Endodontic FAQ

What is endodontics? 

The word endodontic has Greek origins and literally means “inside the tooth”. A recognized specialty by the American Dental Association, endodontics is a branch of dentistry concerned with diseases of the dental pulp, which lies inside the tooth in the root canal system. The most common procedure associated with endodontics is root canal therapy.

What is root canal therapy?

Often simply known as “a root canal”, this treatment involves the removal of diseased pulp tissue from the inside of the tooth, which is then sealed with a crown. Root canals save teeth from extraction, and the tooth can last for many years after treatment, ensuring that patients retain a reliable bite and their beautiful smile.

How do I know if I need a root canal?

Signs that you may need a root canal include a toothache, fracture, crack or broken tooth, sensitivity, swelling or pain around the tooth, abscess or drainage, or a known injury.

Why was I referred to you for root canal treatment?

Your dentist referred you to us because just like us, he or she knows that saving your natural tooth is the most important thing, and root canal therapy is the only option left for doing so.

Does root canal therapy hurt?

No, your tooth will be completely numb during the procedure.

Will I have pain after the root canal?

As the anesthesia wears off, some patients have no pain, while others have some very mild discomfort. Most patients are able to adequately manage any discomfort with an over the counter pain medication.

Are root canals better than they used to be?

Yes! Advancements in endodontic techniques, tools and technologies have made treatment more comfortable and more effective now than ever.

Are dental x-rays safe?

Yes – we take x-ray safety very seriously, and only utilize them when they are absolutely necessary. In addition to that, 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 co-therapists electronically. For more information, contact Sirona Dental Systems, Inc.

What to Expect after Root Canal Treatment

Your tooth will be numb for some time after the procedure. We recommend that you take an over the counter pain medication such as ibuprofen or Tylenol before the anesthesia wears off to catch any discomfort before it starts. Avoid chewing hard foods with that tooth until you have your final crown in place.

What if my root canal tooth still hurts?

Very rarely, endodontic re-treatment is necessary to remove a hidden infection. If you have a toothache outside of the normal healing time (several days) of your root canal treatment, please call our office at Olympia Office Phone Number 360-459-3636 for instructions.

We are here to keep you comfortable before, during and after your root canal. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call our office at Olympia Office Phone Number 360-459-3636.