Acute tooth pain is often the result of oral bacteria that have travelled to the more sensitive parts of the tooth where the canals and nerves are housed. When this happens, a basic filling won’t be enough to restore your oral health. The typical remedy is for a dentist to perform a root canal in Jacksonville, but can you count on your dental insurance to cover the procedure? As you continue reading, you’ll find out the answer and learn what root canal therapy entails.

What is a Root Canal?

Since a filling only restores a tooth at the enamel level, once decay has made its way pass the underlying dentin and into the inner area where the canals and nerves are housed, a root canal is necessary to stop its progression. Here are the basic steps of the procedure:

  • X-ray images are taken to identify where the decay is.
  • Local anesthesia is applied to the treatment site.
  • A small hole is drilled into the tooth to gain access to the decayed tissue.
  • After the tissue is removed and the area is thoroughly cleaned, a compound called gutta-percha is added to fill the vacated space.
  • The access hole is sealed to prevent any new bacteria from entering.

In most cases, the dentist will need to place a dental crown to protect and strengthen the treated tooth.

Does Dental Insurance Cover a Root Canal?

Dental insurance is divided into three categories: preventive, basic and major. Semi-annual visits for checkups and cleanings are classified as preventive care and are usually fully covered. As a form of restorative dentistry, root canal therapy is typically categorized as basic care. For most plans, up to 80% of the cost of the procedure will be covered after the deductible is met (in most cases, around $50).

Because all plans are different, it’s best to review the details of yours to know for sure how much coverage is available.

The Importance of Seeking Help

One thing you can count on with oral bacteria is that they won’t stop moving and causing damage unless they are addressed. So if you’ve been experiencing tooth pain, noticed dark coloring at a tooth’s root or chronic sensitivity to temperature changes, then it’s important to bring it to your dentist’s attention. Otherwise the bacteria could travel further to cause an abscess, gum infection or other health issues. In some cases, the tooth may not be salvageable if you wait too long to seek treatment.

By putting your dental insurance to work and visiting an endodontist in Jacksonville for care, you can overcome advanced tooth decay and have your oral health fully restored.

About the Author

Dr. Andrew Calhoun earned his dental degree from the University of Florida College of Dentistry where he specialized in endodontics. He then completed his endodontic residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry. A member of the American Association of Endodontists, Dr. Calhoun performs root canal therapy at Dental Center of Jacksonville, and he can be reached for more information through his website.