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Root Canal

What is the solution for root canal safety?

A happy young woman who was excited to learn that a root canal was a great option to help preserve her smile.

It is important to find a qualified dentist who is skilled at performing root canals and understands the importance of effective removal of bacteria to avoid negative treatment outcomes. It is important that your dentist carefully examines the tooth to be sure it is eligible for root canal therapy.

Which teeth are candidates for a root canal?

Teeth without cracks, teeth with acute pulpal inflammation or teeth that do not have a significant amount of bacterial infection are often good candidates for root canal therapy. In the majority of cases, these teeth can be treated.

What about abscessed or infected teeth?

Dr. Burbach a Lincoln NE dentist at NorthStar Dental discussing a root canal with a patient.

When a tooth has been infected for a long time, it can develop an abscess. Treating these teeth with root canals usually does not give the patient a good long-term solution because when the infection is more extensive, it is nearly impossible to remove all of the bacteria. When bacteria is left behind, it results in a chronic low-grade infection that destroys the bone.

Patients who are otherwise healthy may have strong enough immune systems to tolerate this type of low-grade infection, but patients who are dealing with autoimmune disorders or have other inflammatory medical conditions may struggle to manage their health as a result of this infection. Even in healthy patients, infected teeth can add stress to the immune system and contribute to other health problems.

What are my options if a root canal will not work?

If a tooth does not have a good prognosis for root canal therapy, it is a great idea to remove the tooth and replace it with a dental implant. When teeth are removed, it is important to consider replacing them due to the negative consequences of having missing teeth. Over time, adjacent teeth will shift into the missing space. This can cause problems with chewing, gum disease, cavities and adds stress to the adjacent teeth. It is possible to replace missing teeth with dental implants or dental bridges.

A dental implant. Dental implants are a permanent solution for the replacement of missing teeth.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are a great permanent solution for replacing missing teeth that can last a patient’s lifetime.

A dental bridge. A dental bridge is a great option for replacing one or more teeth.

Dental Bridge

Bridges can be used to replace one or more missing teeth. Bridges can offer patients a solution that will last several years.

Commonly Asked Questions about Root Canals

A happy man who was excited to learn more about a root canal procedure from NorthStar Dental in Lincoln, NE.

Should I see an endodontist or a regular dentist for my root canal in Lincoln, NE?

General dentists are family providers who are able to perform a variety of dental procedures, including root canals. Endodontists are professionals who have additional training beyond basic root canal therapy and are able to perform other more in-depth surgeries within their practice. Each general dentist is different and some prefer not to do root canals in their practice while others do them routinely. If your general dentist is skilled and confident about performing root canals and properly selects teeth for root canal treatment, you would be in great hands for a root canal therapy with your general dentist. General dentists may refer more complex cases to endodontists if they feel that the case requires additional knowledge. The question as to whether you should see an endodontist vs general dentist really depends on how complex the case is and if your general dentist does root canals in their practice.

How do I find an endodontist that takes my insurance in Lincoln, NE?

When trying to find out if an endodontist vs general dentist accepts your insurance, you can search on your insurance company’s webpage for a list of providers who accept your dental insurance. Finding a provider who accepts your insurance can help you save money.

My tooth hurts after a root canal is it normal? 

After a root canal has been performed, some patients may feel sore for a day or two. Alternating doses of ibuprofen and Tylenol help to reduce normal post-operative inflammation. Usually, after the first 24-48  hours, patients should feel much better than they did prior to having the root canal. If you are experiencing severe discomfort or swelling after a root canal, you should call your endodontist or general dentist immediately. You can call your general dentist for an emergency appointment if you are experiencing these symptoms regardless of whether an endodontist vs general dentist performed your root canal.

An excellent way to control the inflammation after a root canal is to alternate doses of ibuprofen and Tylenol. Studies show that this combination is more effective than any form of narcotics. It is likely that your toothache symptoms will improve significantly after your root canal is done.

Can you still get a toothache after a root canal years later?  

It is not normal to have a toothache or swelling years after a root canal. If you do experience these symptoms, you should see an emergency dentist examine your tooth. If you are wondering whether you should call an endodontist vs a general dentist for this problem, you should call a general dentist who handles dental emergencies.

Is it better to have a root canal or extraction?

In some cases, abscessed teeth can be treated with root canals. An abscess forms when a cavity has gotten inside the nerve of the tooth. During a root canal, an endodontist or general dentist removes the infected nerve, the inside of the root is cleaned thoroughly and is filled with a particular dental material. Afterward, a crown is seated on top to protect the tooth. If the tooth has a large abscess that has spread around the roots of the tooth, it might be good to remove the tooth and replace it with an implant. This is because when a tooth has a large infection, it is impossible to completely eliminate the bacteria from the infection with a root canal, giving the tooth a poor long-term prognosis. Your emergency dentist can help you decide whether you should see an endodontist vs general dentist for a root canal.

What is the cost of a root canal vs extraction in Lincoln, NE?

Generally, the cost of a root canal and crown is higher than an extraction but lower than replacing a tooth. Our office accepts most insurance plans and our prices are very competitive with other dentists in the Lincoln, NE area.  Usually, dental insurance covers 50 – 80% of the cost of root canal treatment. The cost of a root canal to patients is even lower if patients have dental insurance.

Can I go back to work after a root canal?

A smiling young woman who is considering a root canal at NorthStar Dental in Lincoln, NE.

Patients can return to work the same day after having a root canal. Patients are usually very numb for this procedure, so they should decide whether or not they would like a day off due to having difficulty speaking clearly.

What to do for relief of discomfort after a root canal?

You can alternate doses of ibuprofen and Tylenol to manage post-operative discomfort. This is the most effective way to relieve discomfort as it helps to reduce inflammation.

How long do a root canal and crown procedure take?

Depending on the condition of the nerve and tooth, an appointment for a root canal and crown can take 90 minutes to 2 hours. This procedure may require two appointments.

Help relieve discomfort before you have an appointment for a root canal procedure?

A happy woman who was happy to have her root canal question answered by a dentist in Lincoln, NE at NorthStar Dental.

Patients who are experiencing a severe toothache or any swelling can take a combination of ibuprofen and Tylenol to manage the inflammation. If you are experiencing a fair amount of discomfort your general dentist will see you prior to the root canal appointment and will examine your tooth. Sometimes they will prescribe antibiotics to help control the infection which will help with any discomfort until the root canal appointment. During the appointment, you will be numbed with a local anesthetic to help minimize the amount of any sensitivity during the procedure. Afterward, you can continue to take over-the-counter medications to help control inflammation.

Annual Lincoln Dental Plans price of $395.

Annual Plan Benefits
For Lincoln Dental Plans

All X-rays
Comprehensive Exam
2 Emergency Exams
2 Routine Dental Cleanings (Every 12 Months)
25% Discount on Select Procedures


LDP offers discounts on the following procedures:

Regular Cleanings
Deep Cleanings
Periodontal Maintenance
Dental Crowns (Excludes Cosmetic Crowns)
White Fillings
Root Canals
Professional Teeth Whitening

Learn More about Lincoln Dental Plans Membership

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Northeast Lincoln Family Dentistry is a proud member of Nebraska Family Dentistry. Together, we are on the mission to strive to provide Experience Non-Judgmental, Compassionate, and High-Quality Dental Care.