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1.    Will root canal therapy hurt?

2.    What is root canal treatment?

3.    Why do I need an additional endodontic procedure?

4.    What will happen during endodontic re-treatment?
5.    What should I do before my root canal therapy appointment?

6.    What should I do before my surgery appointment?
7.    Will my root canal treatment be successful?

8.    How long will be the appointment?
9.    What should I do after my treatment?
10.    Do I need to return to my family dentist after the root canal treatment is complete?
11.  Will I need to return to your office for follow-ups after the procedure is finished?

Common Questions

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1. Will root canal therapy hurt?


As Endodontists, we know the absolute critical importance of providing our patients with complete and profound numbness.  We want our patients to have a pleasant, and pain-free experience. Doctors Meghan and Jim will take the extra care and time necessary to ensure that all of our patients are totally relaxed and receive the proper level of anesthesia. We use a combination of local anesthetic agents and routinely use nitrous oxide inhalation (commonly known as “laughing gas”).   In addition to relieving anxiety and “dental stresses”, nitrous oxide also provides an extra level of tooth numbness.  This gas is odorless and very safe when used in a professional setting. Our patients receive this extra level of comfort and relaxation that ensures their treatment will be extremely soothing and pain-free.  There is no extra fee charged for the delivery of nitrous oxide inhalation. We also use offer music with headphones to help relax our patients during treatment.



2.   What is root canal treatment?

"Root canal" is the term used to describe the natural cavity within the center of the tooth. "Root canal therapy" (endodontics) is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly inflamed or infected from trauma, caries, a large restoration, or a crack in the tooth. During an endodontic procedure, the infected nerve and pulp are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. Without treatment, the tissue surrounding the tooth will become infected and an abscess may form.

Root canals within teeth come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and some have extreme curvatures. Because the canals within a tooth are so small and dark, special lighting and microscopes are required for optimal visibility. Once a root canal is performed, a general dentist should restore the tooth with a permanent filling and a crown, if necessary.

3.   Why do I need an additional endodontic procedure​?

As occasionally happens with any dental or medical procedure, a tooth may not heal as expected after initial treatment for a variety of reasons:

-   Narrow or curved canals were not treated during the initial procedure.

-   Complicated canal anatomy

-   The placement of the crown or other restoration was delayed following the endodontic treatment.

-   A leaking restoration

In other cases, a new problem can jeopardize a tooth that was successfully treated. For example:

-   New decay can expose the root canal filling material to bacteria, causing a new infection in the tooth.

-   A loose, cracked or broken crown or filling can expose the tooth to new infection.



4.   What will happen during endodontic retreatment?

First, the endodontist will discuss your treatment options. If you and your endodontist choose retreatment, the endodontist will reopen your tooth to gain access to the root canal filling material. In many cases, complex restorative materials-- crown, post and core material-- may be disassembled and removed to permit access to the root canals.

After removing the canal filling, the endodontist can clean the canals and carefully examine the inside of your tooth using magnification and illumination, searching for any additional canals or unusual anatomy that require treatment.

After cleaning the canals, the endodontist will fill and seal the canals and place a temporary filling in the tooth. If the canals are unusually narrow or blocked, your endodontist may recommend endodontic surgery​(an apicoectomy). This surgery involves making an incision to allow the tip of the root to be sealed.

After your endodontist completes retreatment, you will need to return to your family dentist as soon as possible to have a new crown or restoration placed in the tooth to protect and restore it to full function.


5.   What should I do before my root canal therapy appointment?


Before your appointment take all of your regular medications and get a good night sleep. If possible, do not take any pain medications prior to the appointment, this will help the doctor to better evaluate the tooth.

6.   What should I do before my surgery appointment?

If you are not on an aspirin regiment, please do not take aspirin or medications containing aspirin one week prior to your appointment.
Continue all medications for blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid problems and any other conditions as recommended by your physician

Inform us of medications you are taking or any changes in your medications. 

If there is a question, please call our office as soon as possible prior to your surgery.
If you have been advised by your physician or dentist to use antibiotic pre-medication prior to dental treatment, please make sure you are on the appropriate antibiotic and dosage the day of your surgery.


7.   Will my root canal treatment be successful?

Depending on the condition of your tooth, the success rate for root canal therapy is is close to 95%.  Success is dependent upon prompt and proper restoration of your tooth after root canal treatment. Regular dental visits and care can also influence the life and success of your root canal. 

8. How long will the appointment be?

Please allow up to 1 hour for a consultation appointment and 1½ hours for endodontic treament or apicoecomty. Infected or complicated cases may take additional visits.  

9.   What should I do after my treatment?

Follow the written post-operative instructions given to you at the office. The directions advise you about handling any discomfort or complications which may arise. If you misplaced the instructions, you can view/down-load them below. If you have any concerns that are not covered, do not hesitate to call the office or emergency numbers listed on the post-operative instructions.

10.   Do I need to return to my family dentist after endodontic treatment is completed?

It is always necessary for you to return to your family dentist for the permanent restoration of your endodontically-treated tooth. We will send a report and copies of your x-rays to your dentist for his/her records.

11.   Will I need to return to your office for follow-ups after the procedure is finished?

It is recommended that you return to our office fora  follow up visit to monitor the healing after a root canal is performed. It is recommended that a follow-up visit should be made after 6 months of your treatment. A post card will be mailed to remind you to schedule your follow-up visit. The follow-up visit and radiographic examation is included in your fee.

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