Root Canals

Mention the words “root canal,” and most people picture a long, uncomfortable procedure and pain. In reality, a modern root canal handled by an experienced dentist is a tooth-saving, pain-relieving procedure that is not nearly as complex as you might think.

Dr. Andrew Atchison is a dentist in Moorhead who relies on his extensive experience, powerful anesthetics, and nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to provide a comfortable, efficient root canal. With a kind and caring dental team to support you, you can rest easy knowing that your comfort is our priority. 

Why Our Dentist Recommends a Root Canal

The outer layer of a tooth is enamel, and the softer layer beneath is called dentin. Beneath the dentin is the innermost part of your tooth called the pulp chamber. The pulp contains everything a tooth needs to stay alive, including blood vessels, tissue, and nerves. 

Dental pulp is normally well-protected by the outer tooth layers, but if bacteria enter the area—due to a crack in the tooth, a deep cavity, or trauma—an infection or abscess can develop. 

The most noticeable and memorable symptom of a root infection is pain, and a root canal is the only way to relieve it and save the tooth from extraction. 

Your Comfort Is Important to Us

Dr. Andrew Atchison knows from years of hands-on experience that dental anxiety is most often caused by the fear of the unknown. Before your procedure, he will walk you through the steps, so you understand what to expect. 

This is often enough to help soothe anxiety and assure our patients they are in the best possible hands. We also offer nitrous oxide (laughing gas) that will keep you relaxed and comfortable throughout your procedure but won’t produce lingering drowsy side effects afterward.

What Happens during a Root Canal

A root canal aims to remove diseased or injured pulp and bacteria to relieve your tooth pain. It is a straightforward process that starts by numbing the tooth with a strong anesthetic so you don’t feel any pain.

Once you’re numb and comfortable, our root canal dentist creates a tiny opening in the tooth through which he carefully removes the infected pulp. Next, Dr. Atchison cleans and disinfects the area, fills and seals it, and places a temporary filling on the tooth.

After the tooth heals 2-3 weeks, you will return to Northland Dental so Dr. Atchison can place the final crown or tooth filling on the tooth to protect it.

What Are the Symptoms of a Root Canal Infection?

You should contact your dentist in Moorhead if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Lingering tooth pain
  • Jaw pain or swelling
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold foods
  • Extreme sensitivity to touch
  • Gum swelling or inflammation 
  • A raised bump on the gums
  • A bad odor or taste in your mouth

Prompt root canal treatment is critical for several reasons. We want to get you out of pain as quickly as possible, and we want to save your tooth. Most critical is the fact that a root infection can become a life-threatening situation if not treated promptly.

Do You Need a Root Canal in Moorhead, MN?

If you have severe tooth pain or any other symptoms listed above, please call Northland Dental at (218) 236-7076 for relief and protect your oral health.