What is a Root Canal – Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Root Canal?

Root Canal treatment is usually performed by a specific specialist called an Endodontist. Root Canal Therapy is a dental procedure designed to treat infection at the center of a tooth. 

What is a root canal

What are Root Canals?

Root canals are the specific canals that run down the middle of the root of the tooth. These root canals are filled with blood vessels and a grid of nerves running from the top of the pulp (soft center of the tooth) all the way down to the bottom of the tooth root. 

What is Root Canal Therapy?

Root canal therapy is a non-surgical treatment method that prevents tooth loss by removing the infected or inflamed pulp. This treatment method can stop the infection from spreading to the bone around your teeth, which can cause severe pain and sometimes lead to tooth extraction. After having the procedure, the discomfort and pain that you felt from the infection in your tooth will disappear as you heal.

Do I Really Need Root Canal Therapy?

A dentist will typically recommend root canal therapy if the interior of your tooth has become infected from bacteria entering through an untreated cavity or a crack. Without proper treatment, the infection could spread and infect neighboring teeth or the bone that surrounds the tooth. 

Are there Any Alternatives?

In many cases, the only alternative you may have to root canal therapy is tooth extraction. Tooth extraction can be a viable treatment option to eliminate the infection from a tooth. Sometimes after an extraction, the neighboring teeth can move or shift. Replacement of a tooth after extraction with an implant or bridge can help to prevent movement of teeth. The average cost of an extraction and tooth replacement with an implant is approximately $4,000-$6,000 in total. If your dentist recommends root canal therapy, this treatment likely serves as the only way to preserve your natural tooth.

How Much Does a Root Canal Cost?

Root canals cost anywhere between $500 and $1,800 per tooth. An anterior root canal (front tooth) costs between $500 and $1,200. A posterior root canal (back tooth) costs between $1,200 and $1,800.

Is the Procedure Painful?

During root canal therapy, patients should feel completely numb. Innovations in endodontics allow for smaller openings in teeth, better imaging of the areas, and more thorough cleaning of the canals. After the procedure, most patients feel minor discomfort that they can ease with over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

What Happens During Treatment?

Before starting the procedure, your endodontist will numb the area around the treated tooth and prepare the area to prevent contamination of the tooth and nearby tissues. With this local anesthesia, you should not feel anything during the procedure and up to a few hours after.

Next, the endodontist will open the tooth to clean out the infection and inflamed tissue from the canals. Many Endodontists use advanced technology, such as the GentleWave Procedure and the Waterlase iPlus, to achieve a more thorough cleaning of the canals inside your tooth. After cleaning the inside of the tooth, the doctor seals the tooth to prevent recontamination. Patients will often need to make an appointment with their dentist to have a permanent crown placed to ensure the protection of the tooth. Root canal therapy has a high success rate. If you need this treatment option, you will likely see long-lasting results.

Find an Endodontist Near You!

How Long Will the Procedure Take?

When you call our office it is important to us we schedule to accommodate according to your preference. We offer two options; the first one is a consultation with the doctor. The consultation appointment is 1 hour. During the consultation, we will diagnose the problem, review your treatment options, and assist you with making a fully informed decision.

The other option is to do the consultation and root canal treatment if it is the appropriate course of action. Generally, this appointment in its entirety would be around 2 -2.5 hours. In some cases, treatment may require 2 visits. Although rare we may recommend remedicating the tooth more than twice if you have a particularly robust infection. We are fully committed to spending as much time as necessary to provide the highest level of care possible. 

Dr. Corr

Dr. Corr

See More
root canal specialist

Written by: Dr. Corr

Endodontist in Colorado Springs


Curator: The DentalScout Team

25+ Years of Dental Experience


Share This Post

You may also enjoy these articles

Looking for a Dentist?

Find The Best Dentist In Your Area In Seconds!​ 

Find a dentist nearby