Endodontics FAQs

7 Day Dental Endodontics FAQs

What is Endodontics & What is an Endodontist?

Endodontics is a branch of dentistry that focuses on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases and injuries involving the dental pulp and its supporting structures. It is derived from the Greek words ‘endo’ (inside) and ‘odont’ (tooth).

Endodontists are dentists who specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of endodontic problems. They completed additional two to three years of training in the field of endodontics. These dental specialists focus their practice on performing root canal therapy and root-related surgeries. They are also trusted experts in dealing with traumatic dental injuries.

Why can’t my own dentist perform the Root Canal Treatment?

General dentists may perform root canal therapy. However, endodontic problems are best handled by endodontists. With their additional years of training, these dental specialists are equipped with the knowledge and skills essential in handling endodontic problems. Moreover, as they focus their practice on root canal therapy and other endodontic procedures, they get to develop their skills.

Given these facts, compared with general dentists, endodontists are better equipped in handling endodontic problems, especially the more complicated ones. With these experts, your treatment is certainly going to be more comfortable and successful.

How does Endodontic Therapy save the tooth?

Basically, root canal treatment involves the removal of inflamed or infected pulp. After this, your endodontist cleans and reshapes the inside of the tooth. Then, the space is filled and sealed. Following your endodontic therapy, a visit to your regular dentist is necessary. This is since your regular or restorative dentist will perform procedures like placing a crown to protect and restore the tooth to its full function. Once the restoration procedure is done, your tooth will go back to its normal function.

Why would I need Endodontic Treatment?

Endodontic treatment is recommended when the dental pulp tissue gets inflamed or infected. This inflammation or infection may be due to a crack or chip on the tooth, deep decay or repeated dental procedures on the tooth. Sometimes, even without visible cracks or chips, tooth injury may cause pulp damage. When left untreated, this problem may result in abscess or pain. Basically, root canal treatment aims to relieve symptoms of this problem and save the tooth from extraction.

What do I do if my tooth gets knocked out?

You must look for the tooth and handle it with care. Grab it by the top or crown surface. Place it in a glass of cold whole milk. Call us immediately! Time is of the essence in this case. To ensure successful re-implantation, the tooth must be put back in place in an hour or two.

What are the benefits of Endodontic Treatments?

Endodontic treatments are primarily geared towards the prevention of tooth extraction. In short, these procedures help save your tooth/teeth. Furthermore, they relieve pain brought about by inflamed or infected pulp.

What are the different Endodontic Treatments you offer?

Here at 7 Day Dental, we offer the following Endodontic Treatments:

Root Canal Therapy:

This treatment, also called endodontic therapy, involves the removal of the infected or inflamed pulp. Then, the inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned, shaped and disinfected. After thoroughly cleaning the area, a rubber-like material called gutta-percha is used to fill and seal it. To protect the tooth, restoration using a crown or filling is done. The tooth regains its normal function after it is restored.

Endodontic Retreatment & Endodontic Surgery:

Endodontic Retreatment – This procedure becomes necessary when, after a root canal treatment, the treated tooth does not heal (for a variety of reasons) or new problems that affect the treated tooth arise. In endodontic retreatment, the tooth is reopened to remove the root canal filling. The canal is cleaned thoroughly; following this, it is filled and sealed. After the retreatment is completed, you will be instructed to see your regular dentist for the restoration of the tooth.

Endodontic Surgery – This procedure is recommended when nonsurgical root canal procedures cannot save the tooth. Endodontic surgery also aids in the detection of hidden canals or small fractures. Moreover, this procedure is used in the removal of calcium deposits in root canals or the treatment of damaged root surfaces or bone of the tooth. There are different types of endodontic surgeries:


Also called root-end resection, apicoectomy is performed to address persistent infection or inflammation associated with the bony area around the end of the tooth after a root canal. It involves the opening of the gum tissue near the tooth to view the underlying bone. This is followed by the removal of the infected or inflamed tissue and the very end of the root. To close or seal the end of the root canal, a small filling is used. The gingiva is then stitched to facilitate the healing of the tissue.

Intentional replantation & Hemisection:

Intentional replantation: In this procedure, extraction of the tooth is done. While the tooth is out of the mouth, it is treated using an endodontic procedure. After treating the tooth, it is placed back in its socket.

Hemisection:The term hemisection translates to “dividing in two”. Basically, this procedure involves cutting the tooth into halves and removing the diseased root. Performed only on tooth with two roots like the lower molars, this procedure is done to address decay or bone loss that extends to the area between the two roots (called the bifurcation).

