Endodontic FAQ

There are several reasons why someone would need a root canal. Some of them being a big cavity, an infection around your tooth, or a fractured tooth. 

No! Our techniques and technological advancements have made the root canal process quite comfortable and predictable. We take great pride in making sure our patients are sufficiently numb before we start treatment. Like any other medical procedure however, there’s always a chance for post operative discomfort depending on your condition but we use research based techniques to minimize your post op discomfort, and can electronically submit prescriptions to a pharmacy of your choice to help you recover from your pain or infection. 

Typically a root canal takes anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes. On average, our patients are in our office from 1 to 2 hours depending on the type of case and number of treatments needed. 

It varies case by case, but if we are fighting an acute infection, 1 – 2 days of recovery would be beneficial. However, more than 80% of the time there is no need to miss work the next day or even the same day. 

Pain is one indicator of disease, however not the only indicator of disease. Just like diabetes and high blood pressure typically don’t have any pain associated until you are in the later stages of the condition, root canal disease can progress for a long time without pain until it precipitates to a certain level of bacteria. Waiting until that point however significantly increases pain, complications and possibility of losing the tooth altogether. 

A tooth is a very complex structure, and there are millions of nooks and crannies inside this one little tooth. Bacteria are masters at hiding out in these hidden corners, and we need to eliminate as many of them as possible in order to have a favorable outcome. A CT scan shows the 3 – Dimensional anatomy of the tooth, helping us identify those hidden corners and improve our chances of a successful outcome and reducing your pain and infection to help you get back to normal. Here’s another great way to understand a CT scan; when you look at the picture of a car, its hard to get a feel for the interior all the shapes and curves of the car but if you are able to walk around it in person and visualize all the features it gives you a much better idea of the car. In that same way, a CT scan is equivalent to having full visualize access to the inside of the tooth unlike a 2-D Xray that we have all had taken at the dentists office.

We do offer moderate IV sedation that can help you get to a point where you’re not anxious, don’t feel anything, and have a great experience. We do have to do a thorough evaluation of your medical history to determine whether you are a good candidate for it as there is always a health risk when it comes to IV sedation. 

We also provide oral conscious sedation which can also help sufficiently reduce anxiety and help you get through the treatment. 

After a root canal is done, in some cases if theres no crown we will encourage you to go see your general dentist as soon as possible to get a crown placed on it to prevent the tooth from fracturing. If there is an existing crown, we leave it to the discretion of your dentist whether a replacement is advised or not.