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Pacific Endodontics: Root Canal Therapy, GentleWave Therapy, Microsurgery, Bone Grafting and Dental Implants. Monterey CA - Salinas CA


General Information

Common Questions

What is Root Canal Therapy?

Root Canal Therapy (Endodontics) involves the removal of all infection from the root canal.  During the treatment, the infected pulp is removed.  Any abscesses which may be present can also be drained at this time.  The root canal is then cleaned and the tooth is left to settle for two weeks before a permanent crown can be applied. 

Why is Root Canal Therapy needed?

The nerve may become damaged by bacteria associated with past or present decay, or by a traumatic blow.  Root canal therapy allows you to keep the natural tooth in a healthy state rather than substituting it with an artificial tooth. 

(Click here to watch an informational video on Root Canal Therapy)

Will the treatment be painful?

It is an unfortunate misconception, often supported by media, that root canal therapy is painful.  Treatment by a specialist is usually painless.  We will take every measure to ensure that your procedure is in no way uncomfortable. If treatment is needed, we will inject a small amount of anesthesia to gently numb a concentrated area of your mouth. For most patients, the feeling of numbness usually subsides after 2-3 hours.

I already had a root canal, why do I need more treatment?

Root Canal treatment is usually very successful, however, if there should be a recurrence of infection, the retreatment of the tooth or other surgical therapy may be necessary. 

(Click here to learn more about continued care for your tooth)

What do I do after my Root Canal treatment?

You will be given instructions by the staff after your treatment.  If you are given pain and/or antibiotic medications, please take as directed. 

Can I drive after a root canal treatment?
Yes.  Root canal treatment is usually performed under local anesthesia, just as any other dental treatment.  It normally does not have any effects on your capability to drive or do any other work.

Can I go to work after root canal treatment?
Yes.  Root canal treatment generally is not different from most other dental procedures, except it takes a longer time, usually 1-2 hours.  It usually does not have any effects on your ability to work.

Why do I need to return to my dentist after endodontic treatment is completed?
Your treatment is not complete until the tooth is restored permanently. Your dentist will perform permanent restoration of the tooth. This is a vital component of treatment because it protects the tooth from breaking and prevents reinfection by the process of sealing the canal space from the oral environment.

Will I need to return to your office for follow-ups after the procedure is finished?

Yes, for most root canal treatments, we recommend that patients return to the office 1 year after the procedure was finished. Our office will send a reminder notice to you when you are due for a recall appointment.

What if I decide not to have treatment?

The alternative to Root Canal Therapy is the removal of the tooth.  Once the pulp is destroyed, it cannot heal and it is not recommended to leave the infected tooth in the mouth.  While some people would prefer an extraction, it is usually advisable to keep the natural teeth if possible.