Your Lincoln Dentist talks about the safety of root canals and answering CAQs 

A note from Lincoln Dentist, Dr. Kathryn Alderman

Are you looking for a root canal dentist near me? If you need a root canal, you may ask: ” Are root canals safe for my overall health?”

Root canal procedure is not the best option for every patient, Every case and every patient should be evaluated carefully and the decision based on the patient’s overall health, biting forces and dental history should be considered to make the final treatment decision.

I believe that root canals can be. a treatment choice for teeth with inflammation and not an infection.

Which teeth are appropriate for completing a safe root canal for your overall health? 

Sometimes a tooth is injured by having a cracked tooth, broken tooth or simply a newly placed dental filling. All of those things can lead to acute inflammation of the tooth. At this point, there is no extensive amount of harmful bacteria inside the tooth. At this point, the tooth is hurting simply due to acute inflammation, leading to sharp and often radiating toothache. The good news, this type of tooth can be saved and preserved wit ha root canal treatment.

What about the abscessed or infected tooth for a root canal treatment?

if a patient has a long-standing tooth infection, leading to the loss of bone around it or having an obvious puss, abscess related to the tooth, a root canal is a poor treatment option for saving an abscessed tooth. Performing a root canal on an abscessed tooth will lead to a chronic low-grade infection in a patient’s mouth, Many patients have a certain amount of tolerance to poor dental work and associated low-grade infection with it. For patients with auto-immune disorders, those patients immune system struggles daily with keeping up protecting from offenders. the fact of having compromised root canals can put an additional and unnecessary strain on the already compromised immune system.

What about an abscessed or infected tooth for a root canal treatment? Can I save it with a root canal or should I get an implant?

If a patient has a long-standing tooth infection, it will lead to bone loss and/or dental abscess. In these cases, a root canal is a poor treatment option. Performing a root canal on an abscessed tooth may lead to a chronic low-grade infection in a patient’s mouth. Many patients have had a certain amount of tolerance to poor dental work and associated low-grade infection with it. However, for patients with autoimmune disorders, their immune system struggles daily to keep up. Compromised root canals can put an additional and unnecessary strain on the already compromised immune system. If you have an infected tooth, it is better to remove the tooth and replace it with a dental bridge or a dental implant.

I need to redo a root canal. Do I need to go to an endodontist vs dentist, or should I replace the tooth with an implant?

It’s usually better to replace the tooth with a biocompatible dental implant than to redo an infected root canal.

Lincoln root canal dentist: Illustration one

Lincoln root canal dentist: Illustration two

Lincoln root canal dentist: Illustration three

cheap dentist dental discount plans lincoln ne what is a root canal

For any more questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. 

What is the cost of a root canal without dental insurance in Lincoln, NE? Is it cheaper to go to an endodontist vs dentist for my root canal?

The cost of a root canal can vary based on whether or not you have dental insurance. For those that don’t, we work with Lincoln Dental Plans and are proud to offer affordable pricing for patients. Lincoln Dental Plans is a wonderful opportunity for patients looking for an affordable dental plan. When deciding whether you should see an endodontist vs dentist, you might be surprised to learn that most dentists accept more insurance plans than endodontists. This can reduce the cost to you for your root canal therapy in Lincoln, NE. When you set up your free consultation with us, we’ll also be able to give you an estimate for your treatment. Many of our patients don’t have dental insurance and are Lincoln Dental Plans members instead.

If you are a candidate for a safe root canal treatment, please read about root canals and CAQs.

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Your Lincoln Dentist answering CAQs on the safety of root canals

Dr. Kathryn Alderman Root Canal Dentist

The key to an effective root canal is providing an exceptional experience for each patient. At our office, we use state-of-the-art technology, allowing root canal therapy to be accurate, safe and comfortable.

Until root canals came along, the only way to treat an infected tooth was to remove it. Root canals traditionally have a bad name, and many people talk to their friends or watch YouTube videos that cause them to lose sleep worrying about the procedure.

In reality, root canals are very common. Root canals are useful when a tooth isn’t able to recover naturally from trauma. Dental trauma can include deep cavities, cracks, broken fillings, newly-placed fillings, and crowns.

What is a root canal and do I need to see an endodontist vs dentist for my root canal in Lincoln, NE?

We use the term “root canal” to describe the middle part of a tooth. This is where the nerves and blood supplies exist. If a tooth is damaged from decay, trauma or some other issue, a dental professional may want to perform root canal therapy. In root canal therapy, the dental professional will carve out the center of the tooth into the root. In this process, he or she will remove the nerve and pulp while leaving the tooth intact.

