Back to School Tips from your Lincoln Dentist for Children

Your child may have tons of fancy new school supplies, the latest, coolest wardrobe, and sports equipment for the upcoming school year, but do they have a healthy mouth? What about all the tools and skills they will need to maintain it? Our Lincoln Dentist for Children shares her ideas on preparing kids for school and will help ensure that dental problems do not interfere with school performance.

Our Lincoln Dentist for Children says: “According to the American Dental Association, an examination for oral health performed by a dentist is just as important as the immunizations and booster shots children need. A dental exam and cleaning should be incorporated into any checklist that parents make to help them and their child(ren) prepare for the upcoming school year. Tooth decay affects more U.S. children than any other chronic or infectious disease, as noted by statistics that were posted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly 20 percent of children, ages 2 to 19 years old, have some form of untreated tooth decay. Dental pain and or disease can lead to difficulty in many tasks, including eating, speaking, playing, and learning and countless hours of missed school.” 

Your Lincoln Dentist for Children states that a back-to-school checklist should always consist of:

#1. Regular, routine dental examinations to diagnose, treat, or prevent any dental problems.

Catching dental problems early on can save your child from pain and missed school, and in turn, it can save parents money. Parents and teachers often may not realize there’s a dental problem, so regular checkups are critical. Your Lincoln Dentist for Children may suggest fluoride treatments or sealants that can help prevent decay. Routine brushing with fluoride toothpaste, along with flossing, can help to prevent further decay. If your child has bad breath, read more here.

#2. Make life easy, and while you are out shopping for school, be sure to head for the dental care aisle either before or after getting those awesome new notebooks, binders, and pencils.

If parents buy several toothbrushes, it’s much easier and more convenient to have their child change to a new toothbrush roughly every three months. It is also important to remember to switch your child’s toothbrushes after being ill. If remembering when to change toothbrushes becomes a daunting task, replace it every time your child’s report card comes out. Also, your Lincoln Dentist for Children will gladly give you recommendations on timelines for changing your child’s toothbrush if you prefer to have his/her input.

#3. Eat healthy lunches and snacks.

Be sure to include portable, healthy lunch items and snacks in your child’s sack lunch. Those items can consist of grains, milk, cheese, raw vegetables, yogurt, or even fruit. If your child eats breakfast or lunch in the school cafeteria, review healthy, balanced food choices with him or her before the first day of school. Another great tip is to cut back on soft drinks and sugary foods.Read more about the importance of healthy lunches here.

#4. Wearing a properly fitted mouthguard while participating in PE classes, organized sports, or even playground activities can prove to be very beneficial.

Your Lincoln Dentist for Children can make custom, affordable mouthguards at any of our Nebraska Family Dentistry locations. The price for a well-fitted, custom mouthguard is only $75.

#5. Preventing decay and gum disease is essential for overall wellness.

Did you know that kids as early as 12 years of age can show signs of gum disease? Cavities can strike kids as soon as their first tooth comes in, affecting their immune system and overall well-being. Children who develop plaque quickly or have braces might benefit from cleanings every 3-4 months to prevent gum disease and developing cavities.  

Braces and orthodontic treatment will help correct crowding and prevent dental disease. Some kids can benefit from Invisalign (clear braces), and summer is a great time to start treatment. The option of “invisible braces” is popular with teenagers and has many benefits over wearing traditional metal braces.

infection control

Safe Dental Visits at our Dental Clinics with High Infection Control Standards  

What do our offices do to ensure your safety?

At Nebraska Family Dentistry, we know that each parent trusts us to provide a safe and healthy atmosphere for their child(ren). Part of our responsibility to each of you is to provide the highest infection control standards to ensure your child’s safety and health. 

We follow every infection control recommendation from these authoritative sources:

✅ CDC Guidelines 

✅ OSHA Guidelines

✅ ADA Guidelines

✅ NE Board of Dentistry Guidelines

✅ Clean Air Project

✅ High Infection Control Standards

We welcome the entire family to our practice and would love the opportunity to teach your child about great oral care. After all, excellent oral care leads to a healthy smile. There is nothing better than a healthy, confident smile! Call one of our dental clinics near you or visit us online at

dentist in lincoln NE near me Dr. Lauren

This article was written by our gentle family dentist, Dr. Lauren Albin. This gentle family dentist sees kids of all ages, as well as their parents.

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Nebraska Family Dentistry has dental clinic locations in all parts of Lincoln! Choose a “dentist near me” location that is convenient for you.


