Does hearing “root canal treatment” make you cringe? Well you’re not alone. Many people have a fear of root canals simply because they don’t understand what it involves or believes it is an extremely painful experience. We’re here to clear up any misunderstandings and give you reassurance that root canal treatment does not have to be an uncomfortable or even painful process.
Why Is Root Canal Treatment Necessary?
To explain why root canal treatment is necessary, we’ll have to look at the anatomy of a tooth.
Teeth are made up of layers of hard and soft tissue. The outer layers are hard layers called enamel and dentin. Underneath these hard layers is the soft layer called the pulp. This soft layer of the tooth contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. They work together during the growth or development of the tooth.
But this pulp can become infected or inflamed. Here are some common causes of inflammation or infection:
- Deep decay
- Repeated dental procedures on the same tooth
- Faulty crowns
- A crack or chip in the tooth
If left untreated, the inflammation or infection can cause sensitivity, extreme swelling, and pain. More serious symptoms include tooth discoloration, drainage and tenderness in the lymph nodes, and can lead to an abscess.
How Does Root Canal Treatment Save A Tooth?
Thanks to technological advancements in the dental industry, many teeth suffering from these problems can be saved.
When inflammation or infection occurs in a tooth, we save it by performing a root canal. Our state of the art microscopes and digital imaging machines allow us to treat your tooth quickly and comfortably.
- First, we will numb the tooth so you don’t feel any discomfort or pain. After the tooth is numb we’ll place a small protective sheet, called a dental dam, over the area to isolate the tooth and keep it clean and dry.
- Then we create an opening in the crown of the tooth so we can access the pulp chamber. A fluid is inserted into the chamber to clean the area of debris and disinfect the inside of the tooth from any bacteria.
- Afterwards, the pulp is removed and the canal is prepped for the sealant material, we will then fill and seal the tooth with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha.
- Finally, we restore the tooth with a crown or filling. This protects the tooth and ensures the success of your root canal treatment.
That’s it. Most procedures are completed in one office visit!
With the modern techniques and anesthetics, most patients report no discomfort or pain during the procedure.
What Happens After My Root Canal Treatment?
For the first few days after your root canal treatment, you may experience sensitivity in the tooth. This can be especially true if you experienced pain before the procedure.
But rest assured, discomfort of sensitivity can be relieved using over-the-counter or prescription medication. If you do experience discomfort after root canal treatment that lasts longer than a few days, you should call us.
Otherwise, we’ll want to see you every 6 to 12 months to examine the health of the tooth. Of course, practicing good oral hygiene, including brushing, flossing, and rinsing are a must.
Root canal treatment allows you to continue to eat the foods you love and limits the need for ongoing dental treatments. With the proper care, root canals, and therefore your smile, can last a lifetime. Book an appointment today with one of our Elmwood Park dentists. We are located near Oak Park, Melrose Park, River Forest, Maywood, Franklin Park, and Bellwood, IL.