We realize for many patients, root canal therapy has always been associated with pain and anxiety. Our goal is to ensure your experience with us is as comfortable and pleasant as possible.

Q. What is endodontics?

Endodontics is the branch of dentistry that specializes in saving natural teeth.

Q. Why do I need a root canal?

Usually when you have tooth pain, it is your body's way of telling you that something may be wrong and that it's important to have it evaluated. However, the reverse is not true. Just because you don't have pain does not necessarily mean that nothing is going on. This is also why it is very important to have regular checkups with your regular dentist so that tooth pathology can be detected before it becomes a larger problem.

Q. What are common signs and symptoms of potential root canal therapy?

Although many cases may present with absolutely no symptoms, general indications for treatment include but are not limited to: prolonged temperature sensitivity, tooth discoloration, tenderness of the tooth or surrounding gum tissue and swelling.

Q. Can I take antibiotics to fix the problem I have with my tooth?

No. Antibiotics will never cure a pathologic tooth that is either irreversibly inflamed or infected. The reason for this is that when a tooth is infected, the blood vasculature coursing into the tooth will be compromised. Although antibiotics are effective, there is no way for the body to transport the necessary medication into the tooth where it can be effective.

Q. Can my infected tooth cause systemic disease?

There is no concrete evidence to support a cause-and-effect relationship between tooth infection and systemic disease. There is evidence to support that people without root canal treated teeth may be equally susceptible to system disease as those that have root canal treated teeth.

Q. What can I expect on my first visit?

Your first visit with us will consist of a consultation explaining your diagnosis and recommended treatment options. Although we typically take our own radiographs, it may be helpful to bring any that you may have to aid in our diagnosis of your case.

Please assist us by providing the following at the time of your consultation:

  • Dentist referral slip.
  • A list of any medications you are currently taking.
  • Any dental insurance information you may have.

Q. Can this be done in one appointment?

A consultation is required for all new patients. During this time we will discuss treatment options, the cost of treatment, and treatment duration. We understand that your time with us is valuable and will always try to perform treatment as efficiently as possible. However, every case is different and sometimes multiple appointments may be necessary to provide you with the best possible outcome.

Q. Will I feel pain?

Thanks to today's anesthetics and techniques, most procedures cause no pain. After treatment, the tooth may be sensitive and you may feel slight discomfort. However, we will provide you with specific instructions and any medications required to control any post operative pain. If you experience severe pain or swelling, please contact our office immediately.

Q. Can the radiation exposure that I receive hurt me?

Although the effects of radiation exposure are generally considered permanent, our advanced technologies permit us to emit the lowest possible radiation dosage necessary in order to obtain the information necessary to diagnose and treat your case. Our current digital systems will emit up to 85-90% lower radiation when compared to traditional film-based systems.

Q. After my treatment is completed, will I need to return to my dentist or to you for follow-up appointments?

When you leave our office, treatment on your tooth will NOT be completed. You will need to return to your general dentist in order to have the permanent restoration placed. It is only then (and in conjunction with your thorough hygiene) that long term success can be ensured for your tooth. In order to ensure that you are receiving the best treatment available, we always recommend follow-up appointments to ensure that the treatment rendered was successful. Typical follow-up times are at 1 year but may vary depending on the scope of treatment.

Q. Will I be able to drive or return to work after?

In most cases, the same local anesthetic is used just as if you were to receive general dental work such as fillings. The anesthetic generally lasts for 1 to 3 hours but should not affect overall cognitive abilities. Surgeries involve an extended healing time and may require rest for the remainder of the day. Each case is different and post-operative care will be thoroughly explained on the day of treatment.