Commonly Asked Questions

Who is an endodontist? Why I am referred to an endodontist?

An endodontist is a root canal specialist. After finishing dental school, a general dentist can pursue advanced education for two to three years in the diagnosis and treatment of dental pain and related disorders. An endodontist utilizes sophisticated equipment such as the surgical operating microscope and other clinical aids such as the cone beam computed tomography to treat complicated root canal cases. An endodontist partners with your referring dentist to provide comprehensive care and treatment planning.

What is root canal treatment? The “R” word

The center of the tooth contains a hollow space which houses the dental pulp. The dental pulp contains nerves and blood vessels. Root canal is the space occupied by the dental pulp within the roots.The dental pulp can get inflamed or infected because of dental decay, dental trauma, leakage under dental fillings or cracks. In order to eliminate the source of dental pain caused by an inflamed or an infected dental pulp, a root canal treatment is necessary. A root canal treatment can save the tooth and preserve its natural function. The root canal treatment procedure involves the cleaning, disinfection and sealing the root canals.

The root is supported by the gum tissue and the bone. The root canal treatment procedure keeps the root intact and involves removal of the contents of the root.

What is a root canal re-treatment ?

In specific situations re-contamination of the root canal space which has been previously filled or partially filled can cause recurrence of infection and pain. In order to eliminate the source of infection, the previous root canal filling is removed and the canals disinfected prior to being filled.

What is a cracked tooth?

Our teeth are exposed to dynamic forces when they come in contact. Cracks can form as a result of these forces. Depending on the extent of the cracks or fractures in the tooth structure they can allow for bacteria to travel deeper into the tooth and cause inflammation and subsequent infection of the dental pulp. A cracked tooth can cause pain and be a diagnostic challenge. We utilize the surgical operating microscope to detect the extent of the crack and recommend a suitable prognosis.

Can an antibiotic fix my root canal infection?

Unlike an infection in other parts of the body, once the blood supply to the tooth is compromised or cut off, the antibiotics will fail to reach the source of infection contained within the root canal space. The root canal needs to be carefully cleaned, disinfected and filled to allow your body’s natural immune system to heal the infection.

In certain cases antibiotics are prescribed to support the body’s natural defense mechanism, this determination  is based on the evaluation of the status of your tooth after a detailed examination.

I have concerns about X-rays? Do I need them?

Modern digital radiography technology significantly reduces radiation levels as compared to conventional techniques. Our trained team will acquire necessary radiographs to help deliver precise diagnosis and treatment.

How long will the procedure take?

The average procedure is estimated to last approximately 1 to 2 hours based on the complexity of your tooth and the nature of the tooth involved.

What happens after the root canal treatment?

After completion of treatment, we will communicate with your referring dentist about the treatment rendered and provide you with specific post-operative instructions with regards to your follow up treatment. In order to obtained the desired long term outcome we encourage our patients to return to their general dentists for any recommended follow up care.