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Common Questions

Why is Root Canal Therapy Needed?

The innermost tissue of the tooth, or dental pulp, may become damaged by bacteria associated with past or present decay, a crack, or a past traumatic injury to the area.  Root canal treatment, if indicated, allows you to preserve your natural tooth in a healthy state rather than substituting it with an artificial tooth.


Will the Treatment be Painful?

Modern anesthetics have revolutionized pain control in endodontic treatment. The stereotypic phrase, "as painful as a root canal" no longer holds true because of the scientific advances in pain control through anesthesia.

We will take every measure to ensure that your procedure is comfortable. If treatment is needed, Dr. Lo will gently inject a small amount of anesthetic to numb a concentrated area of your mouth. For most patients, the feeling of numbness subsides after 2-3 hours. Please let the staff know what can be done to make your appointment stress-free.


My Dentist Has Taken X-rays. Will I Need Any More?

We will take radiographs (x-rays) during your consultation. If you have any x-rays that were taken by your dentist, please bring them with you. Dr. Lo uses the latest digital x-ray technology which reduces your radiation exposure by up to 85%. No matter what treatment you have in our office, we will only take radiographs necessary to diagnose and treat your tooth in order to provide the best possible outcome.


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 one year after the procedure was finished. Our office will send a reminded notice to you when you are due for a recall appointment.


Would I Ever Need Endodontic Retreatment?

Occasionally, a tooth that has undergone endodontic treatment fails to heal or pain continues despite therapy. Although rare, sometimes a tooth initially responds to root canal therapy, but becomes painful or diseased months or years later. When either of these situations occurs, the tooth can be maintained with a second endodontic treatment.


What if I Decide Not to Have a Root Canal?

The alternative to root canal therapy is removal of the tooth from the mouth. Once the pulp is affected beyond its ability to heal, it will lead to either an inflammatory response or an infective reaction. Neither are healthy, and both require some form of treatment. While some people prefer extraction, it is usually advisable to keep your natural tooth, if possible.