What you need to know

What is endodontic therapy?

The term Endodontics comes from the word “endo” which means inside, and “dontics” which means tooth related. Please look at the tooth drawing on the inside and note the numbered references.


  1. The crown of your tooth is the part that you can see above the gum. It is covered by a hard layer of enamel. Beneath that lies the dentin, another hard tissue.
  2. Under the dentin and extending down into the roots is the pulp, a soft tissue that includes nerves, blood and lymphatic vessels. The pulp’s job is to form the teeth and help protect them from dental decay. Normally, the pulp is protected from many infectious bacteria in the mouth.
  3. However, infection can spread into the pulp when decay or fractures allow for bacteria to gain entrance into the pulp chamber in large numbers.
  4. Left untreated, this infection can spread down the root canals and into the surrounding bone causing a dental abscess.

What will happen during the treatment?

After collecting some information about your overall health, the dentist will anesthetize or “numb” the problem tooth to eliminate any discomfort. Decayed or damaged tooth structure will be removed and the root canal system of the tooth will be slightly enlarged with delicate instruments and disinfected with antiseptic medicine. Then the empty root canals will be filled with a pliable rubber based material and sealed with a special type of cement. This will prevent bacteria and infection from following the tooth’s root canal system and the surrounding jaw bone. A temporary filling will be placed into your tooth and you will return to your regular dentist to have a final restoration placed (for example, this may be a simple filling, or a post and crown).

Will the treatment take long?

Normally, endodontic procedures can be accomplished in one, 1 to 11/2 hour visit. However, more difficult cases may require you to return to our office more than once in order to assure for the best possible treatment outcome.

Will the treatment be painful?

With today’s modern techniques and the special skills of an endodontist, most patients surveyed showed that root canal therapy is no more uncomfortable than having a cavity filled. Among those who report discomfort, most often confuse or associate pre-existing pain of an infected tooth with the root canal treatment. Every effort will be made to assure that your visit to this office will be as painless and pleasant as possible, and the necessary procedures will be accomplished skillfully and efficiently.

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East End Endodontics

4010 Dupont Circle, Suite 524-A, Louisville, KY 40207, US

(502) 897-2040

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