5 Top Reasons for Kids to See a Dentist as early as 1 year of age

Preventative dental care is essential for patients of all ages, but it is crucial for children. If minor dental problems aren’t treated, it increases the risk of developing complex dental concerns. Preventative dental care is an excellent way to combat this issue and can start seeing the dentist as early as age one.

pediatric dentist Lincoln NE

​Primary Teeth are Important for Chewing

When babies are born, their primary teeth have already been developed. Most infants get their first tooth between 6 months and 1 year of age, but this varies. Even when a child doesn’t have teeth, their gums can still be cleaned using a soft, wet cloth. As soon as a tooth appears, it is good to start cleaning it with a toothbrush.

Primary teeth are crucial to a child’s development, and they open up a whole new world of food and chewing. Primary teeth also help your child speak properly, and they hold space for permanent teeth. While a gummy smile is cute on an infant, a toothy toddler is just as precious.

white fillings nebraska family dentistry little girl

Preventing Decay and Gum Disease is Important for Overall Wellness

Did you know that kids as early as 12 years of age can show signs of gum disease? Cavities can strike kids as soon as their first tooth comes in, affecting their immune system and overall well-being. Children who develop plaque quickly or have braces might benefit from cleanings every 3-4 months to aid in the prevention of gum disease and developing cavities

Braces and orthodontic treatment will help correct crowding and prevent dental disease. Some kids can benefit from Invisalign® (clear braces) and summer is always a great time to start treatment. The option of invisible braces is popular with teenagers and has many benefits over wearing traditional metal braces. 

​First Dental Visit – What Age Should Kids See A Dentist?

Children should have their first dental visit between 1 and 2 years of age. At this check-up, dental professionals will look for cavities and discuss fluoride and other habits like thumb sucking or sleeping with a bottle. After their first visit, children should see the dentist at least every six months. 

kids doing sports

​What Age Should Kids See a Dentist? Dental Visits for School-Aged Children: Ensure Better School Performance

Did you know dental disease causes children to miss more than 51 million school hours each year? A great way to avoid dental disease is to visit the dentist and for children to brush twice a day for 2 minutes in addition to flossing.

catering dental team

Safe Dental Visits at our Dental Clinics with High Infection Control Standards

What do our offices do to ensure your safety?

At Nebraska Family Dentistry, we know that each parent trusts us to provide a safe and healthy atmosphere for their child. Part of our responsibility to each of you is to provide the highest infection control standard to ensure your child’s safety and health.

infection control

We follow all infection control recommendations from the following sources:

✅ CDC Guidelines 

✅ OSHA Guidelines

✅ ADA Guidelines

✅ NE Board of Dentistry Guidelines

✅ Clean Air Project

✅ High Infection Control Standards 

We welcome the entire family to our practice and would love to teach your child about great oral care. After all, great oral care leads to a healthy smile. There is nothing better than a healthy, confident smile. Call one of our dental clinics near you or visit us online

Dr Lauren provider
Dr. Lauen Albin

This article was written by our family dentist, Dr. Lauren Albin

This family dentist sees kids of all ages and their parents. 


Is it safe to have dental work during pregnancy?

Is it Safe to Have Dental Work during Pregnancy? 

Dental work and pregnancy questions are very common for any mom-to-be. Annual exams and preventive dental cleanings while pregnant are safe and strongly recommended. We’ll discuss why, here. Our article at a glance will answer the following questions and more:

Is dental work safe during pregnancy?

Can you have a dental filling done while pregnant?

Can a tooth infection harm my unborn baby?

Should you avoid the dentist when pregnant?

A change or rise in hormone levels while pregnant causes the gums to bleed, swell and trap food, irritating them. It is essential to receive preventive dental work during pregnancy to avoid oral infections like gum disease, which have been linked to preterm births.

nickel free crown digital illustration

What about dental concerns such as fillings and crowns? 

Dental work while pregnant, such as crowns and cavity fillings, should be treated, thus helping reduce any chance of infection. If dental work must be done during pregnancy, the second trimester is ideal. You can read more information about fetal development here: pregnant/second-trimester/. Once you have arrived at your third trimester, it might be challenging to lie on your back in a dental chair for an extended period. At this point, the safest course of action is to postpone any unnecessary dental work until after the birth of your child.

Sometimes, however, emergency dental work during pregnancy, like tooth extractions or root canals, is necessary. Postpone until after delivery; all elective treatments such as cosmetic procedures and teeth whitening. It is always an excellent idea to avoid this type of dental work while pregnant to prevent exposing a developing fetus to any risks, even if the risks seem minimal.

patient meds on the topic of dental work during pregnancy

What about medications used during dental work? 

