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10 Doane St, Haverhill, MA 01835 (978) 372-6800

Root Canal Therapy – Haverhill, MA

Overcome Infection, Rescue Your Natural Teeth

Models of damaged and healthy teeth before and after root canal therapy

If you’ve ever uttered the phrase, “I’d rather have a root canal,” then you probably were not very excited about doing something. Therapies to treat an infection inside the root of teeth, root canals have long gotten a bad rap. While the infection that necessitates the procedure can be quite painful, root canal therapy can quickly alleviate the pain stemming from it. The caring dental practitioners at Associates in Dental Health of Haverhill are here to help you with whatever your dental needs might be, including offering root canal therapy in Haverhill, MA.

Why Choose
Associates in Dental Health of Haverhill for Root Canal Therapy?

  • Highly Experienced Team of Dentists
  • Digital Cone Beam Scanner for Diagnostic Precision
  • Oral Conscious Sedation Available

When is Root Canal Therapy Necessary?

Model of the inside of a healthy tooth

Patients who have an infection in the pulp or nerve center of their tooth may need root canal therapy to correct the problem. It’s important that patients understand the structure of their teeth in order to comprehend what a root canal infection entails.

Teeth are made up of two main sections and three separate layers. The biting or visible surface of your teeth and the root are the two sections, and enamel, dentin, and pulp are the three layers. Tooth enamel is the strongest substance in our bodies, but it is still susceptible to decay when bacteria builds up on it. The dentin layer below can be considered the shock absorbing layer. This part of the tooth is not as hard as enamel, but it is still solid and provides the shape and structure for your teeth.

Finally, inside the dentin layer, our teeth are filled with pulp and nerves. This is the material that makes it possible for teeth to grow. If decay reaches the soft, central parts of the tooth, it can cause severe pain because all of the tooth nerves are inside of this pulp. When decay reaches this inner layer, root canal therapy is necessary to repair and restore the tooth.

Do I Need A Root Canal?

Model of a the inside of a damaged tooth in need of root canal therapy

Root canal infection symptoms include:

  • Severe dental pain when even light pressure is applied
  • Painful reaction to hot or cold temperatures that doesn’t subside immediately
  • Darkened teeth
  • Swelling, infections, or small pimple-like sores on the gums around the tooth

What Happens During the Procedure?

Man receiving root canal therapy

If you have a root canal infection, our team will thoroughly examine and clean the area around the infected tooth. We will need to X-ray the tooth to outline the shape of the pulp layer and root canals.

Once this is completed, all of the infected area will need to be removed. We’ll drill a small access hole in the tooth and use files to remove the infected tissue from within. For cases where patients have a very severe infection, they may be given an antibiotic to treat the affected areas before the dentist can complete treatment.

Once the tooth is free of all decay and infection, your dentist will place a rubber like substance called gutta-percha into the tooth to replace the extracted pulp. Depending on the extent of damage to the outside of the tooth, your dentist may only need to place a filling to close the access hole, or you may need a more extensive restoration like an inlay, onlay, or crown to fully repair your smile. After your root canal therapy, the pain should diminish significantly, though you may experience some tenderness while the tooth and gums are healing.

Understanding the Cost of Root Canals

Dental patient learning about the cost of root canal therapy

The cost of a root canal in Haverhill can vary from patient to patient and depends on a few different factors. Although it can be more costly upfront than getting a tooth removed, it is actually the more affordable option in the long run. During your appointment, we will provide you with a clear price estimate and help you explore your payment options.

Factors That Can Affect Root Canal Cost

Man with tooth pain, may require root canal therapy

We cannot provide pricing estimates for root canal therapy until we are able to examine you. There are various factors that affect cost, including:

  • Which tooth requires treatment. The structure and/or location of some teeth make them more difficult to access during root canal treatment. Logically, this can affect price.
  • The overall difficulty of the procedure. Our dentists can handle most root canal treatments in-house. However, if your case is particularly complex, we may need to refer you to a local specialist, whose pricing structure may be different from our own.
  • Additional services. Many patients require the placement of a crown following root canal therapy, which can add to the overall cost of care.

