Root Canal Surgery in Little Rock

January 26, 2022
Root canals have a bad reputation for being painful dental procedures – but advances in the field of dental technology have changed that! Dr. James A. Penney and our wonderful staff will ensure that your root canal is a completely painless experience.

We can also help to minimize any discomfort you might experience once you’re home after the procedure as well. Depending on the severity of your root canal we may prescribe prescription pain killers, over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen (Tylenol), or suggest home remedies like saltwater rinses, cold compresses, and breathing exercises.

If you’re especially nervous about your root canal, we also offer sedation options and relaxation techniques – just ask Dr. Penney about your options and what he would recommend. We want to make sure that your root canal is as pleasant an experience as it can be.

What is Root Canal Surgery?

A root canal is a dental surgery completed by an endodontist – a dentist who specializes in gum treatments and diseases – to remove an infected or damaged root nerve in your tooth/teeth. During the surgery, the endodontist will gently remove the damaged nerve and the infected pulp in your tooth. This prevents infection from spreading to the surrounding teeth and gum area which could cause further damage and pain.

The name “root canal” can be misleading – it is not the root that is being removed from your tooth, but rather the damaged and infected soft tissue inside the housing of your tooth’s enamel. This infection can be caused by several things, including:

  • Deep Cavities
  • Repeated Dental Procedures
  • Cracked Tooth
  • Broken Tooth
  • Injury to the Tooth or Gum


If you suspect that you may need root canal surgery in Little Rock, contact our office for a consultation.

Do Root Canals Hurt?

Most of our root canal surgeries in Little Rock are simple procedures and our patients leave with very little or no pain at all! The length of your surgery and the complexity of your dental issues may cause some variation, but in general, our patients make between one and three trips to see Dr. Penney. The longer the procedure, the higher the risk of pain – but we will help you manage it and make you as comfortable as possible. As long as you follow all of the endodontist’s recovery instructions, you should feel little to no discomfort!

Recovering from Root Canal Surgery

After your root canal, you’ll be sent home with care instructions. Follow all of your endodontist’s recovery instructions for best results and always ask about any over-the-counter medication you plan to take. You don’t want to take something that could react badly with the local anesthesia or your other medications.

Minimize Chewing

Until your root canal procedure is completely finished and your permanent filling or crown is in place, you should try to avoid chewing with the tooth that’s being repaired. Until your tooth has been filled or supported by the crown, you risk breaking it – especially with hardy, crunchy or sticky foods. Try to avoid apples, celery, hard candy, taffy, etc. while you are waiting for your final appointment.

Continue Your Oral Health Routine

Unless your endodontist tells you otherwise, you should continue brushing, flossing, and rinsing with antiseptic mouth wash as usual. Brushing and flossing remove harmful bacteria that could reinfect your healing tooth and food particles can lead to renewed cavities. So keep up the good work! You don’t want to have another root canal if you can help it.

If you are experiencing tenderness or discomfort for a day or so after your procedure, you can avoid that area and brush and floss thoroughly around it. If your discomfort lasts more than a day or two, call your endodontist and let them know. You should not be in severe pain after your root canal.

Pain Management

Along with your endodontist’s recommendations and prescriptions, there are a few easy home remedies you can try to lessen any discomfort. Try using a cold compress on the cheek over your healing tooth. If that’s too sensitive, try less intense cold, or even a warming compress. Never use icy hot or other ointments on your face or on the tooth directly. This could cause serious damage. A washcloth with ice or run under cold water should offer enough relief.

You can also try rinsing your mouth with warm water. The sensation may soothe the inflammation temporarily. Do not use hot or boiling water. This could hurt your tooth and damage your mouth.

Schedule Your Appointment for a Root Canal Surgery in Little Rock Today

If you think you may need a root canal in Little Rock, contact Dr. James A. Penney’s office to schedule an appointment.

Dr. Penney will perform an examination and discuss your treatment plan with you. If you do need a root canal, we will walk you through it every step of the way to ensure that you are as comfortable and happy as possible.



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