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Having a Root Canal for a Cracked Tooth: What to Expect

Chipped or broken teeth can be extraordinarily painful, especially if they aren’t fixed right away. Bacteria and infection can set in, making the discomfort even worse. It’s understandable to dread the possibility of needing a root canal for a cracked tooth on top of already existing soreness. Thankfully, modern dentistry has progressed to keep you pain-free and comfortable during this common procedure.

One of the best ways to reduce anxiety surrounding a dental procedure, however, is knowing what to expect. Keep reading to learn more about root canals and how they can help to alleviate dental pain.

Why do I need a root canal for a cracked tooth?

Inside the tooth, under the white enamel and a hard layer called dentin, is the soft inner tissue called the pulp. The pulp contains the tooth’s nerves and blood vessels. If the outer layers of the tooth becomes cracked, damaged, or infected (often through tooth decay or gum disease), the pulp can become irritated or infected as well. If left untreated, the pulp will become damaged to the point that it can no longer heal itself. At this point, your dentist might recommend a root canal to remove the source of infection and improve your overall dental health.

What happens during a root canal?

To stop the progress of the infection – and to avoid possible tooth loss – your dentist will have to remove the pulp and disinfect the inside of the tooth.

During a root canal, your dentist will drill a small hole into the tooth. Afterward, the affected pulp is removed through the hole. Then, the tooth is rinsed out with disinfectant and filled with new material to prevent reinfection.

How much will the root canal hurt?

To ensure your comfort, your dentist can use state-of-the-art anesthetics, cutting-edge equipment, and reliable comfort dentistry techniques to make your root canal as gentle as possible. There might be some mild discomfort during the procedure, with a bit of soreness to manage for 2-4 days afterward (usually with over-the-counter medication), but any extreme pain is rare. You should be provided with aftercare instructions, so that you can heal as quickly as possible.

Is there risk of infection?

Infection from the actual root canal procedure is highly unlikely. With an expert dental team trained to look out for problem areas, such as inflammation, further infection, or cracks in your tooth root where bacteria might grow, your root canal and healing process are in safe hands.

Root canals have a very high success rate, and with proper care, a treated and restored tooth can last a lifetime. As long as you practice excellent oral hygiene, visit your dentist for regular checkups, and follow instructions for the post-procedure healing process, there should be no complications.

How much do root canals cost?

Like any dental procedure, the cost for a root canal can vary, depending on several factors:

Nationwide, root canals cost an average of $700 per tooth for a front tooth root canal, and $900 per tooth for a molar root canal. To find out your costs, speak with your dental team and learn about your options.

At My Family Dentistry, the entire root canal procedure is carried out in our quiet, spa-like office, where you receive comforting, near-painless care from trained dental professionals. We know root canals aren’t exactly everyone’s idea of a fun Saturday, so we do everything possible to minimize your discomfort during the process.

If you would like to schedule an appointment, or want more information about the root canal process, contact our office today.

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