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Colorado Endodontic Specialists, PC

Littleton, CO

Will it hurt?

In years past, the term "root canal" was all too often associated with the words "discomfort" and "pain"--but the simple truth is that, in most cases, patients do not experience any discomfort during treatment. Patients often report that the root canal procedure is comparable to having a cavity filled. In fact, we are often told that root canal treatment was easier than they expected!

Still, we understand the apprehension many patients feel before being treated. Patients may rest assured, however, that Dr. Macaraeg will do everything necessary to locally anesthetize the area around the tooth. In addition, he will always test the area before beginning treatment--all so that treatment can proceed as smoothly and painlessly as possible for you. For patients with extreme anxiety, please feel free to contact our office for additional advice or supoort.

What is endodontic (root canal) therapy?

Unless people have had a root canal, many do not know what endodontics is--and this is understandable! Often a person learns about Endodontics when he/she experiences pain, has difficulty eating or chewing, has hot or cold sensitivity, or swelling of the gum. It is typically a visit to the dentist that confirms a root canal problem.

Endodontic treatment is commonly known as root canal therapy. This treatment is performed by removing dying or infected pulp tissues inside the tooth. The procedure helps alleviate pain and prevent infection from occurring or spreading. After treatment has been performed, a crown or other restoration is necessary to protect and restore the tooth to its full function.

Root canal therapy is often recommended to save a tooth that would otherwise be extracted. If Endodontic problems are detected early and treated before an infection occurs, healing is usually faster. In severe cases (where toothache is "full blown"), Endodontic treatment can be uncomfortable. In these cases, it may be recommended that a patient take antibiotics to calm symptoms before continuing with the treatment. Ideally, treating a tooth that needs root canal therapy at a calm stage produces better results--and this is often the case.

If you are interested in learning more about what typically goes on during a root canal, or if you are just more of a visual learner, feel free to watch the animated diagrams on this site.

Why won't my dentist perform the root canal?

Some family dentists do perform root canal procedures. However, if you're being referred to us, it means that your dentist feels that your case requires the attention of a specialist.

How many visits are required for this treatment?

About 85% of root canal procedures can be completed in one appointment. In some cases, however, additional visits may be required, depending on the complexity of the procedure.

Still, even if the prodcedure can be completed within one appointment, Dr. Macaraeg strongly encourages patients to return for a complimentary follow up visit six months after treatment is complete. At this visit, Dr. Mac will take an x-ray of your tooth to check that the area is healing successfully.

How long will my treatment take?

The length of time scheduled for your treatment will vary depending on the tooth being treated and the treatment (whether surgical or non surgical) recommended for that tooth. Typically, times scheduled can range from 30 to 60 minutes. Feel free to contact our office for more specific information on your individual needs.

What if endodontic treatment will not work for my tooth?

Endodontic therapy (root canal therapy) has a 93% success rate. However, if your tooth is not amenable to endodontic treatment or the chance of success is less than ideal, Dr. Macaraeg will inform you at the time of consultation or when a difficulty becomes evident during or after treatment.

What should I do if I have an emergency when the office is closed?

You will always be able to reach us in case of an emergency. After hours, you may call our office and your emergency message will page Dr. Macaraeg. You can be assured that your emergencies will be responded to as soon as possible.

Are there any special instructions before my root canal?

In most cases, you can treat your root canal appointment as any other dental appointments – you may eat before the appointment , and should plan to drive yourself to and from our office. Otherwise, if your case indicates that special instructions are needed due to a medical condition, Dr. Macaraeg will be sure to advise you of them before your treatment.

What can I expect following a root canal treatment?

Following a root canal treatment, you can expect tenderness in the area that was treated. In most cases, the tooth will likely be sensitive to biting, so Dr. Macaraeg will recommend that you chew on the other side for 3 to 4 days. Usually, Ibuprofen will control any post treatment discomfort. However, you and Dr. Mac may decide to use alternate medication depending on your particular case. You will be able to drive yourself home after your treatment. Most patients may resume their normal activities.

We also ask that you call our office in six months to schedule a short visit--don't worry, we'll be sure to send you home with a reminder after treatement! Dr. Macaraeg will take x-rays which will permit him to review the healing progress on your tooth. There is no additional charge for this appointment.

My tooth is feeling much better after I took the antibiotics. Do I still need treatment?

Unfortunately, though antibiotics are great at calming an infection and the symptoms that accompany it, they will not remove the source of the infection. Root canal treatment is, in fact, still necessary to remove that source.

The good news is that the best time to have an endodontic treatment is when the tooth is in a calm state. Chances are the treatment will be much more pleasant--and the healing, much easier--if your pre-treatment pain level is low.

What should I do if I need to cancel or change my appointment?

Out of respect for all of our patients and Dr. Mac's schedule (and of course, to make things easier on you), we ask that you call our office as soon as possible, or give at least 48 hour notice--that way, we can adjust your appointment time quickly and efficiently.

Unfortunately, we do not accept appointment changes or cancellations via email, so be sure to call us!

Do you accept referrals?

Yes, absolutely! We welcome all referrals--in fact, we view them as the highest possible compliment!

What payment options do you provide?

We accept the following payment types:

  • Cash
  • Personal checks
  • Major credit cards (Visa, MC, Disc, AX)
  • CareCredit (