If you’re wondering if you may need a root canal Read on to discover why getting a root canal can alleviate your toothache and save your tooth.

The term “root canal” often strikes fear into the hearts of many. Patients fear the pain, the process, the price, and the long-term outcomes. But getting a root canal can stop a toothache and save your tooth. 

What Is a Root Canal?

Dentists recommend root canals when you get an infection in the innermost part of your tooth, also known as the pulp. The pulp is made up of blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. When the pulp gets infected or damaged, it can cause severe pain, leading to abscesses and tooth loss. If the infection is left untreated, it can spread to your jawbone.

Why Might You Need a Root Canal?

  1. Infected Pulp: The most common reason for a root canal is infected pulp. If you’ve got deep cavities, cracks, or trauma to your tooth, there is a chance that bacteria can get into the pulp and cause an infection.    
  2. Deep Decay:  If you’ve got extensive tooth decay, that decay can also penetrate the pulp. In this case, you may need a root canal to save the tooth.
  3. Cracked or Fractured Tooth:  Cracked, chipped, and fractured teeth can also allow bacteria into the pulp. The bacteria can then cause an infection. 
  4. Recurrent Dental Procedures: If you’ve had multiple dental procedures (such as fillings or crowns) on the same tooth, it can get damaged over time and require a root canal.

The Root Canal Procedure: What to Expect

Since our top Chicago dentists use local anesthesia, a root canal procedure is not painful. Our team will ensure you don’t feel any pain during the process. 

Here’s what you can expect during a root canal:

  1. Diagnosis: One of our top Chicago dentists will conduct a thorough examination, including X-rays, to determine what is going on with your tooth and whether a root canal is necessary.
  2. Anesthesia:  If you need a root canal, the dentist will use local anesthesia to numb the area around the affected tooth.
  3. Access Opening:  The dentist will make a small access hole in the crown of your tooth to reach the infected or damaged pulp.
  4. Pulp Removal: They will carefully remove the infected or damaged pulp. Then, they’ll clean and disinfect the tooth.
  5. Filling:  The dentist will then fill the canal with a biocompatible gutta-percha material to seal the tooth and prevent infection.
  6. Restoration: After the root canal, one of our top Chicago dentists will place a crown on the tooth to strengthen it and restore its appearance.

Recovery and Aftercare

The recovery process after a root canal is generally straightforward:

  1. Mild Discomfort: You may experience mild discomfort or sensitivity for a few days. The dentist may recommend that you use over-the-counter pain relievers.
  2. Oral Hygiene: Make sure to follow your regular brushing and flossing routine. Also, follow any instructions that the dentist gives you.
  3. Follow-up Appointments: Make sure to schedule and attend your follow-up appointment.  

Benefits of a Root Canal

Root canals offer several benefits:

  1. Pain Relief: It eliminates the intense toothache associated with a pulp infection.  
  2. Preservation of Natural Tooth: A root canal can save your natural tooth.
  3. Improved Oral Health: By removing the infection, a root canal promotes oral health and prevents the spread of infection.

If you’re experiencing a toothache or suspect you need a root canal, call our office to schedule an exam with one of our top Chicago dentists. We also offer Free Second Opinions.  773-481-2200 or schedule online.