How Much Will Treatment Cost?

The fee for root canal treatment depends on the difficulty of the treatment. Some teeth have one root canal, where others have four; some roots are straight, where others have one or more curves; some canals are open, where others are closed with calcification. In general, however, the fee for endodontic treatment, and a final restoration, if needed, by your dentist, is less than removal of the tooth and replacement with an artificial tooth. 

Should You Be Worried About X-rays?

No. While x-rays will be necessary during your endodontic treatment, we use an advanced non-film computerized system, called digital radiography. This results in radiation levels up to 90 percent lower than those of already low dose conventional dental x-ray equipment.

Do I Need to Take Antibiotics Before Endodontic Treatment?

Antibiotics are necessary before dental treatment only in certain situations including:

  • An artificial joint prosthesis such as a knee or hip replacement.
  • Artificial heart valve or an organ transplant.

For these patients, you will be asked to take one of the following antibiotic prescriptions before your endodontic treatment:

Instructions for Antibiotic Premedication :
    Amoxicillin 500 mg
        Four (4) capsules one hour before your dental appointment

For those patients allergic to the penicillin-based antibiotics:
    Clindamycin (Cleocin) 150 mg
        Four (4) capsules one hour before your dental appointment

Will I Need To Return to My General Dentist After the Root Canal Treatment?

After root canal treatment is completed, a posterior tooth (bicuspid or molar) will need to have a crown placed to enhance its strength if there is not already one present. If this is the case, you will see your general dentist to have it placed. Dr. Heitman will advise you whether this is necessary. The fee for the endodontic therapy does not include the crown.

Can All Teeth Be Saved?

There are some teeth that cannot be treated endodontically and others where retaining the tooth might not even be the best treatment. If this is your situation, Dr. Heitman will inform you about it before treatment is started. In addition, even though we now experience over a 90% success rate in root canal therapy, there are instances, although few, when the treatment is not successful. If this occurs, Dr. Heitman might recommend a minor surgical procedure called an apicoectomy. This will depend on the nature of the problems existing prior to treatment, or if the tissues do not heal normally after root canal therapy has been completed.

What Are the Alternatives to Treatment?

Extraction of the tooth is the only alternative. When a tooth is extracted, the missing tooth should be replaced or adjacent and opposing teeth will move into the empty space. This can lead to periodontal (gum) problems in the area, malocclusion (bad bite) and loss of support of the facial contour. Replacement of the tooth is usually with a fixed, cemented bridge or, in some circumstances, an implant. Bridge placement requires shaping the teeth on each side of the space and then cementing the bridge, with the false tooth, onto these teeth. This can injure adjacent teeth. In addition, the bridge is weaker, and is more difficult to keep clean than your natural teeth. Extraction of the tooth and replacement with a bridge also costs more than endodontic treatment and a follow-up restoration

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