Having a proper dental billing system in place is essential to receive timely and appropriate reimbursement for services provided to patients. OSI’s comprehensive dental billing service covers everything from patient scheduling and insurance verification and authorization to billing, payment collections, and accounts receivable management.
In today’s podcast, Amber Darst, one of our Solutions Managers, discusses endodontic therapy or root canal treatment.
00:11 What is a root canal?
00:26 So, when is a root canal treatment required?
01:37 So, how is a root canal performed?
Hi, this is Amber Darst, Solutions Manager from Managed Outsource Solutions (MOS) and I’ll be discussing endodontic therapy, more commonly known as a root canal.
00:11 What is a root canal?
A root canal is a common dental procedure that treats infection that has set in at the soft center of the tooth, which is called the pulp. The pulp is made up of nerves, connective tissues and blood vessels.
00:26 When is a root canal treatment required?
The root canal is performed to treat an injury, inflammation, or infection of the pulp. Damage to the pulp can occur due to several reasons, such as deep tooth decay due to an untreated cavity, a chip or crack in the tooth, or multiple dental procedures that have been performed on the same tooth. The crown of the tooth can remain intact even if the pulp is infected, and removing injured or infected pulp is the best way to preserve the structure of the tooth.
Pain and swelling in and around the tooth, along with the sensation of heat in the gums, are the most common symptoms of a damaged pulp. Other symptoms of a pulp infection include pain when eating, sensitivity to hot or cold drinks, a swollen cheek or jaw, a dark colored tooth, or a loose tooth. As the infection progresses, the pulp will eventually die, often causing the symptoms to disappear. This can be very deceptive as the tooth will appear to have healed, but actually the infection may have spread even further.
01:37 How is a root canal performed?
A root canal procedure begins with the dentist administering local anesthesia in the gums. After the area is numb, the endodontist will make a small opening in the top of the tooth to expose the infected or damaged pulp and carefully remove it. The area will be coated with a topical antibiotic to prevent reinfection.
After cleaning and disinfecting the canal, the opening on the top of the tooth is filled using a temporary sealant. Oral antibiotics and pain medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen will be prescribed to relieve any swelling. A follow-up visit will be scheduled to replace the temporary filling with a permanent filling. Oftentimes, the dentist will recommend the tooth be covered with a crown to further support the tooth structure.
Most people who undergo root canal treatment will enjoy the preservation of the tooth for many years to come. However, maintaining good oral hygiene is important to maintain the long lasting results.
MOS has experience assisting with back office duties for several dental specialties, including endodontics, to ensure that claims are filed properly and insurances are verified before the patient’s date of service.
And that’s all for this. Thanks for listening in!