Seeking an Endodontist (Root Canal)

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  • Post-Root Canal Problems, What's Next?

    (5 replies)

    Hi, anybody experienced with local endodontistry and root canal drama to give me some advice?  I had my first ever root canal late last year with a highly recommended endodontist (referred by my trusted dentist, recommended here on BPN). It clearly didn't "take", and they re-did it without additional charge a few months later. The second time, the healing trajectory was much more obvious and I felt like I was back to normal (no sensitivity, much less pain) on the affected tooth within about two months. Well, that lasted a month, and in the past few weeks, I have been feeling sensitivity in the same area again. Not "pain" yet, so I'm using this time to mull my options. I have Delta PPO. I am not sure if this is a practicioner issue, or just my tooth is so messed up I need an implant. Do I call the same endodontist to have them do it again? Do I trust them to go straight to an implant? (which we'd previously discussed as a more extreme option to try after a root canal). Do I call Delta to have them authorize a second opionion with another endo? Plus, I've gotten soooo many x-rays over the 9 months this has been going on... I hate the thought of more. Is there any harm to if I just live with the sensitivity as long as it doesn't escalate to pain, to give the radiation a rest for a while? Sigh. Teeth, man!

    My experience has a longer time span than yours. My thirty year old root canal failed. Injections from my orthodontists Priya OCallaghan did not help. The choice lay bwtween a redo of the root canal or an implant. I did nothing for two years. Last year i learned it was too late to redo the root canal. i am now in the implant process. Total cost will reach $6,500 for one implant.

    I've had a few root canals and discovered through the process that 1) i have really long roots and 2) they are very twisted at the end which means it's really difficult to remove all of the nerve and often requires me to go back several times to get it fully completed. After this happened the first time, my endodontist follows a practice of doing the root canal but only placing a temporary crown so that I can try it out for a week or so and will keep coming back until it is pain free. Then my dentist will place the permanent crown. An implant is not cheap and comes with it's own drawbacks (and is not reversible) so my preference if I were in your shoes would be to exhaust the root canal path before going to the next extreme step. Best of luck and I hope it resolves soon!

    When I had tooth sensitivity after an procedure, my dentist told me to switch to Sensodyne toothpaste. She said that over time  (two or more weeks), it would build up an extra layer of protection on the tooth, if I understood that correctly anyway. It did work for me. 

    I would definitely either take a wait and see approach to let the nerve area settle down. If discomfort continues for longer than 6 months or it escalates to pain, I'd probably ask my dentist who recommended the endodonist what he thinks, and speak to that endodontist about what the heck may be going on, and I might just get a second opinion. You can also call the office to report your status just so that it is documented and tell them you're going to wait a bit before coming back in. I've had 4 or 5 root canals, only 1 did I have what you describe but the discomfort settled down after several months - but if it is pain, then have it looked at as that could be an infection or something more serious. . 

    Last month while on a trip I had a tooth with an old root canal flare up into terrible throbbing pain. It didn't go away after a few days so I set an appointment to see an endodonist where I was visiting but couldn't get an appt for 4 days over a long weekend. Meanwhile I read into this type of pain and saw a homeopathic product Hylands Cell Salts for tooth and gum pain. I'm not a believer in homeopathic medicine but I know it is considered basically harmless and I had nothing to lose so I bought it I think at Walgreens and took as suggested. The next day my pain was significantly less and continued until it was completely gone so I canceled my appointment. I thought it would come back but it hasn't.

    Now who knows if that was what actually helped or not but it's just an idea if you feel like trying it.

    I have had a couple root canals with an endodontist in SF and then root canal retreatments with Dr. O'Callaghan here in Berkeley. Dr. O'Callaghan was pretty thorough and actually showed me on the xrays that the first root canal I had done years ago in SF, the endodontist did not go all the way to the end of the nerve so I needed a retreatment. Endodontists can do so much. Sometimes it's the structure of the roots that makes a complete root canal impossible as it's hard to reach some of the micro-nerves. Talk to your endodontist if you are feeling sensitivity ask them to take another look/xray and see if there is any sign of infection. Hold on to your tooth as long as you can but If you do end up needing an implant, it's OK. I had a "cursed" tooth and after a root canal and two retreatments in a span of 10 years, an abscess was formed and it was time to let the tooth go. The implant process took time and money (it was around $4,000 out of pocket) and I was so fearful of the whole thing, but in the end it worked out. Someone said to try Sensodyne as it helps with sensitivity and I second that. Good luck!

  • Cost for a root canal?

    (2 replies)

    Hello.  I was just quoted $1700 for a root canal; $2100 with cap repair included.  Ouch and ouch again.  Is this in the currently typical range for the procedure?

    $1700 is typical for a root canal if done by an endodontist (root canal specialist). As some who’s endured 19 (!) root canals and all kinds of extensive dental work, I can offer one advice: always have root canals done by a reputable specialist, an endodontist.  The consequences  of a failed root canal can be quite serious — often a lost tooth, which can be extremely costly (implants are outrageously expensive). 
    Speaking from unfortunate experience. 

