Endodontic FAQ

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 the pulp which consists of 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.

Will I feel pain during or after the procedure?

During the procedure you will be numb similar to when you have a filling placed. After the procedure it is commom to have some tenderness much like a bruise. We recommend taking ibuprofen (Advil), acetominophen (Tylenol ) or Aspirin to alleviate this discomfort.

Will I need a crown after my root canal?

Each tooth is evaluated on a case by case basis. With posterior teeth, it is usually recommened because these teeth do a majority of the heavy chewing and grinding of foods.

I’m 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.

What happens after treatment?

When your root canal therapy has been completed, a record of your treatment will be sent to your restorative dentist. We will attempt to contact that office to schedule your follow-up restoration while you are here. Your restorative dentist will decide on what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth. It is rare for endodontic patients to experience complications after routine endodontic treatment or surgery. If a problem does occur, however, we are available at all times to respond.