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Frequently Asked Questions

Pursuing endodontic care can be an intimidating process at times – it’s very understandable to have questions or concerns about what to expect. For added convenience, our team at Afton Endodontics has chosen to compile a few of the most popular FAQs we receive with their answers below. Please take a look and don’t hesitate to contact us if you still don’t see the information you’re looking for. We can also help over the phone!

What exactly does “endodontics” mean?

Endodontics is a specialty branch of dentistry that concerns itself with the vulnerable inner dental pulp and tissues that surround the roots of a natural tooth. It comes from the Greek word “endo,” which means “inside,” and the Greek word “odont,” which means “teeth.”

Why should I see an endodontist for treatment instead of a general dentist?

While general dentists may be capable of performing simple root canals when their patients are in need of this type of care, they do not have the training and education needed to handle more complex circumstances and symptoms. An endodontist is a dentist who has completed two additional years of intensive study in addition to their typical dental degree, and most only provide this narrow focus of services day in and day out, which means they’re the true experts. Dr. Gell is even a Diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics, which is the pinnacle of academic achievement in this field!

How do I know if I need root canal therapy?

Some common symptoms that indicate the presence of an advanced dental infection include:

· Excessive oral pain or sensitivity, especially when biting

· Noticeable tenderness and/or swelling in the gum tissue

  • Extreme sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
  • Discoloration in a specific tooth

However, it’s important to remember that the signs may not always be this clear. Sometimes, radiographs are needed to confirm your diagnosis!

Will my root canal hurt?

You’ll be happy to hear that today’s modern dental technologies and techniques have helped make root canal therapy very comfortable, despite its “bad” reputation. Our team uses a small amount of anesthesia to ensure that patients feel comfortable, and the numbness should only linger for a few hours after treatment.

Are there any alternates to root canal therapy?

Unfortunately, no. The only real alternative is having the tooth extracted and replaced with a dental implant, bridge, and/or removable partial denture. No matter how effective these replacements may be, we strongly encourage patients to invest in maintaining their natural tooth. This approach can help you enjoy a healthier, stronger smile for the rest of your life!

Are dental X-rays safe?

Yes. Our specialists have invested in state-of-the-art digital X-ray technology here in Concord, which dramatically reduces radiation exposure by up to 90% when compared with traditional film.

What should I expect after endodontic treatment? Are there any side-effects?

As the numbing agent gradually wears off following treatment, patients may experience some mild tenderness and soreness in the treated area as everything heals. These symptoms are very temporary, though, and can be successfully controlled through over-the-counter medication. The treated tooth in question may also feel a little “off” in the first few days.

If you’re experiencing any severe pain, pressure, or oral swelling, please contact the practice for assistance right away.

Can I fill out my forms before my appointment?

Yes! Please visit our new patients page to download the necessary paperwork and save yourself some valuable time before arriving at the practice in-person.