Frequently Asked Questions

How long will the procedure take?

Your treatment will begin with a 20 to 30 minute consultation, which may be scheduled along with treatment or at a separate appointment. This is necessary to diagnose the problem, discuss your treatment options, and help you decide how to proceed. If root canal therapy is the best course of action, it is possible that treatment may be completed in a single visit. However, this depends greatly on the complexity of your tooth. In some cases, proper treatment may require two visits. Faster treatment is not always the best option in regard to the outcome of your tooth. We are committed to spending the time necessary to provide the best possible care for you.

Will the treatment be painful?

We will take every measure to ensure that your procedure is in no way uncomfortable or painful. If treatment is needed, we will inject a small amount of anesthesia to gently numb a concentrated area of your mouth. For most patients, the feeling of numbness usually subsides after 2-3 hours.

What happens after root canal treatment is completed?

It is important that you contact your general dentist soon after treatment is completed to have your tooth permanently restored. The temporary filling placed according to your dentist’s instructions will not permanently protect your tooth from reinfection or fracture. We recommend that the tooth be permanently restored within 30 days of treatment.

What is the recovery time after root canal treatment?

Some minor discomfort in the area is normal following a root canal. It is common for the tooth to be uncomfortable for 2 to 3 days after your treatment. Depending on the circumstances, it is possible for the tooth and surrounding tissues to remain sore for a few weeks.

Why do I need to return to my general dentist within 30 days of my root canal?

The temporary filling we place in your tooth after a root canal will not permanently protect your tooth from reinfection or fracture. Returning to your general dentist to have your tooth fully restored in a timely manner will ensure that you protect the investment you have made in your root canal. Failure to return to your general dentist may result in your tooth becoming re-infected. Re-infection of a tooth requires retreatment of that root canal, an additional procedure that also comes at additional cost. Furthermore, the rate of fracture on an unrestored tooth is very high. In the case that the tooth is fractured, it may no longer be treatable.

Will I need to return to your office for follow-ups after the procedure is finished?

Once endodontic therapy is completed, your tooth should be examined periodically, usually every 6 – 12 months. This allows us to make sure the tooth has healed or is healing properly. You will be given notice when we feel it is appropriate to reevaluate the area. Because an abscess may take 2 years to heal, our office will reevaluate the tooth for at least 2 years.

What is a CBCT Scan, and why might I need one?

A Cone Beam CT Scan is a 3D scan of your tooth which can provide the doctor with information that is not visible on a typical 2D x-ray. Not every patient will need CBCT scan. However, in cases where a tooth is difficult to diagnose, a CBCT scan may be required in order to obtain valuable information for the treatment of your tooth. This additional information is especially useful in cases that involve early stage bone breakdown, previous root canals with missed canals, and infection in the sinus.

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