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Nils E. Danielson, DDS, MS, MS

Clawson, MI


General Information

What is an Endodontist?

Endodontists are dentists who specialize in maintaining teeth through root canal procedures involving the soft inner tissue of the teeth, called the pulp.  All dentists are trained in diagnosis and endodontic therapy, however, some teeth can be especially difficult to diagnose and treat.  That’s why you may have been referred to an endodontic specialist.

In addition to dental school, endodontists receive two or more years of advanced education in this kind of treatment. They study root canal academics, techniques and procedures in greater depth, for diagnosis and treatment of more difficult cases. For this reason, many dentists choose to refer their patients to endodontists.

Dr. Danielson has a Master of Endodontics from the University of Michigan, a 3 year training program for the specialty, and is also Michigan Board Certified. He is knowledgeable in endodontic literature and academia, as well as having excellent clinical skills.

What is a Root Canal? What Happens During Treatment?

Relax through your Root Canal

You need a root canal, but don't worry!  You have a right to understand the procedure you are about to undertake and what to expect from it. Your comfort is our priority and we will make sure you have a pleasant experience. Root Canal Therapy allows you to maintain teeth that not too many years ago would have been extracted.

Treatment Information

Once we determine your need for a root canal, a local anesthetic will be given.  A sheet of latex called the "rubber dam" (available in nonlatex too) will be placed around the tooth to isolate the area, keeping it clean and dry during treatment.  The treatment consists of removal of inflamed/infected nerve tissue, and can usually be completed within an hour.  Most treatments are a single visit, but occasionally 2 visits may be required depending on the degree of infection/inflammation and degree of treatment difficulty.

Fortunately, most teeth respond to our efforts by conservative treatment.  A few teeth may require more involved treatment, such as surgical endodontic therapy, if the tooth can be saved.  If it is determined that the tooth has a fractured root, then saving the tooth may not be possible.

Endodontists Diagnose and Manage Pain

Oral pain such as toothaches or fractured/cracked teeth can often be difficult to pinpoint.  Because of the vast network of nerves in the mouth, the pain of a damaged or diseased tooth often is felt in another tooth and/or in the head, neck, or ear. An endodontist is a specialist in diagnosing and treating this type of pain.

We Treat Traumatic Injuries

Pulp damage is sometimes caused by an injury to the mouth, and the endodontist specializes in treating these traumatic injuries. For example, an injury to a child's permanent tooth that is not fully developed can cause the root to stop growing. A variety of treatment options are available for incompletely developed roots. One option is a procedure called apexification. It stimulates bone to be deposited at the end of the root which makes it possible to then save the tooth through a root canal procedure. An endodontist is also specially trained in procedures for replanting teeth that have been knocked out of their sockets.

What happens after the root canal?

Once endodontic therapy is completed your tooth should be examined periodically, usually 6 - 12 months after treatment.  This allows us to make sure the tooth has healed or is healing properly.  You will be sent a notice in the mail when we feel it is appropriate to reevaluate the area.

Successful endodontic therapy is just the beginning point to saving your tooth.  Upon completion of your therapy, rebuilding of your tooth may be necessary by your general dentist.  Following this, a final restoration, usually a crown, will be required.  The specific treatment for your tooth will be discussed by your doctor.

Once completed, your tooth will once again be a fully functional part of your mouth and smile.  We will be pleased to discuss any and all aspects of your treatment with you at this time.  If you have any questions regarding this or any other type of treatment, please feel free to ask.


Occasionally a tooth that has undergone endodontic, treatment fails to heal or pain continues despite therapy. Although rare, sometimes a tooth initially responds to root canal therapy but becomes painful or diseased months or years later. When either of these situations occur, the tooth often can be maintained with a second endodontic treatment.