    Yes, unfortunately that is what all the oral surgeons charge. It's a racket.

  • Dentist in East Bay for a root canal

    (7 replies)

    Looking for recommendations for a dentist for a root canal in East Bay!

    I have been to Dr. Priya O'Callaghan near Alta Bates. She is excellent and was recommended by my dentist Arlene Terlet.

    really great place and awesome people.

    Endodontist (sp?) Priya O'Callaghan, next to Alta Bates, is the most skilled dentist I have ever encountered at doing root canals.   She's done three or four for me.

    Quick, painless, technically perfect.


    I highly recommend Silvia Cecchini who is at Berkeley Endodontics at 2850 Telegraph (near Ashby) in Berkeley. She is very thorough, gentle and explains the procedures well. Good luck with the root canal!

    My Endo specialist Dr.  Ataushi  Fujimura is excellant! He is very attentive and gentle and through.  I have had amazing support from Dr. Fujimura as I have had several very difficult projects for him as I needed many procedures and clean up of failed previous root canals. Great Staff and Dr. Fujimura is also very compassionate and really listens to his patients!  Can't say enough good things about his work and thoughtfulness.

    Here is a link to his web page  I have used the practice next to the El Cerrito Plaza Area on

    6431 Fairmount Avenue Suite #2                                                                                                                                                                  
    El Cerrito,CA 94530


    Phone: 510-524-0600 
    Fax: 510-524-3972

    Fremont Smiles on Mowry is a family owned dentist office and is wonderful. Second generation is running it now, first generation elected to the Washington Hospital board. 

    Caveat: I've never had a root canal, but I recommend Dr. Devigal. My father has terrible teeth, and he has been super happy with the care he's received from Dr. Devigal. I've been going to his practice since I was a child, and he's wonderful and very thorough.

  • Root canal with Delta Dental

    (3 replies)

    There is a small chance I will need a root canal in the near future. I have Delta Dental insurance. Can anyone recommend an experienced endodontist or dentist in the area who takes Delta Dental who does this? I live in Berkeley but am willing to travel to get the best care.

    I had an excellent experience with Dr. Carolyn Chong at Berkeley Endodontics ( I've heard their other doctors are excellent, too. They accept Delta.


    I have seen Dr. Cecchini at Berkeley Endodontics on Telegraph and Oregon twice for assessments on cracked teeth. She is very thorough and thoughtful and provides excellent care. Unfortunately, my teeth were too cracked for a root canal, so I can't speak to how she does with that, though if I ever have to get one, I would go to her. I have Delta Dental and the visits were covered.

    Good luck!
    Had my first root canal with Dr Ravendoust in Oakland.  She and the work were first rate. 

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Endodontist for Root Canal for Teen Son

March 2010

Hi - as it turns out, much to our surprise and chagrin, our 14-year- old son needs a root canal under a front tooth. No idea how this happened, but it means we need to find a local endodontist to perform this procedure. We'd like to find someone with expertise in caring for teens, super-competent, with good follow-up if necessary. We're in North Berkeley so Berkeley, Oakland, Piedmont would all be great, and we'll certainly go further if someone is recommended very highly. Thanks for your suggestions

Dr. W. Craig Noblett D.D.S., M.S. 2850 Telegraph Avenue Berkeley, CA 94705-1159 (510) 841-6357

I saw your post and knew I had to respond. Our experience with Craig Noblett was truly positive and memorable! Dr Noblett did a root canal for my daughter at 9 years old. So gentle and kind! perfect professional for a kid. Her first real dental experience besides cleaning, he was wonderful with her. Good luck! bedesign [at]

hi there. i highly recommend dr. Daniel Choi in Pleasant Hill (925-363- 3553). a bit of a drive, but totally worth it in my opinion. not sure of his interactions w/ teens, but i had to have a rather complicated procedure done a year ago, including a bone graft, and he was fabulous. he is very meticulous and precise and i was very happy with the care. i have had no problems since at all, and to boot, i'm also the biggest chicken in the world when it comes to things like this, so i appreciated all the time he took to answer my 30 plus questions before the procedure. good luck in your decision. would use him again!

I can recommend a terrific endodontist, Yass Dalmachi in Lafayette (925-299-0193). She's superb.

I saw her for a root canal a few months ago and she was terrific. I actually enjoyed having her do the procedure! I told her I was anxious and she was very reassuring. She's super attentive to pain control -- I literally did not feel a thing.

I saw her for follow-up care after my dentist put on a crown and I felt pain in the tooth. Both dentists suspected a hidden fracture, but x-rays revealed nothing. Just to be sure, Dr. Dastmalchi repeated the root canal. I had the same good experience, and get this: she did it free of charge!

I actually am disappointed I won't be her patient anymore. I can't recommend her highly enough. Nancy

My 15 year old had a root canal last month, performed by Dr. Carolyn Chong at Berkeley Endodontics. I highly recommend her. My son was quite nervous, and Dr. Chong was very patient and thoroughly explained the procedure during our initial consultation. (They would have done it that day, but were fine with waiting for a second appt. so my son could ''mentally prepare himself'', as he described it.)

