If you have a throbbing toothache, you may be a candidate for a root canal. Still, a root canal can seem pretty scary if you don't know what to expect from the procedure. Here are a few details about root canals to help you understand them better:

What is a root canal?

A root canal is an endodontic treatment used to stop the discomfort associated with a tooth. The procedure involves the removal of the living tissue that lies in the middle chamber of a tooth. The living tissue, which is called the pulp, contains the blood vessels and dental nerves. Thus, fully removing the pulp stops any pain that is associated with a tooth.

What causes a root canal to be needed?

A root canal may be needed for multiple reasons. Here are a few:

  • An infected tooth whose interior swelling has inflamed the dental nerves
  • A tooth with chronic painful sensitivity to heat and cold
  • A tooth that is severely damaged by decay

How much does a root canal cost?

The cost of a root canal can vary. Teeth that are near the back of the mouth usually have more dental canals, and consequently, root canals for your molars may cost more. Conversely, teeth that are near the front of your mouth, such as your incisors, may receive an endodontic for a lower price.

According to costhelper.com, a root canal on a front tooth is usually between $300 and $1,500. However, for a back tooth, a root canal is usually priced between $500 and $2,000.

How many visits are required for a root canal?

A root canal can normally be completed within two visits. During the first appointment, the pulp is removed, the tooth is filled and a temporary cap is placed. In addition, an impression of the patient's mouth is taken so that a permanent crown can be created at a dental laboratory. The permanent crown is placed during the second appointment.

However, if CAD/CAM technology is available, the procedure may be completed during a single appointment. The permanent porcelain crown can be fashioned in-house from digital images of the patient's mouth.

If you are experiencing tooth pain, it could be due to a dental infection. Schedule an appointment with a dentist in your area as soon as possible for a full dental assessment. Once the underlying cause of your tooth pain is identified, the dentist can prescribe an appropriate treatment.