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Root Canal Treatment – Waverly, IA

Tooth-Saving, Pain-Free Root Canals

Here’s a sure bet: anything a friend or colleague tells you about a root canal is false or at least exaggerated. The phrase, “Don’t believe everything you hear” should immediately come to mind. Instead, trust Waverly dentist, Dr. Jonathan Smiley. He’ll tell you the truth about root canals: they are not painful, and they are not time-consuming. In fact, it is intended to preserve a tooth that has been damaged internally due to severe tooth decay or traumatic injury. If you want to learn more about this tooth-saving treatment, read on or get in touch with our team.

Why Choose Smiley Family Dentistry for Root Canal Treatment?

  • Experienced, Gentle Dentist
  • Dental Insurance Welcome
  • High-Quality, Custom Restorations

Do I Need Root Canal Treatment?

man in plaid in pain

When a tooth is healthy and structurally sound, the bacteria in your mouth are kept out. However, if there is a large untreated cavity, a deeply penetrating crack, or another type of traumatic injury, then bacteria can access the internal portion of a tooth, which is called the pulp chamber. This is the nerve center of a tooth. There is also some blood and lymph tissue in the chamber that transport nutrients to the tooth and carry away toxins.

Once inside the pulp chamber, bacteria begin to multiply, and infection begins. As the infection grows, there is inflammation, which leads to the first and most recognizable symptom of an infected tooth: excruciating pain. While this is often the telltale sign that a root canal is necessary, other symptoms include:

  • A sore on the gum tissue near the tooth
  • Tooth sensitivity when biting down or exposed to hot and cold temperatures
  • Swelling on the side of your face
  • Pus between the tooth and gum

If you experience any of these symptoms, then it’s time to see our Waverly dentist, Dr. Smiley. He will take an X-ray of the tooth to confirm infection and then a root canal will be performed.

The Root Canal Process 

wooden tooth

Prior to a root canal, Dr. Smiley anesthetizes the tooth and surrounding tissue. Then, a small access hole is drilled, and special files are inserted into the tooth in order to remove all of the infection as well as the natural contents of the pulp chamber and attached root canals. Once the area is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, the chamber and canals are filled with gutta-percha. This natural substance expands to prevent bacteria from reentering the tooth. In addition, gutta-percha helps to strengthen the tooth from the inside, supporting the remaining exterior structure. Lastly, the tooth is sealed and prepared for a dental crown that Dr. Smiley will place once he’s certain the tooth is healthy again.

The Benefits of Getting a Root Canal

Woman smiling with colleagues while working on computer

Hands down, one of the biggest benefits of root canal treatment is that it saves your tooth from needing to be extracted, which is a more extensive and costly procedure. Additionally, this emergency dental treatment has an extremely high success rate. So, there’s a good chance that, with proper care, you’ll enjoy the results for the rest of your life. Plus, the restoration used to cover your treated tooth will be crafted from lifelike materials, like porcelain. So, the results won’t just feel good, they’ll look good too!

Understanding the Cost of Root Canals

Money clenched in a set of teeth

When you get a root canal, you’ll quickly find that the treatment itself isn’t nearly as scary as it’s made out to be. However, even if you aren’t all that concerned about the procedure itself, it’s understandable for the finances of the situation to be a little bit stressful.

We do everything we can to make payment easy, which includes ensuring that you know as much as possible about what to expect from the bill. Until we can give you a complete estimate of the cost of care, here’s what you should know about budgeting for a root canal.

Factors That Can Affect Root Canal Cost

3D render of a root canal

While it would certainly be nice to just tell you what a root canal costs, that isn’t really possible without meeting you first. This is because there are several variables that determine the price of your particular root canal:

  • The type of tooth being treated. Molars have more roots than bicuspids and incisors, adding to the complexity of the treatment.
  • The difficulty of your particular root canal. In some circumstances, you may need to consult with an external specialist who will have their own rates.
  • Whether you need a new dental crown, and what the restoration is made out of.

Is it Cheaper to Pull My Tooth?

Tooth being balanced with a pile of coins

If you’re just looking at the cost of the treatment itself, it may initially appear that a root canal is the more expensive option. However, this neglects the fact that you can’t simply leave a gap in your smile once you’ve removed a tooth. Doing so can lead to significant difficulties in eating and talking and may cause the surrounding teeth to move out of alignment.

For that reason, you’ll need to invest in tooth replacement if you get an extraction. When you consider the cost of a dental bridge or implant along with the tooth’s removal, a root canal is the more affordable option.

Does Dental Insurance Cover Root Canals?

Dental insurance form on a table

Root canals are only ever done when they’re medically necessary to treat a serious infection. Dental insurance companies recognize this which means that they’re likely to cover anywhere from 50-80% of the cost of care. Of course, this depends on your particular plan so you should be sure to coordinate with your insurance company before pursuing treatment.

Other Options for Making Root Canal Treatment Affordable

Dentist and patient looking at a tablet

You don’t have to suffer through a toothache just because you don’t have insurance; there are other options available to you to help make care more affordable.

A popular one is CareCredit, a financing firm that can be used to split the cost of dental care into several monthly payments. CareCredit has a variety of different terms, some of which incur no interest. If you want to explore this or any other financial option, give us a call and we’ll talk to you about how you can make your care affordable.