Endodontic FAQ

What is endodontics?

Endodontics is a specialty branch of dentistry recognized by the American Dental Association (ADA) and American Association of Endodontists (AAE) involving treatment of the root canal and surrounding bone.  Specializing in endodontics requires a minimum of two years of additional training after becoming a dentist.  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. The inside of the root contains soft tissue, blood vessels and nerves called the dental pulp.  Bacteria can reach the dental pulp as a result of tooth decay (cavities), cracks, gum disease, deep restorations, or trauma.  Endodontic therapy disinfects and seals the root canal system, allowing you to save your tooth.

When DO I need endodontic treatment?

If you are having sensitivity to hot or cold, discomfort to chewing or biting down, lingering or constant pain, spontaneous pain, discomfort that wakes you up at night, discomfort that feels like a dull ache or pressure, palpation tenderness, facial swelling, or a “bump” on the gums… you may need a root canal.  Commonly, teeth that require endodontic treatment have none of these symptoms and are asymptomatic.  We provide a specialist consultation for all patients to identify your diagnosis and confirm your treatment plan.  We strive to provide all patients same day treatment especially those with dental emergencies.

What happens after root canal treatment?

When your endodontic treatment has been completed, a record of your treatment and radiographs will be sent to your referring dentist.  A crown is typically recommended for posterior (back) teeth to help prevent fracture and rebuild your tooth.  Your general dentist is the expert in completing your crown.

Postoperative Instructions