Endodontists in
San Francisco

Union Square Endodontics
490 Post St. Suite 1516
San Francisco, CA 94102

Tel. (415) 398-4964
Fax. (415) 398-0147

mail@endosf.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is endodontics (root canal therapy)?
Endodontics is a specialty of dentistry recognized by the American Dental Association dealing with treatment of the pulp and surrounding tissues of a 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 the root. The outer portion of the root is a hard tissue called dentin. The inside channel, or root canal, contains the pulp, a soft tissue consisting of blood vessels and nerves. Bacteria introduced into the pulp because of tooth decay, extensive tooth restorative history, periodontal disease, or a fracture can cause inflammation, pain and severe damage to the pulp. Root canal therapy involves removing the inflamed and/or infected pulp tissue by a process of cleaning and shaping the root canal. Then an inert material is placed in the canal to seal the tooth and prevent reinfection.

Who performs endodontic treatment?
Root canal treatment can be performed by your general dentist or by an endodontic specialist. Some root canal treatments are more complex than others and your dentist believes your current needs require the services of an endodontic specialist. We consider our office as an adjunct of your dentist’s skill and concern for your well-being.

How long will treatment take?
We will attempt to finish your treatment in one visit; however, there are times that additional visits are necessary. Usually no more than one additional visit is required. Treatment visits usually last one to two hours.

What happens after treatment?
When your root canal therapy has been completed, we will send a record of the treatment to your general dentist. You should contact their office for a follow-up restoration within a few weeks of completion of treatment at our office. Meanwhile, to prevent fracture, avoid eating on the treated tooth until it is restored. Your dentist will consult with you about what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth. Neglecting needed follow-up treatment could lead to failure of your root canal treatment and loss of your tooth.

What about infection control?
Our office adheres to the most rigorous standards of infection control advocated by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), the US Centers for Disease Control and the American Dental Association. We utilize autoclave sterilization and barrier techniques to eliminate any risk of infection.

Do I still need root canal treatment if my tooth doesn’t hurt?
Pain is only one indication for root canal treatment. Sometimes a diseased tooth can remain without pain due to the body’s immune system, leaving a patient unaware of what is happening inside the tooth. Your general dentist can often identify these situations and refer you to an endodontist for treatment before experiencing pain and swelling.


Additional useful information in a Q & A format can be found on the following links:


Root Canal Treatment

http://www.aae.org/Patients/Endodontic_Treatments/Root_Canals.aspx

Endodontic Retreatment

http://www.aae.org/Patients/Endodontic_Treatments/Endodontic_Retreatment.aspx

Endodontic Surgery

http://www.aae.org/Patients/Endodontic_Treatments/Endodontic_Surgery/Endodontic_Surgery.aspx

Cracked Teeth

http://www.aae.org/Patients/Endodontic_Treatments/Cracked_Teeth/Cracked_Teeth.aspx

Traumatic Dental Injuries

http://www.aae.org/Patients/Your_Teeth/Traumatic_Dental_Injuries.aspx