FAQ For Root Canal Treatments

What is an Endodontist?
An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of the dental pulp.  An endodontist has completed a minimum of 2 years of postgraduate education following four years of dental school.  Dr. Larry Farsakian and Dr. Daniel Oh are root canal specialists called an endodontist.

Your general dentist refers patients when the diagnosis or treatment is complicated.  Our endodontic specialist doctors will take the time to explain your diagnosis and treatment.  They feel it is important that patients understand why they require treatment, what treatment involves and what they can do to ensure the best possible outcome.  They believe that a properly informed patient has the best chance of achieving the optimal result for your tooth.

Read more about Endodontics at the American Association of Endondontists…

Do you accept my insurance?
This is the most frequently asked question! Due to the unique nature of our endodontic specialty practice, accepting insurance in lieu of payment is not available. Although we are not participating providers of any insurance company, we will provide you with all the necessary paperwork needed so that you may be reimbursed directly from your insurance company. It is also advised that you contact your provider for any questions you may have or for a detailed explanation of benefits.

How long will my appointment be?
In most cases, we will schedule you for a consultation or for root canal therapy at the initial visit. You should allow yourself anywhere from a half hour to two hours for the initial visit depending upon the procedure rendered. At the initial visit, there will be some paperwork to fill out preceding your appointment. In this case, we would appreciate it if you could allow yourself an additional fifteen minutes in order to fill out the proper registration forms.

Will the treatment be painful?
We will take every measure to ensure that your procedure is comfortable and painless. If treatment is needed, we will administer a small amount of local anesthesia to gently numb a concentrated area of your mouth. For most patients, the feeling of numbness usually subsides 1-3 hours after treatment.

Will I be awake for my procedure?
Yes. This is a very frequently asked question. For the procedure, you will be given local anesthetic, similar to what you would experience with any other type of dental procedure, such as a crown or filling.

Will I experience pain following the procedure?
Some patients will experience some discomfort, particularly to biting or chewing, for a few days. Everyone’s rate of healing is different; some patients have discomfort for one day, some for a week. However, if you experience anything beyond discomfort that is not controlled by an over-the-counter pain medicine, or if you develop any facial swelling, please call the office.

Will I need any painkillers or an antibiotic?
We recommend that you take an anti-inflammatory, such as ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve) following your procedure. If you cannot take ibuprofen or naproxen, then acetaminophen (Tylenol) would be the next best thing. In certain instances, Dr. Farsakian will prescribe you an antibiotic, and/or possibly something stronger for pain. All instructions regarding medication will be reviewed with you before you leave.

Can I go back to work or school after my visit?
Yes! In fact many of our patients ask for the first appointment in the morning, or even come on their lunch break. The area of your mouth that is worked on will be numb for 1-3 hours following your procedure, but it should not interfere at all with your day to day activities.

Can I eat after the procedure?
You are asked to refrain from eating while numb, which can last from 1-3 hours after the procedure. However, fluids can be taken immediately following the procedure. While numb, care should be taken to not bite your cheek, tongue or lip. When you do eat, be sure to chew on the side opposite the side of treatment until you can return to your dentist for the final restoration. Most patients are comfortable eating something soft. Also, it is a good idea to have food in your stomach before taking medication. So, if you are not planning on eating afterwards, be sure and have breakfast or lunch beforehand.

Is there parking available at the office?
There is FREE underground parking below our building in Port Clinton Square. The entrance is off Laurel. There is a second parking lot adjacent to the Highland Park Train station at Laurel and First Street. Street parking is also available.

Can I drive myself to my appointment?
Yes. You will not be sedated for your appointment. Local anesthetic only will be administered, similar to how you would feel for a typical dental visit such as a crown or filling.

How soon should I see my restorative dentist after my root canal therapy?
We recommend that you call your restorative dentist as soon as possible to make your follow-up appointment. Dentists’ schedules tend to book quickly. It is recommended that you have your permanent restoration placed around two weeks after your procedure, but not longer than four weeks. This step is imperative for the long-term successful prognosis of your tooth.

How long will the temporary filling last?
The temporary filling that is placed in the biting surface of your tooth is designed to last typically two to four weeks. A root canal treated tooth can fracture if not covered with a permanent restoration. Delaying the permanent restoration will compromise the prognosis of the tooth the root canal was expected to save. It is crucial to see your general dentist for your permanent restoration.

Will I need to return to your office for follow-ups after the procedure is finished?
All patients are asked to return after one year and two years for a recall appointment to check the previously treated tooth for healing. However, those recall appointments, usually just requiring a digital radiograph image, are very brief and are not scheduled with the doctor.  It is at no cost to you. A card will be sent in the mail to remind you to come in. Additionally, patients of record may call at any time they desire to have the treated tooth checked for any perceived problem.

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