The dental pulp is an extremely important part of your tooth which holds all the dental nerves endings, the lymph vessels and the arteries. The pulp is basically the soft tissue part that can be found within the dentin. One single tooth can have as little as one root canal, but it can also have as many as four.
In case of untreated dental cavities, dental abscesses or even after dental fracture which allows the bacteria to gather within the pulp- the pulp of your tooth can become infected. When the pulp is infected, you will typically feel a huge amount of pain especially when you try to chew your food or when cold or hot drinks cone in contact with the respective problematic tooth.
It is extremely important to get proper treatment in such case, which is root canal therapy. If you do not get this treatment, the infection can spread extremely easily and cause other major problems. The infection can spread to the neighboring jaw bone, and cause it to degenerate slowly.
After a longer period of time the tooth may even get lose from the pockets and fall out. However, dental pulp infection comes with a lot of pain that cannot be tolerated, and the patients will eventually undergo root canal treatment, to try and save the tooth.
Many people would rather opt for an extraction, but if the dentist can save the tooth, a root canal therapy is much more efficient. When the tooth is extracted, the surrounding teeth can begin to shift after a period and grow a little bit crooked, which will definitely cause you bite problems.
Yet another problem with the extraction is that you will need to replace the missing tooth with a dental crown, bridge or a dental implant. So even though an extraction can be cheaper than a root canal treatment, you should think about the fact that it is much healthier to try and save the tooth, plus you will not have to spend thousands for the tooth replacement prosthetic.
If the dentist performs root canal treatment for the anterior teeth, such as the incisor, you will need to pay anything between $400 and even up to $800. In case you need root canal therapy performed on a posterior tooth such as the molar, the cost is much higher, somewhere between $700 and $1,000+.
Contrary to popular belief, root canal treatments do not hurt. These treatments might have been more difficult to support a few decades back when sedation dentistry was not so widespread but now you will go through the treatment and not even remember anything.
Just make sure to talk to your dentist and ask him to suggest the best sedation dentistry method in your case. There is oral sedation, IV sedation or nitrous oxide sedation available too. These sedation techniques help calming down the patient especially when such more complex and lengthy treatments are performed, as root canal treatments.