Endodontic FAQ

What is endodontics?

Endodontics is one of nine specialties recognized by the American Dental Association.  It involves 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 composed of blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue.  As a result of tooth decay, tooth fracture or other problems, bacteria can enter the root canal and irreversible 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.

What about infection?

We adhere to the most rigorous standards of infection control advocated by OSHA, the Centers for Disease Control and the American Dental Association.  We utilize autoclave sterilization and barrier techniques to avoid risk of infection.  Our autoclave is routinely tested chemically and mechanically, and biologically by an independent laboratory that it is functioning optimally.  All water used during treatment is sterile.

What happens after treatment?

When your root canal therapy has been completed, a record of your treatment and x-rays will be sent to your referring dentist.  You must contact their office for a permanent restoration as soon as possible, no longer than 4 weeks.  Your general dentist will decide on what type of restoration is best to protect your tooth.