Frequently Asked Questions

What is an endodontist?

An endodontist is a dentist who has undergone specialty training in the diagnosis and treatment of tooth pain. Dental pain can be caused by a number of factors. It is increasingly common to have more than one factor involved in tooth pain. A thorough diagnosis that considers all aspects of dental pain is critical in providing effective and timely treatment of tooth pain.


When do I need to see an endodontist?

Your dentist will initially assess your tooth discomfort. If it is unclear as to the cause of your pain, you can be referred to an endodontist for further assessment. If your dentist is uncomfortable with any aspect of the treatment, you can be referred to an endodontist for the treatment. If your dentist starts the root canal treatment but difficulties are encountered during treatment, you can be referred to an endodontist for completion of treatment. Finally, if you had a root canal completed and are experiencing persistent discomfort, an endodontist can provide further assessment and recommend the best course of action.


At what point do I need to worry about a sensitive tooth?

Tooth sensitivity can range from very mild to quite severe. It is wise to mention any sensitive teeth to your dentist at your regular dental visit. Mild sensitivity can benefit from desensitizing toothpastes or in-office desensitizing agents, providing that tooth decay is not present. If the tooth pain is affecting the way you drink or chew, or it lingers after hot or cold foods and drinks, you should contact your dentist immediately for assessment. If it is unclear as to the cause of the sensitivity, your dentist can refer you to an endodontist.


What does it mean when my tooth is biting sensitive?

Biting sensitivity can be related to a number of factors. Clenching or grinding during sleep can result in chewing sensitivity. A small crack in a tooth can also cause a sharp pain on biting. A tooth that has a dead nerve and an infection at its base can also be sore to bite on. Again, proper diagnosis is critical as the treatment approaches can differ significantly depending on the cause.


Are all root canal treatments the same?

Certain teeth have more roots and canals than other teeth. Some roots are more curved and twisted. Teeth in the back of the mouth can be more challenging to work on. An assessment of possible challenges will provide a prognosis for success and will help determine the best course of treatment.


How can Dental Point Therapy help with my root canal treatment?

Acupuncture and reflex points have proven to be a very effective adjunct to dental treatment. Dental Point Therapy can provide drugless sedation to help with dental anxiety, it can decrease an excessive gag reflex, it can help with limited jaw opening, it can increase the effectiveness of dental anesthesia, and it can help prevent post-treatment discomfort. It has also proven very effective when there is more than one cause of pain such as the case with concurrent tooth and TMJ (jaw) pain.


What Should I Expect Following Endodontic Treatment?

The root canal system inside your tooth has been thoroughly cleaned and the irritated tissue and bacteria that have caused you to need root canal treatment are gone.

It is normal to feel some tenderness in the area over the next few days as your body undergoes the natural healing process. You may also feel some tenderness in your jaw from keeping it open for an extended period of time.

These symptoms are temporary and usually respond very well to over-the-counter pain medications. It is important for you to follow the instructions on how to take these medications. Remember that narcotic medications, if prescribed, may make you drowsy and caution should be exercised in operating dangerous machinery or driving a car after taking them.

Your tooth may continue to feel slightly different from your other teeth for some time after your root canal treatment has been completed. However if you have severe pain or pressure that lasts more than a few days, contact your endodontist.


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