Root Canal or Endodontic Therapy

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About Dr. Peter Zwier

For over 30 years, Dr. Peter J. Zwier has been providing a broad range of general and cosmetic dental services to Grand Rapids, meeting the needs of your whole family in one convenient location. Your oral health is extremely important to your body’s wellbeing, and a beautiful smile is a wonderful asset at any age.

While carrying an infection in your tooth or gums, you may have to consider if you need a root canal. Endodontic therapy or root canal (as we commonly call it) is performed when the pulp or nerve of the tooth is badly infected and causes inflammation resulting in chronic toothache. These inflammations are caused by dental decay or deep cavities due to plaque or a broken tooth due to some injury or repeated dental treatment or trauma. If Dr. Zwier decides to perform a root canal to treat your problem, he will drill to remove the pulp, disinfect it, and then seal the tooth to protect it from any future infections.

Possible Symptoms

Toothaches are the most common symptom that can lead you to a root canal. The severity of pain can vary from time to time and it can become unbearable when you bite or chew. Your teeth also tend to become sensitive to hotness or coldness of food or liquids. In spite of the pain, the gums also swell near the problematic area.

Immediate Response

In case you experience any of the above symptoms, you must contact Dr. Zwier immediately. Dr. Zwier’s office will arrange an appointment for your procedure depending upon the severity of the symptoms. Until that time, you can apply an ice pack from the outside of the jaw to sooth your pain and mitigate the swelling and you can also take Tylenol, Aspirin, or ibuprofen.


The first thing that your dentist will do is take X-Rays of the problematic area in order to assess the cause of the problem. If the problem is leading you towards a root canal, the endodontist will apply local anesthesia to the tooth and then perform pulpectomy. Pulpectomy is the procedure in which the tooth pulp is removed after an opening is drilled into the infected area. He will file and shape the canals to be an even, tapered, cone-shaped structure which he can completely fill so it does not get re-infected again. The dentist will follow with filling the opening with gutta-percha material and then seal it off with a core filling. In this way, your tooth will be protected from any further possible infections and inflammations.

Take good care of your oral hygiene if you want to stay away from dental procedures like this. Brush and floss your teeth regularly.