Endodontic Therapy (Root Canal Treatment)

When a tooth gets infected from decay or fractures in a chewing accident, it can be very painful if not treated. Removing the nerve from the inside the tooth will relieve the pain and allow us to restore and save your tooth. We will determine with you how to deal with a problem tooth that requires endodontic therapy. We also work with several excellent specialists in complex cases.

Extractions (Oral Surgery)

We are in the business of saving teeth, so Extractions are a last resort to us after every effort has been made to save a tooth. We will always discuss with you your options and outcomes regarding extractions. Third molars (wisdom teeth) are often a problem for teenagers and adults. We refer most all wisdom teeth extractions to one of several oral surgeons. These skilled specialists can assure you of a painless and uneventful experience.

Procedure Instructions:

Root Canal Therapy

When you leave our office you will most likely still be numb. It is important that you be careful when eating or drinking as you could bit your lip, scald your mouth, or crack your tooth with excessive chewing force. Furthermore, the filling in your tooth (temporary or permanent) may not be entirely hard by the time you exit. Thus we recommend that you avoid chewing on your tooth while you are numb. Your tooth may be sore for up to two weeks due to inflammation and bruising at the end of the roots. Avoid chewing on the treated tooth until all soreness is gone. As in all dental procedures, understand that it takes time for tissues to heal. If you were not prescribed medication, then take two ibuprofen, Tylenol or aspirin every 4-6 hours to keep inflammation to a minimum. If you have been given a prescription, have it filled and take it as directed. If you have swelling or pain that is not controlled by your medication, please contact our office.


Following an extraction, bite down firmly on gauze for one hour. Then remove the gauze and do not replace. If still bleeding, replace with new gauze every 20 minutes.

If you would like, you may apply ice to your face until noon the day after surgery. This will help minimize the swelling. If swelling does occur, begin heat two days after surgery.

It is normal for your spit to have a red color for 18-24 hours. You may want to place an old towel over your pillow to protect it.

If bleeding persists, bite down firmly on a wet tea bag for one hour.

After the numbness wears off, you may eat anything as soon as you like, except sharp food (potato chips, popcorn and pizza crust) which could cut your gums. DO NOT eat these food for 3-4 days after the procedure.

Do not wash your mouth out or swish until the day after the procedure. To help alleviate the bad taste, mix 1/2 mouthwash and 1/2 water.

You may brush your teeth and floss immediately except in the area(s) of tooth removal.

Use salt water rinses the day after surgery to help remove the puffiness in your gums. Use 1/2tsp of Epsom salt or 2-3tsps of table salt with 8-10oz of warm water. Repeat 10-12 times per day.

Take pain pills as prescribe if needed. Begin the antibiotics, if prescribed, when you get home. The following day take 2 extra-strength aspirin or Tylenol or 3 Advil every 4-6 hours.

If you have been sedated, do not drive a car or participate in activities that may result in injury until the next day.

It is not uncommon for impacted teeth to be intimately associated with nerves as they course through the jaws. In spite of how carefully the teeth are removed, on rare occasions, there may be some post-operative numbness of the lip and chin and/or tongue.

To help reduce the soreness after surgery, it is best not to smoke for 3-4 days.

Persons taking birth control should be aware that antibiotics may interfere with their efficiency.

If there is an emergency, please call (615) 327-4257.

"Dr. Nickels and staff are extremely friendly and knowledgeable. Hygienists take good care of me and my family. Always a great experience and I highly recommend."

~ Patrick Newsom

No Insurance?

Finances should never keep you from good oral health. We do all we can to maximize any benefits you and your family may have. We also assist with FSA and HSA accounts and provide a variety of payment options up front to give you financial flexibility.

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