Common Endodontic Treatment Questions


We have identified some common root canal treatment questions you may have. Browse through the questions below to have your concerns addressed. If you still have questions, please call our office at (512) 280-1216!


Can every tooth be saved with root canal therapy?

Some special conditions, such as a large fracture or lack of bone supporting the tooth, may persuade the endodontist not to initiate treatment. However, most teeth can by saved by root canal therapy.


What are the alternatives to endodontic treatment?

Once the pulp of a tooth is irreversibly inflamed or infected, the only alternative to endodontic treatment is extraction of the tooth. The extracted tooth must be replaced with either an implant or bridge to prevent shifting of adjacent teeth and to restore proper chewing function. A surgically placed implant or bridgework on the adjacent teeth can be far more costly and time consuming than root canal treatment followed by restoration of the tooth. We believe that saving and restoring the natural tooth is the best option. 


Do I need a referral from my dentist?

Yes, we require a referral. Please call us at (512) 280-1216 to set up an appointment today.


Is this going to hurt?

Your comfort is our primary concern. We anesthetize the tooth in the same way your general dentist would when placing a filling. Most patients tell us that the root canal was easier than some fillings they have had in the past.


Do I need antibiotics?

It is possible that you will need antibiotics. The root canal treatment removes the source of the infection. Your body’s natural imune system will usually take care of any residual bacteria. Antibiotics are prescribed for circumstances when the body needs help in this process. The doctor will make this decision after evaluating and treating the tooth.


How long will the procedure take?

The amount of time a procedure takes depends on the details of the procedure you’re having and the type of tooth involved. We estimate your time in the office to last approximately 1 to 2 hours.



Do you offer Nitrous Oxide (Gas) as well as other sedation methods?

Nitrous Oxide is available in our office. If you would like this option, please let us know beforehand as they require additional time. 


Why do I need a crown (cap)?

Once a tooth has had a root canal it becomes very dry and brittle, making it more susceptible to fracture. Covering the tooth with a crown (cap) helps protect it. If your tooth already has a crown, you may only need a permanent filling. Your general dentist will determine what type of permanent restoration will be best for you.


How soon do I need to get the permanent restoration?

We have placed a temporary filling that should stay intact for three to four weeks. We recommend that you return to your general dentist within this period of time.


Are you going to take the root out?

No.The root stays intact. It is actually the nerves and blood vessels inside the root that are removed during a root canal.


Can I drive myself home?

Yes, you will be fine to drive (unless you have had some type of sedation).


What type of foods can I eat?

In most cases you can eat whatever you feel comfortable eating. Because the tooth will be tender for several days, you may feel better chewing on the side opposite of the treated area.


Will I be able to go back to work after treatment?

You should feel fine after the root canal and should be able to return to your normal activities. You can expect the area to be numb for an hour or two after treatment. Once the numbness wears off, you may experience some tenderness around the tooth.

Still have questions? Please call our office at (512) 280-1216 and we are happy to answer any remaining questions or concerns.