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Root Canal Therapy – Rochester, MN

How We Save the Most Damaged Teeth

Model of the inside of the tooth

A root canal is a way to preserve your natural tooth if it becomes infected or irreversibly sensitive. It is an alternative to extracting (removing) the tooth so that you can continue to function with your natural teeth. The process involves accessing, cleaning, and then sealing the internal canals that run the length of the roots. After successful root canal treatment, the tooth can function pain and infection free.

Why not Just Take the Tooth Out?

Hand holding an extracted tooth

Removing a tooth and leaving a space can lead to shifting of the other teeth. It can also become a slippery slope because every time you remove a tooth, it will put additional stress on the other teeth. In order to preserve the integrity of the bite in functional harmony, it’s best to save and preserve what is naturally in the mouth through root canal treatment when necessary. Root Canal Treatment is an effective way (over 95% success rate!) to keep a tooth in the mouth that would otherwise need to be removed.

Why are People Afraid of Root Canals?

Woman covering her mouth

Root canals gained a bad reputation due to ineffective and painful methods used in the past. Comedians, pop-culture, and the Internet have all propagated this stereotype. However, with the advent and improvement of local anesthetics and technology over the years, root canals have become a pain free procedure. You heard right! Root Canal Treatment can and should be a PAIN-FREE experience. Contrary to popular belief, root canals are not only pain free procedures, but also relieve pre-existing pain in the vast majority of cases.

As a dentist, root canal treatment is a great opportunity to not only relieve a patient’s pain but also prove that it can be done pain-free. It is very rewarding to have a patient turn to us afterward and say “I don’t know why I was so worried… that didn’t hurt at all!”

How Long Does a Root Canal Take?

Man in dental chair holding jaw

A routine root canal procedure can be finished in as little as one visit of just over an hour. In some cases, if we are unable to completely clean the root canal system, we have to wait to seal the tooth at a separate visit. We want to ensure that our root canals are successful and if there are signs of infection, we do not want to seal those in and potentially lead to failure of the root canal.

How Long Does a Root Canal Treated (RCT) Tooth Last?

Animation of root canal treated tooth

As long as an RCT tooth is adequately supported with a dental crown, it should last just as long as any other tooth in the mouth. Posterior (back) molars and premolars are especially susceptible to fracture after having root canal treatment if left unsupported. This is because these teeth generally have more canals than anterior (front) teeth. Dental Crowns are advised to support these teeth after root canal treatment and promote long term success. In some scenarios, RCT can be completed on a front tooth and a simple filling can be placed in the tooth.

Root canal treated teeth have an average survival rate of 95%. This is based on a 5-year survival rate and is dependent on prompt full coverage restoration (in most cases a dental crown).

Contact Gentling Dental Care today for questions on root canals in Rochester, MN or to make an appointment.