Welcoming New & Exisiting Patients!
Call Us Today: (417) 823-4900
1036 West Battlefield, Springfield, MO 65807 Request an Appointment

Endodontic Treatment in Springfield

When tooth decay or damage is too severe for a regular filling, endodontic treatment -- more commonly called root canal therapy -- is necessary. It may have the reputation of being a thing to dread, but it’s actually the pain leading up to the root canal that hurts. The procedure itself is nothing to fear. Dr. Scott Olson provides quality endodontic treatment at Olson Family Dental.

When Endodontic Treatment Is Necessary

Root canal therapy is required when infection reaches the tooth’s pulp, often referred to as its “nerve.” The interior of the tooth is filled with small nerves, and diseased pulp usually results in serious pain. It’s difficult to ignore the need for endodontic treatment. The indicators of an infected nerve include…

  • Chronic tooth pain or ache
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Dark or black tooth
  • A pimple-like bump on the gum below the tooth
  • Swollen, red, tender gum

Seek dental attention at the first sign of tooth pain. Getting cavities filled early prevents the need for root canal therapy and tooth extraction.

What to Expect from Endodontic Treatment

Root canal therapy is completed over two to three visits to Dr. Olson’s office. The length of your treatment depends on the severity of the infection. Sometimes, root canal therapy is completed in just one visit to the dentist.

The treatment begins by administering local anesthesia to ensure comfort at the treatment site. Sedation dentistry is also available for calming jittery nerves. Once you are completely comfortable, your dentist will access the inside of the tooth by drilling a small hole in the back of front teeth or the chewing surface of back teeth. Then, using special tools, the infected tissue is thoroughly removed from the tooth’s interior. Once the inside of the tooth is clean, the root canals are measured and reshaped. A biocompatible material known as gutta percha fills the inside of the tooth.

After gutta percha has been placed, a temporary filling is placed and the first phase of treatment is complete. Take care of the temporary in the time between appointments -- chew on the other side of your mouth and avoid hard, sticky, crunchy foods altogether.

During the time between appointments, the tooth is allowed to heal. Sometimes antibiotic treatment is prescribed to fully heal the infection. The permanent crown is placed in one or two follow-up appointments.

Root Canal Aftercare

Root canal therapy is oral surgery, and you will experience the side effects associated with any procedure. Plan to take it easy in the days following your root canal. Your dentist will prescribe pain medication to help you recover as comfortably as possible. Maintain a soft foods diet, monitor the treatment area, and after several days you should notice significant improvement. Contact your dentist if symptoms worsen or do not improve.

Root Canal Therapy FAQs

Patient and dental team member discussing details of root canal therapy

Root canal therapy, often referred to simply as a root canal in Springfield, can be a remarkable restorative treatment. Still, we understand that many patients are nervous about undergoing it. To put your mind at ease, we have compiled the following list of FAQs about this procedure, along with succinct answers. Being a well-informed patient can help you enter into any treatment with confidence! If you do not see answers to your specific questions, reach out to us so we can personally assist you.

How Long Does It Take to Recover from a Root Canal?

Patients tend to heal at different rates, depending on things like their age, preexisting medical conditions, and other factors. With that being said, we find that most people are able to return to work or school the day after their procedure. However, if your job requires a lot of physical exertion, you may need to take at least two or three days off.

You can expect some oral soreness for several days. However, most people find that the experience is easier than they expected, especially if they diligently adhere to the post-operative instructions that our practice provides. For example, you may need to adjust your diet, take pain relievers, and set aside a bit of extra time to rest.

How Much Pain Is Normal After a Root Canal?

You should feel little to nothing during the procedure itself. After any sedation and anesthesia wear off, however, some discomfort, soreness, and swelling are to be expected. Your mouth may also be extra-sensitive. Typically, these symptoms begin to subside after three days or so. If you experience any severe pain or signs of infection, you should call your dentist in Springfield immediately.

How Long Do Root Canals Last?

Root canal therapy is consistently successful. Many patients enjoy a lifetime of restored function from their treated tooth. However, various circumstances can interfere with the health and strength of the treated tooth. For example, a new injury or infection could necessitate the need for further restorative care. In rare cases, an initial root canal does not completely eradicate an infection from within a tooth, a situation that can necessitate endodontic retreatment. Such retreatment may be necessary months or even years after an initial root canal procedure.

What Happens if You Wait Too Long for a Root Canal?

One unique thing about teeth is that unlike the rest of the body, they cannot heal themselves. Without treatment, damage or decay within a tooth is likely to worsen. Unnecessarily delaying root canal therapy may allow your tooth to incur so much damage that it must be extracted.

Also, it is important to keep in mind that in some cases, a toothache can vanish. That does not mean, however, that treatment is no longer necessary. A toothache can suddenly disappear when the nerve inside the tooth dies. However, the infection that caused the problem in the first place is still present. It can continue to spread into nearby tissues. The wise course of action is to schedule root canal therapy as soon as your dentist recommends it.

Seek Endodontic Treatment Today

If you are experiencing serious tooth pain, don’t put off your dental care for another day. Request an appointment with Olson Family Dental and have the problem repaired before extraction is necessary. We are happy to provide endodontic treatment alongside a full list of restorative dental treatments.