I complete most root canals at my office. However, I will occasionally refer patients to a root canal specialist. We call a root canal specialists endodontists and consider them root canal experts. Endodontists are helpful for especially severe cases. Many patients ask what is the difference between an endodontist vs dentist? Endodontists are trained for advanced therapy beyond basic root canals. If your case is extremely complicated, I may refer you to an endodontist, however, I have successfully treated hundreds of teeth with root canal therapy in Lincoln, NE over the years. If you’d like a professional opinion, a root canal at our office, or to see a root canal specialist, contact me today! You can reach me here, call the office at 402-413-7000, or email me directly at

The Benefits of Root Canal Therapy

Lincoln root canal dentist patient

When you’re in serious pain, the most obvious benefit is pain relief. However, with root canal therapy, it isn’t the only benefit.

Root canal treatment stops infection and decay in its tracks. Instead of allowing your cavity to spread freely, a root canal gives us the chance to halt the spread of infectious bacteria. Unlike tooth extraction, root canals also preserve your tooth, giving you full functionality. When you have a tooth removed, it causes bone loss and changes the way you chew and speak. On the other hand, root canals prevent tooth and bone loss, give you full access to eating and speaking, and stop your mouth from hurting.

Do you have a dental emergency and think you may need a root canal?
Lincoln root canal dentist tooth illustration

Whether you have a sharp toothache or infection during the week, after hours, or on the weekend, we’re here to help. If your tooth is hurting severely after hours, you can call our emergency line at 402-840-9783During office hours, you’re welcome to call us at 402-413-7000.

Looking for a second opinion about root canal therapy?

If you’d like a second opinion on your recent dental treatment or diagnosis, don’t hesitate to reach out. You can email me your x-rays and questions at, or request an appointment online. I’ll be happy to get back to you and give you my professional opinion.

If you’re seeking a cost estimate, please text us or call us at (402) 413-7141. We’re here to offer a pleasant, affordable, and hassle-free experience, whether you’re getting a root canal or just a second opinion.

Frequently Asked Questions about Root Canal Therapy

Many of our patients have questions about root canals. For that reason, I’ve tried to answer many of them on this page as your Lincoln root canal dentist. Below are several of our most frequently asked questions about root canals.

Lincoln root canal dentist
The prognosis of a root canal depends whether a tooth is inflamed or infected prior to the treatment.

How do I know if I need a root canal, and how do I find a root canal dentist near me in Lincoln, NE who accepts my insurance?
Most patients don't realize it, but cavities don't hurt. However, when cavities get bigger and reach the pulp space of a tooth, the tooth can become sensitive to cold and hot. At this point, the cavity will create a sharp toothache and cause severe dental pain. The best option here is either a root canal or taking a tooth out. You can contact any of our five locations in Lincoln, NE if you would like to make an appointment for root canal therapy. You can search the internet for "root canal dentist near me in Lincoln, NE" to find a provider in the area who accepts your insurance. Our offices are located throughout Lincoln, NE and accept most major insurance plans.
Do root canals hurt?
I work very hard to make every root canal experience positive. Root canals usually won’t hurt and are relatively comfortable. Below is a slideshow from our partners at Lincoln Family Dentistry.
Can I have a root canal while pregnant?
Yes! It’s important to remove the bacteria of an infected tooth, even during pregnancy.

If you’re an expecting mom, you may have a tough time being in the dental chair for an extended period of time. Because of this, I work extra hard to make the root canal experience comfortable for expecting moms comfortable, minimizing the time spent in the chair. In the past, I’ve had expecting moms who need to sit up during their root canal procedures. If you’re pregnant and are concerned you may need a root canal, consider me your Lincoln root canal dentist.

Can I have a root canal while breastfeeding?
It is safe to have a root canal during breastfeeding. After root canal therapy, you can expect some sensitivity. If you do, we typically recommend taking Ibuprofen. However, Ibuprofen can affect your milk supplies. Instead, it’s safer for women to take Tylenol while breastfeeding.
What could cause tooth pain when biting down?

Lincoln root canal dentist progression Illustration

If you experience sharp tooth pain when biting down, there could be a number of issues. It may be caused by a broken filling, a crack in your tooth, or by extensive decay. You may also have damaged the pulp tissue inside the tooth. In that case, you may need to have root canal therapy to stop the dental pain and sharp toothache.

