Saving your natural tooth
In a root canal procedure, the pulp of the tooth (the living tissue inside) is removed and the resulting space is filled with special, medicated dental materials that restore the tooth to full function. Using root canal therapy not only preserves your natural tooth, extending its lifetime, it also protects and preserves the jaw bone and other supporting tissues around the tooth. Wherever possible, saving your natural tooth will also save you from more pain and expense down the road.
- Sensitivity to hot and cold.
- Severe toothache pain.
- Red or swollen gums near the tooth.
- Discoloration of the tooth.
- An abscess (or pimple) on the gums.
There are a number of signs that suggest root canal therapy may be necessary:
The root canal treatment plan
A root canal treatment usually requires one or two office visits and is performed by either a dentist or an endodontist. Here is how we perform your root canal:
Diagnosis and Treatment Plan
The first step requires an x-ray of the tooth and the surrounding bone to find out what’s causing your symptoms. Your specialist may prescribe antibiotics to help control infection and inflammation. The pressure from infected swelling is what makes an abscess so painful and is often the cause of pain during a root canal. Reducing this inflammation in advance removes this factor during the procedure.
Prepping the Tooth
When we’re ready to perform the root canal, we will patiently numb the area before freezing your gums, teeth and tissues. Your comfort and peace-of-mind are important to us. Once you’re comfortable, an access hole is drilled into the tooth. The pulp, bacteria, decayed nerve tissue, and related debris are removed.
Sealing the Tooth
Depending on the severity of the abscess, we may put some medicine inside the tooth to completely clear up any infection. If the procedure requires multiple visits, a temporary filling will be applied. At this point, you will already feel some relief. Only when your tooth is thoroughly cleaned and healthy can it be permanently sealed.
Cost of a root canal in Chattanooga
The cost of dental treatment varies widely, but saving the tooth with a root canal is more cost-efficient in the long run. With a typical insurance plan, root canal therapy has an average out-of-pocket cost of around $200 to $500+. After an oral exam, we would be happy to provide you with an accurate quote for your insurance company so you can find out your actual out-of-pocket costs. Without insurance, you can expect to pay anywhere from $600 to $1200+ for treatment.
- The severity of the infection.
- The location of the infection in your mouth.
- The health of the surrounding teeth and gums.
- Complications which may require more time or a delicate and experienced touch.
Why is there such a wide ballpark estimate of the cost? When we generate a quote for root canal therapy we consider factors like:
No dental practice can provide an accurate quote over the phone. Every case is different so it's important to speak with a dentist who can evaluate your unique situation and provide you with all your treatment options for your consideration.
Is there an alternative treatment to root canals?
An abscess or infection in your tooth is extremely dangerous and considered an urgent health matter. Many people think of root canals as some sort of ‘lesser evil’ to end excruciating dental pain. More important than that, root canals remove an infection that can spread and become life-threatening, requiring much more urgent and invasive care. This is why we work tirelessly to fight the reputation that root canal therapy has gained and why your comfort and peace-of-mind is so important to us.
If you think you may have an infection but you really don’t want a root canal, we strongly encourage you to reach out to us anyways. We will not perform any procedure without your full understanding and consent and may have alternative options for you with the ultimate goal of resolving your infection.
Contact us today
to schedule an initial consultation & exam.
Your consultation will include an examination of everything from your teeth, gums and soft tissues to the shape and condition of your bite. Generally, we want to see how your whole mouth looks and functions. Before we plan your treatment we want to know everything about the health and aesthetic of your smile, and, most importantly, what you want to achieve so we can help you get there.
Frequently Asked Questions
Dr. Brian Wilkinson has been my dentist for the past 8 years. He is absolutely the very best. Caring and has always been available to help me and my husband during several emergencies. He is always thanking his staff for their work while assisting him. He is so appreciative of them and does an amazing job. Great smile too.
This office is absolutely amazing! I had two teeth pulled today and I didn’t feel any pain during the procedure. Dr. Brian Wilkinson and his staff made me feel so comfortable and they made my experience the best that I’ve EVER had. I highly recommend this office to anyone looking for a dentist!
Great staff with the highest quality care in Chattanooga. The staff is always welcoming and happy to answer any and all questions. The only time I’ve had to wait in the waiting room was when I was early for my appointment and they were right in time. Even then, the waiting area is very comfortable with a TV, WiFi, complimentary coffee and drink station, and comfortable seating. I’ve had extensive periodontal work done there and the entire experience was top-notch. I wouldn’t recommend any other dental care facility in town over Dr. Brian.