FAQs

What is a root canal?

View our graphical explanation of root canal therapy here.

Many people dread root canals, because they don’t understand what the procedure is, or how much pain is involved. So what is a root canal?

To help you understand, look at teeth as living things. Living teeth have three layers. The outer layer is the enamel, and under that is the dentin. The innermost segment is a chamber and a network of canals in which are nerves and blood vessels. These canals are within the roots of the tooth, which are embedded in the jawbone.

A root canal, or RCT, becomes necessary when the nerves and blood system within the canals of the tooth becomes infected or is damaged by trauma. The most common reason for a root canal is infection – decay enters the tooth and gets into the chamber which contains the blood supply and nerves. Or there’s trauma: you were in a car accident, got hit with a baseball or got into a fight. Sometimes even excessive grinding and clenching of teeth can cause enough trauma, leading to teeth becoming non-vital.

The root canal procedure begins with the dentist removing the infected or traumatized portions of the tooth. The canals and pulp chamber are cleaned with tiny files as well as medicaments to disinfect the area. Root canal therapy on molars can take some time because there are more canals, sometimes difficult to access, and sometimes curved.

Once the canals are completely cleaned, disinfected, and free of infection, the dentist dries them out and fills them with gutta-percha – a rubber like compound.

Finally, a crown or like restoration is usually placed on the tooth to strengthen the tooth.

Does an emergency dentist cost more?

Not at Emergency Dental Care USA. Unlike some family practices or so-called emergency dentists, we do not have any additional fees or surcharges to be seen on weekends or even holidays. Our office has the same competitive rates everyday.

Should I go to the ER for a toothache?

Probably not. ER doctors, surgeons, and physicians cannot practice dentistry, and it is extremely rare to find an ER or urgent care center with an emergency dentist on call. In most cases, a visit to the emergency room or an urgent care center will result in a prescription for some painkillers and/or antibiotics. The emergency room staff will tell you to visit a dentist as soon as possible, and then hand you a bill.

Florida alone charged $88 million for the 115,000 dental-related emergency room visits in 2010. That averages to $765 per visit, and in a vast majority of cases, they were not able treat the cause of the problem. So on top of a $765 ER bill, the patient was referred to a dentist, where they likely spent at least a few hundred more dollars for treatment.

In some extreme (yet very rare) cases, a tooth infection can spread and become a very serious health problem. To avoid an unexpected trip to the ER for a toothache, you should see a dentist once you begin to experience pain. Toothaches almost never disappear on their own, so even if the pain is manageable, you should see the dentist before the problem becomes more painful and expensive to remedy.

If you have experienced trauma to your face or have not yet taken antibiotics, then you may want to consider the ER or an urgent care center. Antibiotics can reduce the swelling, which may be necessary before a dentist can perform any treatment. But you have been warned – it will not be cheap, and it is not a permanent solution!

Related: Why to avoid the ER for Dental Emergencies

What can I do for toothache relief?

If you’re having continual mouth pain or discomfort, here are some steps to take to resolve the problem, or at least provide some temporary toothache relief until getting to the dentist:

  • Brush and floss your teeth to remove food fragments on and in-between your teeth. Rinse with warm water.
  • You may take aspirin for the pain, but you should NOT put an aspirin or any other painkiller directly against the gums near the aching tooth. This can burn and cause damage to the gum tissue. If the pain persists, call to see a dentist as soon as possible.
  • It is important to know that persistent toothache pain may temporarily subside, but will usually return until the underlying problem has been addressed. Failure to treat these problems in a timely manner may lead to further deterioration and more costly treatment.

How can I remove an object caught between my teeth?

If you should get a piece of food or any small object wedged between your teeth, first try to gently remove the object with dental floss. Never use anything sharp like a pin around your teeth as it may cut your gums or damage your tooth. If it can’t be removed by dental floss, contact a dentist for advice or to request an appointment.

Do you accept Florida Medicaid?

We are not a Medicaid provider. We do offer several payment options including credit cards, CareCredit® financing, and no credit check in-house financing. You can learn more on our Financing Page.

Is emergency dental care expensive?

No. The cost of exams, x-rays and treatment are very competitive, and often cheaper than other area dentists. Our pricing is based off the average cost of dental care in the area. This gives our patients the ability to receive high quality dentistry, competitive pricing, and unmatched convenience.

What does “indemnity basis” mean?

Emergency Dental Care most dental insurance plans on an indemnity basis. This means that we contact your insurance provider to determine your coverage, co-pay and out-of-pocket costs. Since we are not contracted with any specific insurance providers, you pay your co-pay or out-of-pocket cost before we perform any procedures.

If for some reason we cannot contact your insurance company, you can pay for the treatment out-of-pocket, and your insurance company can reimburse you.

The amount covered by insurance can vary depending on the type of treatment and the type of insurance that you have. Our staff will determine your out-of-pocket costs, and if necessary help you secure financing. We will always communicate the total out-of-pocket cost before any treatment begins.

What is a “dental emergency”?

A dental emergency is a dental condition usually characterized as pain, swelling or discomfort, and is usually when the patient determines that they cannot help themselves.

It is important to understand that oral health problems seldom fix themselves or go away. If you or a loved one is experiencing a symptom which lead to this website, there is a good chance it is a dental emergency.

Contact us to discuss your condition and options.

Do you offer any coupons or discounts?

No, we do not currently offer any coupons, discounts or free dental care. We believe the value of our services is the unmatched convenience and professional care we provide.