What causes tooth sensitivity to hot and cold or nerve pain in teeth?
Nerve pain or tooth sensitivity is normal when teeth are exposed to cold and hot temperatures. This nerve pain is usually short-lived. It’s caused by the stimulation of cells within the layers of the tooth. Nerve pain can also happen if there are cracks in the tooth’s outermost layer, the enamel. It’s important to prevent cracks, as many of them can lead to extreme sensitivity to hot and cold, or even the air.
How long does pain after a root canal therapy last?
You may experience mild jaw discomfort immediately following a root canal. You can control this mild discomfort with over-the-counter Ibuprofen or Tylenol. If it lasts longer than a few days, you may need to revisit your dentist in Lincoln, NE.
How much does a root canal cost in Lincoln, NE?
The cost of a root canal can vary depending on many factors. One of these factors is whether you see an endodontist vs dentist who performs many root canals, like me. Our office typically accepts more insurance plans and has lower prices than root canal specialists in town.

We accept almost every major dental insurance, which typically covers 50-80% of the cost of a root canal. Usually, root canals cost between $400 and $850 with dental insurance. After insurance, the cost can often be reduced to as little as $150.

Where can I find root dentist near me for children in Lincoln, NE?
We call root canal treatment in younger children pulpectomy treatment. Childrens’ back teeth are necessary for chewing and maintaining space for future permanent teeth. Fortunately, I do perform root canal treatment for children at times! I’ll always work hard to help your kids feel comfortable and relaxed during this procedure.
Are root canals safe for overall health?
Yes. A root canal seeks to remove the infected nerve of a tooth and fill the space with a special type of filling. Often, all of the bacteria cannot be removed and the treated tooth becomes a chronic source of bacteria. After the nerve and blood supply is removed from the tooth, it virtually becomes dead space. If it isn’t all removed, the bacteria responsible for the decay in the first place can multiply in this “dead” space. This causes a chronic source of low-grade chronic infection in patient’s mouth.

The best solution is to find a dentist that understands the importance of removing ALL of the bacteria, who carefully chooses eligible teeth for root canals.

What are the symptoms of a tooth abscess or dental infection?
If you have an infected tooth, it can create an abscess, putting your overall health at risk. The following are common symptoms of a dental abscess:

  • Lincoln root canal dentist patient in need for treatmentFeeling sick and having flu-like symptoms
  • A sharp toothache or pain while biting down
  • Bad taste in the mouth that remains, even after brushing or flossing
  • Pus in or around the tooth

Dental abscesses are pretty serious. If you think you may have one, you should see your Lincoln root canal dentist today. You can also learn more about dental abscesses here.

How do you treat a root canal infection?
We recommend a root canal when there are signs of decay, injury or repeated dental work. These issues often cause the nerve to become infected. The procedure for a root canal infection starts with the dentist drilling a small hole to gain access to the root chambers of the tooth. After entering the nerve space, the infection is cleaned out using small instruments. I always tell my patients that root canals are just like having a cavity fixed, but going deeper inside the tooth.
Is it normal to have pain or sensitivity after root canal therapy?
Yes, you can expect some pain or sensitivity after root canal therapy. After a root canal, be sure not to chew or bite on the treated tooth until your dentists have fully completed the treatment.
Will I need to take time off work after root canal procedure??
You can expect to be numb and to have mild jaw soreness after root canal therapy. If your job requires talking to people, your mouth may be numb for a few hours and you may want to take the day off. However, you can usually go back to work and continue with your regular activities right after root canal therapy. Most patients return to work soon after root canal therapy.
I have a returning dental abscess after a recent root canal, what should be done?
Although it’s uncommon, a dental abscess can form after a recent root canal. One possibility is that there’s an abnormal number of canals that weren’t seen radiographically or clinically in the tooth. When this happens, some canals are often left unclean, resulting in a recurring infection. A faulty restoration is another possible cause. If a restoration was placed incorrectly on the tooth or there was an undetected crack, that would allow bacteria to enter the tooth and cause a returning dental abscess. We recommend taking antibiotics to stop the spread of the infection. Along with this, you’ll need to see your dentist who can remove the infected tooth.
Can a tooth infection make me sick?
Yes. With an infection, there’s always a chance of getting sick. Someone with infection may experience fever and/or swelling of the neck glands and jaw. If the infection goes untreated, it will only spread and get worse. If it does, it may affect your overall well-being, making you sick.

Toothache FAQs

Can I get a toothache from a sinus infection?

Lincoln root canal dentist patient experiencing dicomfort

It is also possible for a sinus infection to cause a toothache. This usually happens on upper molars during the active sinus infection. You can learn more about these rare cases from our partners here.

Why do toothaches hurt more at night?
At night, toothaches often feel more painful because blood pressure to a person’s head increases when lying down. This effect correlates with increased pressure to the tooth’s blood supply, causing the discomfort.

