Endodontic FAQ

What is endodontics?

Endodontics, also called root canal therapy, is a branch of dentistry recognized by the Canadian 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.

What is the benefit of a root canal?

The primary benefit of a root canal is to save your tooth. This prevents loss of function (chewing ability), movement of adjacent teeth, and unwanted cosmetic changes. Dr. Pike specializes in this area of dentistry and his team is designed to optimize the likelihood of success. Since 1982, dentists have referred patients to Dr. Pike and his team with confidence that is based on their reputation for clinical skill and professionalism.

I’m worried about x-rays. Should I be?

No. While x-rays will be necessary during your endodontic treatment, we use an advanced non-film computerized system, called digital radiography, that 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 your family dentist via e-mail.

What about infection control?

Dr. Pike and his staff take infection control seriously. We understand that a prominent issue in health care is the control of infectious diseases. We have adopted the latest infection control techniques to meet all Occupational Health Safety Association and the Canadian Dental Association standards. These universal precautions ensure that all patients are protected in the same manner.

What happens after treatment?

When your root canal therapy has been completed, a record of your treatment will be sent to your family dentist. You should contact their office for a follow-up restoration immediately to prolong the life of your tooth. Your family 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. If a problem does occur, however, please call the office at 519-579-8381 or 1-800-444-0174.