Root Canal and Endodontic Questions and Answers

  • Why would I need endodontic treatment?
    Endodontic or root canal treatment is necessary when the soft inner tissue, or pulp, of the tooth becomes inflamed or infected. Endodontic treatment removes damaged pulp. Then the tooth’s canals are cleaned and filled to help preserve the tooth.
  • Who performs root endodontic treatment?
    While, all dentists received endodontic training in dental school, and endodontist specializes in diagnosing and treating problems associated with the inside of the tooth. So, it’s best to see an endodontist for root canal treatment.
  • Why would I need endodontic surgery?
    Sometimes endodontic treatment cannot save a tooth, so surgery may be needed. Endodontic surgery can address tiny fractures in the tooth or canal that were not detected during non-surgical root canal treatment. Calcium deposits may make a canal too narrow for instruments used in non-surgical root canal treatment, so root canal surgery may be needed. Endodontic surgery may also be performed to treat damaged root surfaces or surrounding bone.
  • What is an apicoectomy?
    An apicoectomy is the removal of the very end of the root. In this procedure, the endodontist opens the gingival tissue near the tooth to examine underlying bone and removes inflamed or infected tissue. A small filling may be placed in the root to seal the end of the root canal, and a few stitches placed in the gum to help the tissue heal properly. The bone then heals around the end of the root.
  • Do other types of endodontic surgery exist?
    Other endodontic surgeries include dividing a tooth in half, repairing an injured root, or removing one or more roots. In certain cases, an endodontic procedure called intentional replantation may be performed, which involves extracting the tooth, treating it with an endodontic procedure, and then replacing it back in the socket.
  • Will endodontic procedures hurt?
    Some discomfort may occur, but local anesthetics can make procedures more comfortable. Follow the endodontist postoperative instructions after the procedure to ensure proper healing.
  • Will I feel pain during or after the endodontic procedure?
    After treatment, the tooth may be sensitive and slight discomfort may occur. However, the endodontist will provide instructions regarding medication to relieve pain. Contact the endodontist if pain lasts longer than a few days.
  • Will my tooth need special care after endodontic treatment?
    An un-restored tooth may be susceptible to fracture. After an endodontic procedure, avoid chewing or biting with the treated tooth until a crown or other restoration is placed on the tooth. Once the tooth has been restored, practice proper oral hygiene.
  • Do alternatives to endodontic treatment exist?
    Usually, a tooth that has undergone endodontic treatment can last a lifetime. An alternative to endodontic treatment is complete removal of the tooth. The extracted tooth must be replaced with a fixed bridge, implant or removable partial denture, which is more time-consuming and more costly than endodontic treatment. Modern tooth replacements are not as good as having natural tooth. However, in a few cases, a tooth may not heal or become infected. A tooth may become painful or diseased months or even years after successful treatment. If this is true for you, surgery may help save your tooth.
  • Why would I need endodontic treatment?
    Endodontic treatment may be needed if pain, prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, tenderness to touch and chewing, tooth discoloration, swelling, drainage and tenderness in the lymph nodes and nearby bone and gingival tissues occur. New trauma, deep decay, or a loose, cracked or broken filling can cause a tooth infection and endodontic treatment may be needed.
  • How much will endodontic procedures cost?
    Most dental insurance policies provide some coverage for endodontic treatment. Endodontic treatment costs vary depending on the complexity of the problem and the tooth affected. Endodontic treatment is more difficult for molars, so the fee is usually higher than typical endodontic treatment. Generally, endodontic treatment and restoration of the natural tooth are less expensive than extracting a tooth and replacing it with a bridge or implant.