Is It Cheaper to Pull My Tooth?

Close-up of extracted tooth being held in dental forceps

At Associates in Dental Health of Haverhill, we sometimes see patients who would prefer to forgo root canal therapy and instead get their infected tooth extracted. It is true that extractions are generally cheaper upfront. However, replacing the lost tooth later on could be pricey, particularly if you get a dental implant. Also, tooth loss can cause nearby teeth to drift out of place, which can affect your bite and lead to the need for costly treatment. Because root canal therapy preserves your existing tooth, it is more cost-effective in the long run than an extraction.

Does Dental Insurance Cover Root Canals?

“Dental insurance” written on tablet, surrounded by medical items

Most dental insurance polices do cover root canal therapy. This procedure is usually considered to be a major service, which means that your plan may cover approximately 50% of its price, up to the amount of your annual maximum. Your policy could potentially save you several hundred dollars on out-of-pocket costs. Our team is happy to help patients navigate their benefits and file claims. We are even in-network with a few major insurers, including Delta Dental Premier, Cigna, and BlueCross BlueShield Indemnity.

Other Options for Making Root Canal Therapy Affordable

Patient using card to pay for treatment at dental office front desk

As an empathetic emergency dentist in Haverhill, we want our patients to be able to afford necessary treatment. That is why, in addition to assisting you with insurance, we offer financing that may make it easier to fit root canal therapy into your budget. We are partnered with Wells Fargo, CareCredit, and Lending Club. These third-party companies provide low-interest payment plans to qualified applicants. Upon approval, you might even be able to choose between a range of plans according to what works best with your personal circumstances.

Would you like to learn more about root canal therapy and its cost? Call us today to ask questions or schedule an appointment. We look forward to serving you! 

Root Canal Therapy FAQs

Model of root canal in Haverhill

Have you been told that you need root canal therapy? You may still have some unanswered questions about the procedure, so we’re here to help! Here are the answers to some of the most common queries we receive about root canal therapy in Haverhill. If you don’t see the information that you’re looking for below, give us a call. We’d be happy to walk you through the procedure so you know what you can expect.

How Much Pain Is Normal After a Root Canal?

Your mouth will be numbed with a local anesthetic, so the procedure itself should not be painful. However, you will likely experience some soreness for a few days afterward. Fortunately, this is temporary and over-the-counter pain relievers, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, should be enough to manage it. Avoid chewing on foods that are particularly hard during the recovery period to lessen discomfort. The soreness should start to subside after about three days. If discomfort persists, give us a call.

What Should I Do Before a Root Canal?

In addition to eating a healthy meal and avoiding alcohol before your root canal, it’s a good idea to stay away from tobacco, as it can interfere with the numbing medication. Most dentists recommend taking an over-the-counter pain reliever, like ibuprofen, right before the procedure to reduce the discomfort as the numbness wears off. Get a good night’s sleep the night before your procedure. This will not only help you feel less nervous, but it will ensure your immune system isn’t impaired and will help you recover more quickly.

Can I Take Antibiotics Instead of Getting a Root Canal?

Antibiotics can be used to treat bacterial infections in almost every other part of the body, but they don’t work when it comes to tooth infections. This is because antibiotics travel through the bloodstream to target infected areas of the body, but the bloodstream cannot reach the pulp of a tooth. Therefore, they cannot eliminate an infection in this area. The only option to treat an infected pulp is root canal therapy. Otherwise, an extraction would be necessary.

Are Root Canals Safe During Pregnancy?

The American Dental Association and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists both agree that root canals can be performed safely during pregnancy. Modern shielding techniques minimize the risk of harm to a developing fetus, and local anesthetics should also pose no risk to the baby. Your dentist will discuss your individual situation and your medication options with you to create the safest plan for both you and your baby.