23595 Novi Road, Suite 100  Novi, MI  48375 248.735.8700

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You have been referred to an endodontist because your dentist has determined that your tooth needs specialized care. Endodontic treatment addresses the interior of the tooth. Endodontists have received advanced training for tooth conditions such as deep decay, cracks, abscesses, and trauma. They can diagnose sources of oral and facial pain and perform surgical procedures when necessary.

Dr. Rybicki further specializes in treating complicated cases such as teeth with narrow or blocked canals or unusual anatomy. He uses advanced technology, including the operating microscope, ultrasonics, and digital imaging when performing these special services. By referring you to a specialist such as Dr. Rybicki, your dentist is showing a personal concern for the quality of your dental care.

Downloadable Forms and
Patient Reference Material
- Patient Health Form -
- Informed Consent Form -
- Aftercare Following Endodontic (Root Canal) Treatment -
- Instructions for Patients Having Endodontic Surgery -

When does a tooth require endodontic treatment such as a root canal?
Within the tooth, and beneath the hard enamel and dentin, is a soft tissue called pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. It also creates the surrounding hard tissues during tooth development.

Endodontic therapy is necessary when the pulp of a tooth becomes inflamed or infected. These conditions can have a variety of causes, including deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, or a crack or chip in the tooth. In other instances, physical trauma to a tooth can cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks. Damaged pulp, when left untreated, can cause pain or form an abscess.

During treatment, the damaged pulp is removed from the tooth, which is then carefully cleaned, and the root canal spaces are shaped and sealed with special fill materials.

How can I tell if I need endodontic treatment?
Noticeable signs of pulp damage include pain, prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, swelling, gum tenderness, and tooth discoloration. However, sometimes there are no outward symptoms when a pulp degenerates, and the condition may only be detected by a dental examination and x-rays.

For more information about the safety and relative doses of dental x-rays, click here.

How many appointments will my endodontic treatment take?
Dr. Rybicki can complete most procedures in a single visit. During your examination, He thoroughly explains all treatment options and can answer any questions you might have. He reviews your symptoms and digital x-rays with you to determine if treatment is needed. If endodontic therapy is needed, Dr. Rybicki can usually complete your procedure in one appointment whenever reasonable and possible.

Will I have pain during or after this procedure?
With modern pain management techniques, a root canal can be as unremarkable as a typical dental filling procedure. Dr. Rybicki ensures that the sensitive nerves in your tooth are comfortably anaesthetized prior to starting any procedure. After treatment, you may experience some sensitivity of your tooth, usually with chewing, for a few days. An appropriate over-the-counter analgesic such as Advil or Tylenol is usually enough to manage your discomfort. It is not unusual for your tooth to feel different for some time after the treatment is completed; however, if you experience severe pain or pressure, you can contact our office, and we will take appropriate measures to address the problem.

What do I need to do after my root canal is complete?
Following your treatment, a complete report of your treatment and digital x-rays is sent to your restorative dentist, and it is important that you see your dentist as soon as possible to complete the treatment of your tooth.

If a temporary filling was made, your general dentist arranges for a permanent restoration such as a crown. We prefer that this occur within one month of your root canal to prevent any loss of the temporary filling, bacterial leakage, reinfection, or tooth fracture.

For the first few days following a root canal, avoid biting or chewing anything hard in the treated area. If your tooth requires a crown, avoid chewing hard things until you have completed the follow-up visit to your general dentist.

How long will my tooth last after endodontic treatment?
With regular brushing and flossing, proper diet, and periodic dental checkups, your tooth should last a lifetime. Although the pulp is removed, your tooth can survive because the tooth continues to be nourished by the surrounding tissues. The success rate of endodontic procedures is very high, and most teeth can be saved. However, if Dr. Rybicki determines that the prognosis for your tooth is poor, he will inform you of that at your consultation. Occasionally, an endodontically treated tooth may need additional surgery or even removal.

What are the alternatives to endodontic treatment?
Removal of a tooth is often the only alternative to treatment. The extracted tooth is then replaced by an implant, bridge, or removable partial denture to allow chewing and prevent shifting of adjacent teeth. These options require extensive surgery or dental procedures on adjacent healthy teeth, and they can be far more costly and time consuming than the endodontic procedure and restoration of the natural tooth. Despite the effectiveness of tooth replacements, natural teeth are preferable whenever possible.

What is endodontic retreatment?
Root canal treatment enjoys a success rate of over 90% successful, and with proper can a treated tooth can last as long as your other natural teeth. Occasionally, however, a tooth that has received endodontic treatment fails to heal. The tooth can become painful or diseased months or even years after successful treatment. If your tooth does not heal, or it develops new problems, another procedure called endodontic retreatment may be able to save your tooth.

If you and Dr. Rybicki choose retreatment, he reopens your tooth to gain access to the root canal filling material. In many cases, complex restorative materials such as the crown, post, and core material, are removed to permit access to the root canals. After removing the canal filling, Dr. Rybicki cleans the canals and carefully examines the inside of your tooth to locate any additional canals or unusual anatomy that requires treatment. After cleaning the canals, they are filled and sealed, and a temporary filling is placed in the tooth. Endodontic surgery may be recommended if the canals are unusually narrow or blocked.

When is surgical treatment needed?
If your endodontically treated tooth has not healed, or if it has developed new problems, you may benefit from endodontic surgery. For example, if endodontic retreatment cannot be performed because the canal is obstructed or a post is in the canal, then endodontic surgery should be considered.

In this procedure, the gingival tissue near the tooth is opened to examine the underlying bone and to remove any inflamed or infected tissue. In an apicoectomy, the very end of the root is removed. After cleaning the root end, a small biocompatible filling is placed to seal the canal. Stitches or sutures in the gingiva help stabilize the tissue for proper healing, and over time the bone heals around the end of the root. Most patients are able to return to work or other routine activities the next day.

What if I choose not to treat my tooth?
If you do not treat your tooth, the inflamed pulp tissue inside the tooth eventually breaks down and dies. Once this happens, bacteria can enter the jaw bone and your blood system, which can result in bone destruction, swelling, or drainage from the gum. Once enough bone is destroyed, the only remaining treatment option is the removal of your tooth.

An untreated infection can cause facial swelling and lead to life threatening situations such as an obstructed airway or brain abscess. Untreated chronic jaw infections have also been linked to systemic health problems such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

 



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