An illustration of a tooth's anatomy and the beginning of a root canal infection

Root Canal

Advanced tooth decay can lead to pain and infection, putting your oral health at risk and causing more widespread problems.

Root canal therapy removes infected tissue, saving and restoring the tooth while eliminating the need for costly extraction and replacement.

Learn more about how Dr. Eric Hodges and our team can help at our dental practice in Philadelphia, PA…

Need Immediate Care?  We Can Improve Your Oral Health

You may need a root canal if you are experiencing a toothache or pain. Here at Associate Endodontists, P.C. in Philadelphia, our dentists understand how unbearable dental pain can be. In some cases, root canal treatment simply cannot wait. Our practice is available for emergency dental care, and we do our best to take care of you within 24 hours of your call.

The Basics of a Root Canal

Root canal diagram

Understanding Root Canal Therapy Tooth Anatomy and the Domino Effect

Unfortunately, when minor dental problems go untreated, it can result in a domino effect and create more widespread issues. If the enamel becomes damaged, it will eventually result in the dentin becoming damaged, followed eventually by the root canals. An abscess may even form in the surrounding tissue.

Endodontic treatment is recommended when plaque and bacteria damage the protective structures of the teeth: the enamel and dentin. This exposes the vulnerable soft tissues, also known as the pulp, to infection. Dental trauma or fractures can also make patients more susceptible to infections of the root canals.


Enamel is the hard, outermost layer that protects teeth against tooth decay. Weakened enamel increases the risk of cavities and causes sensitivity.


Dentin is the structure between the enamel and pulp. When dentin is damaged due to trauma or decay, it can result in cavities and discomfort.


The pulp is the soft inner layer of the tooth containing blood vessels, nerves, and tissue. If infection reaches the pulp, immediate treatment is critical.

Endodontic Treatment Offers Four Key Benefits

Pain Relief

Tooth pain can keep you up at night and make daily activities like eating feel impossible. Advanced tooth decay leads to infection and a host of uncomfortable symptoms that are relieved with treatment.

Saves Teeth

A root canal can preserve your natural tooth, potentially eliminating the need for an extraction. If tooth loss occurs, it will need to be replaced with an implant-supported restoration or traditional bridge, which tends to be costlier compared to a root canal.

Gentle Treatment

Many patients dread root canals due to their reputation for being painful. If you have a skilled dentist such as Dr. Hodges, who utilizes the latest techniques, root canal treatment feels similar to getting a cavity filled.

Peace of Mind

Dealing with a throbbing and aching tooth is stressful. Further, a root canal saves your tooth, which is always ideal. Our practice is able to treat even the most complex of cases to improve your oral health.

Committed to Providing Quality Service

Our team at Associates Endodontists, P.C., understands that the idea of a root canal can be intimidating. Patients can feel confident undergoing treatment with our dentists because we specialize in root canal therapy and have experience with the most modern techniques available in dentistry. Our practice is equipped with the latest state-of-the-art technology, including GentleWave®, to make treatment quicker and more comfortable. In addition, we strive to provide a safe, warm, and welcoming environment for all our patients. To request a consultation or learn more, call our Philadelphia, PA, office at:

(215) 477-8941

our dental office
Our dental office, Associated Endodontists, P.C.

"They made getting a root canal as painless as possible."


Asia Burton


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Dr. Eric and his assistant were both very friendly and made the experience as smooth as possible. I have been somewhat afraid of dentists for a while but they made getting a root canal as painless as possible and educated me on how to care for it until I went back to my dentist for next steps. They had no problem answering all my questions.

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Breanna Ruiz


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I had such an amazing experience with Dr. Hodges and the dental assistant Tianna. I was so anxious to get a root canal done, but they made the process totally effortless. Dr. Hodges and his team are extremely knowledgeable and kind. If you're looking for a professional and welcoming environment, this is the place to be!

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Top Signs and Symptoms

You may need a root canal treatment if one or more of the following symptoms are present:

  • Tooth pain or toothache
  • Prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold
  • Discoloration of the enamel
  • Swelling and tenderness of the surrounding gums
  • Previously failed root canal

In some cases, you may not have any noticeable symptoms. In these cases, our dentists may identify the need for a root canal when performing a dental x-ray.

We Disinfect Using the GentleWave System

Traditional root canal treatment uses coiled wires, called files, to manually remove the pulp from your root canals. This method has been used to clear root canal infections for over a hundred years. Still, it has a few downsides that the GentleWave® system eliminates.

With traditional files, endodontists risk removing too much of the tooth's internal structure, thus weakening the tooth and making the procedure more likely to fail. Since GentleWave uses fluids to clean the tooth, there is no chance of removing the tooth's internal structure. This method can also penetrate smaller pores within the tooth, leading to more effective disinfection and better outcomes. 