Everything went really smoothly. We also really liked her assistant - I don't know her name, unfortunately, but I got the impression she always works with Dr. Chong. I also appreciated that they were very upfront and clear about what my share of the cost would be. (We have Delta Dental.)

Please contact me if you have specific questions. They are in Berkeley, on Telegraph. The # is 841-6357. emily

May 2007

I needed a root canal which my dentist does not do, and she sent me to James Anderson who was amazing. I had never had a root canal but was quite nervous. He explained the whole procedure before, during and after. I felt no pain, even after the numbing agents wore off (I'm not saying that's a guaranteed result!). I believe they take Delta Dental. James V. Anderson, D.D.S. 2636 Telegraph Ave Berkeley, CA 94704 (510) 841-6357

Former Dento-Phobe

March 2002

Skilled endodontist wanted with good chairside manner. I need a root canal repaired (yikes) and need a specialist who can explain treatments, discuss options and talk as they work so I know what's going on. I'm not looking for a lot of hand holding just good clear communication and skill.

Dr. James Anderson and associates in Berkeley on Telegraph are wonderful. They are patient and will explain everything in terms you can understand (they even drew me a little picture of the inside of my tooth.) Their work is painless, skilled and fast. And they are not patronizing. Call them. sally

I had a root canal last year that seemed to go on interminably. I was first referred to Dr. Stevenson, who has a very busy office with a number of partners on pill hill.

He seemed like a nice enough fellow, but he had some scheduling issues at first (I had an appointment for 1:30, and was finally seen by him at 3:30). I rescheduled the appointment for later, since I had childcare issues.

When I went in for my rescheduled appointment, he started working on my tooth and apparently it was a lot worse than he thought, and he had under-medicated me for the length of the procedure and had to keep adding novocaine, and waiting for it to start working. It seemed he might have been working with another patient at the same time, since he keep leaving for substantial periods of time. In any case, he got half done when what he was doing started causing excrutiating pain, and he just couldn't get the site numb enough to continue. He packed it off and had me reschedule. He had a very busy schedule, so we couldn't find a second appointment for a *very* long time (7-8 weeks), and apparently, his partners don't finish others procedures.

I called my dentist and got another referral to Anderson/Krangle I went into see Dr. Anderson the same day, he finished the procedure in 45 minutes with absolutely NO pain. I wouldn't say he's the warmest guy in the world, but he is incredibly skilled at doing root canals, explained everything carefully and I had NO pain from the site. Everything was handled beautifully, from x-rays to follow-up care. A first class operation. Tooth-Hurty

I've been seeing Dr. Mark Stevenson for root canal work, and I recommend him highly. He is thorough, gentle, and he explains each test or procedure in depth before it happens. He also allows enough time for my questions or concerns. As a result, I have felt prepared for the process rather than surprised by it. His office is located near Summit Hospital (2930 Summit) and the phone # is 839-9480. Janet

Me and my SO both had root canals done by Frank Beal last year. He was patient, took the time to explain what he was doing, and seemed very calm and confident. The root canals seem to have worked. His office is right next to Alta Bates, and Delta covered his work. Tim

I went to several before finding one that I trusted and who actually involved me in the process of caring for my problem teeth instead of just making me keep coming back and working on them without any explanation. Has been really flexible with working around my office hours (early, lunch, late) and I have never had a long wait. I live in the East Bay but he is worth the trip to SF (easy by BART or car) Dr. James Coggan(415) 392-7752. 490 Post (Union Square, SF) Nicole

Anderson and Crangle (in Berkeley) are both superlative. 'Nuff said. Lisa D.

June 2004

Hi -- Anybody know of a good dentist with root canal expertise in Berkeley? I need an evaluation of whether I need to have a root canal (I think I do because a tooth that was crowned before I was pregnant, 5 months ago, is still bothering me quite a bit). Then I'd like this same dentist to be able to do the root canal after I give birth. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated! THANKS!

Recommendations received:

July 2001

I'm scheduled for a root canal with Ted Stevenson, but he's scheduled it for a month out. I'm in a lot of pain and am looking for alternatives... Does anyone have a good suggestion? Thanks!

I can recommend Joseph Schulz for a root canal. He treated me last summer and was gentle, fast, and always made time to see me. His office staff was very accommodating as well. He has offices in El Cerrito (Fairmount Ave. where I saw him), Oakland, and Hayward. Good luck! J.

Check out SFSU Dental Clinic. They will do an emergency 'pulpectomy' so that you will be out of pain. You can then go to your endodontist for the root canal work. I have done this in the past and it is a good option. Liz

I was just in California for a couple weeks in July, and my dentist was able to get me a root canal appointment with James V. Anderson, D.D.S., on Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley. He was excellent, explained everything thoroughly, and I had absolutely no pain during or after the procedure. I've also heard good things about Drs. Crangle and Noblett in the same office. I'd call every endodontist you'd consider seeing, explain that you're in pain, and ask them to call you if they have any cancellations or would be willing to squeeze you in. Good luck, Jane