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Root Canals

Root Canals

Root Canals

What is a root canal?

There are more than 15 million root canals performed each year in the U.S., making it one of the most common dental procedures. This simple procedure can save your natural teeth and prevent unnecessary extractions and tooth replacements!

A root canal is a procedure used to treat severely decayed or infected teeth. The inside of a tooth contains a soft material called pulp, a nerve that allows the tooth to feel sensations. If the exterior of a tooth becomes damaged to the point where the pulp is exposed, infection may occur. Symptoms of a root canal infection include swelling of the gums and face, increased sensitivity to temperature, and severe toothache. If left untreated, the infection can result in abscesses and ultimately, tooth loss.

In order to save the structure of the tooth, your dentist will remove the pulp and clean the inside of your tooth. The only purpose of the nerve is to provide sensory experience, so its removal will not affect the normal function of your tooth. The cavity is then sealed with a filling in order to prevent further damage. If you are experiencing a severe toothache or sensitivity, call your dentist immediately for emergency treatment.

Why Do I Need A Root Canal?

Treatment is necessary when the pulp of the tooth becomes inflamed, infected or dies. The pulp contains vital nerves and blood vessels that become infected when bacteria invade it. Bacteria and inflammation are often introduced through a cavity, fracture or an injury. If an infection is left untreated, it can travel throughout the tooth and cause a painful abscess.

Infected Tooth Symptoms:

  • Sensitivity to hot or cold
  • Pain with biting
  • Swelling
  • Throbbing or severe pain
  • No symptoms

Advantages of Saving Your Tooth:

  • Efficient chewing
  • Normal biting force and sensations
  • Natural appearance
  • Protects other teeth from excessive wear or stain

Stages of Root Canal Therapy:

  1. The tooth is numbed for your comfort. An opening is made through the crown and the nerve is removed.
  2. Each canal is then cleaned and shaped so it can be filled. Medicine may be placed in the tooth.
  3. The canals are filled with rubber-like material to seal them.
  4. The tooth is restored with a dental restoration (usually a crown) to strengthen it.

Root Canal in Chicago

When a tooth’s pulp becomes infected, a root canal may be necessary to save the tooth. A tooth’s pulp is where the nerve, blood vessels, and connective tissue are housed.

When your pulp becomes inflamed or infected, you will begin to feel symptoms. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, please call us to avoid serious complications.

Toothache

While toothaches can be passing, there are some symptoms that are not to be ignored. Sharp pain in the middle of the night leading to a generalized headache is a warning sign of a more serious issue with your tooth.

Abscess

Common symptoms of an abscess include jaw pain, bad breath, fever, and/or pus.

Sensitivity

Extreme sensitivity to hot and cold foods is a good indicator that you’re dealing with an infection.

Discoloration

Common symptoms of an abscess include jaw pain, bad breath, fever, and/or pus.

When to contact your dentist

Masking the pain using anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen will only worsen your problem. If you notice recurring pain, contact our dentist immediately. It is always better to save a tooth than to have it extracted and replaced. Nothing beats real enamel – despite how far technology has come.

If we suspect your tooth’s root is in danger, we will conduct an x-ray to help confirm the diagnosis. Root canals are often a two-appointment procedure, with the first appointment taking up to an hour to perform. The second appointment is for a dental crown since most of your tooth with be lost during the process and must be capped with a crown to restore its appearance.

Feel free to call our office at 773-782-6699 to learn more about the root canal procedure or any other services we provide. We will be happy to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have.