Frequently Asked Questions

What is an endodontist?

Endodontists are dentists that specialize in root canal treatment. Endodontists complete at least 2 years of training beyond dental school. They perform routine, as well as difficult and very complex root canal procedures, including endodontic surgery and treatment of traumatic dental injuries.

What is root canal treatment and why do I need it?

Endodontic (root canal) treatment treats the inside of the tooth. Endodontic treatment is necessary when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes: deep cavities, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, faulty crowns, or a crack or chip in the tooth. In addition, trauma 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 can I expect after treatment?

It is normal to experience some soreness for 3-7 days following root canal therapy, with several reporting only minimal to no discomfort. While we would like for each patient to have only minimal post-operative discomfort, each situation and healing process can vary. The best predictor for what to expect post-operatively is the severity of pain pre-operatively, with the more severe presentations experiencing more discomfort following the procedure. The discomfort usually peaks around two days after treatment and generally subsides within a week. Occasionally the discomfort may persist for more than a week. In this situation, it is important that the tooth is getting better over time. If the situation seems to be worsening please contact us to schedule a follow-up evaluation.

Can I go back to work following treatment?

Yes, you should be able to return to work soon after treatment. Please keep in mind your jaw and lip may be numb for a couple of hours following care.

What options do I have to help with my anxiety about treatment?

We offer nitrous oxide (laughing gas), oral sedation, and parenteral (I.V.) sedation in our office.  If you are interested in sedation, please let our office staff know prior to your appointment so we can determine the best option for you. We will do everything we can to help you have a pleasant experience.

How many appointments will it take?

Many root canals done in our office are completed in one visit. Several others are completed in two visits due to severe pain, swelling, persistent drainage, or complex anatomy. Needing additional visits does not mean that you will pay more; it means that we want to give you the best quality root canal regardless of the number of visits it will require.

Will I need more dental work after root canal treatment?

In most cases, you will be referred back to your general dentist who will determine the best permanent restoration for your tooth. Most back teeth will require a crown (cap) if one is not already present on the tooth. Failure to properly restore the tooth is the most common cause of endodontic treatment failures.

Will the treatment be painful?

We take every measure to ensure that the procedure is not painful or uncomfortable. Each patient is always instructed to alert us if any discomfort is experienced and this is addressed prior to proceeding with the procedure.

Please visit American Association of Endodontists for more information about endodontics.

If you have any questions, please call our office at Tupelo Office Phone Number 662-840-4422