Endodontic FAQ

Endodontics is a branch of dentistry recognized by the American Dental Association involving treatment of the pulp (root canal) and surrounding tissues of the tooth. When you look at your tooth in the mirror, what you see is the crown. The rest of the tooth, the portion hidden beneath the gum line, is called the root. Though the outer portion of the root is a hard tissue called dentin, the inside channel or “root canal” contains a pulp of soft tissue, blood vessels and nerves. Bacteria that are introduced into the pulp as a result of tooth decay, periodontal disease, tooth fracture or other problems, can severely damage the pulp. When that happens, an endodontic specialist, such as Dr. Long or Dr. O’Neal, removes the diseased pulp to save the tooth and prevent further infection and inflammation. After successful endodontic treatment, the tooth continues to perform normally.

No. While x-rays will be necessary during your endodontic treatment, we use an advanced non-film computerized system, called digital radiography, that produces radiation levels up to 90 percent lower than those of already low dose conventional dental x-ray machinery. These digital images can be optimized, archived, printed and sent to cotherapists via e-mail or CD-ROM. For more information contact Sirona Dental Systems, Inc.

Again, there’s no need for concern. We adhere to the most rigorous standards of infection control advocated by OSHA, the Centers for Disease Control and the American Dental Association. We utilize autoclave sterilization and barrier techniques to eliminate any risk of infection.

When your endodontic therapy is completed, Dr. Long or Dr. O’Neal will explain whether or not your tooth will need additional treatment at your general dentist's office. The doctor  will explain what type of restoration they placed and what, if any, additional treatment your tooth will require. Dr. Long or Dr. O’Neal  will work closely with your general dentist to provide the best outcome for you. In some cases, we would like to see you in our office 6 months-1 year after completion of the root canal treatment to ensure the tooth is healing properly. There will be no charge for this follow up visit  and we will let you know if we feel this is appropriate for you.