- What to Bring to your appointment
- What to Expect at Your Office Visit
- Post Treatment Care
- Financial and Office Policies
- Patient Registration
What to Bring to Your Appointment
- All necessary forms of identification–ie. driver’s liscense, proof of insurance
- A list of all the medications (over-the-counter and prescription) that you regularly take or have taken within the past month
- Any restoration, crown, or part of the tooth that has been dislodged or has fallen off
- The referral slip and/or xray (if provided by your dentist)
- If you have been instructed by a health care provider to premedicate prior to dental appointments please do so
- Please do not take any type of pain medication for 4-6 hours before your appointment time
What to Expect at Your Office Visit
A typical visit begins with completing a medical history, and consent forms for the proposed Endodontic procedure, as well as sharing information regarding the symptoms present.
An image of the tooth/teeth in question will be aquired even if you brought an image from your dentist. Dental radiographic images are a necessary part of root canal therapy and provide information that cannot be obtained otherwise. Images help our doctors to accurately diaganose and render appropriate Endodontic therapy. We make every attempt to minimize radiographic exposure by lead shielding and digital imaging which further reduces the amount of radiographic exposure.
Our doctor(s) will then evaluate symptoms prior to testing the tooth in question along with adjacent teeth. After the tests are complete, a diagnosis will be rendered and treatment options/alternatives will be discussed. The discussion will include the benefits, options and risks involved in order for you to understand how Endodontic therapy can relieve your pain and save your tooth.
If you decide to receive treatment, the procedure may start immediately. Before treatment begins, you will receive local anesthesia to numb any sensations you may feel during the procedure. A small opening is made in the top of your tooth and the inflamed or infected pulp (nerve tissue) is removed. Then, the inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned and disinfected. The root canals are subsequently filled and sealed with a biocompatible rubber-like material called gutta-percha. A temporary filling is then placed to close the opening. Afterwards, the tooth is permanently restored by your general dentist with a crown or filling for protection. After restoration, the tooth usually continues to function like any other tooth.
If the procedure is unable to be completed in one visit, medicine may be placed inside the tooth between appointments. Each tooth presents a unique situation, and treatment will thus be tailored.
Once your procedure is complete, future radiographic images are taken to track the success of the treatment, usually six months post treatment completion.
Post Treatment Care
It is normal to feel some tenderness in the area for a few days after your root canal treatment as your body undergoes the natural healing process. You may also feel some tenderness in your jaw from keeping it open for an extended period of time. These symptoms are temporary and usually respond very well to over-the-counter pain/anti-inflammatory medications. It is important for you to follow the instructions on how to take these medications. Remember that narcotic medications, if prescribed, may make you drowsy, and caution should be exercised in operating dangerous machinery or driving a car after taking them.
Your tooth may continue to feel slightly different from your other teeth for some time after your root canal treatment has been completed. However, if you have severe pain or pressure that lasts more than a few days, please contact our office.
Guidelines for Post-Treatment Care
- Do not eat anything until the numbness in your mouth wears off. This will prevent you from biting your cheek or tongue.
- Do not chew or bite on the treated tooth until you have had it restored by your dentist.
- Be sure to brush and floss your teeth as you normally would.
- If the opening in your tooth was restored with a temporary filling material, it is not unusual for a thin layer to wear off in-between appointments. However, if you think the entire filling has come out, please contact our office.
- Contact our office immediately if you develop any of the following:
- a visible swelling inside or outside of your mouth;
- an allergic reaction to medication, including rash, hives or itching (nausea is not an allergic reaction);
- a return of original symptoms; or
- your bite feels uneven.
Taking Care of Your Tooth
Root canal treatment is only one step in returning your tooth to full function. A proper final restoration of the tooth is extremely important in ensuring long-term success.
Contact your dentist as soon as possible to arrange your next appointment. If your tooth is being treated in more than one visit, do not return to your dentist for the final restoration until the root canal therapy is completed.
What to Expect in the Future
The tooth that has had appropriate endodontic treatment followed by a proper restoration can last as long as your other natural teeth. After the tooth has been restored, you need only practice good oral hygiene, including brushing, flossing, regular checkups and cleanings.
Your dentist’s office or Signature Endodontics may periodically acquire a radiographic image of the tooth to ensure that healing has occurred.
Financial Information and Office Policies
Fees at Signature Endodontics vary with type of treatment and by tooth. Prior to treatment, you will be given an estimate of the proposed fees. Payment/co-pays are due at the time of service. We accept most credit cards, cash, and checks. We also participate with Care Credit; our business staff can help you register when you visit our office.
We participate in the following dental benefit plans: Blue Cross, Delta Dental, Cigna, Aetna, Dentemax, Guardian, MetLife and Ameritas. We also accept and process most other dental plans. Our business staff will assist in answering your insurance coverage questions.
Our office is fully compliant with the current Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines. We adhere to the highest standard of disinfection and sterilization procedures for your protection.
Signature Endodontics abides by all regulations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). We are committed to protecting the privacy of your personal information and can provide you with a notice of our privacy practices when you visit our office for your appointment.
If a patient is under the age of 18, it will be required that the biological parent or legal guardian accompany the patient to the appointment so that our doctors have the ability to discuss treatment options, procedures, and outcomes.
After hours concerns
Our doctors are available to address your after hours concerns. Our office answering system allows notification to a doctor should an after hour situation occur.
Your appointment time is reserved specifically for you. We request a 24 hour notice if you are unable to keep your appointment as scheduled. Please remember that if treatment is rendered in more than one appointment, a prolonged interval between appointments could complicate completion of your treatment, and symptoms may arise.
Registration takes around 10 minutes. Pre-registering can help to limit waiting time when you come in for treatment. Upon arrival, we will simply request your digital signature on your pre-submitted forms and you are ready to go!
Please note: You’ll be directed to an external site that is encrypted for your security