What is endodontics?
Endodontics is a branch of dentistry 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.
I’m worried about x-rays. Should I be?
No. While x-rays will be necessary during your endodontics treatment, we use a non-film computerized system, called digital radiography, that produces radiation levels lower than those of already low dose conventional dental x-ray machinery. In addition we use a protective lead apron to further reduce the radiation. We will only take x-rays that are necessary in order to perform a proper root canal treatment.
How long will the procedure take?
The length of the procedure will vary based on the tooth type and complexity of the case . During your first visit we will discuss the probable number of visits, their length and the fees involved. On average, consultation and root canal treatment on a molar will take 1.5 hours. A tooth with previous root canal treatment may require 2 hours or even 2 separate appointments.
How much will it cost?
The cost varies depending on how complex the problem is and which tooth is affected. Molars are more difficult to treat; the fee is usually more. Most dental insurance policies provide some coverage for endodontic treatment. Generally, endodontic treatment and restoration of the natural tooth are less expensive than the alternative of having the tooth extracted. An extracted tooth must be replaced with an implant or bridge to restore chewing function and prevent adjacent teeth from shifting. These procedures tend to cost more than endodontic treatment and appropriate restoration.
If you would like an estimate prior to your visit, please call the office at (613) 722 3636. Please provide us with as much information as possible. Ideally have your x-rays forwarded to our office so that we can provide you with a more accurate estimate. Please note that we can only provide you with a fee range without examining your tooth in our office. The actual fee will be determined after a full consultation is done.
Will I feel pain during or after the procedure?
Many endodontic procedures are performed to relieve the pain of toothaches caused by pulp inflammation or infection. With modern techniques and anesthetics, most patients report that they are comfortable during the procedure. For the first few days after treatment, your tooth may feel sensitive, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure. This discomfort can be relieved with over-the-counter or prescription medications. Follow your post-op instructions carefully. Your tooth may continue to feel slightly different from your other teeth for some time after your endodontic treatment is completed. However, if you have severe pain or pressure or pain that lasts more than a week, call the office at (613) 722 3636.
What happens after treatment?
When your root canal therapy has been completed, a record of your treatment will be sent to your restorative dentist. You should contact their 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.