Endodontic FAQ

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 your tooth in the mirror, what you see is the crown. The rest of the 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 endodontic treatment, the tooth continues to perform normally.

Endodontist/General Dentist

Endodontists are different than general dentists as they have furthered their education with two more years of schooling specializing in endodontics (root canal treatment). In addition to education an endodontist has more advanced technology such as 3-D imaging, ultrasonic instrumentation, high resolution microscopes, and gentle wave technology. Endodontists specifically treat the inside of the tooth and do not provide any of the services that your general dentist offfers.

Why Choose Wayzata Endodontics?

Dr. Tulkki and Dr. Brasser complete thousands of root canal treatments each year. Endodontists have at least two years of additional education beyond dental school to become experts in performing root canal treatment, diagnosing and treating tooth pain. At Wayzata Endodontics, our passion is to bring the best practices and procedures within endodontics to our community. With that in mind, Dr. Tulkki and Dr. Brasser have both pursued the highest level of education with achieving diplomate status from the American Board of Endodontics. Diplomate status is achieved by only 40% of practicing endodontists. In Addition to education, we offer the most advanced technology, including microscopes, 3-D imaging, ultrasonic instrumentation, and the gentle wave procedure.

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

No. While x-rays will be necessary during your endodontics 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 cotherapists via e-mail or diskette. For more information contact Schick Technologies, Inc.

What about infection?

Again, there’s no need for concern. We adhere 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.

What happens after treatment?

When your root canal therapy has been completed, a record of your treatment will be sent to your restorative dentist. You should contact his office for a follow-up restoration within a few weeks of completion at our office. Your restorative dentist will decide on 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, however, we are available at all times to respond.

Root Canal Cost?

Each tooth is different based on tooth location, number of canals, and history of previous care. Typically, cost ranges from 1200-22– dollars and this estimate does not include the restoration care necessary following our care at your general dentist. For specific cost ranges call our office to discuss financial arrangements.

Emergency Appointments

Our office does have emergency spots each day, to check and see if we have an available opening call our office and speak with our front desk staff.

What new technologies are being used?



Operating Microscopes

 In addition to digital radiography, we utilize special operating microscopes. Magnification and fiber optic illumination are helpful in aiding the doctor to see tiny details inside your tooth. Also, a tiny video camera on the operating microscope can record images of your tooth to further document the doctor’s findings.

3-D Cone Beam scan

3-D imaging (cone beam CT) may be a necessary treatment plan to further diagnose your tooth. Our 3-D scan helps our doctors determine the health of the root and surrounding bone. In addition, it can aid in the long-term prognosis of treatment or evaluate if an extraction of the tooth and implant restoration may be a better option.

The Gentle Wave procedure

the Gentle Wave procedure is the latest technology to aid in cleaning the root canal space. The procedure involves using broad-spectrum acoustic energy to clean the entire root canal. Although the goal is the same it allows for more conservative treatment and improved ability to clean in difficult canal spaces. For more information on this procedure go to the procedures tab on our site and watch a short video on how the gentle wave is used during a root canal treatment.