FAQ's about Endodontic Treatment

How much will the procedure cost?

The cost varies depending on how severe the problem is and which tooth is affected.  Molars are more difficult to treat and usually cost more because they usually have multiple roots that must be treated.  Most dental insurance policies provide at least partial coverage for Endodontic treatment.

Generally, endodontic treatment and restoration of the natural tooth are less expensive than the alternative of having the tooth extracted.  An extracted tooth must be replaced with a bridge or implant in order to restore chewing function and prevent adjacent teeth from shifting.  These procedures tend to cost more than endodontic treatment and appropriate restoration.

Most insurance plans are accepted and filed by Advanced Root Canal Specialists (ARCS).  Our office personnel will secure authorization in advance of your procedure and handle all insurance plans and pre-authorization.  At the conclusion of your visit, we will send the claim forms in and advise you of any charges that may not be covered by your insurance carrier.   Please check with your insurance plan regarding coverage levels for various treatments and procedures and any deductibles or co-payments that may be the personal responsibility of the patient.

Will the tooth need any special care or additional treatment?

You should not chew or bite on the treated tooth until your dentist has restored it.  Quite often, a crown is fitted for the tooth.  The unrestored tooth is susceptible to fracture, so you should see your dentist for a full restoration as soon as possible.  Otherwise, you need only practice good oral hygiene, including brushing, flossing, and regular checkups and cleanings.

Most endodontically treated teeth last as long as other natural teeth.  In a few cases, a tooth that has undergone endodontic treatment fails to heal or the pain continues.  Occasionally, the tooth may become painful or diseased months or even years after successful treatment.  Often when this happens, another endodontic procedure can save the tooth.

What causes an endodontically treated tooth to need additional treatment?

New trauma, deep decay, or a loose, cracked or broken filling can cause new infection in your tooth.  In some cases, the endodontist may discover very narrow or curved canals that could not be treated during the initial procedure.

Can all teeth be treated endodontically?

Most teeth can be treated.  Occasionally, a tooth can't be saved because the root canals are not accessible, the root is severely fractured, the tooth doesn't have adequate bone support, or the tooth cannot be restored.  However, advances in endodontics are making it possible to save teeth that even a few years ago would have been lost.  And, when endodontic treatment is not effective, endodontic surgery may be able to save the tooth.

Parts of this content are provided courtesy of the American Association of Endodontics, Copyright 1996.  For more information, please link to their website at http://www.aae.org/