Root Canal Therapy

If you have a toothache that lasts for several days, it’s important you schedule an appointment with our Holland emergency dentist as soon as possible.

Our dentist at Macatawa Smiles will be able to examine your teeth and gums, as well as take dental X-rays to determine if you need an emergency root canal. If an oral infection is deep enough to penetrate the pulp (living tissue) inside your tooth, you’ll need root canal therapy. A root canal is often a last-resort effort to save a tooth. Dental pulp can be infected by:

  • Deep tooth decay
  • Traumatic dental injury
  • Tooth cracks and chips
  • Large fillings
  • Too many dental procedures done on the same tooth

Signs You Need a Root Canal

Keep in mind that you may not show signs you need a root canal until it is too late, which is why it’s important to see your dentist for an oral exam every six months. If you notice any of the following symptoms, you’ll need to call our office right away to schedule emergency root canal therapy.

  • Severe toothache
  • Darkening of tooth
  • Pimple on gums
  • Prolonged tooth sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
  • Swollen tender gums, especially near affected tooth

How Root Canals Work

Since the inside of your tooth is infected, it only makes sense that your dentist would want to keep your tooth dry and clean during the dental procedure. After injecting local anesthesia to numb your tooth, your dentist may put a small sheet of rubber around the tooth called a dental dam.

Next, your family dentist will create access in the top of the tooth in order to remove diseased dental pulp, bacteria, and other debris. Your dentist will then use small files to shape the inside of your tooth, as well as reshape the tooth root.

Once the inside of the tooth is clean and dry, your dentist will fill it with a special material called gutta percha and cover the tooth with a temporary filling. In most cases our Holland dentist can place the final crown or filling at the same visit and only rarely do we have to use a temporary filling. When you come back for your next appointment, a permanent root canal crown will be placed to restore your tooth to its original strength and appearance.

Schedule an Appointment

Our Holland, MI, restorative dentist has experience saving teeth after dental pulp has been infected. If you have a severe toothache and need to schedule an appointment with our emergency dentist, call Macatawa Smiles (616) 396-7524, or contact us online.


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