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Edward T. Rose D.M.D., M.S. and Elizabeth A. Uhrich, D.M.D., M.S.


General Information

What to expect

The general term "root canal" can cause unease in many people and there is a general bad association with the term.  It is our goal, though, that the process will be as comfortable as any other dental treatment that you have had performed before.

All visits begin with a comprehensive exam including radiographs and clinical exam.  After performing this Dr. Rose or Dr. Uhrich will be able to accurately discuss with you the treatment options to repair the damage to your tooth.

Treatment is comfortably performed with local anesthetic, similar to having a filling performed by your dentist.  Treatment times vary depending on the complexity of the case and occasionally can require another visit to adequately complete the procedure.  After completion a temporary filling will be placed in the tooth and you will return to your dentist for a permanent filling and a crown.  Dr. Rose will discuss expectations of any post treatment discomfort and be sure review the follow-up care with you.

If you have any questions following treatment please contact the office.

What is an Endodontist and what do they do?

Endodontists are dentists who specialize in maintaining teeth through endodontic therapy -- procedures, involving the soft inner tissue of the teeth, called the pulp.  The word "endodontic" comes from "endo" meaning inside and "odont" meaning tooth.  Like many medical terms, it's Greek.  All dentists are trained in diagnosis and endodontic therapy, however, some teeth can be especially difficult to diagnose and treat.  That’s why you may have been referred to an endodontic specialist.

In addition to dental school, endodontists receive two or more years of advanced education in this kind of treatment. They study root canal techniques and procedures in greater depth, for diagnosis and treatment of more difficult cases. For this reason, many dentists choose to refer their patients to endodontists.

What Happens During Endodontic Treatment? or What is a Root Canal?

A local anesthetic will be given.  A sheet of latex called a "rubber dam" (there are nonlatex ones as well) will be placed around the tooth to isolate it.  This keeps the tooth clean and dry during treatment and prevents instrument and irrigants from affecting other areas of your mouth. The treatment consists of three or four basic steps, but the number of visits will depend on your particular case.  Some treatments take two visits but many are just a single visit.  Occasionally three appointments are needed.

In any case, it depends on the degree of infection/inflammation and degree of treatment difficulty.  To me, it's more important to do it the very best we can then to meet a specific time criteria. 

There are, of course, no guarantees.  Root canal or endodontic therapy has a very high degree of success, up to 90%.  We will discuss with you the chances of success before any endodontic procedure to help you make an informed decision.  If a root canal or endodontic therapy is unsuccessful or fails you still have options. Dr. Rose will review the possible causes of the failure and the treatment options available.

Diagnoses and Treats Pain

Oral pain such as toothaches or cracked / fractured teeth can often be difficult to pinpoint.  Because of the vast network of nerves in the mouth, the pain of a damaged or diseased tooth often is felt in another tooth and/or in the head, neck, or ear. An endodontist is a specialist in diagnosing and treating this type of pain. One large advantage to the surgical microscope is the ability to detect the presence and extent of fractures in a tooth. If a fracture is detected, Dr. Rose will review the treatment options with you prior to proceeding with final treatment.

Treats Traumatic Injuries

Pulp damage is sometimes caused by a blow to the mouth, and the endodontist specializes in treating these traumatic injuries. For example, a blow to a child's permanent tooth that is not fully developed can cause the root to stop growing. A procedure called apexification stimulates bone to be deposited at the end of the root which makes it possible to then save the tooth through a root canal procedure. An endodontist is specially trained in procedures for replanting teeth that have been knocked out of their sockets.

Will I need to return to your office for Additional Visits?

Once endodontic therapy is completed your tooth should be examined periodically, usually every 6 - 12 months.  This allows us to make sure the tooth has healed or is healing properly.  We will schedule recall appointments as needed.  Since an abscess may take two years to heal, our office may continue to observe the tooth for at least two years.


Occasionally a tooth that has undergone endodontic, treatment fails to heal or pain continues despite therapy. Although rare, sometimes a tooth initially responds to root canal therapy but becomes painful or diseased months or years later. When either of these situations occurs, the tooth often can be maintained with a second endodontic treatment.  We will discuss the treatment considerations which determine the prognosis of the retreatment, including the possible reasons of the initial failure and what can be done to fix the problem.