Tooth Root Amputation:

Some of the cases which necessitate tooth root amputation are: broken, fractured or injured teeth and roots, tooth decay concentrated in an area of the tooth and embedded bacteria within the structure of the root. The procedure involves the creation of a small incision on the gum to fully expose the roots of the affected tooth. Then, the root is sectioned off and removed. To ensure that all bacteria are eliminated, the area is cleaned with a saline solution. The incision is sealed with stitches. Finally, to secure the tooth, a temporary crown or filling is placed.

Chipped or Fractured Teeth:

Majority of dental injuries involve chipped or fractured teeth. The solution or treatment depends on the severity of the condition. To address this problem, the broken piece is reattached or a tooth-colored filling is placed on the chipped or fractured tooth crowns. Meanwhile, an artificial crown or cap is used in the restoration if a significant portion of the crown is broken off. Root canal is done if the pulp is exposed or damaged. Fractured cusps, cracked teeth and split tooth are injuries involving the back teeth. For fractured cusps, a full crown is used to restore the tooth. Meanwhile, for a cracked tooth, damage to the pulp usually happens; hence, in this case, root canal treatment is usually necessary. Next, to restore the tooth and protect the cracked tooth, a crown is used. In cases where the crack extends below the gum tissue, tooth extraction is done. For a split tooth, salvaging the entire tooth is usually not possible. In some rare cases though, endodontic treatment and restoration may be done to save a portion of the tooth.

Dislodged or Luxated Teeth:

Root canal treatment is usually done when permanent teeth are dislodged. The treatment is best done a few days after the injury. It involves placing calcium hydroxide inside the tooth. Several days after the treatment, a permanent root canal filling is placed.

Vertical Root Fracture & Internal Bleaching:

Vertical Root Fracture: Sometimes, traumatic injuries lead to a root fracture. Vertical root fractures involve cracks starting in the root and extending towards the chewing surface of the tooth. This case typically entails tooth extraction. In some cases, however, endodontic surgery may be recommended if removal of the fractured root can save the tooth.

Internal Bleaching: This procedure is done to remove discoloration on tooth that has previously undergone root canal therapy. It involves the insertion of a gel into the interior of the tooth. Internal bleaching aims to lighten or remove the discoloration without affecting the hard tooth substance.


The goal of this procedure is to create a hard barrier at the end of a root with an open apex for the root canal to be sealed in a normal manner. An open apex is most common in undeveloped tooth root and in mature teeth with eroded roots. The procedure begins with the removal of the pulp. This is followed by the cleaning and shaping of the root canals. Medication is placed inside the root canals and sealed with the help of a temporary filling material. As the medication needs to be replenished regularly, you’d be required to see your endodontist on a given schedule. The root canal therapy is completed once a root end barrier is formed. After the therapy, final restoration will be done.

Regenerative Endodontic:

This treatment is performed to allow the roots to continue growing. In regenerative endodontics, the previously-infected natural tissue of a tooth is revived or regenerated. This treatment is an alternative to apexification.

Vital Pulp Therapy:

The goal of this procedure is to eliminate bacteria found in the dentin pulp complex to maintain a healthy pulp tissue. It is used to treat reversible pulpal injuries, especially in cases involving the primary teeth. In vital pulp therapy, a substance is used to treat the pulp. This substance forms a protective barrier between the pulp and dentin.

Nonvital Pulp Therapy:

This treatment is performed to treat cases involving primary teeth with irreversible pulp infection or necrotic pulp. Nonvital pulp therapy involves pulpectomy or the removal of the necrotic pulp. In this procedure, debriding the root canal and irrigating it with disinfectant are done. A special material is used to fill the canal. To prevent microleakage, final restoration is done to seal the tooth.

Knocked-Out or Avulsed Teeth:

If the knocked out tooth is in a good state, the endodontist will place it back in its socket. This is followed by a root canal treatment after a week or two. A permanent root filling may be placed weeks after the treatment. In this case, it is of utmost importance to see your endodontist ASAP and to handle the knocked out tooth properly. These things affect the chances of saving the tooth and successfully putting it back in place.

Treatment of Traumatic Dental Injuries:

Traumatic dental injuries happen due to accidents. Endodontists are trained to handle these kinds of dental injuries. Below are examples of some traumatic dental injuries and the endodontic procedures used to address them:

How long does Endodontically treated tooth last?

