Q. What is endodontic therapy?

A. Endodontic therapy is the removal of a damaged or infected pulp. Following removal, the root canals and pulp chamber are thoroughly cleaned, filled with strengthening filler and sealed with a temporary covering.

Q. Who provides endodontic treatment?

A. All dentists receive some endodontic training. However, endodontic specialists are dentists who limit their practice to endodontic procedures. They complete an additional two years of post-graduate training in endodontics following dental school. After passing a sequence of exams, these specialists are designated board certified by the American Board of Endodontics.

Q. What are the advantages of endodontic therapy?

A. In terms of functionality, there is no real substitute for your natural tooth. Endodontic therapy is significant because it is designed to save a tooth that otherwise would have to be removed.

Q. What causes the pulp to become damaged?

A. The pulp can become damaged due to periodontal disease and as a result of a traumatic injury. However, the most common reasons for pulp damage are extreme decay and a fracture that exposes the pulp to bacteria that stimulate infection.

Q. Is endodontic therapy painful?

A. A local anesthetic is applied to ensure that you experience little to no pain during the procedure.

Q. How long will the tooth last?

A. Although the tooth is more fragile, with a proper restoration, along with daily brushing, flossing, routine follow-ups and a healthy diet, the tooth may last a lifetime.

Q. Can endodontic therapy save all teeth?

A. Unfortunately, not every tooth can be saved. If the canals are accessible and can be thoroughly cleaned and sealed, the treatment can be performed. In addition, the patient must have adequate bone support.

Q. What alternatives are available?

A. The only other option is to remove the tooth. Failure to replace an extracted tooth will cause the adjacent teeth to shift and negatively impact chewing and biting.