What is the best home remedy for relieving sharp, intense toothache?
At times, you may experience a sharp toothache related to a sinus infection, ear infection, extra sensitive teeth, or acute TMJ symptoms. In these cases, the tooth isn’t usually isn’t damaged. Because of this, certain home remedies can help, as follows:

  • Applying a little pressure against the area with something cold
  • Using saltwater rinses and peppermint tea
  • Taking Ibuprofen or Tylenol work well in controlling sharp toothache

If you’re experiencing a sharp toothache due to ongoing acute inflammation, dental decay, or a cracked tooth, then home remedies are short-term solutions. They can numb a sharp toothache for a while, but they will not be permanent. To get rid of a sharp toothache permanently, call our office for an evaluation. This is the best way to learn the cause of your intense toothache.

How can you stop a toothache immediately?

To stop a toothache immediately, take an anti-inflammatory medication such as Ibuprofen. This can treat the pain quickly, relieving pressure where the nerve of the tooth is. Another strategy is alternating cold and hot applications. Alternate a bag of frozen peas with a hot water bottle on the affected spot until you feel relief. Most of the time, those things can help to stop a toothache. Unfortunately, however, these only last for a short time. You’ll need to see a dentist and treat the cause of the toothache to permanently relieve the symptoms.

How long does a toothache last? Will a toothache go away on its own or do I have to see a dentist for my toothache?
Some toothaches are short-lived and normal for people with extra sensitive teeth. However, if you have to take pain-reducing medication for a more than a day, your tooth may be undergoing some sort of inflammation or even infection. If that’s the case, the toothache will require attention from a dentist.
I have a sharp toothache, should I have a root canal or is it better to remove it and place an implant?
Sometimes a tooth can be injured from a crack, a break, or simply a newly placed filling. Any of these things can lead to acute inflammation of the tooth. If one of these is the case, there isn’t an extensive amount of harmful bacteria inside the tooth. At this point, the tooth is only hurting from acute inflammation. Inflammation is causing the sharp and often radiating toothache.

The good news is that the dentist can usually save and preserve this type of tooth with root canal treatment. Unless the decay is extensive, we shouldn’t need to extract the tooth.

Why does it hurt to touch my tooth? Should I see a Lincoln root canal dentist near me?
If your tooth is extremely sensitive to biting or touching, you may have a dental abscess. A dental abscess is a result of a growth of pathogenic (harmful) bacteria inside the tooth’s pulp chamber. This bacteria is what causes an abscess. As it continues to multiply, it also creates pressure inside the tooth leading to a sharp toothache. At times, abscess causes the infection to drain from the tip of the tooth, causing sharp pain while biting down or touching your tooth. If this is what you’re going through, you should definitely call a Lincoln root canal dentist like Dr. Kathryn Alderman.
Is it normal for a tooth with a root canal and a crown to hurt? Should I have pain in a tooth with a root canal therapy years later?
No. You shouldn’t have a toothache or swelling years after the root canal therapy. If you do, you should see our Lincoln emergency dentist immediately to evaluate the toothache.
I have an ear infection that causes a sharp toothache? Can my ear infection lead to a tooth abscess?
It is possible for an ear infection to lead to a tooth infection. It’s very unlikely, however, it is possible. Have your Lincoln root canal dentist take a look to see what’s causing an abscess.
What should I do if my child has a toothache? Can children have a root canal therapy?

Lincoln root canal dentist and children dentistryIf your child has a toothache, the first course of action is to assess the situation. If the tooth is visibly damaged in any way, call our emergency line right away. You can also help your child manage the pain by doing a couple of things:

  • Help your child rinse with warm salt water.
  • Compress the area with something cold.
  • Administer appropriate pain medications.
Why do I have sharp pain with a tooth under my dental bridge?
It’s very uncommon to have sharp dental pain under a bridge. If you have a sharp pain under a dental bridge, please see our Lincoln emergency dentist for an evaluation. In the meantime, take Ibuprofen or Tylenol to minimize your toothache.

If you have any further questions about root canal therapy, please email me directly at You can also schedule an appointment with me here at Preserve Family Dentistry. You can also schedule at any other Nebraska Family Dentistry location using the form below. I'm eager to work with you and to be your Lincoln root canal dentist. Thank you for your time, and I look forward to meeting you!

Wishing you health and happiness,

Dr. Kathryn Alderman, Your Lincoln  dentist

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At any of NFD locations, you can find compassionate care from professionals that strive to provide excellent dental treatment to every patient. In everything we do, comfort, satisfaction, and quality dental work are our standards. To book an appointment at our East Lincoln dental office, just give us a call at.

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