Frequently Asked Questions

What is endodontics?

Endodontics is a branch of dentistry recognized by the American Dental Association involving treatment of the pulp (root canal) and surrounding tissues of the tooth. When you look at your tooth in the mirror, what you see is the crown. The rest of the tooth, the portion hidden beneath the gum line, is called the root. Though the outer portion of the root is a hard tissue called dentin, the inside channel or “root canal” contains a pulp of soft tissue, blood vessels and nerves. Bacteria that are introduced into the pulp as a result of tooth decay, periodontal disease, tooth fracture or other problems, can severely damage the pulp. When that happens, an endodontic specialist removes the diseased pulp to save the tooth and prevent further infection and inflammation. After successful endodontic treatment, the tooth continues to perform normally.

Learn more about Endodontic Procedures

I am very apprehensive about dental procedures. Can I be put to sleep for my root canal?

We do not recommend general anesthesia for your procedure. The dangers and high costs of a general anesthetic, far outweigh the advantages. We do offer Nitrous Oxide Sedation and in occasional instances will prescribe a anti-anxiety pre-medication prior to your procedure to help with your apprehension. These techniques will help you relax throughout the procedure.

Our doctors use the latest, well-researched materials and techniques for performing root canal treatment. If you have not had endodontic treatment within the last five years, you will be amazed at how easily and painlessly most procedures can be performed.

I am worried about x-rays should I be?

No. While x-rays will be necessary during your endodontics treatment, we use an advanced non-film computerized system, called digital radiography, that produces radiation levels up to 90 percent lower than those of already low dose conventional dental x-ray machinery. These digital images can be optimized, archived, printed and sent to other dental practitioners.

Our doctors use the latest, well-researched materials and techniques for performing root canal treatment. If you have not had endodontic treatment within the last five years, you will be amazed at how easily and painlessly most procedures can be performed.

How do I prepare for treatment?

Continue all normal medications for blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid problems and any other medications as prescribed by your physician. If there is a question, please call our office prior to your appointment.. If you have been advised by your physician or dentist to use antibiotic premedication because of mitral valve prolapse (MVP), heart murmur, hip, knee, cardiac or other prosthesis, or if you have rheumatic heart disease, please make sure you are on the appropriate antibiotic on the day of your appointment. Please be sure to eat normally before your appointment but keep your meals light. If there is a question, please call our office prior to your appointment.

What happens after treatment?

It is rare for endodontic patients to experience complications after routine endodontic treatment or microsurgery. If a problem does occur, please call our office. When your root canal therapy has been completed, a record of your treatment will be sent to your restorative dentist. You should contact their office for a follow-up restoration within a few weeks of completion at our office. Your restorative dentist will decide on what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth.

What about infection?

Again, there’s no need for concern. We adhere to the most rigorous standards of infection control advocated by OSHA, the Centers for Disease Control and the American Dental Association. We utilize autoclave sterilization and barrier techniques to eliminate any risk of infection.

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