82 W. Main Street Northborough, MA 01532

Root Canal Northborough, MA

A root canal has a bad reputation for being a painful and unpleasant experience. However, the truth of the matter is, a root canal is no more painful or involved than having a dental filling placed.

The pain associated with a root canal comes from the infection in the tooth that causes inflammation and pressure.

In fact, after a root canal procedure, many patients report immediate relief once we remove the infection from the tooth. Treating root canals is a part of Dr. Gauthier’s general dentistry services and is the best way to provide relief to patients who have deep tooth infections. 

One of the greatest benefits of the root canal procedure is that you are able to retain your natural tooth rather than have it removed.

You’ll want to treat your tooth infection as soon as possible, though. This will help you avoid the need for a tooth extraction. Tooth infection spreads very quickly, so it is crucial that you treat it sooner rather than later. 

Dr. Gauthier performs root canal procedures in the comfort of his Northborough, MA, dental office near you. He strives to make patients feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible before, during, and after treatment.


Root Canal in Northborough, Massachusetts near you

Root Canal Symptoms

The term “root canal” actually refers to the natural cavity at the center of the tooth. The tooth’s nerve is inside the root canal, surrounded by soft tissue called the pulp. If you have tooth damage or decay, bacteria, and debris can enter the root canal area and cause an infection.

How do you know if you need a root canal? Some patients do not experience any symptoms that would indicate the need for a root canal procedure. However, if a dentist does not treat the infection, symptoms may present themselves in the form of severe pain.

Other patients, however, may experience painful symptoms as soon as the infection forms, including:

  • Severe toothache or tooth pain, particularly when chewing or biting
  • Prolonged tooth sensitivity, especially to hot or cold foods and drinks
  • Discoloration of the tooth (darkening)
  • Soreness or tenderness to the gums surrounding the affected tooth

Getting a Root Canal in Northborough, MA

The root canal procedure may take anywhere from one to three visits, depending on the severity of the infection. First, Dr. Gauthier will take diagnostic X-rays to evaluate the condition of the tooth and root canal. He may administer an anesthetic to help the patient relax and relieve discomfort.

We will make a small hole to allow access to the inside of the tooth. We also use specialized tools to remove the infected tissue and damaged nerve. Next, our dental staff will thoroughly clean and disinfect the root canal to avoid future infection. If you have an infection, the dentist may prescribe antibiotics and temporarily seal the tooth until it heals.

Once the infection is clear and the root canal is free of debris, we will fill the interior of the tooth with gutta-percha, a biocompatible material that will maintain the tooth’s structural integrity. We will then seal the tooth back up.

Protecting the Tooth After Root Canal Therapy

Next, Dr. Gauthier will cover the tooth with either a dental filling or a dental crown to protect the root canal from future damage and add strength to the tooth. He uses CEREC technology to create and place the dental crown in just a single visit. The crown will be custom-fit and color-matched to blend in naturally with the rest of your smile.

After your root canal procedure, we recommend that patients schedule regular dental cleanings and examinations so we can ensure that their teeth remain healthy and no further infections occur. After a root canal, it is crucial to continue practicing good oral hygiene to prevent bacteria from gathering around your restored tooth. 

Root Canal FAQs

Do you have more questions about root canals? Continue reading to learn more about root canals and find answers to questions that patients frequently ask in our office:

Do root canals hurt?

There is a popular myth that the root canal procedure is very painful. The pain patients typically associate with the root canal procedure commonly stems from the inflamed and infected tooth pulp.

Patients feel relief from painful symptoms after their root canal treatment. For patients with dental anxiety, our dental care team will work with you on an individual basis to help you feel comfortable and relaxed while receiving your root canal.

Should I get a root canal or have my tooth extracted?

Whenever possible, our Apex dentists strive to preserve as much of the natural tooth as possible. Root canals allow your dentist to remove diseased tissue without compromising the entire tooth. A dental crown can help stabilize the treated tooth. Tooth extraction treatment may be necessary if the dentist or endodontist has to remove too much of the tooth structure to restore oral health.

Can I still get an infection after a root canal?

If you experience severe pain lasting more than a few days, swelling visible inside or outside your mouth, or the return of your original painful symptoms, your infection may still be present. Contact your dentist or endodontist if the pain hasn’t gone away after a few days. We provide second opinions and restorative consultations.

What’s the recovery like after a root canal?

The average patient will likely experience mild discomfort and sensitivity for a few days after the procedure. In most cases, over the counter pain medication can manage the pain. You will be able to resume normal activities immediately if you feel you are able to. It is important to maintain good oral hygiene while you are recovering. If you experience any severe pain or swelling, contact us right away.

What is the success rate of a root canal?

A root canal is a routine dental procedure with a 95% success rate. When an endodontist properly performs and follows after-care instructions, root canals relieve pain and infection. Be sure to regularly visit your dentist and maintain good oral hygiene following root canal treatment. This will ensure long-term success and the longevity of the treated tooth.

How long does a root canal take?

A typical root canal treatment should take one or two appointments. Each should last about 1-2 hours. However, if you have a complex case, your appointments could last longer. Your dentist will be able to advise you about this after a consultation.

If you or a member of your family are experiencing discomfort due to tooth decay, please call (508) 506-1691. You can also request an appointment online.