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Root Canal Therapy

Dentist in Grand Rapids, MI

Root canals can help save a tooth with a severely infected pulp and prevent the infection from causing painful abscesses. Kent Wildern, DDS provides advanced root canals for patients with damaged teeth by incorporating cutting-edge endodontic procedures for minimizing discomfort and facilitating the procedure.


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Why Do I Need a Root Canal?

Many patients have heard of root canals, but they're not sure what necessitates one. When you come to our office in Grand Rapids, MI with tooth pain caused by infection, we examine you to determine what the cause is and how we can remedy it.

Signs and symptoms of a dental infection that may require a root canal include toothache, darkening of the tooth, swelling around the tooth and increased sensitivity to hot and cold foods. Unless your root canal dentist in Grand Rapids, MI, can initiate treatment as soon as possible, a pulp infection could lead to tooth loss and the need for more extensive dental procedures.

Of course, not every toothache leads to a root canal. Some patients mistake jaw pain for the need for a root canal when it could actually be a symptom of bruxism or a jaw joint disorder. That's why you should come see us as soon as you begin experiencing pain.

What Happens During a Root Canal Treatment?

To begin a root canal procedure, the dentist will numb the tooth and surrounding area with a powerful anesthetic injected directly into the gums. Patients will not feel any pain during the procedure but may sense pressure while the dentist cleans and packs the tooth. Initially, an "access cavity" is created using a dental drill. This cavity is a small hole extending from the dental enamel into the pulp chamber, or inner part of the tooth where the infection exists. During the access cavity stage of a root canal, the dentist will also remove decayed portions of the tooth before disinfecting and shaping the root canals and pulp chamber

For a tooth that is infected, damaged, or decayed, root canal therapy may be the best form of treatment. Root canals are used to save your natural tooth by removing the pulp, nerves, and any bacteria. The space left behind is filled with medicated dental materials that restore the function of the tooth.

Will I Feel Pain After a Root Canal?

You may have heard people say root canals are painful. Actually, many patients at our Grand Rapids office find they experience more pain in the days before they get a root canal, since the gums near the infected tooth can become swollen and tender while the tooth itself aches. We'll numb you during the procedure, so you shouldn't feel pain during the process. You may feel some pain in the root canal area for up to 48 hours following the treatment, but it will subside afterward.

You can treat the pain with an over-the-counter painkiller, such as an anti-inflammatory. You can also discuss any other options for pain relief with us, though we advise you not to attempt any self-treatment without getting approval first. That way, you'll avoid causing any further discomfort.

The Importance of Continued Oral Hygiene

After getting your root canal, you'll feel much better. To avoid other complications down the line or the need for another root canal, you'll need to sustain good oral hygiene habits. If the tooth gets a cavity down the line, you may not feel pain because it no longer has a nerve, so it could take longer to find the cavity. We can show you proper brushing and flossing techniques to protect your teeth. Root canals can last for your entire life if you take good care of them.

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