QUESTIONS A PATIENT SHOULD ASK WHEN SELECTING A DENTIST TO PERFORM ENDODONTICS (ROOT CANAL THERAPY)
1. Is the dentist's practice Limited to Endodontics and treat both adult and children?
2. Is the dentist a Diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics?
3. Does the dentist thoroughly evaluate that Endodontics is required?
4. Does the dentist clearly explain all of the possible options and cost of treatment?
5. Does the dentist perform root canal therapy in a single visit?
6. Does the dentist utilize an operating microscope?
7. Does the dentist allocate sufficient time to perform the procedure if required at the initial visit?
8. Does the dentist provide appropriate pain management if required?
9. Is the dentist reachable if there are additional questions following the procedure?
10. Is the dentist readily available if you are in pain?
What is endodontic treatment?
“Endo” is the Greek word for “inside” and “odont” is Greek for “tooth.” Endodontic treatment treats the inside of the tooth.
Inside the tooth, under the white enamel and a hard layer called the dentin, is a soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue and creates the surrounding hard tissues of the tooth during development.
The pulp extends from the crown of the tooth to the tip of the roots where it connects to the tissues surrounding the root. The pulp is important during a tooth’s growth and development. Once a tooth is fully mature it can survive without the pulp, because the tooth continues to be nourished by the tissues surrounding it.
Why would I need an endodontic procedure?
Endodontic treatment is necessary when the pulp, the soft tissue inside the root canal, becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes: deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, or a crack or chip in the tooth. In addition, an injury to a tooth may cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess.
What are the signs of needing endodontic treatment?
Signs to look for include pain, prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, tenderness to touch and chewing, discoloration of the tooth, and swelling, drainage and tenderness in the lymph nodes as well as nearby bone and gingival tissues. Sometimes, however, there are no symptoms.