FREQUENTLY ASked QUestions
- What is an Endodontist?
An endodontist is a dentist with special training in diagnosing and treating problems associated with the inside of the tooth. To become specialists, endodontists complete dental school and an additional two or more years of advanced training in endodontics with use of a microscope. Endodontics is one of the twelve specialties recognized by the National Commission on Recognition of Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards. Endodontists perform routine, as well as difficult and very complex endodontic procedures, including retreatment of previous root canals that have not healed completely and endodontic surgeries. Endodontists are also experienced at finding the cause of oral and facial pain that can often be difficult to diagnose.
- Why would I need endodontic therapy?
Endodontic treatment is necessary when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes: deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, or a crack or chip in the tooth. In addition, trauma to a tooth may cause injury to the pulp, even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks. If pulpal inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess.
- How does endodontic treatment save the tooth?
The endodontist removes the inflamed or infected pulp, carefully cleans and shapes the inside of the tooth, then fills and seals the root canal space. Afterwards, you will return to your dentist, who will place a crown or other restoration on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function.
- Will I feel pain during or after the procedure?
Many endodontic procedures are performed to relieve the pain of toothaches caused by pulp inflammation or infection. With modern techniques and anesthetics, most patients are comfortable during the procedure.
For the first few days after treatment, your tooth may feel sensitive, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure. The discomfort can be relieved with over-the-counter or prescription medications. Follow your endodontist’s instructions carefully.
- Should I be concerned about x-rays?
No. While x-rays will be necessary during your endodontic treatment, we use an advanced digital radiography system that produces radiation levels nearly 90 percent lower than those of already low-dose conventional dental x-ray machinery.