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Root Canal Therapy – Lynchburg, VA

A Proven Solution to Saving Damaged Teeth!

When your tooth is severely damaged, you may think that it is not salvageable. However, that may not necessarily be the case. In fact, there are many situations where you don’t necessarily need to extract a tooth just because a filling or simple crown isn’t enough to fix it. That’s where root canal therapy comes in. When you visit Peery & Woolwine Family Dentistry, our dentists are more than prepared to do everything they can to save your tooth, not simply resort to an extraction. Contact their office today to get your infected tooth cured!

Why Choose Peery & Woolwine Family Dentistry
for Root Canal Therapy?

  • Dental Emergencies Welcome
  • Nitrous Oxide Sedation Available
  • Advanced Technology for Improved Diagnosis and Treatment

What is a Root Canal?

Root canals are treatments specifically designed to treat extensive tooth decay. By extensive, we mean decay that has reached beyond the enamel layer and inside the dentin, which is directly underneath the enamel. It also includes decay that reaches the inner tooth, which is known as the pulp. As the decay develops, it eventually kills the nerve inside the tooth and causes it to die. As the root breaks down, the tip of the tooth root begins developing an infection. This results in pain, swelling, and fever-like symptoms, which can be deadly if left untreated. Fortunately, the dentists at Peery & Woolwine Family Dentistry have performed plenty of root canal treatments in the past and are more than happy to provide thorough examination to confirm if treatment is necessary.

How Do I Know If I Need a Root Canal?

The most common symptom of needing a root canal is tooth pain. This is because the swelling caused by the infection is applying pressure inside the tooth and against the nerve. However, tooth pain is not the only symptom to keep in mind. Your gums may also feel swollen and tender around the area in question. You may have chronic bad breath that doesn’t go away even after brushing. Your pain can range from mild to severe and your tooth may feel sensitive to cold and hot stimuli, especially long after the stimuli is taken away.

The best way to know for sure is to schedule an emergency appointment. You don’t want to let the infection get worse and put your oral and overall health at risk!

What Is the Process of Getting a Root Canal?

The process for root canal treatment starts with an X-ray in order to determine the exact location of the infection. If our dentists determine that a root canal is the best next step, they’ll schedule you for treatment as soon as possible. During treatment, you’ll receive local anesthetic around the affected area as well as in the tooth itself to make treatment as comfortable as possible. After accessing your inner tooth through the top of the crown, our team will begin irrigating and shaping the canal. This process works to remove all infected tissue and make room for replacement material known as gutta percha. This material is intended to block the root structure and prevent future infections from occurring. After the material is placed, the inner tooth is sealed off with a crown on top. You’ll be given a temporary crown while your permanent crown is being made. Once fabricated, you’ll come back about two weeks later to have the permanent crown placed.

Do you think you may need a root canal? Contact our office to get your treatment scheduled today!

Understanding the Cost of Root Canals

Dentist and patient discussing treatment details

Some patients are reluctant to commit to root canal therapy due to concerns about cost. We understand such feelings, so we always try to be transparent about the prices of the treatments we offer. During your consultation, we can share some specific numbers and help you understand your payment options, such as insurance and financing.

Factors That Can Affect Root Canal Cost

Illustration of dental instrument being used during root canal treatment

Some factors that may have a bearing on the cost of your root canal therapy include:

  • The specific tooth that requires treatment. Some teeth have more complex anatomy than others. They may also be more challenging to access. Naturally, these factors can drive up the total cost of care.
  • The overall difficulty of your case. We can handle most root canal cases in our practice. If we must refer you to an outside specialist, you can expect them to have a different pricing structure than we do.
  • Additional services. You may need a crown or other services before or after your root canal, which can affect your overall financial obligation.

Is It Cheaper to Pull My Tooth?

Dental forceps holding extracted tooth

The upfront cost of a tooth extraction is less than that of root canal therapy. However, the long-term value of a root canal is superior because it allows you to keep your tooth. Therefore, it can spare you from having to spend thousands of dollars on a dental implant.

It is also worth considering that if you get your tooth extracted and choose not to replace it, you are more likely to end up losing other teeth in the future. You could also suffer from other expensive dental health complications, such as an uneven bite.

Does Dental Insurance Cover Root Canals?

Dentist holding tablet with dental insurance information

Most dental insurance policies do cover root canal therapy. Often, this procedure is classified as a major service, so around 50% of its cost may be covered, up to the amount of your plan’s annual maximum. Our team welcomes insurance, and we can help you figure out how your benefits apply. We will also file claims on your behalf and advocate for you so you can get as much out of your policy as possible.

Other Options for Making Root Canal Treatment Affordable

Hand holding credit card behind two tooth models

If you do not have dental insurance, or your insurance will only cover a portion of your root canal therapy, you may want to consider applying for financing. We work with CareCredit, a third-party lender that provides low-interest and zero-interest payment plans for dental services. The application process is fast, and the majority of patients are approved for credit.

You should not let concerns about cost hold you back from undergoing necessary treatment. Rely on our team to help you navigate every aspect of your care, including its cost! Get in touch today to learn more about how we may be able to serve you.

Root Canal FAQs

tooth receiving a dental crown in Lynchburg

Knowing more about root canal therapy can make the process much less stressful. Our dentists can answer all of your questions during your initial consultation, but to help get you started, we invite you to check the FAQs below. The questions listed here cover some of the most common topics that tend to be on the minds of our patients when considering root canal therapy. We hope that the answers we’ve provided help you feel more confident about your upcoming treatment.

How Long Does It Take to Recover From a Root Canal?

Most people can return to work or school the very next day after root canal therapy, although those with jobs that involve physical labor usually need two or three days off. You may notice some soreness in your mouth; this will only last for a few days, so simply take any pain medication you were prescribed as directed. Until your mouth recovers, you should only eat soft foods, and you’ll need to avoid chewing with the tooth that had the root canal performed.

Any pain that gets worse over time or fails to fade after three days could be a sign of infection or another serious issue. Call our office immediately if your pain goes beyond what would normally be expected.

What Should I Do Before Root Canal Therapy?

Follow any instructions you’re given about eating or drinking before your appointment. It may be a good idea to take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen shortly before the procedure so that you don’t experience as much discomfort once the numbness in your mouth wears off. Make sure you get plenty of sleep the night before your root canal; this helps ensure that your immune system will be in good shape for the recovery process.

How Long Does Root Canal Therapy Take?

The treatment can normally be done in just one appointment, although in some cases a second one might be needed. In the case of the latter, the first visit will involve placing antibacterial medicine in the tooth, and the second visit is when the actual cleaning will be performed.

Root canal therapy can take 30 to 90 minutes. The exact length of time depends on which tooth needs to be treated. The molars near the back of your mouth, for example, have more roots compared to the front teeth, so the cleaning process usually takes longer as a result.

Are Root Canals Painful?

Despite their reputation, modern root canals are not especially uncomfortable. Many patients compare it to what they might experience when having a cavity filled. The fact is that root canal therapy is actually meant to put a stop to tooth pain by removing the source of a dental infection.

You may notice some sensitivity or soreness around the treated tooth for a few days after root canal therapy, but it should start to fade away on its own after about two or three days. If for any reason it seems to be getting worse, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.