Root Canal Therapy FAQ’s

 

Dr. Jacobs has put together questions that she hears often from her patients. In the event you require additional clarification please do call the office.

What is an endodontist, and why should I see one for my root canal treatment?

 

An endodontist is a dentist who has completed a specialty program beyond dental school that focuses on endodontic (root canal) therapy. As specialists, endodontists specifically perform root canal treatment and associated procedures. These include complex root canal therapy, retreatments of existing root canals, root-end surgeries, whitening of root canal treated teeth and treatment of traumatic injuries in children and adults.

 

Why do I need root canal treatment?

 

Root canal treatment is a way to help you save your natural tooth. You may need root canal treatment because of a cavity, abscess or trauma. Root canal treatment is occasionally performed to facilitate restoring a tooth and to keep it functional.

 

Will root canal treatment hurt?

 

This is the question that endodontists are asked most frequently. The procedure should not be uncomfortable. Modern dentistry has created wonderful options for anesthesia and pain management. Dr. Jacobs wants this to be a pleasant experience and will do everything she can to keep you comfortable.

 

What happens after root canal treatment?

 

Discomfort
You may experience some discomfort following root canal treatment. You may notice this if you tap on the tooth or push on it with your tongue or finger. This sensitivity can usually be managed by over-the-counter medications.
If you are having endodontic surgery, Dr. Jacobs will discuss all post operative concerns with you before treatment.
Final Filling
There will be a temporary filling in the tooth after the root canal treatment is completed. This temporary filling can seal the opening for up to 4 weeks. We recommend that you see your dentist for a definitive filling/crown within this time period. If you are still experiencing symptoms, we request that you contact our office prior to seeing your dentist for the final restoration. Failure to have a definitive filling placed can lead to re-contamination of the root canal system and the need for a root canal retreatment to be performed resulting in additional time and expense for you.

 

 

What happens if I don’t have endodontic treatment?

 

If you choose to delay or decline treatment, several things may happen. You may develop pain or the tooth may abscess, creating a swelling of the gums, face or jaw. The other concern is that bone may be lost around the roots of the tooth in response to the chronic infection. This can lead to mobility of the tooth and eventual loss of the tooth.

 

What are my other options?

 

As a consumer you deserve to have all possible information prior to making any decisions about your healthcare. Options include extraction of the tooth and replacement with either a dental implant (screw placed in the bone with a false tooth to replace the missing one), bridge (two crowns cemented on the teeth on either side with a false tooth in the center) or a removable partial denture (a false tooth/teeth to replace the missing tooth/teeth that can be removed from the mouth).

 

Despite all of the advancements in dentistry, there is no real replacement for your natural teeth. The loss of even one tooth can cause shifting and changes in the bite (occlusion) that may require extensive treatment to correct.

 

Dr. Jacobs is happy to discuss your treatment options with you at your visit. Your dentist is a wonderful resource as well.

 

How much will the endodontic (root canal) treatment cost?

 

The fees depend on several things, including root canal anatomy, location of the tooth in the mouth, the need for medications inside the tooth, what type of filling materials are used and if the procedure is a retreatment of previous root canal therapy or a surgical procedure.

 

Our staff is happy to provide you with a cost range based on the treatment that you require. A more specific fee can be provided at your evaluation or treatment appointment following the evaluation of your specific tooth.

Do you have a question? Are you ready to schedule an appointment?