Risks of Not Seeking Treatment

A dental infection or an abscess at the base of your tooth's root canal will only worsen without intervention. Endodontic treatment at our Philadelphia, PA, office is vital to preserve the tooth and prevent further problems from occurring, such as: 

Tooth Loss

If you leave a root canal infection untreated for long enough, the only solution left will be to extract the tooth and preserve your surrounding teeth.

Spread of Bacteria

The bacteria infecting your root canal will continue to spread to your surrounding teeth, gums, and even your bloodstream if left untreated for an extended time. In extreme cases, this can be fatal.

The Need for More Expensive Solutions

If you put off receiving root canal treatment and lose your tooth because of it, replacing it with a dental implant or bridge will be more expensive than endodontic treatment. 

A Detailed Look at the Procedure

This video animation illustrates how the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, restored and protected with root canal therapy.

What to Expect during Treatment

During treatment at our Philadelphia practice, patients can expect the following:

Your endodontist will evaluate your teeth with digital x-rays
Local anesthesia is administered to ensure your comfort
An opening is made in the tooth, creating an access point to clean the central canals of the teeth
The infected or inflamed tissue is removed from the pulp
The inside of the tooth is deep cleaned and disinfected
The tooth is filled with a rubber dental material
Your dentist will seal the tooth to protect it
If needed, a dental crown is placed by your general dentist

"Calm atmosphere and put me at ease."


Jaclyn Schrauger


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Dr. Hodges and his team did a great job! They were very polite (to me and each other), and Dr. Hodges did a great job explaining my dental stuff to me. They also squeezed me in for an emergency follow up when my crown popped off which was super appreciated!

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You don’t want to have to get a root canal, but if you do, this is the best endo Doctor in the state of PA. Personable, puts you at ease, addresses any concerns, explains what he’s doing. Dental techs are at the ready and knowledgeable of what’s needed when. Eve! Front desk staff is great. Office atmosphere is one of calm.

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Caring for Your Teeth after Root Canal Treatment

Dealing with Discomfort

You may feel some discomfort after the anesthesia wears off. It is normal to feel mild discomfort or experience swelling for a few days, but it will subside with time. Patients can take over-the-counter pain medication to help relieve any discomfort.

Be Cautious, But Maintain Good Oral Hygiene

Patients must be cautious when eating, as the treated tooth is still vulnerable until a dental crown covers it. We recommend chewing with the opposite side of the mouth. To ensure the effects of your root canal last, stay on top of oral hygiene and routine check-ups.

What Is the Cost of Treatment?

Root canal treatment depends on several factors, such as which tooth received treatment. Typically, maxillary back molars are the most expensive because they contain three roots; other teeth contain one root. We strive to make dental treatment affordable for as many patients as possible and we will walk you through all associated costs in advance. At our Philadelphia practice, we accept most insurance plans and offer payment options to help offset the price of treatment.

Get Trusted Answers to Your Questions From Dentists that Specialize in Endodontic Dentistry

The following are some frequently asked questions our dentists often hear concerning a root canal at our Philadelphia practice:

What Is an Endodontist?

An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in root canal therapy and endodontic surgery. To become an endodontist specialist, candidates must complete dental school plus an additional two or more years of advanced training.

How Does a Root Canal Save My Tooth?

Our endodontists remove the inflamed pulp by cleaning and shaping the inside of the tooth and filling it with a dental material called gutta-percha. The tooth is sealed, and a dentist typically protects the tooth with a crown.

Will the Procedure Be Painful?

Discomfort is unusual during treatment because of anesthesia. If an infection is present, additional medications and antibiotics may be necessary to bring the infection under control and prevent the need for re-treatment. We will do everything possible to quickly return your tooth to a comfortable state.

What Happens after My Root Canal?

After completion of your root canal treatment, you will need to return to your general dentist to have a permanent restoration placed. This will seal the tooth from any further trauma or decay.

Why Should I Get a Root Canal Instead of an Extraction?

If a tooth is extracted, a bridge or implant-supported restoration must be placed so the surrounding teeth stay in place. The extraction and placement of the prosthetic is far more costly than a root canal.

Reviews From Our Caring
Philadelphia, PA, Patients


Donna Bateman


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Dr Hodges and his assistant Tianna are absolutely amazing...I had an infection and in need of root canal , everything was explained to me in detail and I was at ease and the procedure was totally painless !

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Leslie Grant-Smith


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Amazing service!!! I had to get a root canal on Friday. I was seen by Dr.Cruz. She was excellent! She talked me through the entire process to ensure I understood everything she was doing and the reasoning behind it. 

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Dr. Eric Hodges

Associated Endodontists, P.C.

Our caring doctors and compassionate staff provide the finest, pain-free results in a comfortable, relaxed environment. Our team of endodontists are affiliated with a number of professional associations including:

  • American Association of Endodontists
  • American Dental Association
  • National Dental Association

Schedule a visit to our Philadelphia, PA, endodontist office today. Contact us online or or call (215) 477-8941.

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