Studies are currently conflicting about possible adverse effects on the developing baby from medications used during dental work and pregnancy. Learn more here: Typically, Lidocaine is the most commonly used drug for dental work during pregnancy. Lidocaine (Category B) does not cross through the placenta after it has been administered. There are additional facts that can be obtained from here: Medication and Pregnancy:: American Pregnancy Association.

Should you need dental work, anesthesia amounts should be administered in as little dose as possible, yet receiving enough to make you comfortable for the procedure. If you experience discomfort, you must request additional numbing medication. Being comfortable reduces the amount of stress felt by both yourself and your child. Also, the more comfortable and relaxed you are, the easier it is for the anesthesia medication to work.

Often, dental work requires antibiotics to treat and prevent infections. Antibiotics such as Amoxicillin, Penicillin, and Clindamycin (which are labeled as “Category B” for safety during pregnancy), might be prescribed after your procedure has been completed.

dr christine bergman showing xrays

Dental Work during Pregnancy: Are dental x-rays safe during pregnancy?

What about x-rays done during pregnancy for dental work?

Routine x-rays typically taken during your annual dental exam can often be done after delivery of the baby. However, it is essential to know that x-rays are necessary to perform many dentistry procedures, especially those of an emergency nature. Something important to know is that according to the American College of Radiology, there is no single diagnostic x-ray that has a radiation dose significant enough to cause adverse effects in a developing fetus or embryo. According to the ADA and ACOG, having dental X-rays during pregnancy considered safe.

One vital thing to note that when receiving any x-ray is that the appropriate shielding is always necessary to help deflect any scatter radiation. During pregnancy, this would include shielding of the abdomen and thyroid. However, any good dental practice will shield you regardless of being pregnant or male versus female. It’s good practice to protect all anatomy near radiation to reduce the amount of dose you receive over time.

Should you avoid the dentist altogether while pregnant?

Some women might elect to avoid all dental work during the first trimester. The first trimester is the most vulnerable time of fetal development. However, there has been no evidence suggesting harm to the baby for those that elect to visit the dentist during this time. 

Also, if non-emergency dental work arises during the third trimester, it should be put on hold. Doing so will help avoid a period of prolonged time lying on your back and the risk of premature labor.

dr barth interacting with patient about dental work during pregnancy

Suggestions for addressing your oral care during pregnancy:

  • The (ADA) American Dental Association recommends pregnant women eat a balanced diet ( health/diet-during-pregnancy/), floss daily, and brush their teeth thoroughly with an ADA approved fluoride toothpaste twice daily.
  • It is also vital that you have preventive dental exams and cleanings during pregnancy.
  • Be sure to let your dentist know what you are expecting.
  • Postpone all non-emergency dental work until the second trimester or even after delivery, if at all possible. Postpone any elective procedure until after delivery.
  • Maintain healthy circulation while sitting in the dental chair by keeping legs uncrossed.
  • Bring a pillow to help keep yourself and the baby more comfortable (Nebraska Family Dentistry locations offer many amenities to keep you comfortable during your appointment).
  • Bring headphones and your favorite music (this, however, is a standard perk we offer at all Nebraska Family Dentistry locations).

If you are still unsure about dental work during pregnancy, be sure to visit with your “dentist near me in Lincoln, NE,” and they can help guide you on a safe journey. We’ve also included some of the most commonly asked questions to help you make a more informed decision regarding dental work during pregnancy.

biological dentist dr kathryn alderman talking about dental work during pregnancy

Commonly Asked Questions about Dental Work during Pregnancy:

Is dental anesthesia safe during pregnancy? 

According to the ADA (American Dental Association), diagnostic, preventative, and restorative dental treatment is safe. Local anesthetics such as lidocaine and bupivacaine can be used during pregnancy. However, it is always a good idea to check with your dentist to be sure the treatment you are considering is safe for both yourself and the baby.

Can dental problems affect pregnancy?

There is evidence that some dental problems can affect a developing baby. There is a strong correlation between gum disease in pregnant women and preterm births. If you have dental concerns and are expecting, be sure to address them with your dental provider.

Can a tooth infection harm my unborn baby?

When left untreated, gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) can lead to a more severe infection within the gums and surrounding bone. Ultimately, periodontal disease can lead to bone and tooth loss. A mother who has active tooth decay can spread this same bacteria to an unborn child.

Is seeing the dentist necessary while pregnant?

Why is it so essential to go to the dentist while pregnant?

Dental care and pregnancy go hand in hand. Dental care during pregnancy is vital because of a change in hormones; there is an increased risk of developing gum disease. In turn, gum disease can affect the health of your baby. 

smiling beauiful woman looking up dental work during pregnancy


While this isn’t a complete list of dental work during pregnancy questions, it’s a good start. An excellent way to ensure that you maintain excellent oral health throughout pregnancy is to have routine check-ups and cleanings. If you are pregnant and have concerns, contact a “Lincoln dentist near me” for help. We are here to ensure that both you and your unborn child receive the best possible care. Your overall well-being and oral health is our top priority.


