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GreenTree Endodontics

Winston-Salem, NC

Dr. Michelle Stoffa


Common Questions

What is Root Canal Therapy?

Root Canal Therapy (Endodontics) involves the removal of infected pulp (nerve tissue) from the tooth.  Once infected, the pulp cannot heal on its own thus warrenting pulp removal to retain/save the tooth.

 Why is Root Canal Therapy needed?

The nerve may become damaged by bacteria associated with past or present decay or by a traumatic injury. Root canal therapy allows you to keep the natural tooth in a healthy state rather than substituting it with an artificial tooth.

 Will the treatment be painful?

It is an unfortunate misconception, often supported by media, that root canal therapy is painful. Treatment by a specialist is usually no more "painful" than having a filling placed. We will take every measure to ensure that your procedure is in no way uncomfortable. If treatment is needed, you will be givena local anesthestic to gently numb a concentrated area of your mouth. For most patients, the feeling of numbness usually subsides after 2-3 hours.

 What do I do after my Root Canal treatment?

You will be given instructions by our staff after your treatment. It is pertinent that you follow all post operative instructions. Once your root canal is completed, you must return to your general dentist to have a crown placed on the endodontically treated tooth.

 Can I drive after a root canal treatment?

Yes. Root canal treatment is usually performed under local anesthesia, just as any other dental treatment. It normally does not have any effects on your capability to drive or do any other work.

 Can I go to work after root canal treatment?

Yes. Root canal treatment generally is not different from most other dental procedures, except it takes slightly longer time, usually 1-2 hours. Typically, root canal treatment does not have any effect on your ability to work.

 Why do I need to return to my dentist after endodontic treatment is completed?

Your treatment is not complete until the tooth is restored permanently. Your dentist will perform permanent restoration of the tooth, usually placing a crown. This is a vital component of treatment because it protects the tooth from breaking and prevents re-infection by the process of sealing the canal space from the oral environment.

 What if I decide not to have treatment?

The alternative to Root Canal Therapy is the removal of the tooth. Once the pulp is destroyed, it cannot heal and it is not recommended to leave the infected tooth in the mouth. While some people would prefer an extraction, it is usually advisable to keep your natural teeth if at all possible.

 Will I need to return to your office for follow-ups after the procedure is finished?

In some cases, yes. There are many root canal treatments that we recommend patients monitor and return to our office 6 months to 1 year after the procedure was finished. Our office will call you when you are due for a recall appointment.

 What if the tooth continues to be uncomfortable after several weeks?

Root Canal treatment is usually very successful, however, if there should be a recurrence of infection or the tooth does not heal then re-treatment of the tooth may be necessary.