Frequently Asked Questions

Why am I being referred?

Your dentist believes that the treatment of your tooth can be best achieved through a specialist. Some root canals are more difficult than others, and as an extension of your dentist’s skill, he or she feels that we can offer the best care for you in this situation.

What is a root canal?

Decay, numerous fillings, trauma, or fractures can damage a tooth’s pulp causing extreme pain. Root canal treatment is the removal of the pulp tissue then shaping, cleansing, and filling of the pulp space to save a tooth that would otherwise need to be extracted.

How successful is root canal treatment?

There is a very high success rate with root canal therapy, 95–100% depending on complexity. As in all medical or dental procedures, there is a small number of teeth that fail even with the appropriate treatment. An important precaution to prevent failure is to make sure that you have the tooth properly restored after the root canal by your general dentist.

What is re-treatment?

If a root canal fails, it may require a “re-treatment” of the original root canal. In those cases we will disassemble the existing root canal, re-cleanse, and refill the pulp space. Although the success rate for a re-treatment is high, it is not quite as high as an initial treatment.

What is endodontic surgery?

You may have been told that you need an apicoectomy, which is a surgical procedure that is sometimes a second phase of a routine root canal. The surgical phase is the removal of the tip of the root through an incision made in the gum tissue. It is a minor procedure which is done with local anesthetic, and it takes about the same amount of time as an initial root canal treatment. Surgery is the last resort before extraction, and it may involve additional fees.

Can there be complications?

Most root canal therapy is completed without complication, although there is a very small amount of instances where complications may arise, the most common being the accidental separation of files which are used to clean and shape the canal space. If a file does separate, it often can be retrieved or bypassed. This generally does not impact the prognosis of your root canal.