A root canal is a procedure that's used to remove the pulp in the center of the tooth when it becomes infected. The pulp contains nerves and other tissue that can become decayed beyond the point where a traditional filling can be used. Root canals remove the damaged pulp while preserving the tooth and avoiding further damage.
A root canal is performed in a way similar to a regular tooth filling, but the material that is removed is deeper, extending into the pulp and root area. A drill is used to access the decayed area, and decay is removed using special instruments. Once the decay is gone, the space will be filled with medication to prevent infection followed by a hard filling material. A sealant may also be applied.
Today's root canals use advanced techniques designed specifically to avoid pain. Many patients find they feel absolutely no discomfort during the procedure and only minor discomfort afterward which can be controlled by over-the-counter pain medications.
Most people who have root canals find they can benefit from a crown, either because the tooth becomes discolored or because the remaining tooth may have become weakened by extensive decay. Dr. Steinbach will talk to you about crowns and whether or not having a crown is a good idea based on your specific case.
Generally speaking, it's always better to try to preserve a natural tooth when possible. First, it's usually less costly than having dentures, bridges or dental implants; second, your bite pattern is not disturbed; and third, by keeping the tooth in place, you avoid the loss of jaw bone tissue that occurs when a tooth is lost.
Here is a short-list of just some of the plans we accept. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.
"As someone with dental chair anxiety, I appreciate him not leaving me in the dark. He explains ALL treatment options w/o favoring the one that'll make the most money."
"My procedure was completely pain free from beginning to end. Thank you Dr. Steinbach and staff for a great dental experience! Go see this guy, you won't regret it!"
"Dr Steinbach and his staff are fantastic!"
"Dr. Steinbach immediately put me at ease. He's very sweet and gentle and has an extremely calm demeanor that goes a long way in settling the nerves."
"Dr. S was very helpful and knew what he was doing. I went on the recommendation of a good friend. I felt comfortable and well taken care of. "
"Dr. Steinbach and his staff were all very friendly and really took the time to explain things. Wait time was roughly zero minutes."