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White Smiles Family Dental

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Root Canal Therapy

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At White Smiles Family Dental, we value patient education.  Everyone on our team enjoys sharing their knowledge with patients to help them take better care of their teeth and gums and overall oral health.

We get a lot of questions from patients, and we often hear the same questions more than once. To make it easy for you, we’ve shared some of these common questions below.

If you have a question that isn’t addressed, please give us a call. We’d love to hear from you!

Root Canal Therapy

If you’re wondering how to know if you need root canal treatment, the answer is that you can’t, but your dentist can. There are symptoms you should be aware of, however, because seeking prompt treatment for a root canal infection spares you unnecessary pain and saves your tooth from extraction.

You might need root canal therapy at our Springfield, MO dental office if you are experiencing one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Toothache that worsens over time
  • Pain or swelling in your jaw
  • Tenderness or swelling of gums
  • Darkening of the tooth
  • Extreme sensitivity to touch and hot and cold temperatures
  • A raised whitish bump or “pimple” on your gums
  • A foul odor or taste in your mouth

A tooth becomes infected when bacteria are allowed to enter the innermost area called the pulp chamber. This can occur because of a cracked or fractured tooth, a deep cavity, or dental trauma. Since the pulp contains the tooth's nerves, the result is a throbbing toothache.

If you have a toothache or any other symptoms and think you need root canal therapy, please call our Springfield, MO dental office. We will arrange to see you as soon as possible, usually the same day if you are in pain. Our dentist will take a digital x-ray to confirm whether it is an infected tooth or another problem that requires treatment.

Man with bad tooth pain holding his jaw after a dental emergency near 65804It depends on how bad the crack is. In some cases, a simple dental filling might be enough to repair the tooth. In others, a crown might be indicated. If the crack is more serious, you might need root canal therapy or—as a last resort—a tooth extraction. In most cases, however, cracked teeth can easily be fixed by placing a crown on the tooth to cover and protect the tooth from further damage.

If you notice a crack in your tooth, be sure to come and see our emergency dentist in Springfield. If it doesn’t hurt, it might be tempting to put off treatment until the tooth is bothering you. But waiting until the tooth starts causing you pain usually results in an increased number of dental appointments and more expense to repair the tooth. The earlier we treat the cracked tooth, the better.

Visit Your Springfield, MO Emergency Dentist

Sometimes you might not notice the crack in your tooth until it starts causing trouble. This is just one of the many reasons why it’s so important to stay current with trips to the dentist twice each year for examinations and cleanings. Even the tiniest crack will be detected with our advanced technology so you can get the treatment you need. If you've got more questions about cracked teeth, call our Springfield dental office today!

Foods to Eat After a Root Canal in Springfield, MO

Root canals require proper maintenance after getting home; it's important to eat the right food so that you don't damage or break your previously repaired tooth and lead to further complications.Man smiling in treatment chair for root canal therapy in Springfield MO

It is very important to start with soft foods. Your dentist in Springfield, MO has a few suggestions to read through:


Creamy foods are very easy to eat because they do not require chewing. Yogurt, eggs, ice cream, and milkshakes are good after your root canal.

Fruits are soft, vibrant, smell great. What's not to love? Consider making a smoothie if some fruit skins are a little tough.

Unrefined Carbs

Every living thing requires carbs, including you. There are many non-processed versions of carbs, maybe try some cooked steel-cut oats or a rice dish after a root canal procedure. 


Vegetables should never be neglected even after root canal surgery. Soft veggies that have been cooked, mashed, etc. support overall wellness. 

Do You Have Any Questions About Root Canals?

If you have any questions regarding your root canal therapy, contact White Smiles Family Dental any time. We will be more than happy to go through questions that you may have.

To learn more about what you can and cannot eat after having a root canal, consult with your Springfield, MO dentists Dr. Shannon White and Dr. Preston White before your procedure. 

Root canal therapy in Springfield, MO removes nerve and blood vessels within the tooth to try to save the tooth from a dental extraction.

Our enamel is tough, but it can have softened or worn points that bacteria can burrow in. When bacteria infect the pulp of your tooth, we have to move fast to prevent it from destroying the tooth. 

What Is the Pulp?Diagram of tooth exterior and internal root canal

The pulp is comprised of all the nerves and blood vessels within the tooth. It extends from the crown of the tooth (the visible portion of your tooth) to the root in the jaw bone.

When the Pulp Gets Infected

When the inner portion of the tooth becomes infected and cannot heal itself, it can start to die. This is a common occurrence with a significant cavity or a fractured tooth.

Holes in your enamel can let bacteria into the inner pulp, which causes an infection inside the tooth. Without dental treatment, it can form an abscess which can impact the bone around the tooth. 

Root Canals in 65804 Can Save Your Teeth

At White Smiles Family Dental, we try to save your teeth whenever possible. Root canal therapy can allow us to remove any infection or inflammation from the tooth so that it can remain. Many root canals are emergency dental procedures if the patient has not had a dental cleaning and exam for a long time. 

Oral health issues are often a slow, gradual process that culminates in a five-alarm dental emergency. By seeing your Springfield dentists, Dr. Shannon White and Dr. Preston White, as regularly as you can, you fight off any impending infections. Contact White Smiles Family Dental today to schedule your next appointment!

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