Most endodontically treated teeth usually last a lifetime. However, there are a few cases wherein pain does not subside or the treated tooth doesn’t heal. At times, months or years after a successful treatment, the tooth becomes painful or diseased. In cases like this, redoing the treatment is recommended to save the tooth.

What causes an Endodontically treated tooth to need additional treatment?

The cause is still the same – infection due to deep decay, new trauma or a loose or cracked filling. At times, the additional treatment may be due to the discovery of curved and very narrow canals which may have been missed during the initial procedure.

Can all teeth be treated Endodontically?

Given the current advancements in endodontics, most teeth can be treated endodontically. In certain cases wherein endodontic treatment isn’t effective, endodontic surgery may be performed to salvage the tooth. There are some cases, however, wherein saving the tooth may not be possible. These cases include inaccessible root canals, severely fractured root, tooth which cannot be restored and tooth without adequate bone support.

How long does a Root Canal Treatment take?

Nowadays, the endodontic therapy may be performed in a single appointment. The procedure usually lasts 30-90 minutes. After the treatment is completed, a permanent reconstruction is going to done. The restoration is done by your regular dentist, preferably a week or two after the endodontic therapy. This procedure is an essential part of the treatment as it seals the cleaned canals, safeguards the tooth and restores the tooth’s normal function.

Will I feel pain during and after an Endodontic Procedure?

The purpose of most endodontic treatments is to alleviate pain caused by pulp inflammation or infection. Nowadays, with the advent of modern techniques and the use of anesthetics, endodontic procedures are more comfortable. However, still expect a little discomfort or sensitivity on the treated area a few days after the procedure. To manage the pain or discomfort, you may take over-the-counter pain medications. In some cases, the endodontist may prescribe other medications if necessary. For severe pain or discomfort lasting longer than expected, call your endodontist immediately.

Will the tooth need any special care after a Root Canal Treatment?

It is important that you see your regular or restorative dentist in 1-2 weeks after the root canal treatment. Unrestored tooth is susceptible to fracture; hence, avoid chewing or biting on the treated tooth until it is restored. Make sure you observe good oral hygiene and get regular check-ups and cleanings to ensure good oral health.

What are the signs or symptoms for possible Root Canal Therapy?

Sometimes, there are no symptoms present. In some cases, the following symptoms are experienced: sensitivity (which lingers) to hot or cold, an abscess on the gums, pain when biting or chewing, severe toothache, pain involving the upper and lower teeth, or to the ear, neck or temple, discoloration of the tooth, swelling/drainage of the gums or of the face.

When can I return to my normal activities following an Endodontic Surgery?

In most cases, patients return to their normal activities in a day.

Can I drive myself home after an Endodontic Surgery?

Most of the time, this is permitted. However, it’s still best to ask your endodontist so you could make the necessary arrangements should you not be allowed to drive.

Is extraction an acceptable alternative to a Root Canal Treatment for primary teeth?

Primary tooth extraction is usually avoided as this can lead to the shifting in the position of the teeth. Consequently, this may result in crowding and other orthodontic problems.

What is the Dental Pulp?

The dental pulp is the soft tissue inside the tooth. The pulp is composed of nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue. The pulp extends from the tooth’s crown to the roots’ tip. The dental pulp is essential during the growth and development of the tooth.

What is Root Canal?

The root canal refers to the anatomical space inside the tooth which holds the dental pulp.

What is an Abscessed Tooth?

It is an infection at the tooth root or between the gums and the tooth. An abscessed tooth is usually the consequence of an untreated pulp inflammation or infection. The symptoms of this problem are toothache, pain when chewing, swelling of the gums or sensitivity to hot and cold.

Should I be worried about x-rays?

You shouldn’t be. Our dental specialists observe the necessary measures to lessen your exposure to radiation. Most importantly, we use digital radiography which is noted to reduce patient’s radiation exposure by as much as 90%.

I’m concerned about infection control. Should I be?

Here at 7 Day Dental, you shouldn’t be concerned about infection. To eliminate the risk of infection, we strictly follow the standards set by the Centers for Disease Control, OSHA and American Dental Association.

What do I need to tell my regular dentist after an Endodontic Treatment?

After your root canal therapy, we will provide you with a record which you can show your general or restorative dentist. It is your restorative dentist’s task to determine which type of permanent restoration is necessary for your teeth’s protection. Ensure that you see your regular dentist in a week or two upon the completion of your endodontic treatment.

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