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Frequently Asked Questions

Non-Surgical Root Canal

Surgical Root Canal

Post-Op Instructions

Non-surgical Root Canal:

     Well over 14 million root canals are performed every year in the United States. This treatment can save your natural teeth and prevent the need of dental bridges in the future.  Patients rely on tooth pain to alert them to a problem, but pain can be misleading. Diagnosis of a root canal problem requires an analysis of tooth pain patterns. Tooth sensitivity to temperature can be a sign that the nerve in the tooth is functioning normally. Conversely, the nerve in a tooth can die and abscess without producing any pain.  For this reason, we will test your tooth thoroughly to determine the reason for what you are feeling or what we are seeing on an x-ray.  Sometimes a tooth is damaged beyond treatment and a root canal will not be beneficial.  Other times treatment is not required and we are just as happy to tell the patient they do not need a root canal.

     There are pain patterns that can predict rapid abscess and swelling. Sensitivity to hot which is relieved by cold, is a significant emergency and should be treated within 48 hours to avoid rapid abscess formation. If this condition is intercepted in a timely manner, significant complications can be avoided. 


High success of non-surgical approach


     Nonsurgical root canals are the most predictable and least invasive treatment option with a 90% success rate, and are therefore always our first choice. This therapy usually involves local anesthesia and may be completed in one or more visits depending on the treatment required. Part of the expertise practiced by a board certified endodontist is accurately predicting treatment results.  If your tooth will not respond favorably to treatment, we will inform you and your dentist, and then determine the next best treatment option.    We use local anesthesia to eliminate discomfort during and directly after the treatment. You will be able to drive home after your treatment and will probably be comfortable enough to return to your normal routine.


What happens after treatment?


     When your root canal therapy has been completed, a record of your treatment will be sent to your general dentist. You should contact their office for a follow-up restoration within a few weeks of treatment at our office. Complications are rare, but possible after routine Endodontic treatment. If a problem or question does arise, we are available at all times to respond. Regardless of the restoration, Endodontically treated teeth are still susceptible to dental decay and periodontal disease. To prevent further disease, continue to see your dentist regularly and practice good dental hygiene.


How much will it cost?


     The cost associated with this procedure can vary depending on which teeth are damaged and how badly.  In general, root canals are much less expensive than tooth replacement. However, treating a tooth that will fail is the most expensive treatment that can be rendered. We are adamant about treating teeth that will last for decades. Once a diagnosis is made, you will be informed regarding cost of the procedure and what the contribution of your insurance estimate will be.

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