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© 2017 Care Endodontics Chicago/Julianne Carrara DMD MS LTD

Choosing Endodontic Treatment

To Root Canal or Not?

This is a popular question. Each patient requires different reasoning to make an informed decision and acceptance of endodontic treatment to save the tooth. 

Most patients have this discussion with their General Dentist prior to scheduling with an Endodontist. However, some patients still have questions/concerns and lack facts.  Other patients require a 2nd opinion from an endodontist.  A tooth may require a root canal for structural integrity or infection control. An endodontist may raise questions regarding restorability- beyond endodontic treatment. We may choose not to treat the tooth until we feel all questions have been answered.


Endodontists are dentists who specialize in saving teeth, and have at least two years of advanced training in root canal procedures. We are experts at diagnosing and relieving tooth pain, and use advanced equipment to treat patients quickly and comfortably.

Most people question endodontic treatment due to:

  • fear of the procedure; 

  • perception of pain; 

  • financial investment.  


Having treatment with an Endodontist should reduce the fear of the procedure.  We are able to manage infections and discomfort more efficiently than a General Dentist.  We are trained to manage pain and infection.  Through the consultation, we will understand your needs and provide preventive antibiotics and alleviate your fears.   


The financial investment does not end with endodontic treatment, you will require restoration of the tooth with your General Dentist.  We can not determine your full restorative needs or financials involved.  We can estimate the endodontic portion.  We are honest and will tell you if endodontic treatment is not in your best interest.  Some cases, we do not know the prognosis until we perform internal evaluation; some cases have been initiated by a different dentist and we do not know what complications they have met or created.  Tis will be discussed and treatment direction will be determined by the patient understanding the risks involved.  

Saving Your Tooth

Options RCT/Removal/Implant- root canal is the easiest.

Tooth Saving Tips

from the American Association of Endodontists

Patients today have more options than ever before to treat their teeth. Understanding your choices and their impact on your future dental health and lifestyle is important. Read on to learn why nothing is as good as your natural tooth and get simple tips for saving your teeth!

Saving a natural tooth through endodontic treatment should always be the first choice for the best health and cosmetic results. There are many advantages to saving your natural tooth:

  • effcient chewing

  • normal biting force, so you can continue to eat your favorite foods

  • maintains a natural appearance

  • limits the need for more costly, ongoing dental work

Choices and options

If I told you to jump off a bridge....

  1. If you are given a choice between root canal treatment or tooth extraction, always choose root canal treatment. Dentistry has yet to produce a denture, bridge or implant that looks, feels and functions as well as a natural tooth.

  2. If your dentist recommends tooth extraction, ask whether root canal treatment is an option.

  3. If your dentist says that an endodontic procedure is not an option, ask why, and request a referral to an endodontist.

  4. Endodontists are dentists who specialize in saving teeth, and have at least two years of advanced training in root canal procedures.They are experts at diagnosing and relieving tooth pain, and use advanced equipment to treat patients quickly and comfortably.Your dentist probably has partnerships with endodontists in your area already.

Tooth Removal may cause future issues

Time and Financial considerations- root canals may surprise you

Never choose extraction because you think it will be cheaper!


  1. When a natural tooth is extracted, it must be replaced with an artificial tooth to prevent other teeth from shifting, and to prevent future dental problems.  

  2. The cost of a denture, bridge or implant, plus the extraction, often is higher than the cost of an endodontic procedure that would save the tooth for years to come.

  3. Most dental insurance plans cover endodontic treatment.

  4. Never choose extraction because you think root canal treatment will be painful! Modern techniques and effective anesthesia make root canal treatment virtually painless. In fact, discomfort after the procedure is generally greater with a tooth extraction. Patients who have experienced root canal treatment are six times more likely to describe it as “painless” than patients who have not had a root canal.

  5. Never choose extraction because you think it will be quicker! Endodontic treatments generally require one to two visits lasting less than an hour each. An extraction requires one visit, but the denture, bridge or implant will require several additional visits with your dentist.

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