Finding the Best Dentist Near Me

“What’s a good way to find the best dentist near me?” Your Lincoln, NE dentists answer:

Finding a healthcare provider such as a dentist that you feel confident in and comfortable with and offers all of your desired services can prove challenging. That’s why at Nebraska Family Dentistry, we offer various services, all of which are affordable. What else does Nebraska Family Dentistry offer? A skilled, compassionate team that’s ready to help you! We also offer many modern conveniences such as online bill pay, online scheduling, and payment options if you need them. But, that’s only a little snippet of what Nebraska Family Dentistry is about! We have so much to offer, and the best part is, at NFD, it’s all about YOU! Want to learn more about us? Keep reading, and we’ll cover these topics and many more!

-How do I find a reputable dentist or the “best dentist near me in Lincoln, NE?” We have a few helpful tips.

-What qualities will a good dentist possess? We have hints.

-How does technology affect dental visits? We will explain!

Anyone can likely find a dentist by merely driving around town. But, to find “the best dentist near me in Lincoln, NE,” you’ll probably need to put in a tad more work.

Although some would agree that any location of Nebraska Family Dentistry is incredible, we know that not everyone feels this way. Everyone defines “best” differently, and therefore, what’s the “best” to one person might not be the “best” to another person.

It’s important to realize there while there may be an office that is a “perfect” fit for one person, that exact same office might not be at all suitable for another. There could be various reasons that an office isn’t a good fit. Your decision could hinge on office location, whether or not a provider is in-network with your dental insurance or even dental clinic hours. In this article, we’ll outline some positive attributes of what makes a great dental office. We’ll also outline some things that patients can look for when searching for a new dental office.

young woman thinking of best dentist near me

How do I find the “best dentist near me?” 

One of the easiest ways is to ask around! Ask for referrals to get some insights from friends and family. You can also look for reviews that are online to see what others have shared. In some cases, online opinions might want to be taken with a grain of salt. Some of the statements in online reviews can be misleading and, in some cases, are more “personal” versus general. Another thing to look for is dentists that are willing to submit claims to your insurance. While this isn’t all you should look for: we do have other things listed below to help you in your search for the “best dentist near me.”

dr christine bergman showing xrays

What Qualities Set Some Dental Providers and Offices Apart From their Competition?

What’s the quality of their care?

Advice from Your Lincoln dentist:

Generally, this is one of the most important deciding factors for many patients. Everyone deserves to have the highest quality clinical care available. The mark of a skilled clinical team could be a dental group that offers multiple locations. Aside from offering numerous locations, these clinics also have multiple dental providers. Bigger group practices typically have higher standards for patient care, thus ensuring consistency for all patients. Ultimately, patients will have a better experience when the entire team can work together. In the end, this creates a friendly and balanced atmosphere.

catering dental team

What is the experience and education of the dental provider you are considering? Your Lincoln dentist answers:

Every dental college shapes many exceptionally skilled dental providers with every graduating class. These dentists might practice for many years throughout their career, becoming more skilled in one particular discipline of dentistry. Every dentist has their weaknesses and strengths-based upon their general aptitude and clinical experience within certain areas of dentistry. In practice with multiple dentists, it is more likely that patients will receive exceptional care because these dentists can refer patients to one another. Also, in the event of a more complicated case, our dentists can consult with one another. At Nebraska Family Dentistry, aside from multiple locations, we also have various dentists in Lincoln, NE that work together regularly to deliver outstanding clinical care to every patient.

biological dentist dr kathryn alderman

How does the dental office team treat you?

Is the technology they use modern?
Your Lincoln dentist explains why this is very important. 

Dentistry changes daily with new techniques and instruments being introduced to help improve patient comfort and treatment outcomes. With all of these advances in dental technology, dentists in Lincoln, NE, can give patients the most accurate diagnosis and excellent treatment. When looking for a new dental home and the “best dentist near me,” be sure to check out your potential dentist’s office technology. An office that has newer technology is excellent. Often, it means that they are up-to-date with the latest advancements in dentistry.

As we all know, going to any office with an unhelpful, rude team is most definitely something no patient ever wants to experience. No matter where you do business, people should always be treated with compassion and respect by a friendly team who is genuinely there to help you. The best dental offices have a warm, sincere and caring team that wants nothing but all the best for you.

dental room of best dentist near me

Is the office clean and calm?

