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What to Expect During Root Canal Therapy

What to Expect During Root Canal Therapy

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What To Expect During Root Canal Therapy Holland MI DentistDo you have a toothache and suspect you need root canal therapy? When a cavity is deep enough to reach the innermost chamber of your tooth (dental pulp) you’ll need an emergency root canal.

A tooth abscess won’t go away on its own, which is why you should schedule an appointment with your root canal dentist as soon as possible so you have the best chance of saving your smile.

Continue reading to learn what you can expect during the root canal procedure.

You may need root canal therapy to treat:

  • Deep tooth decay
  • Chipped tooth
  • Fractured tooth
  • Tooth made fragile from large filling or multiple procedures

Dental X-Rays Will Be Taken

The dental pulp is the living tissue inside your tooth, which contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissues. While you may feel apprehensive about root canal therapy, keep in mind that you will feel much better once your dentist is able to treat your tooth infection.

Your dentist will first want to take x-rays of your teeth to determine how deep your cavity runs and whether the surrounding bone has been infected. While your teeth may appear perfectly healthy on the surface, the inside of your tooth may be telling a different story. The dental x-rays will also reveal the shape of your root canals.

Tooth Will Be Prepped for Root Canal

If your dentist determines you need a tooth root canal, they will give you local anesthesia so you won’t feel any pain during the procedure. To keep the area around the infected tooth dry and clean during root canal treatment, your dentist may place a special rubber sheet around your tooth.

Infected Dental Pulp Will Be Removed

To remove the infected dental pulp, your dentist will need to drill an access hole through the top of your tooth. Next, they will use small files of increasing size to remove the infected pulp. Every so often, your dentist may flush out the inside of your tooth with water or sodium hypochlorite.

Tooth Will Be Restored With Filling and Crown

Once the inside of your tooth is clean, your dentist will seal it. Depending on your circumstances, this can be done the same day or during a later visit to your dentist’s office. If your dentist decides to seal your tooth at a later date, a temporary filling will be placed to prevent saliva and food particles from getting inside your tooth.

When you come back, your dentist will remove the temporary filling. They will also fill the inside of your tooth and tooth’s root canal, and cover the access hole with a permanent filling. Since teeth are often fragile after root canal surgery, your dentist may decide you need a root canal crown to restore your tooth to its natural appearance and strength.

Learn More About Root Canal Therapy

Dr. Brenton Habecker at Macatawa Smiles is dedicated to helping you restore your smile through root canal therapy and other restorative dentistry services. To schedule an appointment with our Holland dentist, call (616) 396-7524.

This blog post has been updated.


Dear Patient Family,

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult time for all of us. Many of you have been forced to wait for dental care and we appreciate your understanding while we kept our office closed to follow orders from the Governor's Office.

We are happy to say that we are opening our office for all patient treatment on June 1st, 2020. Our hours of operation will go back to normal, Monday-Thursday 8am - 5pm. We want you to know that there will be some changes at your next appointment. Please be patient with us as our protocols will inevitably change as new guidelines are released.

  • We ask that you use our parking lot as the waiting room.
  • Please wear a mask when you come into the office and leave it on until entering the treatment room. Homemade is acceptable.
  • Only the person receiving treatment should come in the building, all others will be asked to wait in the car if at all possible. The exception will be for our minor patients who may have one parent accompany them.
  • We will be asking you some questions when you arrive at the office and we will also be taking your temperature.
  • We will not be able to offer magazines, drinks, or toys at this time as they cannot be disinfected to our standards. Eventually this will change and we will be happy to offer our amenities once again.

These changes have been made to adhere to the latest CDC guidelines and for the benefit of our patients and our staff. We want you to know that our office has always taken the safety of our patients very seriously and that we will continue to follow the highest levels of sterilization and disinfection to keep you protected. If you would like more information on what measures we have taken we would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

We cannot say how excited we are to see all of our patients again and to provide for their dental needs. We look forward to seeing all of your smiling faces soon!

Dr. Habecker and Team