Why am I being referred for a root canal?

Your general dentist wants you to have the best treatment available.  Root canals can be very complex, tedious procedures that often require advanced techniques and equipment to be performed properly.  Dr. Lewis has been exclusively performing endodontic treatment in the Auburn/Opelika area for over a decade and incorporates the use of state of the art technology in the form of a surgical operating microscope to treat teeth more effectively.

Why do I need a consultation appointment before my root canal?

It is important to make sure that the tooth in question needs root canal treatment. Symptoms and irregularities on an X-Ray could be a periodontal problem or perhaps an anatomical structure that is sometimes perceived as an infection. If root canal treatment is needed, proper examination will allow us to see if the tooth will be amendable to treatment.

Will I feel pain during or after the procedure?

Toothache pain is the main reason for patients seeking treatment. Fortunately, modern anesthetics can make the procedure pain free in most cases. Dr. Lewis strives to make you comfortable and will thoroughly test the tooth to be treated to be sure profound anesthesia is obtained prior to initiating treatment.  Seeking treatment early makes the procedure more comfortable, so don't wait. When caught early, treatment should feel no different than having a regular filling. For the first few days after treatment, there may be some sensitivity to biting pressure, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure. Sometimes anti-inflammatory medications (like Advil) are recommended for a day or two. 

Can I go back to work after my root canal?

Having a root canal is like having a restoration placed in a tooth. When you leave our office, you will still be numb, but in most cases, patients resume normal daily activities.
What happens after treatment?
When your root canal therapy has been completed, a treatment report including digital images will be sent to your restorative dentist. You should contact your general dentist for a permanent restoration within a few weeks of completion at our office. Your restorative dentist will decide on what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth. In some cases, we will contact you 3 to 6 months after treatment for a follow-up exam and digital image to monitor your healing.
Should I be worried about x-rays?
We use digital radiography, an advanced computerized system that produces radiation levels 80% lower than conventional dental x-rays. These digital images can be optimized, archived, printed and sent to your general dentist via e-mail.
Will I need antibiotics?
Some teeth requiring root canal therapy are inflamed and not infected. These teeth generally do not require antibiotics.
How much will it cost?
The cost associated with this procedure can vary depending on factors such as severity of damage to the affected tooth and which tooth is affected. In general, endodontic treatment is much less expensive than removal and replacement with an artificial tooth.