Your Lincoln dentist will explain how we created a clean and comfortable atmosphere.

Patients tend to always feel more confident and comfortable in a dental environment that is well-lit, clean, and smells good. For several patients, the smells that are associated with dentistry can add to their anxiety. At all of our Nebraska Family Dentistry locations, we use aromatherapy. Aromatherapy helps minimize clinical odors during hours of patient care. Patients can relax in our clean, comfortable treatment rooms with headphones, blankets, and sunglasses during their appointment. The best dental offices offer thoughtful touches like those just mentioned to help create a relaxing atmosphere for patients of all ages. When searching for your new dental home, be sure to see what the office as a whole can provide.

dr barth interacting with patient about best dentist near me

Patient Experience Before/After Appointment:

A top-notch dental office will provide helpful information on their website(s). Also, they will make requesting appointments easy by allowing online scheduling. What else would they offer? Another thing that many top-notch offices offer is 24/7 emergency care. Many will say that some of the best dentists are available on weekends and after-hours. Although this might not define “the best dentist” for everyone, it’s certainly helpful when it comes to making the final decision.

dental payment plans for best dentist near me

Does the office file insurance claims on your behalf?

Your Lincoln dentist explains how this helps patients complete care:

Dental offices that want patients to file their insurance claims are not doing their patients any favors in the department of customer service. Unfortunately, this is something that you will see in offices that don’t have adequate staffing to handle billing and insurance for their patients. Ultimately, this creates more obstacles and can, in turn, prevent patients from getting the care and treatment they need and deserve. More often than not, insurance companies require documentation and follow-up with many claims. In the end, patients will be spending a good deal of time on the phone with their insurance company. At Nebraska Family Dentistry, we know that our patients are busy, and dealing with any insurance company could create a challenge. Generally, insurance companies are more likely to accept claims sent by trained staff at dental offices versus patients themselves. An excellent question to ask when looking for a new dentist in Lincoln is whether or not they are willing to handle insurance claims on your behalf.

Biological dentist in lincoln ne for best dentist near me

Is your dentist kind and caring? Your Lincoln dentist on how providers can help patients relax: 

The best dentists have an excellent chair-side manner.

Have you ever tried to have a conversation with your dentist while they are working on you? Most of the time, they try to make small talk, but we all know that this is challenging when you have instruments and hands in your mouth!

It was encouraged that dentists make lots of small talk to bond and connect with patients in the past. Although it is important to be cheerful and friendly with patients, it is just as effective to allow patients to do what they feel is comfortable. While at the dentist, some patients don’t feel like talking. In that case, they should be allowed to have conversations focused on the task at hand: their dental care. Other patients enjoy visiting with the dental team and doctors while they are at the office. Others will say that the “best dentist near me” offers distractions like music and TV along with sedation dentistry to help you relax.

cost for dental care in lincoln ne for best dentist near me

How affordable is the treatment?

Your Lincoln dentist offers solutions:

Finances are most definitely a factor when it comes to proceeding with any dental treatment. At Nebraska Family Dentistry, we realize that all patients have expenses beyond their dental treatment. When searching, patients need to find a dental office that maximizes value. Patients need an affordable price, one that they are able and willing to pay. Patients need to find an office that will give them an estimate for treatment, which will allow them to be prepared for any financial obligation. Dentists in Lincoln, NE that offer different payment plans and those who work with multiple insurance companies can help reduce patients’ overall costs. Offices that offer substantially lower prices beyond the offices with more competitive rates must make sacrifices to stay profitable. More expensive dental treatment isn’t necessarily better. Instead, competitive offices in pricing with other providers within the same area are typically a safe, reasonable bet.

nfd best dentist near me

What sets Nebraska Family Dentistry apart from other dental clinics in the Lincoln, NE area?

Nebraska Family Dentistry is a group of dental offices that are patient-centered. All Nebraska Family Dentistry offices were created with the patient’s comfort in mind. All of our dentists in Lincoln, NE, provide exceptionally gentle care, and they all offer sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry is an outstanding option for patients who have dental anxiety.

The amenities we provide will ensure your comfort at all times. We know that most people don’t enjoy coming to the dentist, so our number one goal is to make sure your experience is outstanding.

All of our treatment rooms are equipped with TVs and comfortable chairs to help you relax during your appointment. Other comforts that we offer are pillows, blankets, and headphones!

In addition to ensuring comfort, we also understand that convenience is critical. Not only do we have on-call dentists and extended lunch hours, but we have five convenient locations throughout Lincoln, NE! Indeed, this will help even the busiest patients when scheduling. 

