Endodontic treatment is necessary when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected. The most common reasons for inflammation or infection are deep cavities (caries), repeated dental procedures, cracks, or chips. Trauma can also cause inflammation and often shows up as discoloration of the tooth. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess.
Indications for treatment include prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, discoloration of the tooth, swelling or tenderness of the tooth or adjacent gums. Sometimes there are no symptoms.
The Endodontist removes the inflamed or infected pulp, carefully cleans and shapes the canal system, and then seals the prepared space. Most treatment is now performed in a single appointment ranging from 30-90 minutes (depending on the number of canals). Once treatment is completed, you may be instructed to return to your dentist for a permanent restoration. The restoration of the tooth is an important part of treatment because it seals the cleaned canals from the oral environment, protects the tooth, and restores it to function.
We will take every measure to ensure that anesthesia to gently numb a concentrated area of your mouth. For most patients, the feeling of numbness usually subsides after a few hours.
Yes, for most root canal treatments, we recommend that patients return to the office 6 months after the procedure was finished. Our office will send a reminder notice to you when you are due for your follow-up appointment. In the meantime, it is of the utmost importance that you see your general dentist have the tooth permanently restored 2-3 weeks after treatment is completed in our office
No. While radiographs (x-ray images) will be necessary during your endodontic treatment, we use an advanced non-film computerized system, called digital radiography, that produces radiation levels up to 90 percent lower than those of already low dose conventional dental x-ray machinery. These digital images can be optimized, archived, printed, and sent to your restorative dentist via secure e-mail or portal that is HIPAA compliance.