Frequently Asked Questions

Is the procedure painful?


Your comfort is our primary concern. We anesthetize the tooth in the same way your general dentist would when placing a filling. Some patients tell us that the root canal was easier than fillings they have had in the past.


Do I need antibiotics?


It is possible that you will need antibiotics. The root canal treatment removes the source of the infection. Your body's natural immune system will usually take care of any residual bacteria. Antibiotics are prescribed for circumstances when the body needs help in this process. The doctor will make this decision after evaluating and treating the tooth.


How long will the procedure take?


The amount of time a procedure takes depends on the details of the procedure you’re having and the type of tooth involved. We estimate your time in the office to last approximately 1 to 2 hours. Some procedures may require 2 appointments.


Do you offer Nitrous Oxide?


Yes, Nitrous Oxide is available in our office.


Do I need to have a referral from my dentist to be seen in your office?


No, we do not require a referral from a dentist. Please call us at 208.323.1990 to set up an appointment.


Why do I need a crown (cap)?


Once a tooth has had a root canal it may become very dry and brittle, making it more susceptible to fracture. Covering the tooth with a crown (cap) helps protect it. If your tooth already has a crown, you may only need a permanent filling to seal the opening made in the crown. Your general dentist will determine what type of permanent restoration will be best for you.


How soon do I need to get the permanent restoration?


We have placed a temporary filling that should stay intact for three to four weeks. We recommend that you return to your general dentist within this period of time to receive the permanent restoration.


Are you going to take the root out?


No. The root stays intact. It is actually the nerves and blood vessels inside the root that are removed during a root canal.


Can I drive myself home?


Yes, you will be fine to drive (unless you have had some type of oral sedation other than nitrous oxide).


When can I eat again and what can I eat?


We recommend that you not eat for 1 hour after treatment to allow the temporary filling to harden. It is fine to have liquids right away. When you resume eating (after 1 hour) you can eat whatever you like. However, your teeth will be sore for a few days, so it is advisable to eat soft foods and chew on the opposite side.


Will I be able to go back to work after treatment?


You should be able to return to your normal activities. You can expect the area to be numb for an hour or two after treatment. Once the numbness wears off, you may experience some tenderness around the tooth.