Who is an endodontist or root canal specialist?
An endodontist is a dentist with extensive training in the treatment of problems in the root canal of a tooth. This specialty training takes two or more years beyond dental school and means an endodontist is an expert in root canal treatments. An endodontist only performs root canal procedures.
Why do I need a root canal?
Inside the tooth there is an area known as the pulp chamber, which contains the dental pulp (the nerves and blood supply to the tooth). This area can become damaged due to tooth trauma or significant dental decay, and the pulp can begin to die. Once the pulp becomes infected, the infection can travel down the root of the tooth and affect the bone around the tooth causing an abscess to form. The goal of endodontic therapy is to save the tooth by removing the infected or damaged pulp and filling the empty canals with an inert material called gutta-percha. A root canal is performed to alleviate certain symptoms associated with a dying pulp.
A tooth that hurts significantly when you bite down, touch or push on it
Infection/ abscess drainage
Sensitivity to heat
Sensitivity to cold that lasts longer than a couple of seconds
Swelling near the affected tooth
A discolored tooth with or without pain
If root canal treatment is not completed, the tooth may need to be extracted.
Will it hurt to have a root canal?
In most cases, no! Root Canal Treatment is usually a painless procedure. Root canal treatment has a certain “reputation.” The pain most people associate with a root canal is caused by the symptoms: an abscess, cracked tooth, or infection. With the "cure" comes pain relief. With modern local anesthetics and injection techniques, most procedures are done with the patient free of pain. Depending on the problem that needs treatment, there may be some soreness afterwards as the tissues around the tooth heal.
What should I expect?
The first step is a diagnostic and treatment planning appointment. At this appointment, we will review your health history, take a digital x-ray and test the tooth to determine its vitality. The doctor will then explain his diagnosis, review your treatment options and his recommendations, and answer your questions. A team member will explain the cost of treatment. If you have dental insurance, we will review your insurance benefits with you and provide you with an estimate of your out-of-pocket expenses based on what your insurance company has told us. This is an estimate only and is offered as a courtesy to our patients. We will provide you a copy of this estimate and of the doctor’s treatment explanation. Then we can schedule your appointment.
The next appointment is the treatment appointment and usually takes from 60-90 minutes. The doctor will anesthetize the area, the assistant will place isolation, and then they will perform the root canal procedure needed to save your tooth. Depending on the restorative treatment plan, either a temporary or a permanent filling will be placed. Afterward, we will send your general dentist a report describing your root canal treatment. Most patients quickly return to their normal routine. It is important to follow up with any other restorative treatment as soon as possible.
We look forward to seeing you out and about in the community with a happy, healthy smile and a well-functioning tooth!
Why not just pull the tooth?
Tooth extraction is permanent resulting in a space between the teeth. Tooth extraction can ultimately result in other dental problems such as:
Shifting or rotating of teeth
Biting and chewing problems
Problem with replacing the tooth due to inadequate bone or space
Often a patient will need to have additional treatment to fill the space such as bridgework, partials, or implants. In most cases these options are not as beneficial as keeping your natural teeth throughout your lifetime.
What makes you different from other endodontists?
Dr. Niazi, Dr. Olsson, Dr. Haghparast and Dr. Kuritani received specialist training in endodontics. This extra training allows the doctors to understand the full scope of dental care and how best to work with your general dentist for your best outcome. They can truly be partners with your dentist.
Our doctors are dedicated to the comfort and health of patients. They believe patients should not have to remain in pain while waiting for an appointment date. If needed, emergency treatment can be performed to achieve a patient's comfort until the root canal treatment can be completed.
We utilize the most advanced technology, training, and equipment.