Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the signs that a root canal is needed?
A: Although occasionally there are no symptoms, some signs that you may need a root canal include:
• Mild to severe pain upon chewing or application of pressure
• Lingering sensitivity to hot or cold
• Discoloration (darkening) or the tooth
• Swelling and tenderness in the gums
• A persistent or recurring pimple on the gums
Q: How long does a root canal take?
A: The amount of time a procedure takes depends on the details of the procedure you are having and the type of tooth involved. We estimate your time in the office to last approximately 1-2 hours. The treatment itself can often be completed in one visit. At times, a second appointment may be needed.
Q: Do you offer any form of sedation for root canals?
A: We offer either Nitrous Oxide or an oral medication, both can reduce anxiety. IV sedation, provided by a licensed dental anesthesiologist, is an option at some of our offices. Nitrous oxide gas minimizes anxiety – when used, a patient will be awake and somewhat aware of the procedure, but will feel very relaxed and comfortable during the root canal treatment. The effects of Nitrous Oxide will wear off once the procedure is complete. There are no restrictions on driving – You will be able to drive yourself to and from your visit with this method.
Oral anxiety medications should be taken 1-hour prior to your dental procedure.
Please Note: If you would like to receive an oral anxiety medication or IV sedation you will need to schedule a consultation prior to treatment. It is important to schedule the consultation first so the dentist can review your personal health history and medications. Additionally, the consent forms for the procedure will need to be discussed and signed before your treatment appointment, as the medicine will not allow you to sign medical-legal documents.
If you are prescribed an oral medication for anxiety or elect IV sedation for your dental visit(s), it is important to know that:
you will need a driver to and from your appointment. We will not perform treatment on you for your appointment if you drive yourself, or arrive in a taxi/cab. You must have a driver that you know and trust, preferably a family member.
Q: What is a root canal?
A: Endodontic therapy, also known as endodontic treatment or root canal therapy, is a treatment sequence for the infected pulp of a tooth which results in the elimination of infection and the protection of the decontaminated tooth from future microbial invasion.
Q: Why choose dental implants to replace missing teeth, and why choose an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to place them?
A: Dental implants offer a full range of advantages over traditional dentures and bridges. Some of the many potential benefits of dental implants include:
• Long-lasting results that look, feel, and function like original teeth
• Improved speaking and chewing
• Improved smile aesthetics
• Can be used to replace a single missing tooth or multiple missing teeth
• No movement or slippage along the gums
• No dental adhesives, putties, or pastes required
• No dependence on adjacent teeth for support
• Can reduce the likelihood of bone loss and other oral health problems in the area of missing teeth
• Other than daily brushing and flossing, no additional maintenance is required
• Dental implants can also be used to enhance support for a partial denture or an All-On-4® fixed hybrid as an alternative to traditional dentures. Ultimately, dental implants should look and feel like natural teeth, potentially lasting decades with the proper care. Having done at least 4 years of oral and facial surgical training after finishing dental school, oral and maxillofacial surgeons have the extensive training and experience to place dental implants with the best results.
Q: What should I bring with me to my appointment?
A: Please bring your referral, identification and your insurance information. Please also be aware that seating may be limited in some of our offices and we appreciate limiting the number of people that accompany you to your appointment.
Q: Doesn’t my dentist send you all of the information you need?
A: Sometimes we receive the information we need from your dentist. Ultimately it is the patient’s responsibility to provide their insurance information. We also advise that you bring a copy of your x-ray and referral. If a referring office is closed, or busy and delays receiving the proper information, your appointment may be delayed and could even need to be rescheduled.
Q: What should I do if I have questions or concerns after my appointment?
A: Please call the office where you were seen. If it is after hours you should listen to the prompts in order to directly contact your treating doctor.
Q: Can my child come alone or with a family member?
A: Your child must attend the appointment with a parent or legal guardian. If the patient has been previously seen and the parent/legal guardian recently signed all of the appropriate paperwork and consent forms then they may attend with another adult.
Q: If I am scheduled for a consultation and surgery on the same visit and have been given instructions to fast including liquids, am I able to take my daily medications?
A: Prior to receiving general anesthesia it is usually recommended to take your prescribed medicine as normal with a few exceptions. One type of medicine that is almost always recommended to not take prior to anesthesia are diabetic medicines that lower your blood sugar. Blood thinners should only be stopped at the direction of your prescribing physicians. Blood pressure medicines, cholesterol medicine, seizure medicines should all be continued as normal prior to anesthesia unless otherwise directed. These medicines should be taken with a small sip of water and nothing else.
Billing, Insurance & Medical Records
Q: Can I get a copy of my patient record?
A: You can request your records by phone or in person, there is a charge for copy of records.
Q: How do I receive a refund due to me?
A: You can request refund from the office location where services were done and it will be forwarded to the Business office for review and processing.
Q: Why am I receiving a bill?
A: Your insurance estimate is not always exact. There are a number of reasons you may end up with a balance. These are a few examples: frequency limitations, claims that have yet to be processed from another provider, which would reduce the benefit amount. Maximums being reached.
Q: Do you accept payment plans?
A: We accept care credit.
Q: Do you accept AHCCS?
A: We accept AHCCS- but, not all AHCCS plans.
Q: Am I able to see my patient ledger?
A: You can call the office to receive a copy of your ledger.
Q: How to treat an avulsed tooth?
A: First, try and replace the tooth back into the alveolar socket within 60 minutes. Second, non-rigid splinting, (Von Arx), for 1-2 weeks (Nesjleti). Third, initiate Non-Surgical Root Canal therapy, 7-10 days after trauma, and place Calcium Hydroxide in the canal for 4 weeks, (to help prevent external root resorption) then complete endodontic therapy. (Trope). Fourth, Restore tooth. (Trope). Follow-up ( 2 weeks, 4 weeks, three months, six months, one year for five years) (AAE guidelines)
Q: What should I do if I still notice blood on my gauze after an extraction?
A: Remain calm. Keep applying firm continuous pressure both by biting down and pressing with your fingers. Do so for at least 30 min. Do not talk or spit. Remain at rest during this time. You may also use a moistened tea bag wrapped in gauze on the surgery site. Tea bags contain tannic acid, which promotes clotting. Remove the bag and gauze after 30-45 minutes. If blood is gushing out, go to the ER immediately or call 911.