|"Where caring, skill, will and technology intersect while striving for endodontic excellence."|
Root Canal Therapy, Root Canals, or
NonSurgical Endodontic Therapy
I thought it was called a Root Canal!
It used to be called a root canal until the American Association of Endodontistists redesignated it nonsurgical endodontic therapy. It's the same thing, same basic process, same materials. Instrumentation, irrigation, and filling techniques have changed enough to have alleviated alot of the 'experiences' folks used to have with 'root canal' treatment so the specialty decided to give the procedure a new name.
Why do I need it?
What Happens During Endodontic Treatment?
What is a Root Canal?
A local anesthetic will be given. A sheet of latex called the "rubber dam" (we've got nonlatex ones too) will be placed around the tooth to isolate it, hence keeping it clean and dry during treatment. The treatment consists of three or four basic steps, but the number of visits will depend on your particular case. Some treatments take 2 visits but many are just a single visit. Occasionally 3 appointments are needed. In any case, it depends on the degree of infection/inflammation and degree of treatment difficulty. To me, it's more important to do it the very best we can then to meet a specific time criteria. Let's look at the basic steps for nonsurgical endodontic therapy.
The Root Canal Process
What kind of Materials are placed in the process?
The resulting space inside the center portion of your tooth is filled with a rubber like material (gutta percha) and cement (zinc oxide + eugenol) to seal the root canals in vast majority of cases. In a few special cases, the root canal space may be filled with mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA) or a plastic resin . If a filling is placed to restore an area, it will NOT contain amalgam but usually one or more of the following: composite/glass/resin ionomer (glass and organic acid +/or plastic resin), MTA (portland cement), +/or zinc oxide/eugenol.
What if I have a Temporary or Build up placed after treatment?
Will I need to return to your office for Additional Visits?
How do I know the Endodontic Procedure will be Successful?
There are, of course, no guarantees. Root canal or endodontic therapy has a very high degree of success, up to 90%. Teeth which can be treated near ideal have a success rate up to ninety percent! Dr. Joseph Dovgan will discuss with you the chances of success before any endodontic procedure to help you make an informed decision. If a root canal or endodontic therapy is unsuccessful or fails you still have options. See When Nonsurgical Endodontic Therapy (RCT) is unsuccessful.
Watch a simulated NSET or Root Canal procedure in an Acrylic Block!
How does endodontic treatment maintain a tooth?
The nonsurgical endodontic therapy or root canal removes the inflamed or infected pulp, carefully cleans and shapes the inside of the tooth, then fills and seals the space. Afterwards, you return to your general dentist, who will place a crown or other restoration on the tooth to protect it and restore it to full function.
Will I feel pain during or after the procedure?
While many patients may be in great pain before seeing an endodontist, most report that the pain is relieved by the treatment and that they are very comfortable during the procedure. The vast majority of patients can be anesthized so the procedure is almost "painless". Sometimes anesthetic must be placed directly into a given area to achieve anesthesia or complete numbness. For the first few days after treatment, the tooth will probably feel sensitive especially to biting and commonly a slight dull ache for a few days. If there was pain or infection before the procedure, it may take a couple of days to return to normal. This discomfort can be relieved with over-the-counter or prescription medications. The endodontist will tell you how to care for your tooth at home.
Are there any alternatives to Nonsurgical Endodontic Treatment
or Root Canal Therapy?
How much will the procedure cost?
The cost varies depending on how severe the problem is and which tooth is affected. Many dental insurance policies cover endodontic treatment. Generally, treatment and restoration of your natural tooth is the least expensive option. The only alternative is having the tooth extracted. Most teeth will need to be replaced with a bridge, implant, or removable partial denture to restore chewing function and prevent adjacent teeth from shifting.
Does Insurance pay for Endodontic Therapy?
Will the tooth need any Special Care?
You should not chew or bite on the treated tooth until you have had it restored by your general dentist because your tooth could fracture. Otherwise, just practice good oral hygiene - brushing, flossing and regular checkups and cleanings. Endodontically treated teeth can last for many years, even a lifetime.
What causes an endodontically treated tooth to need additional treatment?
Periodontal disease or gum disease can require the need for periodontal procedures. New trauma, deep decay, a loose, cracked or broken filling can cause new infection in your tooth. In some cases, your endodontist may discover very narrow or curved canals that could not be treated during the initial procedure. See When Nonsurgical Endodontics (root canals) are unsuccessful.
Will I be able to drive myself home?
Disclaimer: Endodovgan.com is provided for information and educational purposes only. No doctor/patient relationship is established by your use of this site. No diagnosis or treatment is being provided. The information contained here should be used in consultation with a dentist and/or endodontist of your choice. No guarantees or warranties are made regarding any of the information contained within this website. This website is not intended to offer specific medical, dental or surgical advice to anyone. Hence, you should not rely on this information as a substitute for personal, medical and/or dental attention, diagnosis, and care. Dr. Dovgan takes no responsibility for the websites that hyperlink to or from this site, and such hyperlinking does not imply any relationship or endorsement of those sites.
Joseph S. Dovgan, D.D.S., M.S., P.C.
Practice Limited to Endodontics
"Where caring, skill, will and technology intersect while striving for endodontic excellence."
Serving Phoenix, Scottsdale & Paradise Valley, Arizona
Copyright 2000-2004 Joseph S. Dovgan, D.D.S., M.S. All rights reserved.
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