Lisa C Petrov, RDH, DDS

5505 Detroit Dr. Suite C
Sheffield Village, OH 44054
(440) 366-5530


Frequently Asked Questions

What is Endodontics?

Endodontics is a branch of dentistry recognized by the American Dental Association involving treatment of the pulp (root canal) and surrounding tissues of the tooth. When you look at a tooth in the mirror, what you see is the crown. The rest of your tooth, the portion hidden beneath the gum line, is called the root. Though the outer portion of the root is a hard tissue called dentin, the inside channel or "root canal" contains a pulp of soft tissue, blood vessels and nerves. Bacteria that are introduced into the pulp as a result of tooth decay, periodontal disease, tooth fracture or other problems, can severely damage the pulp. When that happens an endodontic specialist removes the diseased pulp to save the tooth and prevent further infection and inflammation. After successful

Why do I need an Endodontist?

Your dentist has decided that your tooth needs special care and has referred you to our office. As an endodontist, Dr. Petrov has advanced training to save teeth with deep decay or cracks, abscessed teeth, and even teeth that have been traumatized. He can also diagnose oral and facial pain and perform surgical procedures when necessary. Dr. Petrov uses advanced technology such as an operating microscope, ultrasonics and digital imaging, to help perform these special services.

Will it be painful?

With today’s modern techniques, anesthetics and the special training and skill of the endodontist, your endodontic therapy will not be painful.

How many visits will my root canal procedure take?

Dr. Petrov will use every effort to complete your endodontic therapy in one visit, when it is appropriate.  Re-treatment therapy will most frequently require at least two visits.

How long will my appointment last?

Most appointments last between an hour to an hour and a half.

How will I know I need a root canal?

The Signs and symptoms of a tooth that requires root canal therapy include pain, sensitivity to heat, cold or pressure, discoloration of the tooth or swelling.  Dr. Petrov will use these symptoms to accurately diagnose your tooth.

What happens after treatment?

When your root canal therapy has been completed, a record of your treatment will be sent to your general dentist. You should contact his/her office for a follow-up restoration within a few weeks of completion at our office. Your general dentist will determine what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth. It is rare for endodontic patients to experience complications after routine endodontic treatment or microsurgery. If a problem does occur, please don't hesitate to call our office.

How much will treatment cost?

The cost associated with a root canal procedure can vary depending on several factors, such as the severity of damage to the affected tooth, the complexity of the root canal anatomy, the requirements for profound anesthesia and the location of the tooth affected. Dr. Petrov will determine the fee for your procedure after examining you at your consultation. Please keep in mind that endodontic treatment is generally much less expensive than tooth removal and replacement with an implant restoration or fixed bridge.

Will I feel discomfort during or after the procedure?

The goal of endodontics is to relieve discomfort caused by pulpal inflammation or infection. With modern anesthetic techniques, the majority of our patients report that they are comfortable during the procedure. For the first few days after treatment, your tooth may be sensitive or sore, especially if there was discomfort or infection before the procedure. In the majority of cases, over-the-counter pain medications are used for this discomfort, but Dr. Petrov may prescribe additional medications for you.

How long will my tooth last after endodontic treatment?

Although the pulp is removed, your tooth can survive because it continues to be nourished by the surrounding tissue. With regular brushing and flossing, proper diet and periodic dental checkups, your tooth should last a lifetime. While there is no guarantee, the success rate of endodontic procedures is about 95%. Most teeth are savable; however, if Dr. Petrov believes that your tooth has a poor prognosis, she will inform you of this at the time of the consultation. Occasionally an endodontically treated tooth may need an additional surgical procedure or have to be removed.

What if I choose not to treat my tooth?

The inflamed pulp tissue inside the tooth will eventually break down and die. Once this happens, bacteria have access to the jaw bone and to your blood system. This leads to bone destruction, swelling or drainage from the gum. Once enough bone is destroyed, the only treatment option would be to remove your tooth (see alternatives to endodontic treatment). An untreated infection has the potential to cause facial swelling, which can lead to life threatening situations of obstructed airway or brain abscess. Untreated chronic jaw infections have also been linked to systemic health problems such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

What are the alternatives to Endodontic treatment?

Often the only other alternative is removal of the tooth. The extracted tooth must then be replaced with an implant, bridge or removable partial denture to restore chewing function and to prevent adjacent teeth from shifting. Because these options require extensive surgery or dental procedures on adjacent healthy teeth, they can be far more costly and time consuming than the endodontic procedure and restoration of the natural tooth. No matter how effective tooth replacements are, nothing is as good as your own natural tooth. You've probably already made an investment in saving your tooth. The payoff for choosing endodontic treatment could be a healthy, functioning natural tooth for many years to come.

What new technology is being used by your office?

Our office utilizes the latest technology to ensure the best possible outcome for our patients. Some examples include:

  • Digital Radiography: Dexis Digital Radiography allows our office to take the highest quality image with less radiation than standard x-ray films.
  • Surgical Operating Microscopes: Global surgical Microscopes are utilized in all our treatment rooms. The surgical microscope allows excellent vision and allows Dr. Petrov to perform root canals with excellent precision and predictability.
  • Apex Locators: Used in conjunction with dental x-rays, this is an electronic device that measures the length of your tooth.
  • Ultrasonics: Extremely fine tipped instruments vibrating at a very high frequency allow Dr. Petrov to remove broken instruments and large posts, and are used in conjunction with the operating microscope to locate fine calcified canal.
  • Nickel Titanium Instrumentation: The use of rotary files made of highly flexible nature have enabled Dr. Petrov to navigate even the most difficult Root canal morphology.

I'm worried about x-rays. Should I be?

No. While x-rays will be necessary during your endodontic treatment, we use an advanced non-film computerized system called digital radiography that produces radiation levels up to 90 percent lower than those of already low dose conventional dental x-ray machinery. These digital images can be optimized, archived, printed and sent to your dentist via e-mail or diskette.

What about infection control?

Your health is our primary concern, therefore our office adheres to the most rigorous standards of infection control advocated by OSHA, the Centers for Disease Control and the American Dental Association. We utilize autoclave sterilization and barrier techniques to eliminate any risk of infection.

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