Need a Root Canal in Chesterfield, MO

woman holding her jaw in pain

Root Canals

Root canals may seem scary, but your comfort is Dr. Mahlin’s number one priority. Root canal therapy today is a vastly different experience than it used to be.  The team at Clarkson Dental Group has implemented the latest diagnostic and treatment technology available in dentistry today. In addition, we coordinate with root canal specialists (Endodontists) to make the root canal process fast and comfortable.

Our goal at Clarkson Dental Group is to protect your teeth and keep them healthy and intact for as long as possible.  We understand sometimes a problem can occur even if you take good care of your oral health. You may crack a tooth or develop a small cavity, and if we do not treat you right away, it will continue to spread and grow.

Each one of our teeth has an individual nerve which communicates temperature and discomfort sensations.  More importantly, the nerves of our teeth are protected by a dentin covering and a strong outer enamel.  Both our natural enamel and dentin provide sufficient protection against nerve injury or damage.  

When a tooth is injured or damaged, the nerve in the core of your tooth can be irritated.  This precipitates in the form of pain, sensitivity, and/or swelling. If the nerve injury is severe, a root canal is indicated to return the tooth to symptom-free health.  We commonly see teeth needing root canals in the following instances:

A Fractured tooth

Although teeth are comprised of some of the strongest and dense natural structures, fractures can occur.  A superficial fracture that only involves the outer tooth enamel will typically not indicate the need for endodontic treatment.  However, if this fracture proceeds further into the tooth and involves the dentin and/or nerve, root canal treatment will be indicated.  In the unfortunate event the fracture should split a tooth below your gums or split the tooth in half, then a root canal will not be able to restore the tooth.  Early treatment of fractures with either a preventative night guard and/or resin filling (if the fracture is very small) will mitigate the fracture from becoming worse and needing a root canal or worst-case scenario- losing the tooth.



Tooth trauma can unfortunately cause the nerve within a tooth to become necrotic or die.   Although a traumatic event may not immediately indicate root canal treatment, any trauma to a tooth will need to be monitored for a lifetime and potential root canal therapy.  



When decay or infection penetrates deep inside your tooth, you will experience extreme discomfort, and a root canal (endodontic treatment) is needed to provide relief.  Cavities start out small, and we can usually treat them easily with a filling to prevent decay from spreading. But without treatment, decay can reach the pulp and needs to be removed to relieve pain and discomfort. Without a root canal, the tooth will need to be extracted.


Broken or lost filling

Any irritation or local trauma to a tooth may indicate the need for endodontic therapy.  This is potentially the case for a lost restoration such as a lost/broken filling or crown.  If the nerve is damaged and especially if the tooth has hot, cold, or chewing discomfort, endodontic treatment may successfully return your tooth to pain-free health.


Unknown Etiology

For unknown reasons, a tooth nerve may need endodontic treatment.  This may occur regardless of any trauma, lost filling/crown, fracture, and/or cavity.   



The resorption condition is diagnosed by Dr. Mahlin during your routine radiographic image evaluation.  During the resorption process, dentin and cementum (the naturally occurring tooth structure surrounding your nerve) is lost.  The ability to complete early diagnosis and treatment ensures the resorption does not irreversibly damage the tooth. 


If you hate the thought of root canal therapy and want to avoid the procedure altogether, you should realize that in many cases you have the power to do so. The secret is prevention, including good oral hygiene and routine dental appointments for cleanings and exams. It is a lot easier to find a small cavity and treat it right away than to wait until you are in so much pain that a root canal or extraction of the tooth are your only options.

Whether you have a toothache, or you just want to make sure you do not have any problems developing, please call our Chesterfield, MO dental office to arrange an appointment. We are open four days a week at 7 AM, and if you have an emergency, call us and we will do our best to see you the same day.