Endodontic FAQ

What is endodontics?

Endodontics is a branch of dentistry recognized by the American Dental Association involving the 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 that is 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.

Should I be worried about x-rays?

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. These digital images can be optimized, archived, printed and sent to co-therapists via e-mail.

Can my infected tooth cause a general body infection?

Root canal infections may spread to the bone immediately surrounding the root, but the infection usually remains localized to the area. In very rare cases, the infection may spread beyond the root canal. If you experience pain in your tooth or your dentist recommends endodontic treatment, try to get it taken care of as soon as possible. It is much safer to take care of or prevent an infection as early as possible, even before you feel pain.

How much will my root canal procedure cost?

Every patient’s dental need is different, so the cost will depend on the recommended treatment. However, once your treatment plan has been determined, we are more than happy to answer any questions regarding the cost of your procedures, how much your insurance will cover, and what you will pay out-of-pocket.

What happens after treatment?

When your root canal therapy has been completed, a record of your treatment will be sent to your restorative dentist. You should contact his office for a follow-up restoration within a few weeks of completion at our office.

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 microsurgery. However, if a problem does occur, we are available at all times to respond.

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