FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Endodontics is a branch of dentistry recognized by the American Dental Association involving treatment of the pulp (root canal) and surrounding tissues of the tooth. When you look at your tooth in the mirror, what you see is the crown. The rest of the tooth, the portion hidden beneath the gum line, is called the root. Though the outer portion of the root is a hard tissue called dentin, the inside channel or “root canal” contains a pulp of soft tissue, blood vessels and nerves. Bacteria that are introduced into the pulp as a result of tooth decay, periodontal disease, tooth fracture or other problems, can severely damage the pulp. When that happens, an endodontic specialist removes the diseased pulp to save the tooth and prevent further infection and inflammation. After successful endodontic treatment, the tooth continues to perform normally.
No. While x-rays will be necessary during your endodontic treatment, we use an advanced non-film computerized system, called digital radiography, that produces radiation levels up to 90 percent lower than those of already low dose conventional dental x-ray machinery. These digital images can be optimized, archived, printed and sent to referring doctors via e-mail.
Again, there’s no need for concern. We adhere to the most rigorous standards of infection control advocated by OSHA, the Centers for Disease Control and the American Dental Association. We utilize autoclave sterilization and barrier techniques to eliminate any risk of infection.
When your root canal therapy has been completed, a record of your treatment will be sent to your referring dentist. You should contact your referring dentists office for a follow-up restoration within a few weeks of completion at our office. Your restorative dentist will decide on what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth. It is rare for endodontic patients to experience complications after routine endodontic treatment or microsurgery. If a problem does occur, however, we are available at all times to respond.
Today’s anesthetics are very advanced and take much of the worry out of endodontic treatment. We take every measure to ensure that your procedure is as comfortable as possible. Before we begin any treatment, we’ll let you know how to alert us to any discomfort you feel, and then a local anesthetic is gently injected to numb a concentrated area of your mouth. For most patients, this is sufficient pain management and the feeling of numbness usually subsides after 2-3 hours.
We understand that many patients fear the discomfort of root canal treatment. Some patients may even ignore the pain and avoid treatment due to dental phobias. Neglecting your oral health can lead to tooth loss, disease, and overall health problems. Don’t let nervousness or apprehension keep you from seeking the dental care you need. At Piney Woods Endodontics, we offer sedation to ease you into your procedure and provide you with a soothing experience.
Sedation can give you the peace of mind you need in order to undergo endodontic treatment. Dr. Allgeier can make recommendations for the type of sedation that best suits your needs and your unique circumstances.
Follow-up visits are necessary to ensure that your tooth is healing properly and does not require further treatment. For most root canal therapies, we recommend that patients return to the office six months to one year after the procedure is completed. We will send you a reminder notice when it’s time for your next appointment.