Discover Answers to Common Root Canal Therapy Questions

At Eastern Iowa Endodontics, we understand that root canal treatments can raise questions. Led by our board-certified endodontist, Dr. Derek Peek, our team is dedicated to providing clear information alongside exceptional care. 

This page addresses common concerns about root canal treatment, from what to expect during the procedure to managing post-treatment discomfort. If you have further questions or require a consultation, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly staff at (319) 382-8002. Dr. Peek and his team are committed to easing anxieties and ensuring a smooth root canal experience.


Frequently Asked Questions for Root Canal Procedures


What Are Some Signs I Need Endodontic Treatment?

Dr. Derek and male patientHere are some signs that might indicate you need a root canal:

  • Persistent Toothache: This discomfort can be constant or come and go, and it may worsen when biting or applying pressure. The tooth may feel like it’s throbbing.
  • Heightened Sensitivity: Increased sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, lingering even after the source is removed, can point to irritated tooth pulp. Example: difficulty brushing a specific tooth.
  • Swollen or Tender Gums: Inflammation and tenderness near a specific tooth can signal an underlying infection.
  • Tooth Discoloration: If a tooth darkens or discolors, it could be a sign that the nerve inside the tooth is damaged or infected.
  • Pimple-like Bump on the Gums: A bump on the gums, often accompanied by pain and discharge, might indicate an abscess requiring treatment.
  • Cracked or Fractured Tooth: A crack or fracture can expose the pulp to different temperatures and bacteria, necessitating a root canal to relieve the discomfort and prevent infection.

If you experience any of these symptoms, contact Eastern Iowa Endodontics at (319) 382-8002 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Peek. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent complications and save your natural tooth.


Does Insurance Cover Root Canal Therapy?

Many dental insurance plans cover root canal therapy, though the extent of coverage can vary depending on your specific plan. Our friendly staff at Eastern Iowa Endodontics is happy to help you navigate your insurance and understand your coverage for root canal treatment. We even help file the necessary paperwork to maximize your benefits.


What Are the Benefits of Choosing Dr. Peek for My Root Canal Treatment?

Dr. Peek is a board-certified endodontist with extensive experience and expertise in root canal therapy. Here’s what sets him apart:

    • Advanced Techniques: Dr. Peek utilizes innovative techniques like the GentleWave® Procedure for a more comfortable and efficient experience.
    • Pain Relief Focus: His priority is minimizing discomfort throughout the procedure and offering solutions for post-treatment recovery.
    • Natural Tooth Preservation: Dr. Peek prioritizes saving your natural tooth whenever possible.
    • Exceptional Care: You can expect personalized attention and clear communication throughout the entire process.

What Is the Gentlewave® Procedure?

gentlewave machineThe GentleWave® Procedure is a less invasive and potentially less painful alternative to traditional root canal treatment. It utilizes a unique combination of sound waves and increased irrigation to clean and disinfect the root canal system. This often leads to faster healing and improved patient comfort compared to traditional methods.


What Should I Expect After Root Canal Treatment?

Following your root canal treatment, you may experience mild discomfort or tenderness around the treated tooth. This is normal and can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers as recommended by Dr. Peek. Follow a soft diet for the first few days and avoid chewing on the treated tooth. Dr. Peek will provide specific aftercare instructions following your procedure to ensure a smooth recovery.


How Long Does It Take to Recover From a Root Canal?

Most patients experience significant relief from their initial pain within a few days after a root canal. However, complete healing of the surrounding tissues can take several weeks. Dr. Peek will monitor your progress and advise you on any necessary follow-up appointments.


What Happens if I Don’t Get a Root Canal Treatment for an Infected Tooth?

Leaving an infected tooth untreated could lead to complications. These include:

  • Abscess (pus-filled infection): This can cause significant pain, swelling, and even facial discomfort.
  • Bone Loss Around the Tooth: The infection can damage the bone supporting the tooth, potentially jeopardizing its long-term health.
  • Tooth Loss: Leaving an infected tooth untreated could result in its loss by being removed.


What Are Some Root Canal Myths?

  • Dr. Derek and female patientMyth 1 – Root Canal Treatment is Painful: Root canal treatment is the opposite, it relieves the pain. The perception of root canals being painful began decades ago, but with modern technologies and anesthetics, treatment is no more uncomfortable than having a filling placed.
  • Myth 2 – Root Canals Cause Other Infections: These myths stem from research done by Dr. Price in the 1920s. Research was able to discredit his findings in the 1930s and root canals have been supported and reported to be safe by the AAE with appropriate literature since.
  • Myth 3 – I should pull my tooth instead of getting a root canal: Nothing can replace your natural tooth. As long as your tooth is protected with final restoration and crown after root canal treatment, it should last you as long as you brush it and take care of it.


Schedule a Consultation with our Board-Certified Endodontist Today

Helping patients understand root canal procedures and ensuring your comfort is our priority at Eastern Iowa Endodontics. Dr. Peek and our team will work with you every step of the way. 

If you have further questions or want to schedule a root canal consultation, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly staff at (319) 382-8002. We welcome new and existing patients from all across Iowa!