FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Endodontists are dentists who specialize in maintaining teeth through endodontic therapy procedures, involving the soft inner tissue of the teeth, called the pulp. The word "endodontic" comes from "endo" meaning inside and "odont" meaning tooth. Like many medical terms, it's Greek. All dentists are trained in diagnosis and endodontic therapy, however, some teeth can be especially difficult to diagnose and treat. That’s why you may have been referred to an endodontic specialist.
In addition to dental school, endodontists receive two or more years of advanced education in this kind of treatment. They study root canal techniques and procedures in greater depth, for diagnosis and treatment of more difficult cases. For this reason, many dentists choose to refer their patients to endodontists.
When the pulp, which consists of nerve tissue, blood vessels and connective tissue becomes inflamed or infected, root canal treatment can be performed.
A local anesthetic will be given. A rubber sheet called the "rubber dam" will be placed around the tooth to isolate it, keeping it clean and dry during treatment. The treatment consists of three or four basic steps that include cleaning of the inflamed or infected pulp and preparation of the roots for a filling in order to provide a seal.
The number of visits will depend on your particular case, more specifically on the degree of infection/inflammation and degree of treatment difficulty. To us, it's more important to do it the very best we can rather than to meet specific time criteria.
Root canal or endodontic therapy has a very high degree of success. Teeth that can be treated near ideal have a success rate up to and exceeding ninety percent! The prognosis depends on several different factors, all of which will be discussed with you before any endodontic procedure to help you make an informed decision. If root canal treatment or endodontic therapy is unsuccessful or fails you still have options.
We will take every measure to ensure that your procedure is in no way uncomfortable or painful. If treatment is needed, we will inject a small amount of anesthesia to gently numb a concentrated area of your mouth. For most patients, the feeling of numbness usually subsides after 2-3 hours.
Yes, for most root canal treatments, we recommend that patients return to the office 6 months to 1 year after the procedure was finished. Our office will send a reminder notice to you when you are due for a recall appointment.