Q:  What is Endodontics?

A: It is a branch of dentistry that specializes in the cause, prevention and treatment of diseases of the human dental pulp and the surrounding bone and tissue.

Q:  What is an Endodontist?

A:  A specialist in the treatment of diseases and injuries to the root and surrounding bone and tissues. An endodontist is a dentist who receives 2-3 years of specialty training after dental school, and often after a hospital based residency in general dentistry in an accredited dental school.

Q:  What is a Board Certified Endodontist?

A:  To become Board Certified, an endodontist must meet the following requirements: Complete a postdoctoral study in an ADA approved program and be identified with endodontics for at least four years. Demonstrate high moral, ethical and professional qualifications and hold a valid license to practice endodontics. Pass an extensive written exam that tests a broad range of fields including anatomy, biochemistry, pathology, immunology, microbiology, radiology, pharmacology, statistics, clinical endodontics, and related medical disciplines. Submit documentation of a variety of cases from his/her own practice. These cases must be diverse and complex enough to demonstrate exceptional knowledge, skill and expertise in the full scope of the field of endodontics. Complete an oral exam given by a team of experts in the field. Throughout this intensive interview, a high level of problem solving, decision-making, analysis, creativity, diagnosis and treatment must be demonstrated.

Q:  What is the American Board of Endodontics?

A:  Founded in 1964, the American Board of Endodontics is the only certifying board in the dental specialty of Endodontics recognized by the American Dental Association and the American Association of Endodontists. The purpose of the ABE is to assure the public that the endodontists it certifies have demonstrated exceptional knowledge, skill and expertise in the specialty of endodontics and to progressively raise the quality of patient care.

Q:  Can my General Dentist Perform Root Canal Treatment and Endodontic Surgeries?

A:    All dentists receive training in endodontic treatment in dental school. However, because of specialized equipment and advanced education and training in root canal techniques and procedures, many dentists refer patients needing endodontic treatment to an endodontic specialist.

Q: How Much Time Does it Take for a Root Canal Procedure?

A: The length of time to do each procedure varies. Each tooth is different with unique anatomy and conditions. The number of roots involved, the condition of the roots, infection, accessibility, all determine the time needed. Many treatments are completed in one visit, but some cases will require additional visits. Visits can take from approximately 1 hour to over 2 hours.

Q:  How Will I Feel After Root Canal Treatment?

A:   It is not uncommon to experience moderate discomfort and sensitivity, and tenderness to touch and chewing after your initial visit. The discomfort will gradually decrease over the following 5 to 7 days. The first choice for pain relief is Ibuprofen. If you cannot take Ibuprofen, we recommend Acetaminophen. You should ask your physician prior to taking any of these medications.

Q:  How Long Before I Need to See My Regular Dentist After Root Canal Treatment?

A:     You should schedule an appointment to see your dentist within 30 days of your root canal treatment. It is important to protect the remaining tooth structure with a permanent restoration. A crown is usually recommended after root canal treatment.

Q:  What Will Happen If I Don’t Have The Tooth Permanently Restored?

A:     After root canal treatment, your tooth will have a temporary filling inserted. After time, food debris and bacteria will contaminate the root canal system. This will result in treatment failure and often another root canal will need to be done – at additional expense and time. If the damage is too severe, extraction becomes the only choice. Your tooth can also fracture if not permanently restored in a timely manner. This too may result in extraction.