FAQs

Q?Can I contact the doctor after working hours in case of an emergency?
A.

Dr. Edgar is always available to address your concerns. Please contact him at the after-hours phone number included with your post-treatment instructions.

Q?Will I be able to drive and/or to work after endodontic treatment?
A.

Usually a root canal procedure lasts about 1 hour and the numbness wears off after 2-4 hours. Going back to work or driving usually is not a problem. However, if you were sedated or had a surgical procedure, you are not allowed to drive and we recommend going home and resting for the rest of the day.

Q?How much will it cost?
A.

The cost of endodontic treatment can vary depending on factors such as the tooth location in the mouth, the kind of endodontic procedure and the severity of damage to the affected tooth. In general, endodontic treatment is much less expensive than tooth removal and replacement with a prosthesis.

Q?Can any tooth be treated endodontically?
A.

Most teeth can be treated. Occasionally, a tooth cannot be saved because the root canals are not accessible or the root is severely fractured. However, advances in endodontics are making it possible to save teeth that even a few years ago would have been lost. When endodontic treatment is not effective, endodontic surgery may be able to save the tooth. Some teeth are so broken down or decayed that they cannot be restored or do not have adequate bone support, so while a root canal could be performed, the long-term prognosis of the tooth due to other factors, makes spending money on a root canal a poor investment.

Q?What causes endodontically treated tooth to need additional treatment?
A.

As with any medical procedure, success cannot be guaranteed. However, root canal therapy has a very high degree of successful outcomes. Most endodontically treated teeth last as long as other natural teeth. In a few cases, endodontically treated tooth does not heal due to persisting or recurring inflammation or an infection, which may even occur years after successful initial treatment. This may happen if the tooth is not properly restored after initial treatment, or if it develops new cracks, or decay, or has loose, broken or missing fillings. Rarely, small canal spaces inside the tooth are not found and disinfected during initial treatment. Often in such cases, the tooth can be successfully treated and saved with a non-surgical or a surgical endodontic revision. We will discuss with you the chances of success before any endodontic procedure to help you make an informed decision. If initial root canal therapy does not result in healing, you still have options.

Q?Why do I need endodontic treatment?
A.

You may need endodontic treatment if the pulp (soft tissue inside your tooth) becomes inflamed or infected. If left untreated, diseased pulp may further result in inflammation or infection of the periodontal ligament (the membrane that holds the tooth within the bone socket). These conditions may be very painful and result in abscess formation, and ultimately, tooth loss.

Q?What are the benefits of endodontic treatment?
A.

Endodontic treatment removes the diseased tissue from inside the tooth, preserving the tooth for normal function and esthetics. This treatment is usually less costly than removing the tooth and replacing it with prosthetic devices. Often, endodontic treatment is performed on a painful tooth. In such cases, removing diseased tissues allow for pain to resolve.

Q?Does the tooth need to hurt before the root canal therapy is necessary?
A.

No, the tooth pain is not a prerequisite to needing endodontic therapy. In fact, up to 30% of patients that have endodontic disease do not have any pain. Those patients usually are referred by their general dentist after some clinical or radiographic finding of endodontic disease (like seeing an ‘abscess on the x-ray’).

Q?How do I know if I need endodontic treatment?
A.

Often, the signs of endodontic disease manifest as excessive and prolonged sensitivity to cold and heat, pain on biting, spontaneous and unprovoked toothache, a swelling or a pus-draining area on the gums, a headache or an earache, etc. Sometimes, the pain can be referred from a different tooth, or be caused by a sinus infection of a muscle spasm. It is important that you see an endodontist for a thorough evaluation and diagnosis.

Q?Does root canal procedure cause illness?
A.

There is no current scientific evidence to support that claim.

Q?Will it hurt during or after the endodontic treatment?
A.

Dr. Edgar and staff are dedicated to providing treatment that is painless and comfortable. Historically, endodontic treatment was perceived as painful. However, with modern technology and better anesthetics, most patients report a pain-free experience and can expect very little post-treatment discomfort. Knowing what to expect while having a root canal can help ease a lot of anxiety.

Your tooth may feel tender for the first few days after treatment, especially if you had pain or infection before the procedure. Such discomfort is usually managed with over-the-counter or prescription medications. Dr. Tselnik will go over the expected healing process and make necessary recommendations for pain control.
In some cases, the tooth may continue to feel slightly different from your other teeth for some time after your endodontic treatment is completed. However, if you have moderate or severe pain or pain that lasts more than a few days, please call our office.

Q?Will I need to return multiple times for treatment?
A.

Our advanced understanding of endodontic disease and today’s cutting edge technology allow for most root canal treatments be performed in one, or rarely, two office visits. Upon completion of treatment, we will schedule a follow up visit to monitor healing progress. This is usually done 6 months or 1 year after initial treatment and is a service provided to you at no additional charge.

Q?Will the tooth need any other treatment after endodontic procedures?
A.

While removal of pulp tissue from the tooth does not make the tooth more brittle or susceptible to fracture, making an access hole through a tooth weakens its structural integrity. Endodontically treated tooth needs to be properly restored by your general dentist as soon as possible with a permanent filling or a crown. These procedures will help protect your tooth from fracturing and prevent the root canal space from becoming contaminated with bacteria. You should not chew or bite on the treated tooth until you have had it restored by your dentist.