James P. Walker, DDS, PC | Portland Oregon


Tualatin Endodontics ®                   503-885-1899

Specialist in Endodontics: microscopic non-surgical and surgical endodontics.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Why would I need an endodontic procedure?
A:  Endodontic treatment is necessary when the pulp, the soft tissue inside the root canal, becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes: decay, old leaking restorations, or a crack or chip in the tooth. In addition, an injury to a tooth may cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause severe pain or lead to an abscess.

Q: How does endodontic treatment save the tooth?
A: The endodontist removes the inflamed or infected pulp, carefully cleans and shapes the inside of the canal, a channel inside the root, then fills and seals the space. Afterwards, you will return to your dentist, who will place a crown or other restoration on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function.

Q:  What are the signs of needing endodontic treatment?
The signs and symptoms can be quite varied they include: pain, prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, tenderness to touch and chewing, discoloration of the tooth, and swelling, drainage and tenderness in the lymph nodes as well as nearby bone and gingival tissues. Sometimes, however, there are no symptoms.

Q:  Will the tooth need any special care or additional treatment after endodontic treatment?
You should not chew or bite on the treated tooth until you have had it restored by your dentist. The un-restored tooth is susceptible to fracture, so you should see your dentist for a full restoration as soon as possible.

Q:  Will I feel pain during or after the procedure?
Many endodontic procedures are performed to relieve the pain of toothaches caused by pulp inflammation or infection. Profound anesthesia can be obtained. Many of my patients will fall asleep during the appointment.

For the first few days after treatment, your tooth will feel tender to bite, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure. This discomfort can be relieved with over-the-counter or prescription medications. Follow our post-operative instructions carefully.

In a small minority of cases, the tooth may continue to feel slightly different from your other teeth for some time after your endodontic treatment is completed. However, if you have moderate or severe pain or pain that lasts more than a few days, please call our office.