Frequently ask question
What if I choose not have the treatment?
The alternative to root canal therapy is the removal of the tooth. Once the pulp is injured, it cannot heal and it is not recommended to leave the infected tooth in the mouth. Remember that pain is not a good indicator of disease. An abcess in your jaw should never be "watched" simply because it doesn't hurt. Hypertension, diabetes, and early stages of cancer are not painful, but no one would recommend to leave these conditions untreated. While some people would prefer an extraction, it is usually advisable to keep the natural teeth if possible.
What if the tooth continues to be uncomfortable after my appointment?
Root Canal treatment is usually very successful, however, if symptoms persist, please call our office to schedule a followup appointment.
What do I do after my root canal treatment?
You will be given oral and written instructions by the staff after your treatment. If you are given pain and/or antibiotic medications, please take as directed.
Will I need to return to your office for follow-ups after the procedure is finished?
For most root canal treatments, we recommend that patients return to the office 1 year after the procedure is finished for a brief recall exam. Our office sends a reminder notice to you when you are due for a recall appointment. There is never a fee for a recall exam.
How long does a root canal treatment take?
Root canal treatment usually can be completed in one visit. In some cases a second visit is required. Please allow 2 hours for your office visit. 30 minutes for registration, diagnosis, medical history, etc..... and approximately 90 minutes to treat your tooth.
Will I need x-rays?
We will take x-rays during your consultation. If you have x-rays from your general dentist, please bring them with you. Dr. Wright uses the latest in digital X-Ray technology. Digital x-rays are produced by computers which allows the doctors a fast and reliable way to determine the course of treatment you may require. Also, digital x-rays reduce your radiation exposure by 85% providing you with the assurance of safety and continuity.
Will the treatment be painful?
We will take every measure to ensure that your procedure is in no way uncomfortable or painful. Most of our patients fall asleep during treatment. The appointment itself is similar to a 90 minute appointment for a dental filling.
Why is root canal therapy needed?
The nerve may become damaged by bacteria associated with past or present decay, a crack in the tooth, or by a traumatic blow. Root canal therapy allows you to keep the natural tooth in a healthy state rather than substituting it with an artificial tooth.
What is root canal therapy?
Root canal therapy (endodontics) involves the removal of inflamed or infected tissue and bacteria from the root canal systems within a tooth. The canals are located, cleaned, shaped, and filled to prevent bacteria from re-entering the pulp spaces. In this way, the tooth is retained and the body maintains a healthy attachment of the tooth to the jaw.
Will I feel pain during or after the procedure?
Toothache pain is the main reason for patients seeking treatment. Fortunately, modern anesthetics can make the procedure pain free in almost all cases. Seeking treatment early makes the procedure more comfortable, so don't wait. When caught early, treatment should feel no different than having a regular filling. For the first few days after treatment, there may be some sensitivity to biting pressure, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure. Sometimes over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications are recommended for a day or two. Dr. DALAL can prescribe stronger medications, but they are rarely needed.
How can endodontic treatment help me?
The dentist removes the inflammed or infected pulp, carefully cleans and shapes the canal system and then seals the prepared space. Most endodontic treatment on molar teeth takes about 90 minutes (depending on the number of canals). Once treatment is completed, you will be instructed to return to your dentist for placement of a permanent restoration. The restoration of the tooth is an essential part of treatment because it seals the cleaned canals from the oral environment, protects the tooth and restores it to function.
Signs and symptoms
Indications for treatment include prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold, discoloration of the tooth, swelling or tenderness of the tooth or adjacent gums. Frequently a previously asymptomatic tooth will become bothersome after a recent dental procedure such as a large filling or crown preparation. Sometimes there are no symptoms even though an abscess may be present in the jaw bone.
Why would I need endodontic treatment?
Endodontic treatment is necessary when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected. The most common reasons for inflammation or infection are deep cavities, repeated dental procedures, cracks or fractures. Trauma can also cause inflammation and often shows up as discoloration of the tooth. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess.
What is endodontics?
Endodontics is a specialty of dentistry that deals with diseases of the dental pulp and its supporting structures. Endodontists are dentists with special post-graduate training in this field. Endodontists are also experienced at finding the cause of oral and facial pain that has been difficult to diagnose.
Although general dentists can perform basic endodontic treatment, patients are often referred to an endodontist when the case is complicated or more difficult than usual.
In order to understand endodontic treatment, it helps to know something about the anatomy of a tooth. Teeth have several layers. The outside layer of the tooth is composed of a hard layer called enamel. Enamel is supported by an inner layer called dentin, which has at its center a soft tissue known as the pulp.
The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue that are responsible for forming the surrounding dentin and enamel during tooth development. The pulp receives its nourishment supply from vessels which enter the end of the root. Although the pulp is important during development of the tooth, it is not necessary for function of the tooth. The tooth continues to be nourished by the tissues surrounding it even after the pulp is removed.