We also offer weekend and after-hours emergency visits. See for yourself all of the amenities that Nebraska Family Dentistry has to offer. Learn more about how our team is continuously striving to make every visit as comfortable as they can for you.

mother looking for best dentist near me

Convenient “dentist near me” for families

At Nebraska Family Dentistry, we believe that everyone, no matter what, should have access to the dental care they need. For that reason, we gladly accept almost all forms of insurance, including Ameritas, BSBS, Humana, Tricare, Aetna, and Metlife.

All of us on the dental team have our own families. We understand just how difficult it can be to keep up with all of life’s expenses. Because of this, we also accept dental discount plans such as Lincoln Dental Plans. Besides, we also accept credit cards, cash, we offer in-office payment plans, and we also accept CareCredit®, a health and wellness credit card, which you can sign up for at any of our offices.

Finding the “best dentist near me in Lincoln, NE” might require a bit of work on your end, but it’s all worth it. If this helps you in your quest to find the “best dentist,” feel free to call and ask to visit the office for a consultation. Also, ask about pricing, read our online reviews, or ask people within the community who they might recommend.

From all of us at Nebraska Family Dentistry, we wish you well in your search, and we hope that you find a good fit for the “best dentist.” We would be honored to see you soon at one of our locations. Here, you can discover the Nebraska Family Dentistry way of doing dentistry!

You can schedule with this Lincoln, NE dentist, or his partners online 24/7 at a Nebraska Family Dentistry Location near you. This “dentist near me” serves the local communities close to Lincoln. Some of the communities include Eagle, Walton, Weeping Water, Avoca, and many more!

Thanks for stopping by! We’re here to help you with any questions. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!  


Root Canal vs. Extraction: What’s the Difference?

Are you in need of a root canal or a tooth extraction? What exactly is the difference? Continue reading to learn more.

You’re at your dental appointment, and you expect it to be a routine checkup. But instead, your latest checkup ends with your dentist telling you that one of your teeth is in pretty rough shape. Before you know it, you hear the words “root canal” and “extraction.” You aren’t sure what to think. After all, you aren’t even sure what either case entails.

If this is you, we’re here to help! We understand that knowing you need any dental work can be overwhelming. So, we’ll explain the difference between a root canal and an extraction.

dental team and root canal vs extraction

Root canal vs extraction. Which is worse? While it’s likely you can’t avoid one of these two procedures, we’ll let you know precisely what the difference is between the two.

Many times, root canal and extraction are terms that get combined when, in reality, they are two completely different oral surgeries. Here we’ll offer a short guide to help you learn about the differences between the two. 

root canal inside on root canal vs extraction

1. Root Canal

If your dentist thinks that your tooth might still have a chance, then a root canal is the procedure for you. Where is that fine line between a live tooth and dead tooth, though? 

When your tooth is cracked, or you develop a deep cavity, bacteria will begin to seep deep inside the tooth to the pulp area. Here bacteria can grow and cause a painful infection. If the damage is caught before the situation is too bad, the tooth can be saved with a root canal.

Root Canal Procedure and Aftercare

Movies and sitcoms, just like anything else, can add a very dramatic effect to any situation, and this includes root canals. What you need to know is that they genuinely aren’t that bad. When a root canal is performed, the area is numbed, and you will feel very little during your procedure. Next, the dentist or oral surgeon will make a small incision in the tooth to open it up and access the pulp (the innermost portion of a tooth).

Once opened, the pulp of the tooth is removed, and the chambers are cleaned. When cleaning out the chambers, all traces of bacteria must be removed. Finally, the chambers will be filled with a replacement liquid that acts as the pulp. Depending upon the severity of your situation, this process can take multiple visits.

Once the entire process is complete, you might feel some discomfort, but that will subside on its own and relatively quickly. Simple over-the-counter pain medication should be all that you need. However, one thing to keep in mind is that if the painkillers don’t work, or the pain goes away and comes back, that is not normal. At this point, you should see your dentist.

catering dental team for root canal vs extraction

2. Extraction

If a dental problem isn’t caught in time and treated correctly, your tooth will be at the point of no return. This means that while your tooth’s pulp could be removed, the bacteria has entirely worn on the tooth’s structure. In this case, your tooth would not survive a root canal. If this is a situation that you have been presented with, then the decision will be easy when it comes to the debate of root canal vs extraction. Your dentist or oral surgeon will suggest an extraction at this point.

Procedure and Aftercare: 

When it comes down to it, an extraction is generally the more painful procedure of the two. During an extraction, your surgeon will numb the area and then loosen the tooth out of its socket using an elevator device. Once the tooth has been lifted, forceps will be used to finish the job. There is a chance during this procedure that you might experience some discomfort.

