FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is an endodontist?
An endodontist is a dentist who has received two years of advanced training in endodontic procedures and has limited their practice to performing only endodontic procedures. Dentists will regularly refer patients needing endodontic procedures to an endodontist because of their experience in dealing with both routine and difficult endodontic procedures. Endodontists are also experts in diagnosing the cause of oral and facial pain.
Will I feel pain during or after the procedure?
Most patients report that they are comfortable during endodontic treatment. After treatment the tooth may be sensitive and you may experience slight discomfort. However, we will give you post-op instructions regarding your root canal and which medications will relieve this pain. If you experience severe pain or pain that lasts longer than a few days contact our office.
Will my tooth need special care afterwards?
After the procedure you need to avoid chewing or biting with the treated tooth until you have seen your dentist to have a crown or other restoration placed on the tooth. Until this is done the unrestored tooth will be susceptible to fracture. Once the tooth has been restored you need only practice proper oral hygiene and the tooth should last as long as any natural tooth.
How many appointments do I need for my Root Canal?
Often times, endodontic treatment can be completed in one appointment but sometimes may require two appointments. This, however, can not be determined until after the procedure is started. If a second appointment is needed, we will then schedule one for you. Please be advised that the cost quoted for your root canal is the same regardless of the number of appointments necessary.
Are there alternatives to endodontic treatment?
Sometimes old root canals may require a retreatment procedure. Another alternative to a previous root canal procedure that has developed an infection is endodontic microsurgery. For some patients considering retreatment, endodontic microsurgery is an option. This surgery involves making an incision near the end of the root to allow the tip of the root to be sealed. Endodontic microsurgery may be recommended in conjunction with retreatment or as an alternative. Your endodontist will discuss your options and recommend appropriate treatment.
The only other alternative is extraction of the tooth. The extracted tooth must then be replaced with an implant, bridge, or removable partial denture to restore chewing function and to prevent adjacent teeth from shifting. Because these alternatives require surgery or dental procedures on adjacent healthy teeth, they can be far more costly and time consuming than treatment and restoration of the natural tooth.
No matter how effective modern tooth replacements are - and they can be very effective - nothing is as good as a natural tooth. You've already made an investment in saving your tooth. The pay-off for choosing endodontic surgery could be a healthy, functioning natural tooth for many years to come.