Thank you for your interest in our practice. Dr. Heitman is a specialist member of the American Association of Endodontics and this office provides endodontic care exclusively. We take pride in exceeding your expectations by providing the highest standard of care in a friendly, comfortable setting.
Our office is equipped with "state of the art" technology. Microscopes, specially designed for use in endodontics, are used during the treatment for magnification of the root canal spaces. Computerized radiology decreases treatment time and provides us with improved diagnostic capabilities. It also reduces radiation exposure. A video camera shows the treatment in progress on a TV monitor for the patient to observe. Pictures can be taken of the treatment, recorded in the patient’s file, and sent to the patient’s dentist.
If your dentist has referred you to us for treatment, or a consultation, please be sure to click on About Your Appointment. You may also wish to read through the Questions and Answers section. If you would like additional information, please contact us by phone or email.
About Your Appointment
● Our office is open Monday through Thursday from 8:30 AM until 5:00 PM. We respect our patients’ time: patients will usually be seated at their appointed time and rarely later than ten minutes. In the event you might be late to your appointment, please notify us as soon as possible so that we can adjust our schedule accordingly.
● If x-ray films have been forwarded to our office, please confirm our receipt.
● If you have a hip, knee or cardiac prostheses, or if your physician has advised you to take antibiotic premedication for any other cause, please take the appropriate antibiotic as directed. If you have any questions about this, please call us and visit the Instructions for Antibiotic Premedication at Questions and Answers. Please bring a list of all medications you are taking and report any changes in your health status.
● A parent or guardian must accompany all patients under the age of 18.
Fees vary with the type of tooth and the complexity of treatment. Payment is expected by the completion of treatment, which is usually completed in one or two appointments. Fees are the same for all patients, whether or not they have dental insurance. For your convenience, we accept Master Card, Visa, American Express and Discover Cards. We also accept CareCredit - this is a no interest payment plan (if the balance is paid in full within 6-12 months) on healthcare purchases with a CareCredit card.
Insurance Policy: Our professional services are delivered to you, the patient. Total payment for the dental service is the responsibility of the patient and not that of the insurance company. You can expect the insurance company to reimburse you for a portion of our fee. That portion is determined by the contract between your employer and the insurance company. We will be happy to help you with your insurance papers in order that you can be reimbursed by your insurance company. There is no charge for this service.
Our office is equipped with microscopes specially designed for use in endodontics. Magnification and fiber optic illumination are used to assist in performing the technical aspects of the endodontic treatment. The microscope is equipped with a high-resolution video camera so that the assistant can view and follow the procedure on a video monitor. Often, patients also watch, finding the treatment an interesting and pleasant experience.
Our office has equipped each treatment room with Schick Digital Radiography. Digital radiography utilizes an intraoral sensor in place of conventional x-ray film. The radiographic image is converted into an electronic signal, interpreted by computer, and displayed instantly onto the TV monitor. Digital radiography reduces radiation exposure up to 90%, decreases the time spent in treatment, and provides us with improved endodontic diagnostic capabilities through image enhancement computer technology.
Digital microvideography enables us to record pictures of the treatment area and then use this image to explain the treatment to the patient, send the picture to the patient’s dentist, and store the image in the patient’s record.
How much will treatment cost?
The fee for root canal treatment depends on the difficulty of the treatment. Some teeth have one root canal, whereas others have four; some roots are straight, whereas others have one or more curves; some canals are open, and others are closed with calcification. In general, however, the fee for endodontic treatment and a final restoration, if needed, by your dentist is less than the removal of the tooth and replacement with an artificial tooth.
Should I be worried about X-Rays?
No. While x-rays will be necessary during your endodontic treatment, we use an advanced non-film computerized system called digital radiography. This results in radiation levels up to 90 percent lower than those of already low-dose conventional dental x-ray equipment.
Do I need to take antibiotics before endodontic treatment?
Antibiotics are necessary before dental treatment only in certain situations including:
An artificial joint prosthesis such as a knee or hip replacement.Artificial heart valve or an organ transplant.For these patients, you will be asked to take one of the following antibiotic prescriptions before your endodontic treatment:
Instructions for Antibiotic Premedication :Amoxicillin 500 mgFour (4) capsules one hour before your dental appointment
For those patients allergic to the penicillin-based antibiotics:Clindamycin (Cleocin) 150 mgFour (4) capsules one hour before your dental appointment
Will I Need To Return to My General Dentist After the Root Canal Treatment?
After root canal treatment is completed, a posterior tooth (bicuspid or molar) will need to have a crown placed to enhance its strength if there is not already one present. If this is the case, you will see your general dentist to have it placed. Dr. Heitman will advise you whether this is necessary. The fee for the endodontic therapy does not include the crown.
Can all teeth be saved?
There are some teeth that cannot be treated endodontically and others where retaining the tooth might not even be the best treatment. If this is your situation, Dr. Heitman will inform you about it before treatment is started. In addition, even though we now experience over a 90% success rate in root canal therapy, there are instances, although few, when the treatment is not successful. If this occurs, Dr. Heitman might recommend a minor surgical procedure called an apicoectomy. This will depend on the nature of the problems existing prior to treatment, or if the tissues do not heal normally after root canal therapy has been completed.
What Are the Alternatives to Treatment?
Extraction of the tooth is the only alternative. When a tooth is extracted, the missing tooth should be replaced or adjacent, and opposing teeth will move into the empty space. This can lead to periodontal (gum) problems in the area, malocclusion (bad bite) and loss of support of the facial contour. Replacement of the tooth is usually with a fixed, cemented bridge or, in some circumstances, an implant. Bridge placement requires shaping the teeth on each side of the space and then cementing the bridge, with the false tooth, onto these teeth. This can injure adjacent teeth. In addition, the bridge is weaker and is more difficult to keep clean than your natural teeth. Extraction of the tooth and replacement with a bridge also cost more than endodontic treatment and a follow-up restoration.