After the procedure is complete, you’ll need to hold pressure on the area by biting down on a cotton ball for approximately 45 minutes, which will help the blood to clot. You can expect your mouth to bleed lightly for up to 24 hours. Facial swelling can also be expected, but can easily be calmed with an ice pack.

When you’re up to eating again, make sure you stick to soft foods that are easy to chew. As you begin the healing process, you can slowly gravitate towards your favorite foods.


After some time, issues can arise once you have had an extraction. Teeth around the extraction site can begin to shift, or chewing and talking could become a struggle. Another issue that could occur is bone loss in the jaw.

One surefire way to avoid any of these issues altogether is to proceed with a dental implant. A dental implant will look and function just like a normal tooth. Even better, with the right insurance, your implant might be covered.  

biological dentist dr kathryn alderman on root canal vs extraction

3. Advantages of a Root Canal Vs. an Extraction

When weighing a root canal vs an extraction, a root canal does have a few advantages over an extraction in the long run. One of the most significant advantages of a root canal is that it keeps the smile you were born just the way it was initially. Another bonus is that you won’t have to worry about problems such as bone loss. Even better is that root canals are a simple procedure that rarely result in failure and are much less painful than extraction. 

dr christine bergman showing root canal vs extraction

4. Advantages of an Extraction

Although most people do prefer root canals, extractions do have their benefits, too. An extraction will completely get rid of any infection because the entire source will be removed. If you have an overcrowding problem with your teeth, an extraction will be a welcome benefit, too. Overcrowding of teeth can cause further decay simply because your teeth are overlapping. Overlapping of teeth causes residual food and bacteria to be left behind and the teeth’s surfaces can never be brushed entirely.

Biological dentist in lincoln ne on root canal vs extraction

Root Canal Vs Extraction: What Are The Differences?

When debating whether you should have a root canal vs extraction, it all comes down to the condition of your tooth. If the overall structure of the tooth is still strong, then a root canal is for you. But, if the tooth’s structure is not healthy and intact, then you will need to have an extraction.

caq difference root canal vs extraction

Here are some commonly asked questions about root canals vs extractions.

  1. Should I expect root canal pain?
    Root canals are relatively painless and are done to help you avoid pain entirely. You can expect to experience some discomfort for a few days post-procedure, but the pain should subside quickly. If you experience pain beyond a few days, consider giving your dentist a call.
  2. Root canal vs extraction, which is better? 
    As previously discussed in this article, the better option all depends upon the condition of your tooth. Some individuals have teeth where decay has fully set in, and the tooth structure is no longer intact therefore making an extraction a good option. On the other hand, a root canal is excellent for those who caught decay early enough, and the structure of the tooth is still sound.
  1. Root canal vs extraction pros and cons?
    Since they are both completely different procedures, they each have pros and cons.

    Pros for a root canal include helping avoid the spread of infection and pain, also, having a root canal preserves bone because the tooth has not been removed.

    Cons for a root canal could include some discomfort for a few days.

    Pros for extraction include cost-effectiveness and making room for overcrowded teeth.

    Cons for a tooth extraction include pit formation, which can occur if you don’t replace the extracted tooth, and possible adverse effects on nearby teeth (such as possible chipping during removal). And, if the gap isn’t filled, surrounding teeth are likely to shift.
  1. Cracked tooth root canal vs extraction?
    While a root canal and an extraction might be viable options for a cracked tooth, if you have a tooth that is cracked far below the gum line, then an extraction is the top option. But, If you have a cracked tooth and just the pulp is compromised (and it can be removed safely), a root canal is a great option.
  1. Root canal vs extraction cost?
    The cost factor is undeniable when it comes to comparing a root canal to an extraction. 

    A root canal does cost more than an extraction. A root canal can cost around $1000 to $1200, while an extraction generally costs under $500. BUT, something to keep in mind is that when you have an extraction, it’s always a good idea to fill the gap, so you must also figure in the cost of an implant if you want to preserve bone.

Is it safe to have root canal therapy if a patient has an autoimmune condition or is compromised medically? Are root canals safe for overall health?

Root canal therapy requires the removal of the source of a toothache. The reason a toothache happens can be an acutely inflamed nerve, or a nerve that is infected or abscessed. If the tooth has acute inflammation, a gentle and affordable root canal is very safe for overall health. If the tooth’s nerve is infected or there is an abscess surrounding the tooth, the challenge is to remove all of the infection.

Often, the bacteria in an infected nerve cannot be completely removed, and the tooth becomes a source of chronic infection. After removing the nerve and blood supply from the tooth, it is virtually an empty, dead space. Bacteria that were responsible for a toothache before can multiply in this “dead” space, leading to this chronic infection in the patient’s mouth.

