Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Purpose of Endodontics?

The primary purpose is to retain teeth for function and aesthetics. Endodontics (Root Canal Therapy) enables the patient to avoid extraction of these teeth. Back to top

What is Root Canal Therapy?

Root Canal Therapy replaces the injured or infected tissue (pulp) in the central portion of the tooth with a filling material. We first use x-rays and other tests to determine if the pulp is diseased. If treatment is necessary, a local anesthetic is given. The tooth is isolated with a rubber dam to keep the surrounding area clean and dry. The dentist makes an opening through the chewing surface of the tooth to reach the pulp. He removes the pulp tissue and cleans the canal(s) with instruments called files. He then seals and fills the canal(s). Back to top

Can all teeth be treated?

There are some teeth that cannot be treated endodontically. If you are not a candidate for endodontic therapy, we will inform you. In addition, there are times when a minor surgical procedure may be indicated to save your tooth. This will depend on preexisting conditions. Back to top

How long does treatment take?

Usually one visit of about one and one-half hours. Back to top

Will I have pain during the procedure?

Endodontic treatment usually relieves pain. Most stories of pain related to Root Canal Therapy are a holdover from the days before good anesthetics and modern instruments. There is minimal discomfort when a dentist experienced in treating complicated cases performs the procedure. Nitrous Oxide and Oral Sedation are available on request for those who are extremely apprehensive about dental treatment. Back to top

What happens after the Root Canal Therapy is completed?

It is usually necessary for you to return to your family dentist for the permanent restoration of the endodontically treated tooth. This should be done as soon as possible after completion of our treatment. Your family dentist will decide the permanent restoration necessary to return the tooth to its proper function. Back to top

What determines the cost?

Fees for Root Canal Therapy are determined by the number of canals treated and complexity of the case. If you wish more information before your appointment, we suggest a consultation. Back to top

What does the fee include?

     Health history evaluation

     Radiographs (x-rays)

     Vitality tests

     Examination and diagnosis


     Instrumentation and cleaning of root canal(s)

     Filling of root canal(s)

     Prescriptions (not dispensing of medication)

     Processing of dental insurance forms

     Reports to your general dentist

     One year follow-up radiograph (x-ray)

There will be a separate fee for posts, core material, surgical treatment, or additional procedures if they are judged necessary. Back to top

Will my dental insurance cover the fee?

Root Canal Therapy is covered by most insurance plans. Insurance is designed to help you with the expense, but not to eliminate it completely. Our experience indicates that the majority of insurance carriers pay about 50% of the fees charged. For this reason we ask that our patients with insurance pay a percentage or flat fee when service is rendered. Our staff will aid you in receiving the maximum benefits available under your policy. Back to top

What if I do not have dental insurance?

Fees are the same for patients with or without dental insurance and are payable at the appointment when services are rendered. We accept Visa, MasterCard, and Discover. Back to top

How soon can an Endodontist see me?

If you are in acute pain:

Patients in acute pain will be worked into our schedule on an emergency basis as soon as possible that day. This will usually require more than one appointment for completion of treatment.

If you are not in pain:

We ask that you please call and schedule an appointment. We can normally accommodate patients within a few days, at a time mutually convenient. You may request an appointment with a specific doctor, if you desire.

Due to our commitment to complete your treatment in a single visit and the unforeseen need to manage emergency situations, we will sometimes fall behind schedule. If this should occur during your appointment we ask that you be patient with us, and we assure you that complete care will be extended to you during your treatment. Back to top