Questions & Answers
Q. Who performs endodontic treatment?
A. All dentists, including your general dentist, received training in endodontic treatment in dental school. General dentists can perform endodontic procedures along with other dental procedures, but often they refer patients needing endodontic treatment to endodontists. Endodontists are dentists with special training in endodontic procedures. To become specialists, they complete dental school and an additional two or more years of advanced training in Endodontics. They perform routine as well as difficult and very complex endodontic procedures, including endodontic surgery. Endodontists are also experienced at finding the cause of oral and facial pain that has been difficult to diagnose.
Q. How does endodontic treatment save my tooth?
The endodontist removes the inflamed or infected pulp (nerve). The canal is carefully cleaned and shaped. The endodontist will then fill and seal this space. You will then be instructed to schedule an appointment with your general dentist. The dentist will place a crown or other restoration on the tooth. Endodontic therapy enjoys a very high success rate.
Q. Will there be pain during or after the procedure?
With the use of modern anesthetics, root canal treatment involves little or no discomfort. After the procedure is completed, minor soreness may be experienced for a few days. This discomfort can be relieved with over-the-counter or prescription medications.
Q. Will the tooth require any special care after the treatment?
You should not chew or bite on any hard or crunchy foods until the tooth is restored by your general dentist. The unrestored tooth is susceptible to fracture. Normal brushing and flossing is recommended. Most endodontically treated teeth can be retained as long as other natural teeth.
Q. What is endodontic surgery?
The most common endodontic surgery is an apicoectomy or root-end resection. This procedure may be necessary when inflammation and infection persist in the area around the root tip after root canal treatment.
Q. Can all teeth be treated with a root canal?
Most teeth can be treated. The endodontist will evaluate the long-term prognosis for the tooth during the initial exam and recommend the proper treatment that will be best for the patient.