What is a root canal?

A root canal treatment is a general dentistry service that can save a damaged or infected tooth and keep your smile healthy for years to come.

When do I need root canal treatment?

Treating infection

If your tooth becomes inflamed, a root canal may be the right solution. Infection can happen when bacteria enters your tooth through a crack or deep cavity. If you experience any problems with a tooth filling, notice your gums swelling or feel extra sensitivity while eating, it’s best to contact your local Aspen Dental dentist right away.

The treatment process

If you need root canal therapy, not to worry. The process is simple and only takes about an hour to complete. During the treatment, your dentist will carefully remove the infected part of your inner tooth called the dental pulp. Afterward, they’ll skillfully shape, fill and seal your tooth to fortify it and promote healing. You should heal quickly, enjoying a healthy smile again in no time.

What happens during a root canal procedure?

You may have questions about getting a root canal, and that’s OK—we’re here to help. With modern dental technology and anesthetics, a root canal procedure feels no different than having your tooth filled.

How does a root canal treatment work?

Here’s what you can expect during your root canal treatment:

Step 1: Prepare the tooth
Step 2: Fill the canal

Finding the right dentist for your root canal

Nothing can take the place of your natural teeth. If you’re experiencing discomfort from an infected or inflamed tooth, schedule an appointment with your Aspen Dental care team right away. The sooner we see you, the sooner we can keep you smiling.


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Root canal FAQs

Good news. Modern technology ensures that root canals are performed quicker and more precisely than ever, so your root canal is no more painful than getting a filling. Your Aspen Dental care team is here to always keep you comfortable. To ensure ease during treatment, pain medication is distributed if needed.

A root canal is a common procedure designed to save your natural tooth. Your Aspen Dental dentist will skillfully remove the damaged dental pulp from inside the tooth, carefully clean the affected area, and then will seal the tooth to safeguard against any future damage. Root canal therapy involves one or more visits.

The cost of a root canal can vary depending on factors such as the location of the tooth, the complexity of the procedure, and your dental insurance coverage. Your dentist can provide a cost estimate before the procedure.

Aspen Dental root canals average around $1,192. But root canal cost range from an average of $1,104 for an anterior root canal, to an average of $1,380 for a molar root canal. As always, we’ll work with you to find an affordable care option to help you get your smile back. This includes insurance and financing options to fit your budget, with 4 out of 5 applications approved through third-party lenders.

Factors that impact the cost can be affected by:  

  • Location - Whether you need an anterior root canal, (located near the front of your mouth) a bicuspid root canal (in the middle of your mouth) or a molar root canal (near the back of your mouth) will directly influence the cost of your treatment 

  • Tooth condition - If a root canal was previously performed on the affected tooth, or if the infection requires surgery, your treatment costs could be impacted 

  • Dentist vs. specialist - The cost of a root canal varies based on who performs the treatment. Although working with an Aspen Dental specialist will likely have a higher cost associated, it’s likely to also pose a better opportunity for insurance reimbursement

The final cost of your root canal treatment plan may also be affected by additional costs, such as: 

  • Related visits 

  • Imaging or X-rays 

Most people return to normal function within a day or so following root canal therapy. Over-the-counter medications can be used to treat any discomfort while you heal. Contact your dentist if you experience pain that lasts more than a few days, notice swelling, or feel like your bite is uneven.

There are a few factors that play a role in how long your root canal treatment will remain effective. Some eating habits, like chewing on hard ice or carrots, can impact the lifespan of your root canal. However, the health of your tooth at the time of restoration is the main indicator for how long your root canal treatment will last. The more extensive the damage, the shorter the treatment’s lifespan—which is why it is important to contact your Aspen Dental office at the first sign of pain. Root canal therapy can be a lifelong solution when coupled with good oral hygiene habits and regular dental checkups.

Root canal therapy is effective if you have an infected tooth that needs extra care. A tooth can become infected if it is cracked or chipped, if there’s deep tooth decay, or from having multiple dental procedures done to it. A few warning signs of an infection are if you’re experiencing tooth discomfort, tooth discoloration, gum swelling, or sensitivity to hot or cold. Your Aspen Dental dentist will perform a full exam on the tooth to determine the cause of your symptoms. If there’s infected or inflamed dental pulp, they will likely talk to you about prompt root canal treatment to save the tooth from an extraction.

A root canal typically takes 1 to 2 hours to complete, depending on the location and complexity of the affected tooth.

Yes, for the most part. While your tooth is healing, Aspen Dental dentists recommend sticking to foods that are easy to chew and avoiding hard or crunchy foods. After a few days, you should be able to eat and drink like normal.

Thankfully, the risks associated with a root canal are generally low. Although it’s uncommon, possible complications include infection, inflammation, or damage to surrounding teeth or tissues. Your Aspen Dental care team will be ready to provide any additional support needed to help restore your healthy smile.

Practicing good oral hygiene, like brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once daily, can lower the chance of you needing a root canal. It’s also best to visit your local Aspen Dental dentist for routine checkups and cleanings. If a cavity is found during your checkup, it’s essential to perform the recommended treatment right away to keep your teeth healthy and strong. But even the best cared for teeth run into a problem now or then. So, if you need a root canal, your Aspen Dental care team will be with you at every step—and help you feel relief.

Although it’s less common, root canal therapy can be performed on a baby tooth to preserve it. In children that are developing permanent teeth, your local Aspen Dental team can help you find a pediatric dentist to create a care plan best suited for yours and your family’s unique situation. In adults that never lost a baby tooth, our team will create a unique plan to keep you smiling. You can talk to a local care team member at an Aspen Dental office near you to learn more.

Yes, root canals are genuinely considered an emergency and deserve immediate care. Delaying root canal treatment can lead to more serious problems like tooth loss, damage to the surrounding jawbone, or infection. If you’re experiencing severe tooth pain or sensitivity, your Aspen Dental care team can arrange to see you quickly and offer expert, judgement-free care.