Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between an endodontist and a dentist?

An endodontist specializes in treating the inside of the tooth. The name endodontics comes from the Greek words endo meaning “inside” and odont meaning “tooth’. An endodontist completes a minimum of 2 additional years after dental school. They do advanced training in root canal treatment and dental surgery. They work with state-of-the-art equipment such as the operating microscope and digital imaging that general dentists don’t have.

Why would I need endodontic treatment?

Your dentist may refer you to an endodontist when you require specialized treatment to save your natural teeth. Here are some of the conditions that may require endodontists advanced training:

  • The root canal does not heal properly after treatment.
  • There could be an additional root that was not evident in the dental x-rays. Or, canals may be narrow or curved, making some areas of infection hard to spot.
  • Waiting too long to get a crown placed over the tooth after a root canal. Sometimes saliva can enter the tooth and cause further contamination.
  • The crown or filling can become loose, cracked, or broken, exposing the tooth to a new infection.
  • The tooth suffers a fracture.
When is a root canal needed?

Tooth pain is often caused by a cavity, which can usually be fixed with a filling. When the cavity-causing decay reaches the tooth roots, it becomes a more complex matter. The pulp chamber and root canal channels at the heart of your teeth contain nerves and blood vessels. If they become infected, you’ll experience severe tooth pain that a simple filling won’t fix. In this case root canal treatment becomes necessary.

Will a root canal treatment be painful?

At our offices here in Apple Valley and Lakeville, MN we use Gentle Wave Technology. The GentleWave® Procedure is a minimally invasive alternative to standard root canal treatment. It utilizes Multisonic Ultracleaning® technology.  It uses sound waves and a stream of treatment fluid to thoroughly and painlessly remove the damaged tissue and bacteria. With this tool, we can reach through the entire root canal system. In other words, we achieve a thorough cleaning of the complex root canal system. 

What happens after I get a root canal?

After your root canal is completed, usually a temporary filling is placed in your tooth after treatment. You must schedule an appointment with your dentist for a permanent filling or crown no later than 30 days from the time of treatment. In some cases, we may request that you return to our office for a recall appointment to evaluate the healing of your tooth. This is to ensure you get the best care possible and ensure adequate healing and long-term success.

Will an endodontist prescribe an antibiotic before a root canal treatment?

Sometimes an endodontist may prescribe an antibiotic before root canal treatment is performed.  It is recommended for patients with certain conditions before undergoing dental treatment that poses a risk of bacteria entering the bloodstream. If you have any concern about whether or not you need an antibiotic Dr. Simonton or Dr. Shen will gladly discuss this with you.

Will my insurance cover endodontic treatment?

We cannot say whether or not your insurance will cover your root canal procedure. That will depend on your particular plan. However, it is common for dental insurance plans to cover 50% – 80% of the cost of a root canal after the deductible has been met. If you would like us to submit a claim on your behalf, we will be happy to assist and help you collect any benefits available to you. We will make our best effort to estimate your owed portion as close as possible. However, we can in no way guarantee payment by your insurance company. You agree to be responsible for all charges not covered by your insurance policy.

Are there any alternatives to endodontic treatment?

Endodontic treatment is a highly specialized treatment to save natural teeth.  The only other alternative to endodontic treatment is to pull the tooth. When this occurs, the missing tooth will need to be replaced with an implant or dental bridge.

Our Endodontic Services


Root Canals

A root canal is a procedure that Endodontists handle every day. Root canals are generally needed when a tooth is cracked or has extensive tooth decay where the tooth cannot be saved by a simple tooth filling.


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Root Canal Re-Treatment

Root canals are performed successfully every day. However, there can be instances after a root canal is performed that require an Endodontist to treat with their specialized skill and equipment.

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Endodontic Surgery

In many cases, an endodontist can save a tooth with damaged or infected pulp by a root canal procedure. However, there are some occasions a root canal is not sufficient to heal the tooth and endodontic surgery is required. 

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Call us at 952-920-4400 or fill out our online contact form to schedule your appointment today!

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