Root Canal Therapy Dentist in Wyoming, MI

If a cavity is deep enough to infect dental pulp (the innermost chamber of your tooth), you’ll need root canal therapy. During the root canal procedure, your dentist will remove infected dental pulp and restore your tooth. While an emergency root canal can prevent tooth extraction, we understand that many of our patients still feel anxious if they’re told they need root canal therapy.

In this blog post, our dentists at River Ridge Family Dentistry will go over the steps of a root canal, including what you can expect during root canal recovery, so you can feel informed and more at ease during your next appointment.


Signs you need a root canal include:

  • Toothache
  • Pain while chewing
  • Prolonged tooth sensitivity to heat or cold
  • Tender gums around the tooth
  • Swollen gums around the tooth
  • Darkening of the tooth
  • Abscess on the gum (may look like a pimple or blister)

Keep in mind that you may not show any of these symptoms, which is why it’s important to schedule regular dental cleanings every six months.

Numb the Tooth

Your dentist will inject local anesthesia near the tooth so you won’t feel any pain during the procedure. You may feel a slight pinch from the needle. A few moments later, the area around the infected tooth will be numb.

Prepare Tooth for Root Canal

Since the whole point of root canal treatment is to remove infected dental pulp, it makes sense that your dentist would want to keep the area around the tooth as sterile as possible. To keep the tooth clean and dry during the procedure, your Wyoming MI dentist will place a small sheet of rubber around your tooth called a dental dam. The dental dam essentially isolates the tooth from the rest of your mouth.

Remove Infected Dental Pulp

First, your dentist will drill a small hole through the top of your tooth in order to access the infected dental pulp. Then, your dentist will use small files to remove diseased tooth pulp and shape the inside of your tooth. During a root canal, your dentist may find it necessary to rinse the inside of your tooth with water or use an antimicrobial solution.

Cover Tooth with Temporary Filling

When the inside of your tooth is clean and dry, your dentist will use a special material called gutta percha to fill it. The top of your tooth will then be covered with a temporary filling until your permanent crown is ready. The filling will keep out saliva and food particles until the permanent crown is ready to be placed.

Place Permanent Root Canal Crown

Once the dental lab finishes making your root canal crown, you will be asked to return to the dentist’s office. Your dentist will remove the temporary filling and replace it with a permanent dental crown. Your dentist will make sure that the dental crown is the right shape, size, and color to match the rest of your smile.

When recovering from a root canal, you’ll want to make sure you maintain a good oral hygiene routine by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once daily. Make sure you also keep seeing your dentist for dental exams and teeth cleanings every six months. After your root canal, your dentist may want to take x-rays to make sure the root canal removed all the infection.

Dr. Helmus DDS at River Ridge Dentistry is dedicated to helping patients maintain good oral health. If you have a toothache and are concerned whether you need a tooth filling, dental crown, or root canal, schedule an appointment with our Wyoming root canal dentist at (616) 538-7320.