What is an endodontist?

An endodontist is a root canal therapy specialist, whose practice is limited to only root canal treatment. After undergraduate science training and four years of dental school, an additional two or three years of intensive specialty training are required in order that he or she may perform all aspects of endodontic therapy.

Are root canals painful?
Local anaesthesia (freezing) makes treatment painless. While there may be some discomfort for a brief period after treatment, this can be controlled with aspirin strength medications.

What will happen to my tooth after root canal therapy?
It will be necessary for you to see your dentist to have a permanent filling placed or a cap (crown) made for the tooth. Your dentist will assist you in choosing the most suitable kind of restoration.

Why can’t I use antibiotics to make the abscess go away?
Unfortunately, when a tooth is infected, the blood supply (pulp) running through the tooth is affected as well. As a result, there is no way to conduct the antibiotics to the needed area. They do however, assist in controlling and eliminating infection in the surrounding bone before and after root canal therapy.

Will the tooth last forever after treatment?
Root canal therapy has been reported to be up to 95% successful. Many factors influence the treatment outcome: the patient’s general health, bone support around the tooth, strength of the tooth including possible fracture lines, shape and condition of the root and nerve canal(s) and continued follow-up care with your general dentist. Although we cannot guarantee the successful outcome of root canal procedures, you can be assured that the most advanced techniques and treatment modalities will be performed to ensure the best prognosis possible.

What about infection control?
Reducing the chance of spreading infectious diseases has always been the “highest priority” of the dental profession. Our office uses comprehensive infection control procedures which comply with, and exceed the “universal precautions” set and regulated by government and professional agencies.
We routinely monitor our infection control policies and ensure that upgrades to material and equipment, as well as training in their use, is an on going process.
Many of our control procedures are visible; gloved hands, protective masks and eyewear and freshly laundered uniforms.
What may not be visible to our patients is the sophisticated state-of-the-art sterilization of all instruments, including handpieces, disinfection of all surfaces, and disposal of contaminated waste into special containers which are then discarded according to government regulations.

Are dental X-Rays safe?
Today, more than ever, patients are concerned about the safety of X-Rays in general, as well as the need for them in the dental office. With today’s X-ray machines producing minimal radiation and the use of “fast” X-ray film, recent studies have shown that there is no risk of long term adverse affects to patients.
The amount of radiation used to expose dental X-rays is very small. In fact, the average Canadian actually receives more radiation from sitting in front of the family television for a period of one year than from routine X-rays taken at the dentist’s office!

What should I expect after treatment?
Insect bites, burns, scrapes and cuts; all of these will produce inflammation of the skin characterized by redness (an increase in the blood flow to the area) and therefore swelling.
Removal of pulp tissue from a root canal can produce an inflammation in the socket holding the tooth. Unlike our skin which can expand, increased fluid in bone produces pressure on sensitive structures like the membranes of our sinuses or large nerve structures in our jaw.
All inflammation takes 7 to 10 days to disappear (think how long a cold lasts). The medications you are given will help to minimize any discomfort from the inflammation resulting from your condition and the treatment rendered, however, if you are unsure, please feel free to contact our office so that we may check the progress of your healing.

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