Endodontic or Root Canal Treatment
Our primary goal is to help patients save their natural teeth.
Our practice specializes in endodontic treatment, commonly referred to as root canal treatment. The word “endo” comes from the Greek language and means “inside” or within. Endodontists work with the “inside” of a tooth. Root canal treatment is commonly performed when the dental pulp becomes inflamed or infected due to deep decay, old restoration, cracks, or trauma. Some signs that your tooth has pulp damage include prolonged sensitivity to cold or heat, sensitivity to biting, swelling or tenderness in the gingiva near the affected tooth or discoloration in the tooth structure. In some cases, you will have no physical symptoms. Teeth may have 1 to 4 main canals depending on tooth position in the mouth. We use our expertise, experience and advanced technology to find and successfully treat the entire root canal space. Endodontic treatment combined with an appropriate restoration by your dentist can add decades of service to the tooth that otherwise would be extracted.
People often ask, “What does it mean to have root canal treatment and how does it save my tooth?” The procedure is typically done in one or two visits. This is based on a case-by-case discretion. During root canal treatment the pulp of the tooth is removed painlessly under profound local anesthetic and then roots are filled with a suitable filling material. As a result of removing the inflamed or necrotic pulp, your symptoms will subside and the tooth will return to its normal state. After treatment is completed and the tooth is completely comfortable, your general dentist will place a crown or a permanent restoration in the tooth to strengthen and restore full function to the tooth. This is advised within a couple weeks of having the procedure to ensure the long- term success of the tooth. You should avoid chewing on the treated tooth until it has been restored by your general dentist to avoid fracturing the tooth.
At North Shore & Brookline Endodontic, we take the time to thoroughly assess the risk factors in every case. When needed, we use 3D imaging CBCT scans and clinical microscopic examinations to evaluate the case.
Most teeth can be endodontically treated. Occasionally, a tooth can’t be saved due to a severe fracture, calcified canals or inadequate bone support. Our endodontists will collaborate with your dentist to recommend the best possible treatment for your specific case.
For more information regarding root canal treatment, please visit the American Association of Endodontics.
Root Canal Treatment (Summarized)
Root Canal Treatment (Explained)
Root Canal Treatment (Summarized)
Frequently Asked Questions About Root Canals
How do I know if I need a root canal?
The only sure way to know if you need root canal treatment is through an examination from a dental professional. However, there are a few signs that can signal you may have decay that has reached the inside of the tooth, such as:
- A dull, chronic toothache
- Pain or sensitivity when chewing
- Sensitivity to cold or hot foods or beverages
Is root canal treatment painful?
No. Local anesthesia is used during a root canal treatment so that there is no pain or discomfort. Once this wears off after the procedure, you may feel slight sensitivity, but this will subside rather quickly. Over-the-counter pain medication can help with any discomfort, if necessary.
Do you offer sedation?
Yes, for those who require it, we are equipped to provide sedation in a manner that will ease your fears while keeping you safe and relaxed throughout your procedure.
How long does a root canal procedure take?
The length of a root canal treatment can vary, depending on how complex it is. Though, generally, the procedure itself will last between 30 and 60 minutes - with more involved root canals lasting a little longer. In some cases, a root canal has to be performed in two visits depending on various factors including, anatomy, infections, calcifications, and others.
How long is the healing process from a root canal treatment?
Healing after a root canal is surprisingly quick. You may experience some slight swelling and sensitivity while chewing, but as long as you follow the aftercare instructions, you should start feeling back to normal in a couple of days.
Can I go to work after a root canal?
In most cases, you may return to work following a root canal. Most post-operative symptoms are mild and require over-the-counter analgesics. Please note that you will experience numbness in the area of the tooth for 1-2 hours following a root canal. If you feel that you are unable to return to work, we would be happy to provide you with a doctor’s note.
Can I eat after a root canal?
Please avoid hot liquids and chewing food until your anesthetic has worn off. Please avoid biting or chewing directly on the tooth for the next few days, to promote quick healing. Please avoid sticky foods like jelly beans or gum since they may loosen or remove the temporary filling that was placed. If the temporary filling feels loose or completely falls out, please call our office as it may need to be replaced.
Do I need to have a dental crown after a root canal?
A dental crown is highly recommended after a root canal. Removing decay from a tooth during this procedure can leave its structural integrity questionable. With a dental crown, functionality and strength are returned to the tooth for years to come.
Do you offer payment plans?
We deliver the finest care at the most reasonable cost to our patients, therefore payment is due at the time service is rendered unless other arrangements have been made in advance. For your convenience we accept Cash, Check, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. Monthly financing is available in-house and through Care Credit.
Contact us to learn more about our dental services or to schedule an appointment.