Frequently Asked Questions
- Who is an endodontist?
- What is endodontics?
- What should I expect after root canal treatment or surgery?
- Do I need to go back to my general dentist?
- Should I be worried about the x-ray radiation?
- What precautions does your office take regarding infection control?
1. Who is an endodontist?
An endodontist, or a root canal specialist, is a dentist who specializes in saving teeth. Endodontists become specialists by completing dental school followed by an additional two or more years of advanced training in endodontics. They perform routine, as well as difficult and very complex endodontic procedures, including root canal treatment and endodonic surgery. Your dental team works together to relieve pain, save teeth and provide you with the optimal care that you deserve.
2. What is endodontics?
Endodontics is a branch of dentistry recognized by the American and Canadian Dental Associations involving treatment of the pulp (root canal space) 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 a pulp of soft tissue, 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.
3. What should I expect after root canal treatment or surgery?
It is normal to feel some tenderness in the area over the next few days as your body starts to heal itself. You may also feel some tenderness in your jaw from keeping it open for an extended period of time. These symptoms are temporary and usually respond very well to over-the-counter pain medications. It is also very important to follow the post-op instructions (LINK) provided to you by your doctor.
Your tooth may continue to feel slightly different from your other teeth for some time after your root canal treatment has been completed. However, if you have severe pain, do not hesitate to contact us.
4. Do I need to go back to my general dentist?
Once treatment is complete, a report will be sent to your dentist who you should also contact for a follow-up appointment within a couple of weeks. In most cases, more dental work is required in order to properly protect treated tooth.
5. Should I be worried about the x-ray radiation?
No, because we use an advanced non-film computerized system, called digital x-rays. Digital x-rays offer the advantage of an 80 percent reduction in radiation, no need for film or processing chemicals and production of a nearly instantaneously image. The amount of radiation that we are exposed to from dental X-rays is very small compared to our daily exposure from things like, cosmic radiation and naturally-occurring radioactive elements.
Dental x-rays are safe, effective and can even be used during pregnancy.
6. What precautions does your office take regarding infection control?
We adhere to the most rigorous standards of infection control advocated by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other dental regulatory bodies. Our office utilizes autoclave sterilization and barrier techniques to eliminate any risk of infection.