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What is an endodontist?
Endodontists are dentists with special training in root canal treatments. To become a specialist, they complete dental school along with an additional two years of advanced training in endodontics. Their advanced training prepares them for both routine and more difficult endodontic procedures, including endodontic surgery.
How much does endodontic treatment cost?
Prices vary depending on the procedure and your insurance coverage. We participate with Anthem and Delta, and will file with all other insurance companies as well.
What do I need to do to prepare for my appointment?
Please arrive a few minutes early for your appointment, for this will allow time for you to fill out paperwork. If your general dentist has provided you with a referral slip or x-rays, please bring them with you. We recommend that you have something to eat before your appointment, for patients who have something on their stomach usually do better during treatment that those who do not.
Root Canal Treatment:
Why do I need root canal treatment?
A root canal is needed when the pulp inside the tooth becomes infected or inflamed. The infection or inflammation can result from deep decay, chronic clenching or grinding, trauma, or repeated dental procedures on the tooth. Symptoms of pulp damage include pain, hot or cold sensitivity, or swelling of the gum tissue, but some cases may have no accompanying symptoms.
What is root canal treatment?
Root canal or endodontic treatment treats the inside of the tooth. During a root canal, a small opening is made in the crown of the tooth allowing access to the inside portion, also called the pulp. The inflamed or infected pulp is then removed from the tooth and a rubber-like material called gutta percha is placed in the roots to ensure that the root canals are completely sealed. Once the canals are filled, a temporary filling is placed to seal the opening.
How long does root canal treatment take?
Endodontic treatment is usually completed in single 60 to 90 minute visit.
Will I feel pain during or after root canal treatment?
Most patients experience very little pain during and after the procedure. A local anesthetic is used while the treatment is performed to ensure the tooth and gum tissue surrounding the tooth are numb. It is normal to feel sensitivity or soreness for a few days following treatment.
What are my post-op instructions for root canal treatment?
Because the tooth will contain a temporary filling once the root canal is finished, it is very important to return to your general dentist within 6 weeks for the permanent restoration. Teeth treated endodontically are very fragile and can become cracked or infected if not permanently restored. Because the tooth is very fragile following treatment, crunchy or sticky foods could pull out the temporary filling or crack the tooth, so should be avoided until the permanent restoration is completed.
Why do I need retreatment?
About ninety percent of all root canals performed will never need retreatment of any kind. However, in some cases the tooth fails to fully heal and can continue to cause patients discomfort. In those cases, non-surgical or surgical retreatment can help save the tooth.
What is non-surgical retreatment (“retreatment”)?
This is when the endodonist will re-do the root canal treatment on the tooth. Any infection will be cleaned out, and it is made sure that all the pulp has been removed.
What is surgical retreatment (apicoectomy or “apico”)?
During the procedure, an incision is made in the gum tissue surrounding the tooth and the gum is retracted to create a window of access into the root system. The infected or inflamed tissue is then removed, along with the tip of the root. A root-end filling may also be placed to seal the end of the root canal. Finally, a few stitches will be placed in the gum tissue to close off the treated area.
How long does retreatment (surgical or non-surgical) take?
Both types of retreatments are usually completed in single 60 to 90 minute visit.
What are my post-op instructions for an apicoectomy?
The most important thing to remember following surgery is that your body needs time to heal! The first 24 hours after surgery is a very important time for recovery, so we recommend that you take it easy the day of your procedure. This includes taking the day off work and avoiding anything that may increase your heart rate. A list of instructions and possible side effects will be given to you the day of surgery. Following these instructions will help make you as comfortable as possible. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call the office.