Caring for Your Oral Health

The root canal treatment has a bad reputation, wrongly so of course! If you can not find answers to your questions below, do not hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to help you.

What is an endodontist?

General dentists have received a basic training in root canal treatments during their studies in dental school. Dr. Côté, Dr. Vu and Dr. Braniste actively teach the dental students the theoretical and clinical aspects of endodontics. Even though, a general dentist can proceed with root canal treatments, there are many who prefer referring these delicate procedures (especially the most complicated cases) to specialists in root canals. Endodontists are general practitioners who have had additional university training in endodontics and have earned an extra university degree.

To become an endodontist, the dentist must complete a multidisciplinary residency program or at least have practiced as a general dentist for a few years. Afterwards, he must complete a 2-3 years program in a specialized university program, which will be rewarded by a certificate or a masters degree in endodontics.

Do I need a reference from my dentist to see an endodontist?

No. While the majority of our patients are referred, you can also book an appointment with us without a reference, if you judge you are in need of an endodontic procedure. It is our pleasure to offer you a consultation and determine your endodontics needs if there are any.

Why do I need an endodontic treatment?

The main reason for needing a root canal treatment is the bacterial contamination of the pulp or root canal system. This can occur through:

  1. Dental caries
  2. Multiple treatments/filling on the tooth
  3. Defective restaurations
  4. Dental trauma
  5. Dental fracture
  6. Incomplet endodontic treatments
  7. Anatomical variation which permit bacterial contamination in the long run.

Depending of the type of tooth, one or multiple canals may be present. For instance, most upper incisors have 1 canal while most upper molars have 4 canals. Each tooth is different.
When the tooth is immature, the pulp is essential in its development and its growth. In a mature tooth, the tooth can survive without the pulp as it can continue to be nourished and protected by surrounding vital tissues.

The endodontic intervention, commonly called a root canal allows the decontamination of the canal system while keeping the tooth and the surrounding tissues healthy. Once the root canal is done, the tooth is a pulp-less tooth.

Is a root canal treatment painful?

Contrary to common belief, modern endodontics is a painless intervention that feels very similar to a dental filling.

Most root canals are completed in one or 2 appointments depending of the complexity of the case. The endodontic treatment is comfortable and brings the following advantages:

  1. Natural chewing capacity
  2. Natural aesthetic appearance
  3. Avoids excessive forces and wear on the adjacent teeth
How much does an endodontic treatment costs?

This questions depends on a few factors.
Price varies according to the complexity of the case and the tooth to be treated. Molars are teeth that often have between 3-4 canals and therefore are more expensive then anteriors, which usually have 1-2 canals.
Price also changes according to the procedure that is needed. A retreatment or an apical surgery are often more complex then an initial root canal treatment and therefore the price reflects this matter.
Our secretaries can easily give you an estimate of the fees over the phone. However, the complete maximal fee will be given to you during the examination.

Please note that the Federation of Dental Specialists of Quebec early publish a guide of the fees for dental procedures. We respect the recommendations of this guide. This guide is different then the one of the “Chirurgiens dentistes généralistes du Québec” often used by the dental insurance compagnies.

What are the success rates of endodontic treatments?

According to recent and science-based studies, success rates of endodontic treatments have increased significantly in recent years.
Initial root canal treatments can have success rates reaching 95-96%.
Root canal retreatment have success rates ranging between 75-90%
Apical surgeries reach successes above 90%.

The success rate of your treatment will be discussed at the examination appointment.

Are endodontic treatments safe?

Endodontic treatments including root canal treatments and retreatments have been scientifically proven and are know to be a safe medical treatment since the early 1930’s. The success and validity of these procedures have been proven and have been reproduced through the years multiple times through classic and modern scientific studies.

What are other alternatives to endodontic procedures?

If an endodontic treatment (ex. Root canal, Root canal retreatment, Apical surgery or Reimplantation) is not to be considered, the only alternative left is the tooth extraction.

Once the extraction is done, the prosthetic replacement of the tooth can be considered so as to allow normal mastication function and avoid tooth displacement.
The replacement options to be considered are the following:

  1. Implant
  2. Bridge
  3. Removal prothesis

These options are treatments that offer a prosthetic remplacement. Sadly, there is nothing like your own natural tooth.

Generally, the endodontic treatment with a dental restauration such as a permanent filling or a crown are procedures that are less expensive then the one following the tooth extraction, such as an implant or a bridge.

Following my endodontic treatment, do I need another appointment?

Usually after a root canal or a root canal retreatment, a temporary filling has been placed in the access of the small hole that has been created inside the tooth. Therefore, you usually need to see your general dentist for the permanent restauration within 2- 4 weeks following the endodontic procedure, so as to avoid recontamination of the root canal system. The root canal treatment is acceptable and successful as long as there is no recontamination of the system. Your general dentist will discuss the different options of permanent restaurations which are available to you.

We also recommend a follow-up appointment at our office, 12 months after the endodontic treatment has been executed. This appointment is free and lasts only a few minutes. In this matter, we can evaluate the success of our treatment. The absence of symptoms or pain does not imply in all cases the apical healing. A follow-up radiograph is therefore necessary.