Patient Information

Thank you for your interest in Los Alamitos Endodontics, the practice of Drs. Howard Polk and Philip Livingood, a dental practice dedicated exclusively to endodontic (root canal) care.  

Why chose Los Alamitos Endodontics for your root canal treatment needs?

You will receive quality, skilled endodontic care by endodontists who have been focusing exclusively on root canal care for over a combined 35 years in endodontics and over 40 years in dentistry in general.  Our endodontists utilize advanced technologies like CBCT (3-dimensional) imaging and microscopes to allow for more accurate diagnosis and predictions for treatment outcomes.  

What if I’m nervous about getting a root canal treatment?

Getting root canal treatment is generally like getting any other filling on your tooth, except you are getting the filling the whole length of the root also.  The vast majority of patients are comfortable with just local anesthetic because of the adjunctive/advanced techniques our doctors utilize for numbing.  If that still sounds too concerning we also have nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or ability to prescribe medications that can help decrease dental anxiety.  For the extremely anxious patient we can make arrangements for a dental anesthesiologist to come in for IV sedation/anesthesia.

While all dentists are licensed to do root canal treatments, less than three percent of dentists are endodontists (specialists in root canal treatment). The American Dental Association (ADA) states dentists should not advertise as specialists, unless they have finished an ADA accredited specialty training program. Just like medicine has specialists, so does dentistry. Endodontists have additional two or more years of training beyond dental school. This additional training focuses on diagnosing tooth pain, performing root canal treatment efficiently and effectively, increasing patient comfort with advanced training on the best numbing techniques, and other procedures related to the interior of the tooth. The average general dentist performs about two root canal treatments per week, while an endodontist typically performs 20-25. Peer-reviewed scientific literature has found higher success rates when root canal treatment is performed by endodontists compared to general dentists. This level of experience generally results in a smoother, more comfortable process with an increased chance of success. Having successful root canal treatment during initial treatment lowers the potential risk for more expensive future treatments such as having to re-do root canal treatment or extraction and replacement of a tooth with a bridge or dental implant. At Los Alamitos Endodontics we have advanced technologies in our office that many general dentists do not. Microscopes and CBCT (three-dimensional) x-ray machines, amongst other advanced technologies, greatly improve the quality, comfort, and efficiency of treatments.

We are specialist members of the American Association of Endodontists. We look forward to being of service to you. We provide the highest standard of professional care in a friendly, comfortable environment. We hope that the information provided here answers many of your questions about endodontic treatment. If you would like additional information, please don’t hesitate to contact us at (562) 596-1664.

This section offers information from the administrative side of the practice, including: