Root Canal Treatment
You’ll be pleased to learn that, despite their reputation for being particularly painful, root canal procedures are no more uncomfortable than getting a filling. So if you’re suffering from extreme tooth decay, damage to the teeth, or an infection, Oak Park Dental Group can offer you long-term relief with this treatment.
Why a Root Canal?
We prefer to use the root canal procedure as a last resort treatment for particularly severe decay, damage, or infection to the interior of the tooth. When we need to perform this procedure, it often means that the decay has progressed enough to impact the nerves deep within the pulp of the tooth, which can be particularly painful. Here are some symptoms you may experience that could result in needing this treatment:
- Extreme teeth sensitivity
- Dark or discolored enamel
- Swollen or tender gums
- Headaches radiating from the jaw
- Extreme toothache, particularly when biting down
While these symptoms are definitely indicators of an underlying oral health issue, you should note that they don’t appear in every case. Sometimes patients don’t experience any symptoms with tooth decay. This is why it is important to visit your dentist every six months— we will help you prevent severe decay or infection before it ever requires a root canal procedure.
What Can You Expect During Treatment?
Deep within your teeth is a soft tissue material called “pulp” that connects the crowns (the outermost layer of your tooth) to the roots beneath your gums. Pulp is not critical for full-grown teeth to survive so, when it gets infected, it can be removed entirely.
During a root canal procedure, we will remove this pulp from the innermost layer of your tooth. To do so, we will first take an x-ray to get an idea of the damage that your tooth has sustained, as well as to get a glimpse at the shape of your tooth and the root. Once we are ready to proceed with treatment, we will numb the tooth and gums with a local anesthetic. Then, we will go into the tooth using a drill that is similar to the one we might use when doing a filling. This will allow us to make a small opening in the crown with which we can gain access to the inside of your tooth. Finally, we will remove the affected pulp, as well as any bacteria or debris that may reside in the tooth. If there was an infection, we will also insert medication directly into the tooth. A temporary filling may be placed while the tooth heals until we insert a filling to take the place of the now-missing pulp. Once the tooth has mostly healed, we will put a permanent crown in place so it can maintain its structure and strength.
We will provide you will instructions to follow after your procedure. That said, most feel a sense of relief after the procedure because the pain of their severe tooth decay or damage has been alleviated. Luckily, with proper care, this repair is expected to be a permanent remedy.
Experiencing any of the above mentioned symptoms? Wanting to prevent the need for a root canal procedure entirely? Give Oak Park Dental Group a call to schedule your appointment today.