What is the best solution if you have a toothache or an infected tooth?

The best option is to set up an appointment with Dr. Kathryn Alderman.  This Lincoln dentist that understands the importance of removing bacteria and treating teeth with root canal therapy, especially for patients with a compromised immune system.

If a patient has a long-standing tooth infection leading to the loss of bone or the presence of pus, 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 for poor dental work and associated low-grade infection with it, but for patients with auto-immune disorders, the immune system will struggle daily with keeping up the body’s protection as a result of this kind of infection. Having a compromised root canal can put an additional and unnecessary strain on an already compromised immune system.

Which teeth are appropriate for completing gentle and affordable root canal therapy?

Sometimes a tooth is simply cracked, broken, or newly placed with a 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, and the tooth is hurting simply due to acute inflammation, indicated by sharp and often radiating toothaches. The good news is that this type of tooth can be saved and preserved with a root canal treatment.

Cracked tooth and root canal prognosis?

If the crack in a tooth is small, a root canal can be performed, and a tooth can be saved. If a crack is extensive and permeates the roots of a tooth, it would be best to remove the tooth and to not spend money or time saving the tooth.

Is it better to see an endodontist for root canal therapy?

Dr. Kathryn Alderman has performed hundreds of root canals and is qualified to perform root canal therapy. On certain occasions, she will refer her patients to an endodontist if the necessary root canal is extremely complicated. If you wonder if you can avoid an expensive root canal procedure by an endodontist in Lincoln, NE, the best is to have a consultation with Dr. Kathryn Alderman and to evaluate a tooth that needs treatment.

Where can I find root canal therapy for children in Lincoln, NE?

Root canal treatment in younger children is often called pulpectomy treatment. Children use their back teeth for chewing and maintaining the space necessary for permanent teeth to come in. Dr. Kathryn Alderman, your Lincoln dentist, does perform root canal treatment for children at any of her locations and is great at comforting your kids and helping them relax during dental appointments.

Is it normal to have pain or sensitivity after root canal therapy?

Be sure not to chew or bite on a treated tooth until the full root canal treatment is completed. After root canal treatment your tooth will likely be sensitive. You can use over-the-counter medications to help manage anticipated mild discomfort.

After completing root canal therapy, you should not experience a sharp pain or a toothache weeks later. If you do experience a sharp toothache after root canal therapy, you should see our Lincoln, NE emergency dentist for an evaluation.

How long does pain after a root canal therapy last?

You may experience mild jaw discomfort immediately following a root canal. This mild discomfort can be controlled with over-the-counter Ibuprofen or Tylenol. You should not be experiencing a sharp pain or a toothache after your root canal.

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 may want to take a day off. In general, you can go back to work right after a root canal therapy and continue with your regular activities. Most patients return to work soon after root canal therapy.

What is the cost for gentle and affordable root canal therapy in Lincoln, NE?

The average cost for a gentle and affordable root canal therapy ranges between $400 to $850 in Lincoln, NE. The cost of a root canal from an endodontist is typically over $1000. The cost is higher as most endodontists do not accept major insurance plans in Lincoln, NE. If you want a gentle and affordable root canal, Dr. Kathryn Alderman can perform a root canal therapy at any of her locations, and the cost for a root canal would be dramatically cheaper in comparison with the cost of an endodontist. Dr. Kathryn Alderman accepts most major insurance plans, and the cost for root canal therapy after insurance may be as little as $150.

Does dental insurance cover a root canal treatment?

Most dental insurances will cover anywhere from 50-80% of the cost of a root canal.

What is the cost for a root canal without dental insurance in Lincoln, NE?

The cost for a root canal without insurance in Lincoln, NE is between $400-$1400 (depending on the tooth) If you are looking for a dental payment plan, we would be happy to talk through dental payment options for a root canal treatment at any of our offices.

I have a tooth with a root canal and a crown, and it hurts, is that normal?

If you experience discomfort right after root canal therapy, it is normal and mild discomfort is anticipated. If you experience a toothache or mild discomfort long after root canal therapy, it could be a sign of a cracked tooth or an infected tooth. You should see our emergency dentist in Lincoln, NE to evaluate your toothache.

Should I have pain in a tooth with a root canal therapy years later?

You should not have pain or a toothache or swelling years after the root canal therapy. If you experience pain or swelling years after a root canal therapy, you should see an emergency dentist to evaluate your toothache.

The bottom line is that extraction and a root canal are two very different procedures, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. An excellent way to figure out which option is right for you is to talk to your dentist. He or she will help guide you in the right direction so you can preserve your smile. After all, a beautiful smile makes the best impression!