What is Endodontics/root canal therapy?

Endodontics is a branch of dentistry recognized by the American Dental Association involving treatment of the pulp (root canal) and surrounding tissues of the tooth. When you look at your tooth in the mirror, what you see is the crown. The rest of the tooth, the portion hidden beneath the gum line, is called the root. Though the outer portion of the root is a hard tissue called dentin, the inside channel or “root canal” contains a pulp of soft tissue, blood vessels and nerves. Bacteria that are introduced into the pulp as a result of tooth decay, periodontal disease, tooth fracture or other problems, can severely damage the pulp. When that happens, a root canal specialist removes the diseased pulp to save the tooth and prevent further infection and inflammation. After successful endodontic treatment, the tooth continues to perform normally.

How many appointments are necessary for root canal treatment?

Dr Nikdel completes most root canal treatments in one appointment but sometimes several visits may be necessary depending on the complexity of the case.

How long will the tooth last following root canal treatment?

With proper restoration and care, your tooth may last a lifetime after root canal treatment. Proper dental care includes regular brushing and flossing, proper diet and periodic dental check-ups.

Will I have treatment the same day as my consultation?

Occasionally, treatment can be done the same day as the consultation but this is not a regular occurrence. Most days our schedule is already full for treatment. If we have a cancelation or an availability we will be more than happy to fit you in. However, a complex medical history or treatment plan will require an evaluation and a second appointment to provide treatment on another day.

 Does root canal treatment hurt?

With the use of modern techniques, root canal therapy typically involves little or no discomfort. Often there is pain before treatment and endodontic therapy provides relief.

Will there be pain after procedure?

Cleaning the root canals may cause some slight tenderness but usually over-the-counter pain medications alleviate the discomfort. If pain persists or if you experience severe pain, call your root canal specialist. We are here for you. If you have a question or discomfort outside of our office hours, you may call us any time of the day, any day of the week to speak to our after hours nurse with extensive experience that will help you with your needs. When you become a member of our dental family we stay with you until the very end. 

 What are the alternatives to Endodontic treatment?

 Other possible alternatives to root canal therapy is to consider the following options:

·      No treatment at all.

·      Waiting for more definitive development of symptoms.

·      Extraction to be replaced with either nothing if occlusion is stable, a denture, a bridge or

       an implant.


Can all teeth be treated with root canal therapy?

Occasionally a tooth cannot be saved. Endodontic treatment can be performed only if the root canals are accessible and can be adequately cleaned and sealed. The tooth must also have sufficient bone support. We only carry out treatment where we can give a good long term outlook.

Can the treatment fail?

Although root canal treatment has a very high success rate, as with all medical and dental procedures, it is a procedure whose results cannot be guaranteed.

Problems can occur if the tooth develops decay or the restoration on the tooth fails, or on occasions despite good care the tooth may not heal as expected. Further endodontic/root canal treatment or apical surgery may be carried out if appropriate. A tooth that develops a crack can also be a cause of failure and may result in loss of the tooth.

Will I need to return for any additional treatment?

Dr Nikdel will examine your tooth at an interval after treatment to make sure that it has properly healed.

What is Endodontic Re-treatment?

Teeth that have had endodontic (root canal) treatment can last as long as natural teeth, however, in some cases the treatment can fail or symptoms can persist. This may happen shortly after the treatment has been performed or even years following the treatment.

In these cases, it may be possible to carry out the treatment again, a procedure called endodontic re-treatment.

Is re-treatment more complicated than initial root canal treatment?

Re-treatment is usually more complicated than initial root canal treatment as the tooth is normally fully restored with a permanent restoration. This can range from a simple restoration to a full coverage restoration such as a crown or as part of a bridge. In addition to this a post may have been placed inside the root prior to a final restoration being placed. This creates difficulty as access to the root canals is more difficult.
Additionally the canals will have been filled with root filling material and hence this has to be removed before they can be instrumented and cleaned again. All of these obstructions make the process more complicated.

Who does the re-treatment procedure?

Your root canal specialist, Dr K. Nikdel has vast experience and training in this procedure and with the latest technology can carry out your root canal re-treatment.

Do I need a referral to see my root canal specialist?

Not at all. You are very welcome to contact us on 979-297-0633 and we will make you an appointment to come and see Dr K. Nikdel who gladly will help you with all your root canal therapy needs.

What will happen when my dentist has referred me to the Lake Jackson Root Canal Specialists?

Our specialist will do a consultation after diagnostic tests, will discuss the appropriate treatment options for your tooth with you. We will also allocate a longer time for your consultation, so that you can ask us all the questions you may have. Once at home, if you have any additional questions that you forgot to ask us at the office, please call us on 979-297-0633 and we will do our best to accommodate you.

What will happen during the re-treatment?

If you decide on re-treatment the endodontist will gain access to the root canals of the tooth to remove the old root filling and clean the canals again prior to disinfecting and refilling the canals. In many cases the restoration on the tooth will have to be removed, including complex restorations such as crowns and posts to allow the procedure to be carried out.

Will the re-treatment be successful?

Retreated teeth can function for many years if the reasons for the initial failure can be overcome. Advances in technology have allowed re-treatment to be carried out on complicate problems but like most medical and dental procedures difficulties can prevent some teeth from responding to the treatment. The Endodontist can advise on the likely success of the procedure and difficulties prior to the procedure.

What are the alternatives to re-treatment?

Usually the alternatives would be removal of the tooth or endodontic surgery. Removal of the tooth would then leave a space that may or may not be acceptable functionally or aesthetically and perhaps would require a prosthetic replacement tooth in the form of a denture, bridge or implant. Endodontic surgery involves lifting the gum or gingival tissue after a small incision to allow access to the root tip that is the cause of the persistent problem. This root tip can then be treated and sealed. Endodontic surgery would allow the existing restoration to be retained, however retreating the canals is usually the first and best option. Dr Nikdel can advise on the particular options for your problem.

Want to know more?

If you have any questions before or after your treatment, please call us on 979-297-0633 and we will be happy to talk to you.


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