If you've recently discovered that you need a root canal to save a tooth, you may have questions about the procedure. Here are some of those common questions you're likely to have.
Why Not Just Pull the Tooth?
Many people wonder why a root canal is even necessary if the nerves on the inside are going to be removed. It can even lead to wondering why not just pull the tooth and be done with it. Even though the tooth will be hollowed out and the nerves removed, the tooth is still able to function properly. Your dentist is always going to try to save a natural tooth whenever possible because it will provide the best situation for your overall oral health.
Pulling a tooth will result in a gap between your teeth that needs to be fixed. If not, the teeth will shift towards that gap and ruin the alignment over time. Not having a natural tooth means that your jawbone will lose stimulation in that area, causing it to deteriorate faster than usual. A dental bridge can fill the gap, but not provide jawbone stimulation. This leaves a costly dental implant as the only solution to replace a pulled tooth and help your jawbone remain healthy. Of course, you can avoid the gap in the first place by not pulling the tooth and getting a root canal.
Will Dental Insurance Cover the Root Canal?
It is always worth calling your dental insurance provider and getting more information about the procedure as a whole. You'll want to start by finding out how many root canals they cover per year, since you may be limited to a single root canal at full coverage. There will also be coverage for the crown that is placed on the tooth, and potentially any anesthesia used for the procedure. Verify your coverage for all three of these things to know what you can expect to pay.
Will Antibiotics Be Required After the Procedure?
A dentist will not always prescribe you antibiotics after a root canal procedure. The goal of a root canal is to remove the infected nerves of the tooth so that your body can heal. If your dentist has any concerns about the body being unable to get rid of any bacteria that may still be left in the tooth, they will prescribe antibiotics to help your body fight the potential infection.
If you need a root canal or have further questions, contact a local dental clinic.