Frequently Asked Questions

What is root canal treatment?

A procedure to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or becomes infected. During the procedure, the dental pulp (nerve and blood vessels) are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. Without treatment, the tissue surrounding the tooth will become infected and abscesses may form.

Will treatment be painful?

We will take every measure to ensure that your procedure is in no way uncomfortable or painful. If treatment is needed, we will use a small amount of anesthesia to gently numb a concentrated area of your mouth. For most patients, the feeling of numbness usually subsides after 2-3 hours.

After a root canal should I avoid eating anything?

Yes, it is highly recommended that you avoid using the treated tooth to chew food until it has received a permanent restoration. The chances the tooth could fracture after a root canal are high, especially if the tooth has not been permanently restored.

Will I need to return to your office for follow-ups after the procedure is finished?

Yes, for most root canal treatments, we recommend that patients return to the office one year after the procedure is finished. Our office will send a reminder notice to you when you are due for a recall appointment.

Can I go back to work after treatment?

You should be able to continue your normal work schedule after having root canal treatment. The area will be sore and achy for a few days. However, if you need a letter for work or school please ask.

How do I know if I need root canal treatment?

If you think you might need a root canal, signs to look for include: pain, prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, tenderness to touch and chewing, a ‘pimple’ on the gum, discoloration of the tooth, swelling, drainage, and tenderness in the lymph nodes or gums. However, it is not uncommon to have no symptoms at all.

What is the 'dental pulp'?

The pulp is the soft tissue that contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. It lies within the tooth and extends from the pulp chamber in the crown of the tooth to the tip of the root.

Why does the dental pulp need to be removed?

When the dental pulp gets inflamed or infected, pain and swelling can result. Byproducts of the infection can injure your jawbones and promote bone loss. In addition, without treatment, you might end up losing the tooth.

How long will root canal treatment last?

There are, of course, no guarantees, but root canal treatment has a very high degree of success — up to 90%. Most endodontically treated teeth last as long as other teeth. In a few cases, a tooth that has undergone endodontic treatment may not heal, or the tooth may become painful or diseased months, sometimes even years, after successful treatment. Often, when this occurs, a repeat of the endodontic procedure or endodontic surgery can save the tooth. We will discuss the chances of success with you before any endodontic procedure to help you make an informed decision.

I've already had a root canal on this tooth, why do I need another?

New trauma, deep decay, or a loose, cracked, or broken restoration can cause new infection in your tooth. Lack of proper disinfection or lack of infected tissue removal from the first root canal can also cause problems. Dr. McNamara is highly skilled at finding untreated canals, which are often very narrow or curved, and therefore were not properly or fully treated during the initial procedure.

Get in touch!

Call us at 425.898.4604

About us

Our expert team, led by respected endodontic specialist Dr. Ryan McNamara, will ensure that you receive the highest standard of care. Our practice is outfitted with state of the art equipment including dental surgical microscopes and digital radiography. We are committed to exceeding your expectations.

Our address

Endodontic Center of Redmond
15965 NE 85th St., Suite 100
Redmond, WA 98052