup of a healthy smile after root canal therapy

After the root canal procedure is complete, we will send you home with precise instructions to help you enjoy a speedy and comfortable recovery. For your convenience, we have listed the general tips below:

  • Rest and relax plenty in the days following your root canal procedure
  • Do not chew on the treated side of the mouth until the tooth has received the permanent restoration
  • Rest with your head elevated to reduce swelling
  • Take any prescribed medications exactly as directed
  • Eat a diet of soft foods until discomfort allows you to resume your normal diet
  • Brush and floss your teeth normally, being extra careful around the treatment area

Follow these steps and you should be back on your feet again in no time. If side effects like minor bleeding, swelling, or discomfort do not go away after several days, get in touch with us right away.

Understanding the Cost of Root Canals

a patient visiting her dentist for a root canal

There is no “set” cost for a root canal; since every smile and situation is different, the price is going to vary from case to case. That said, when you come in for your consultation, we’ll be sure to provide you with a personalized cost estimate once we’ve taken a close look at your smile. The procedure might seem a little pricey at first, but keep in mind that you’re getting incredible value—and getting to keep your natural tooth! Plus, our team is more than happy to help you make the most of your dental insurance plan, as well as other provisions, to make your care as affordable as possible.

Factors That Can Affect Root Canal Cost

a patient chatting with their dentist

There are a few different factors you should know about that often affect the cost of root canal treatment, such as:

  • The location and type of tooth – Since molars have a more complex anatomy than front teeth, it’s often a little more expensive to treat them.
  • The complexity of the case – We can perform your root canal here in our Kernersville office; in the most extreme of cases, it might require the help of a specialist. It might also require two total appointments.
  • Any additional services – After your root canal, you’re going to need a dental crown; this restoration will add to the total cost of your care.

Is It Cheaper to Pull My Tooth?

a fake tooth in a hand

Even though the upfront cost of removing a tooth is less than the cost of a root canal, it’s crucial to think about the long-term implications of both treatments. A root canal is often a one-time treatment that provides decades of benefits and allows your natural tooth to remain inside of your mouth. On the other hand, if you have a tooth extracted, you’ll need to have it replaced as soon as possible to avoid future complications such as bone loss in your jaw, bite misalignment, and the possibility of tooth loss. Tooth replacement can come with a high cost, especially if you opt for a premium solution such as a dental implant.

Does Dental Insurance Cover Root Canal Treatment?

a closeup of a dental insurance form

Root canal treatment is considered a major procedure, and given all of the benefits there are to this treatment, it is very common for dental insurance plans to cover anywhere from 50% to 80% of the total cost, assuming you’ve met your deductible. That said, each plan is different, which is why it’s important to closely review the details of your plan and ask for clarification when necessary. Our team would be more than happy to help you take a closer look at your plan, too!

Other Options for Making Root Canal Treatment Affordable

a patient reviewing their insurance plan

We understand that root canal treatment comes with financial implications, but we’re committed to helping you get the care you need at a price you can afford! That’s why we’re pleased to work with numerous dental insurance providers and more than happy to help you file claims and analyze your policy to maximize your benefits. Even if you don’t have dental insurance coverage, you aren’t out of luck; we’re thrilled to work with third-party financers like CareCredit to help you find low and no-interest payment plans. If you have any other questions, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact us today for further information or assistance!

Contact Us Today

Person pointing to a tooth issue before root canal therapy

If you have an aching or damaged tooth, don’t wait to find a treatment. Root canal therapy can help rescue the tooth from extraction to keep your smile complete! Let our team help get you out of pain so you can get on with your life. Contact us today!

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