What to Expect
The goal of root canal treatment is to relieve your pain—not cause more of it. At Dr. Lavin’s office, your comfort is our top priority. To help ease any concerns you may have about your experience, we’ve outlined what you can expect before, during and after your root canal procedure.
In some cases, a consultation appointment may be necessary to evaluate your medical history and determine if endodontic treatment is needed. After this examination, Dr. Lavin will provide you with a recommended treatment plan, discuss your options and, if necessary, schedule an appointment for treatment.
Please Note: A parent or guardian must accompany any patient under the age of 18 to all appointments, including the endodontic consultation.
Endodontic treatment appointment
This is the appointment when the actual endodontic treatment is performed. In many cases, the consultation and treatment appointments are combined to minimize the number of trips needed.
Frequently asked questions about root canal treatment
Will getting a root canal hurt?
How long will it take?
Will I need someone to drive me?
Should I take pain medication before I arrive?
Should I be on antibiotics before my appointment?
Can I continue taking my regular prescription medicine?
Can I eat afterwards?
The day of your root canal procedure should be a day you look forward to, as it means relief from your painful, sensitive tooth. We’ve crafted a pleasant and relaxing experience for you and trust that you will feel at ease under the gentle and professional care of Dr. Lavin.
“If it is possible to have a great root canal, I had one today. I have had others, and have never had this good of an experience. I was so relaxed, I almost fell asleep toward the end of the appointment. His assistant was also wonderful. Dr. Lavin called me tonight to check up on me and see how I was doing and if I needed anything else. Seriously, such a great doctor!”
The endodontic procedure
Most patients wonder what exactly happens during the root canal. Dr. Lavin will review your specific procedure with you prior to beginning treatment and answer any questions you may have. It is important to note that your treatment may not follow the same example procedure listed below.
- Dr. Lavin will administer a local anesthetic to numb the tooth and the surrounding area.
- He will gently isolate the tooth from the rest of the mouth using a thin sheet of rubber or vinyl.
- He will create a small opening through the chewing surface of the tooth to access the root canals and pulp chamber.
- He will use a series of small endodontic instruments to remove the infected or diseased pulp. Because the area is numb, this is a relatively painless process.
- Dr. Lavin will gently clean and reshape the inside of your tooth.
- He will use gutta-percha, a heated thermoplastic material that prevents reinfection in the canals, to fill and seal the canal space.
- A temporary or permanent filling will be placed into the access opening.
Once your procedure is complete, Dr. Lavin will provide specific instructions for preventing soreness and swelling. You will be referred to your dentist for further restoration.
Surgical endodontic therapies
Endodontic surgery includes any surgical procedure used to remove inflammation and/or infection from the roots and surrounding areas or to repair a given problem. If non-surgical endodontic therapies are ineffective, we may use an in-office surgical procedure called root end resection and root end filling to remove the root tip and seal the root canals with a filling in the end of the root.
Dr. Lavin is trained in micro-surgical endodontics and incorporates the use of Global™ surgical microscopes into his practice.
Endodontic retreatment is the “redo” of a tooth that has been previously treated with root canal therapy. In some instances, a tooth does not heal as well as we would like, or a tooth can become re-infected due to many reasons such as decay or periodontal disease. Our goal with endodontic retreatment is to attempt to elongate the functional life of a tooth that would be lost without retreatment.