Patient Information

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What is a root canal?

The crown of each tooth is connected to a root which is a hollow tube.  Sometimes if decay reaches the inside of the hollow tube that space needs to be cleaned.

Everybody says root canals are worse than having a baby! True?

We treat kids, and plenty of anxious adults.  We will make sure you don’t feel a thing and if you are anxious we can help.  Plenty of patients have said their root canal was easier than a filling.  Best of all, you will NOT leave our office with a new family member!

How long will it take?

It usually takes one or two visits of an hour.

Will it hurt after I have a root canal?

Postoperative pain is most closely related to preoperative pain, but starting root canal treatment is often the best way to get relief fast.

My dentist took xrays, will you need to make another?

We will look at any conventional image you bring or that is emailed.  Most of the time we will take another film, not always.

How long will root canals last?

It depends on how well the tooth is restored, and how intact the tooth is but they can easily last over forty years if all conditions are favorable.

If I have trouble with a previous root canal will I lose the tooth?

We clean and care for previous root canals successfully on a daily basis.  We routinely consult with patients who were told they should have an extraction and an implant.

Do I have to get a crown after treatment?

Crowns protect teeth that have had root canals from fracture.  We ALWAYS recommend that patients return to their general dentist for a final restoration

Why would a tooth that already had a root canal still feel pain?

The tooth is an organ and sits in gums, surrounded by bone, which is innervated by nerves.  Sometimes it takes time to calm down, sometimes we can’t really say with surety why some teeth feel different after treatment.  Sometimes it needs to be cleaned more.

My dentist said he saw an infection on the xray, should I be worried?

Signs of infection are swelling, tenderness, and pain, which we evaluate for at the initial exam.

Will you give me antibiotics after treatment?

Antibiotics are double edged swords with side effects that require doctors to prescribe them when warranted.  Routinely prescribing antibiotics for every case is not good practice.

Do I need to return for follow up?

We routinely send postcards at 6, 12, and 24 months after treatment so that we can follow your progress on x ray, for no additional charge.  Many cases we treat are exceptionally difficult.  If it’s more convenient for you, ask your general dentist to take an xray, and forward a copy to us after you get our post card.

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