Common Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions Section  


Q;  What Is An Endodontist? 

A; An Endodontist is a dentist with advanced training in treating the diseased or damaged pulp, or soft inner tissues of your teeth.  Endodontists will spend at least two to three years after dental school training to become specialists in the techniques and procedures involved in diagnosing and treating dental problems that originate inside the teeth.   

Q;  What's Endodontic Therapy? 

A; The word "Endodontic" comes form "endo" meaning inside and "odont" meaning tooth. Like many medical terms, it's Greek.   

The actual procedure involves removing infected or damaged tissue form inside a tooth and cleaning, filling and sealing the remaining space.


Q;  What Steps Are Involved? 

A; An examination, including digital x-rays, is performed. A local anesthetic is given for your comfort, and a device called a rubber dam is placed over the tooth to isolate it and keep it clean and dry during treatment. 

(a.) An opening is made in the crown of the tooth.

(b.) Using microscopes and micro instruments the Pulp(nerve tissue) is removed from the Pulp chamber and root canals. 

Tiny instruments called files are used to clean the root canals and to shape them to a form that can easily be filled. Medication may be placed in the canals and an antibiotic may be prescribed if the tooth is infected.

A temporary filling is placed in the opening to protect the tooth between appointments. Hard foods should be avoided, as the tooth may break. 

(c.) When completely clean and free of infection to root canals are filled and sealed with material that prevents bacteria from reentering. 

After treatment a digital x-ray is taken and a report is sent to your dentist. 

(d.) The opening is then sealed with a temporary filling, which will be replaced by your family dentist with a permanent restoration, such as a crown.

Q;  What Caused The Problem With My-Tooth? 

A; The most common cause of Pulp damage is severe decay or a fracture that exposes the pulp to bacteria that may cause infection. Other causes of pulp damage include traumatic injury, such as a blow to a tooth, a cracked or loose filling, occasionally periodontal, or gum disease. 

Q;  How Many Appointments Are Necessary? 

A; Oftentimes Endodontic therapy is completed in one appointment, but sometimes two or three visits maybe necessary.

Q;  How Long Will My Tooth Last? 

A; Although the pulp is removed, your tooth remains alive, nourished by surrounding tissues. With regular brushing and flossing, proper diet, periodic dental checkups and returning to the family dentist following root canal therapy to permanently restore your tooth, it may last a lifetime. 

Q;  Does Endodontic Therapy Hurt? 

A;   With the use of modern anesthetics, root canal therapy usually involves little or no discomfort. Often there is pain before treatment, and endodontic therapy provides relief. 

Q; Will There Be Pain After The Procedure?

A;   Cleaning the root canals may cause some inflammation of the surrounding nerves, but usually over-the-counter analgesics alleviate the discomfort. The discomfort may last several days and then should resolve.

Q;  What Are The Benefits Of Endodontic Therapy? 

A; Endodontic therapy saves teeth that would otherwise be extracted. Although the pulp is removed, the treated tooth remains alive, nourished by the surrounding gums and jaw. There is no real substitute for your own tooth, which is more efficient in chewing and biting than an artificial one.

Q;  How Much Does Endodontic Therapy Cost? 

A;   The cost of an Endodontic procedure varies depending on the type of tooth. Molars with two or three root canals are more difficult to treat and usually cost more. Endodontic therapy is usually less expensive than extracting a tooth and replacing it with an artificial one.

Q;  Can All Teeth Be Treated Endodontically? 

A;   Occasionally a tooth can't be saved. Endodontic therapy can be performed only if the root canals are accessible and can be adequately sterilized and sealed. The tooth also must have sufficient bone support.

Q;  What Is The American Board Of Endodontics? 

A;   Founded in 1964, the American Board of Endodontic is only certifying board in the dental specialty of endodontics recognized by the American Dental Association and the American Association of Endodontist. 

The purpose of the ABE is to assure the public that the endodontist it certifies have demonstrated exceptional knowledge, skill and expertise in the specialty of endodontics and to progressively raise the quality of patient care.

Q;  What Is The Value Of Board Certification? 

A; By achieving diplomate status, your endodontist has shown great inner motivation and exceptional commitment to continuing professional growth.  A board certified endodontist understands the importance of 

  • Achieving the highest level of knowledge and skill possible
  • Continually pursuing new knowledge and experience 
  • Fully understanding and applying new research and advances in the practice of endodontics and 
  • Ensuring the highest possible quality of care for you, the patient

Q;  How Did My Endodontists Obtain Board Certification? 

A; To become board-certified your endodontist meets strict education requirements listed below and successfully completed three examinations:

Education: Your Endodontist was certified after completing a postdoctoral study in an ADA approved program and has been identified with endodontics for at least four years.

Practice: Your endodontist demonstrated high moral, ethical and professional qualifications and holds a valid license to practice endodontics. 

Examinations:  First, your endodontist passed a one-day written exam that tested a broad range of fields, including anatomy, biochemistry, pathology, immunology, microbiology, pharmacology, radiology, statistics, clinical endodontics, and related disciplines.

Secondly, your endodontist submitted documentation on a variety of cases from his/her own practice. The cases must be diverse and complex enough to demonstrate exceptional knowledge, skills, and expertise in the full scope of the field of endodontics. 

The final phase of the board certification is an oral exam. In the oral exam, a team of experts questioned your endodontist about a variety of endodontic diagnosis and treatment situations. Throughout the extensive interviews, a high level of skill and problem-solving and decision-making, analysis, creativity, and evaluation was demonstrated.