Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What will happen on the first visit?
#1. Paperwork under 10 minutes, we promise:
On your first visit we will need to do some paperwork. We know it’s not what you want to do so we keep it to a minimum and try to get it completed within 10 minutes! You will need to bring your insurance card and a form of identification.
#2. Consult with the endodontist:
Typically, you will come in with a referral from your general dentist / other specialist who referred you for an endodontic consultation. We will review the referral slip and then take an x-ray for the area where you are experiencing discomfort. We often also do 3D CBCT imaging for more accurate diagnostics. The doctor will then review the diagnostic imaging, do a thorough clinical exam, and perform diagnostic tests to determine whether you need root canal therapy and determine a prognosis.
Should you require endodontic therapy our staff and doctor will explain the procedure and assist you with understanding the need for your endodontic treatment as well as the costs associated with the needed treatment.
Most often treatment can be done the same day. Most treatments are completed within one hour but based on complexity you may need a second visit to complete the treatment. In case, you are in pain we will do a pulpotomy, or in simple terms a treatment to get you out of pain the same day followed by another visit to complete the RCT.
What exactly is Root Canal Therapy?
Root Canal Therapy (RCT) is not as scary as you may think or have been led to believe. Trust us, we do these every day! Not convinced? According to a study published by the American Dental Association Survey of Dental Services Rendered, there are actually over 15 million RCTs performed every year. Not so scary now, right?
Root Canal Therapy has evolved. In fact, the way we do microscopic endodontics procedures, in most cases it’s not multiple visits or hours but just a single visit which lasts no more than an hour. We make sure to get you comfortable before the treatment and use different sedation methods and even nitrous oxide if required to ensure that you don’t feel anxiety or pain. Often our patients fall asleep during treatment and catch up on some R&R while others prefer listening to music while we get things done.
A RCT procedure is done in order to save natural teeth. Common causes that lead to a RCT are deep decay within the tooth, infection within the tooth, or trauma to a tooth causing cracks, chips, or repeated dental procedures done on the tooth. Typical tell-tale signs are lingering pain, swelling of the face/gums around the problem tooth, visible injury to the tooth, and extreme sensitivity to temperature.
To put it simply, in a RCT we remove the injured pulp within the tooth and thoroughly clean the root canal space. Once disinfected, the root canal system is sealed up. Most treatments are done within the hour but sometimes more complex cases may take a subsequent visit. The stats indicate that RCT procedures have a high success rate typically over 90% in a vital inflamed tooth.
How much does the treatment cost?
The cost of endodontic treatment varies from case to case depending on the tooth involved, extent of damage to the tooth, and the procedure required.
At Specialist Care Endodontics we understand that the financial aspect of treatment might be of concern, so we work hard to make everything as transparent as possible. We work with your insurance and do a courtesy verification of your coverage and benefits. We also offer care credit and other payment plans. However, just to benchmark, the cost of RCTs are far less than implants and many other specialty dental procedures. As a bonus you get to keep your natural teeth!
What to expect after treatment?
When your RCT is done we restore the tooth with a filling which is good for up to two to four weeks. It’s very important that you follow up with your referring dentist after the RCT within this time frame. Post RCT, we will send a report of the treatment performed along with your x-rays to your dentist so that they can carry out any further required treatment such as crown or permanent filling.
Experiencing slight pain, discomfort, or swelling in the week following the treatment is normal as it’s your body’s inflammatory response setting in. We provide a prescription for anti-inflammatory medication, and / or antibiotics if necessary.