1406 N US Highway 71 | Carroll, Iowa 51401

Endodontic Therapy

Root Canal 

A Root Canal Treatment is the removal of the pulp, which is the inner chamber of the tooth containing blood vessels and nerve tissue inside the tooth roots.  

A root canal is often required when the pulp is injured or infected.  The pulp can be injured by a cracked tooth, a deep area of decay or cavity, a previous large or deep filling, or trauma or injury to the tooth.  

How is a root canal completed?  

A root canal may require 1 or more visits and sometimes requires a referral to an Endodontist, a dentist who specializes in root canals.    

First numbness is placed, and an opening will be made through the top of the tooth.   The tooth will be isolated with a rubber dam to keep the tooth dry.  The canal space where the nerve and blood vessels to the tooth run are cleaned out and shaped.  The root canals are then filled with a rubber like material to seal them, and prevent bacteria from entering the canal space.   Following the root canal treatment the tooth will be restored with a filling.  Depending on the tooth, and the amount of remaining tooth structure a crown may be required as a final restoration to prevent future fracture of the tooth.  





Endodontic Postoperative Instructions

You have received endodontic (root canal} treatment. These instructions have been prepared so you have information readily available when questions arise regarding this dental care. Some questions or concerns other patients have had are:


You should expect to experience mild to moderate discomfort following your endodontic appointment. This procedure involves more than just the individual tooth treated. You should expect some soreness of the gum tissue and the area where the anesthetic shot was delivered. If you have no contraindications (allergy, medication interactions, upset stomach, etc.) We suggest that you purchase an anti-inflammatory medication (Ibuprofen: Motrin, Advil, Naproxyn: Aleve, Anaprox, or Aspirin) and take them as directed on the bottle. If you cannot take any of the above medications then we recommend you purchase Acetaminophen {Tylenol}, it is not an anti-inflammatory medication but it works well to control post-endodontic pain. Whatever medication you choose we recommend you take one dose before the numbness of the anesthetic wears off. Remember do not take these medications if you have any contraindications, and do not exceed the recommended daily dose.


Swelling can be normal following endodontic treatment, however if you experience facial swelling we would like to know about it, so please contact the office at 712-792-2528. If you experience any difficulty swallowing or breathing seek emergency care immediately as this could be life threatening.

Some Helpful Suggestions

On the day following your root canal -appointment it may help to rinse with warm &alt water (tablespoon of regular table salt in an 8 oz glass of water. Hold the water over the treated tooth and then swish for 1 1-2 min.

Your tooth may have a temporary restoration in place. You should favor the affected tooth while eating, and avoid flossing in this area to avoid loosening the temporary restoration. If the tooth has a temporary restoration in place, treatment is not considered complete until the tooth has been restored with a final permanent restoration.

Eat a balanced diet and drink plenty of water. Your body needs nourishment and fluids to aid in the healing process. We recommend you eat on the opposite side of your mouth until your root canal treated tooth has its final restoration in place.

Do not take any medication on an empty stomach unless specifically directed. An upset stomach and/or vomiting are common side effects of many medications taken on an empty stomach.

The tooth normally will be tender to biting for a few days, however if pain is severe it may be remedied by a simple revisit to adjust your bite. Remember eat on the opposite side until your root canal is completed and the final restoration is in place.