Frequently Asked Questions
What is an endodontist?
An endodontist is a root canal therapy specialist. After four years of dental school, he or she takes three years of intensive specialty training.
What is root canal therapy?
A root canal is a procedure that removes decayed pulp from the central part of the tooth, reshapes the canal and replaces the pulp with strengthening filler.
A cavity is the result of superficial decay of the enamel of the tooth. Left long enough, this decay can burrow into the deeper reaches of the tooth, causing extensive damage to tooth structure. When the damage goes beyond what can be treated with a filling, a root canal is performed, preserving the tooth and retaining its original integrity and saves a tooth that, in the past, would have to have been pulled.
Is root canal therapy painful?
A local anesthesia, such as lidocaine, can make most teeth painless to treat. The procedure begins with the patient undergoing anesthesia. A dental dam is then used to isolate the tooth and the tooth is opened to allow for removal of infected or dead dental pulp. The tooth is comprehensively cleaned, including any cracks and canals. With special tools, the doctor reshapes the canals and the tooth is filled again with cutting-edge biocompatible filling material. A temporary covering is used to cover the accessed opening. Patients must return to their general dentist quickly for a permanent restoration of the tooth. Between treatments, "over the counter" medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen usually work well to help with any pain or discomfort. Occasionally, a dentist may write a prescription for a stronger pain reliever when necessary.
Is root canal therapy expensive?
Considering the time, patience and skill needed to perform root canal therapy, it is not expensive. The cost of root canal therapy is substantially less than the cost of a bridge or implant needed to replace a tooth lost because root canal therapy was not performed.
What is your office payment policy?
It is our office policy to request that payment is made at the time of your office visit.
When insurance is involved, we will request appropriate co-pays based on your policy. However, the levels of insurance benefits vary greatly with each plan and company. The fees for procedures that are provided by an endodontist may not always be covered in full. We currently accept cash, personal checks, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and CareCredit.
What insurance plans do you accept?
We currently participate in a number of insurance plans. A partial list can be found on our Insurance page. Many plans change on a regular basis so please contact our office to confirm our participation in your plan. For those plans that we are not a participating provider, we will be happy to process your claim for you, however your benefits may be limited based on your plan. In some cases, your plan may not cover endodontic treatment.
My insurance does not cover endodontic treatment; do you have financing plans available?
Our business manager will be happy to discuss individual financial arrangements with you. We also offer extended payment plans through CareCredit. Please visit their site for additional information and to apply.