How do you know if you need a root canal?

​Some of the symptoms and warning signs include:

  • Pimples on your gums 
  • A bad toothache 
  • Hot and cold food make your gums uncomfortable 
  • Your gums are swollen or tender

When are root canals performed?

You definitely need a root canal if the nerve of your tooth has an infection or if your tooth has begun decaying at the root tip. It may also be an injury or trauma that makes a root canal necessary. In order to keep your tooth functional and useful bacteria, nerves and decay need to be removed completely. Afterwards, all that’s left is the tissue, or pulp, which is still alive and thriving.

Why not just pull it out?

Extraction of a tooth with living pulp is a dangerous choice. Not only is it more expensive, a vacant space attracts more bacteria, and can cause a wide range of issues in neighboring teeth. Unless you re-infect it and require treatment, a root canal lasts for life.

How is a root canal done?

A safe, well-crafted root canal can be performed by a dentist or endodontist during a couple of sessions.

  • First your care provider will numb the gums around your decaying tooth
  • Then he or she will wrap a rubber “dam” around it to seal off your saliva he or she will use highly specialized equipment to drill an opening in the top of your tooth and slide in root canal files
  • The root canal files will scrap out bacteria, pulp, nerve tissue and tooth decay
  • Finally the spotless tooth is sealed with a temporary filling 
  • About a week later he or she will fill the cavity of your tooth with state-of-the-art materials
  • He or she will adhere a crown to the top of your tooth so you can use it again without breaking it

Our top Chicago dentists have done hundreds of root canals and get great satisfaction when we hear how happy our patients are with our work. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, schedule a consultation online or by calling 773-831-0002.


An Overview of Root Canals