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Root Canal FAQs

At Chesterfield Family Dentistry, we want to be your dentist in Chesterfield, and to relieve any worries you might have about root canals, here are some of the more commonly asked questions about this dental procedure.

Exactly what is a root canal?

The term “root canal” refers to the tiny, narrow passageways that branch from the central, soft tissue in your tooth – called the pulp – down to the tip of the root of your tooth. Root canal therapy becomes necessary when the pulp is irreversibly infected or damaged. During the procedure, the dentist removes the pulp, cleans the area thoroughly, and then fills the canals with a synthetic root canal filling and a dental sealer.

Why do I need a root canal?

If tooth pulp becomes acutely inflamed or infected, because of things like decay or injury, the tissue will need to be removed to save the tooth and prevent the infection from spreading. As an adult, you don’t actually need the pulp as its primary purpose is to aid in tooth development during childhood, and after its removal, during root canal therapy the teeth continue to be nourished by the tissues surrounding them.

What are the common symptoms indicating the need for a root canal?

The more common symptoms include:

  • Lingering sensitivity to hot or cold foods or beverages.
  • Discomfort when chewing or biting.
  • Dull ache or severe pain.
  • Pain that wakes you at night.

It should be noted, however, that not all teeth needing root canal therapy cause pain, and your dentist may diagnose and recommend this procedure during a routine examination with x-rays.

Is there an alternative?

You could have the tooth extracted, but with a success rate of over 90%, it’s better to have a root canal to save the tooth. Tooth extraction can lead to future problems such as shifting teeth, difficulty eating, and loss of jawbone volume and density.

Is a root canal painful?

Despite its reputation, a root canal is no more painful than getting a filling, and the area around the tooth is thoroughly numbed before the procedure begins.

What happens after the procedure?

Your tooth may feel sensitive for a few days, but most discomfort can be relieved with over-the-counter pain medication and anti-inflammatories.

If you think you may need a root canal and are looking for dentists in Chesterfield, call Chesterfield Family Dentistry today for your initial consultation.

Contact Us

Dr. Jonathan W Silva DDS LLC
13463 Olive Boulevard
Chesterfield MO 63017


Monday 8 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday 7 am - 4:00 pm
Wednesday 7 am - noon
Thursday 8 am - 5:00 pm
Friday-Sunday Please call
Hours available upon request