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Tuesday -Thursday
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Phone: 989-773-3560

900 E Bellows St, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858


Root Canal Therapy in Mount Pleasant, Michigan

Root Canal | Dental Procedures | Kenneth Egger, DDS Family Dentistry | Mount Pleasant, MI

What is Root Canal Therapy?

Every tooth has one or more “roots” that keep the tooth anchored into the jawbone. These roots hold the nerves and blood vessels that run through tiny channels, also known as canals. These canals feed the pulp at the center of the tooth.

The problem comes when bacteria makes it’s way into the pulp of your tooth. This can happen if the tooth becomes cracked. Or it can happen when decay gets through the enamel. Once inside, the pulp, clinically called dentin, becomes infected. Not satisfied with just getting in, the bacteria spreads down into the root canals and can even make its way out into the gums. While there, it tortures the nerves, creating the signature tooth pain that can be akin to medieval torture.

A root canal is an effective way to deal with a tooth infection without extraction. The procedure can provide immediate relief from toothache. After restoration with a crown, the tooth should look natural and function properly again.

What Does Root Canal Treat?

A root canal procedure is designed to:

  • Minimize pain
  • Reduce swelling
  • Remove infected and dead tooth tissue
  • Get rid of bacteria and prevent it from spreading
  • Keep healthy tooth structure intact
  • Restore the function and appearance of the affected tooth

How is Root Canal Performed?

This procedure is performed using a local anesthetic along with nitrous oxide. An x-ray of the infected tooth shows where the root canals are located. A small hole is drilled into the tooth so the pulp can be removed. Small round files are inserted into the hole to scrape out and remove dead pulp and bacterial debris from the root canals. The inside of the tooth is washed out and may be treated with a topical antibiotic to ensure all bacteria are eliminated. The root canals leading down into the base of the tooth are sealed off with a type of dental putty. A dental filling or a crown is placed as the final step to restore the tooth.

Signs and Symptoms of Tooth Infections

You may first notice this problem when you find a cavity or start having pain in your tooth. The pain may extend into your gums and jaw. The area may be inflamed and swollen. As infection progresses, the abscess may spread into the gums and the area may drain foul smelling pus. Advanced infection can cause fever, nausea and vomiting. Swelling can spread into the neck and throat, making breathing and swallowing difficult. These are signs of a potentially life-threatening tooth abscess that requires emergency treatment.

Can An Infected Tooth Be Saved With Root Canal?

Root canals are most effective and have the quickest recovery time if you catch them early. If the infection has gone too far, it may not be possible to save the tooth. That’s why it is important to seek help as soon as the first symptoms appear. Don’t be fooled if your tooth stops hurting on its own. This may just mean the nerve has been destroyed – it doesn’t mean the infection is gone!

Recovering from Root Canal Treatment

Recovery after this procedure is usually pretty fast. There may be swelling, bruising, and discomfort for the first two or three days. This is typically most noticeable right around the treated tooth; but your whole mouth might feel sore from having it propped open with a rubber dam during the procedure. Rinsing several times a day with warm salt water, sleeping with your head elevated and using over the counter pain relief medication often help with these symptoms.

The tooth may feel sensitive to pressure. However, the tooth nerve is removed during the root canal procedure which helps limit pain. Within two weeks, the area should feel normal again. By one month, the tooth should be fully restored with a permanent crown. You will need to begin gently brushing and flossing as soon as possible to keep the area clean and reduce the risk of further decay or infection.

Is Root Canal Painful?

There is some mythology surrounding root canals. People think they are extremely painful, which is Untrue. Root canals remove the source of pain- the infected nerves. Root canals are no more painful than having a regular filling placed. People mix up the pain that merits having a root canal done with the actual procedure. The infected tooth can be seriously painful, but not the root canal to save it!


Our experience with Dr. Ken Egger and his staff has been wonderful. We have all heard stories about going to the dentist. Dr. Egger has always been very compassionate and professional with our whole family, right down to our youngest grandson, Noah, who is 3 yrs old. When you need emergency care you can always count on his office to get you in quickly. Thank you Dr. Egger and staff for always being there and for being friendly, professional, caring and most of all our friends.”- The C. Family: J. and C.

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To learn more about our dental services, please call us today at 989.773.3560 to schedule a consultation or fill out an online contact form and our office will get in touch with you.

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