Endodontic Center P.C.
1256 Park St., suite 203, Stoughton, MA 02072

Endodontic FAQs

What is Endodontics?

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 removes the diseased pulp to save the tooth and prevent further infection and inflammation. After successful endodontic treatment, the tooth continues to perform normally.

I'm Worried About X-Rays. Should I be?

No! While x-rays will be necessary during your endodontics treatment, we use an advanced non-film computerized system, called digital radiography, which 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 diskette.

What About Infection?

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.

What Happens After Treatment?

When your root canal therapy has been completed, a record of your treatment will be sent to your restorative dentist. You should contact his or her office for a follow-up restoration within a few weeks of completion at our office. Your restorative dentist will decide on what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth. It is rare for endodontic patients to experience complications after routine endodontic treatment or microsurgery. If a problem does occur, however, please call our office.

Can I Maintain a Normal Diet After My Root Canal Treatment?

Eat softer foods for the first 48 hours or so and chew everything on the untreated side to allow the treated tooth/teeth to heal. Contact sensitivity is normal.

Can I Return to My Normal Exercise Regimen After Treatment?

Absolutely. However, if you engage in high impact exercise, you should wait to see what degree of post treatment sensitivity you experience.

How Soon After My Treatment Do I Have to Follow-up With my General Dentist for the Permanent Restoration?

In most cases a temporary filling is placed on your tooth at the end of your treatment appointment. This temporary filling is only meant to last 4-6 weeks, after which it will start to break down. We strongly recommend that you schedule your appointment with your family dentist for the permanent filling two weeks after your root canal treatment.

Will Antibiotics Cure a Root Canal Infection?

Antibiotics cannot cure a root canal infection because the source of the infection is inside the tooth where there is no blood supply; without blood supply there is no mechanism to deliver antibiotics. The cure is the complete shaping, cleaning and obturation (sealing) of the contaminated root canal space.

New Endodontic Technologies

Surgical Microscopes: In addition to digital radiography, we utilize special surgical microscopes. Magnification and fiber optic illumination are helpful in aiding the doctor to see tiny details inside your tooth. Also, a tiny video camera on the surgical microscope can record images of your tooth to further document the doctor's findings.

Nickel Titanium Files: State of the art files used to clean and enlarge the canals prior to filling and sealing.

Electric Hand Pieces: These hand pieces (drills) combined with nickel titanium files improve cleaning, shaping and reduce trauma to the tooth during treatment.

Electronic Apex Locators: Accurately measures the length of each canal electronically.

Thermo-Softened Gutta-Percha: A rubber-like material that is used to fill, seal and complete the root canal procedure.

Ultrasonic Hand Pieces: This device has revolutionized Endodontic (root end) microsurgery, making the surgical correction of root canal problems safer and easier.