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Common Questions

Why is Root Canal Therapy needed?

The innermost tissue of the tooth, or the dental pulp, may become damaged by bacteria associated with past or present dental decay, a crack, or a past traumatic blow to the area.  Root canal treatment allows you to preserve your natural tooth in a healthy state rather than substituting it with an artificial tooth.

How long will treatment take?

A root canal treatment usually can be treated in one visit.  There are, however, several reasons why it could take multiple appointments.  We commit to doing whatever is necessary to give you the best prognosis.  Please allow up to one and a half hours for each appointment.

What if my tooth continues to remain uncomfortable for several weeks?

Root canal treatments are usually very successful.  However, if there should be a recurrence of infection, treatment can be repeated.

What if I decide NOT to have a root canal?

The alternative to root canal treatment is removal of the tooth from the mouth.  Once the pulp is affected beyond its ability to heal, it will lead to either an inflammatory response or an infective reaction.  Neither are healthy, and both require some form of treatment.  The treatment options at this time would be extraction of the tooth or root canal therapy.  While some people prefer extraction, it is usually advisable to keep your natural teeth, if possible.

My dentist has taken x-rays. Will I need any more?

We will take radiographs (x-rays) during your consultation.  If you have any radiographs that were taken by your dentist, please bring them with you. Dr. Chandler uses the latest digital x-ray technology which reduces your radiation exposure by up to 85%.  No matter what treatment you have in our office, we will only take the radiographs necessary to properly diagnose and treat your tooth.

Will the treatment be painful?

We will take every measure to ensure that your procedure is in no way uncomfortable or painful.  We use a computer-automated anesthetic delivery system known as the "Wand."  The scientific literature is quite clear that the Wand is both less painful and more effective than the conventional dental injection.  If treatment is needed, we will inject a small amount of anesthesia to gently numb a concentrated area of your mouth.  We always ensure you are numb before any treatment is started. Dr. Chandler is highly trained in methods to keep you comfortable throughout the entire appointment.  For most patients, the feeling of numbness usually subsides after 3-4 hours.

Will I need to return to your office for follow-ups after the procedure is finished?

Yes, for most root canal treatments we recommend that patients return to the office 6-12 months after the procedure was finished.  There are no charges for these appointments.  Our office will send a reminder notice when you are due for a recall appointment.