Endodontic FAQ

  1. The tooth, gums, jaw joint, and muscles of the jaw will often be sore. You should avoid chewing anything hard or crunchy on the tooth for a few days, or until the tooth is properly restored by your dentist. Maintaining proper oral hygiene with brushing and flossing is very important, and that goes beyond endodontic treatment.
  2. Endodontically treated teeth can last a very long time. The pillars of success to determine the longevity include the quality of endodontic therapy, the appropriate restorative care, and how well you maintain the tooth by keeping up good oral hygiene measures and attending regular cleanings and check-ups with your dentist.
  1. Occasionally, an endodontically treated tooth may become painful or diseased years after the original successful therapy. If this occurs, the next step in saving the tooth may be an endodontic retreatment procedure or a root-end surgical procedure.
  2. Causes of pain or new disease development can arise due to trauma, deep decay, defective restorations, fractures. Each of those can result in contamination of the existing endodontically treated tooth. In other cases, there may be additional spaces in the root system, which were not cleaned out during the initial endodontic therapy.

It is our opinion that it is best to save your nature tooth whenever possible. Following the evaluation of the tooth, options will be discussed. With advances in technology and endodontic techniques, the retreatment could provide an improved therapy and help to resolve your problems with the tooth.

  1. If retreatment is not an option, the next step in saving the tooth would be endodontic surgery.
  2. Extraction is an alternative to both retreatment and endodontic surgery. Although extraction can resolve the issue, like endodontic treatments, it also involves the subsequent need to replace the tooth. The extracted tooth would be replaced by an implant, bridge, or the fabrication of a removal partial denture. The alternatives can be costly, and in some cases require additional dental procedures on adjacent healthy teeth, leading to risk of those teeth requiring endodontic intervention.
  1. Prior to a surgical procedure, medications are prescribed to limit the microbial load and to manage post-operative pain and infections. Dr. Thayer will review these medications following evaluation of your tooth.
  2. There will be specific post-operative instructions provided prior to and after the surgical procedure. These instructions are to ensure appropriate healing and to reduce the risk of post-operative problems from developing.
  3. Unless an oral conscious sedation medication is administered, you can drive yourself home. If you feel that having an escort, please make sure you make those necessary arrangements.

In most cases, you should be able to resume normal activities within a day or two. Dr. Thayer will review all aspects of the procedure and your medical history to best address the expected recovery time.