How a Root Canal Can Save Your Tooth

How a Root Canal Can Save Your Tooth

The words “root canal” strike fear in the hearts of many people. However, understanding what a root canal involves and its importance can ease those fears and potentially save your tooth. So, what exactly is a root canal and when is it helpful to have one?

A Tooth-Saving Procedure

A root canal is a dental procedure designed to treat an infected or severely damaged tooth. It involves removing the infected or damaged pulp (the inner part of the tooth) and cleaning, disinfecting, and sealing the tooth to prevent further infection. Contrary to popular belief, root canals are not painful but are performed to relieve pain and save your tooth.

How a Root Canal Help

Infection Control

When bacteria invade the pulp of a tooth, it can lead to infection. Left untreated, this infection can spread to the surrounding tissues and even enter your bloodstream, posing a risk to your overall health.

Pain Relief

An infected tooth can cause excruciating pain. A root canal provides relief by removing the infected pulp, eliminating the source of the pain.

Tooth Preservation

The main goal of a root canal is to save your natural tooth. Preserving your natural tooth is essential for maintaining proper chewing function, speech, and preventing surrounding teeth from shifting.

A Natural Smile

Replacing a missing tooth can be costly and time consuming. It often requires dental implants, bridges, or dentures. A root canal allows you to keep your natural tooth.

Common Myths About Root Canals

Are Root Canals Painful?

Thanks to modern techniques and anesthesia, root canals are no more painful than getting a dental filling. In fact, they are performed to relieve pain caused by infection.

Is Tooth Extraction a Better Option?

Removing a tooth should be the last resort. Saving your natural tooth through a root canal is generally more favorable, as it maintains the integrity of your dental arch and prevents the need for costly replacements.

Can I Just Take Antibiotics to Cure My Tooth Infection?

Antibiotics might help control the spread of an infection and temporarily relieve symptoms, but they cannot effectively address the issue alone. A root canal removes the source of the infection and is the best way to prevent the infection from persisting and worsening over time.

The Root Canal Procedure

The root canal procedure involves several steps.

  • Diagnosis

Your dentist will assess your tooth’s condition through X-rays and clinical examination to determine if a root canal is necessary.

  • Anesthesia

On the day of the procedure, local anesthesia is administered to numb the tooth and surrounding area. This ensures you will feel no pain during the procedure.

  • Cleaning and Disinfection

The dentist creates an access point to the pulp chamber, removes the infected or damaged pulp, and thoroughly cleans and disinfects the root canals.

  • Sealing

After cleaning, the dentist seals the tooth with a rubbery material to prevent further infection.

  • Restoration

In many cases, a tooth that has undergone a root canal will require a crown to strengthen and protect it. Your dentist will take impressions for a custom-fitted crown.

Contact Smile League Dental

If you are looking for the safest and most reliable root canal treatment in Joliet, look no further! Smile League Dental’s team of professionals is ready to address all of your oral health needs. Give us a call at 815-782-6243.


Can Periodontal Disease Be Reversed?

Can Periodontal Disease Be Reversed?

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a serious problem for many people around the world. This chronic inflammatory condition can lead to serious consequences such as tooth loss and potential systemic health problems if left untreated. What can be done to treat periodontal disease? Can it be reversed?

What Is Periodontal Disease?

When plaque builds up on the teeth, it can create a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. This bacteria releases toxins, triggering inflammation in the gums. Without intervention, this inflammation can cause the breakdown of gum tissue and supporting bone, leading to pockets forming between the teeth and gums—pockets that further promote bacterial growth and infection. 

The Stages of Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease advances through stages, from mild to severe. The initial stage, known as gingivitis, is characterized by red, swollen gums that might bleed during brushing or flossing. It’s important to be able to recognize the symptoms of gingivitis because, with timely action, it can often be reversed. Professional dental cleanings and improved oral hygiene at home are usually the best way to reverse this mild form of periodontal disease.

If, however, gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis—a more severe form of gum disease. This stage involves both inflammation and irreversible damage to the teeth’s supporting structures. Here, the prospect of full reversal becomes more complex, yet there remains potential for effective management.

Managing Periodontal Disease

While a complete reversal of advanced periodontal disease might not be guaranteed, its progression can be effectively managed using some tried-and-true strategies:

Professional Dental Care

Regular dental visits are vital. A good dentist can perform deep cleaning procedures like scaling and root planing to remove plaque and tartar below the gum line, reducing inflammation and promoting healing.

Good Oral Hygiene

A consistent oral care routine that includes brushing, flossing, and using antimicrobial mouthwash plays a significant role in managing gum disease. Ask your dentist if you’re unsure about proper techniques for your home dental care.

Lifestyle Changes

Adopting a healthier lifestyle can go a long way toward preventing or treating gum disease. Quitting smoking, maintaining a balanced diet, managing stress, and staying hydrated all positively impact oral health.


Dental professionals might prescribe medications or antimicrobial rinses to control bacterial growth and inflammation.

Surgical Interventions

In severe cases of periodontal disease, surgical options like gum grafts or bone grafting might restore damaged tissue and promote bone regeneration.

Early Intervention Is Key

When it comes to treating periodontal disease, prevention, and early intervention are paramount. Detecting and treating gum disease early significantly enhances the chances of successful management, as well as the possibility of reversing the disease. Regular dental check-ups enable your dentist to identify signs of gum disease and provide tailored guidance for effective control.

Contact Smile League Dental

Having a good dentist in your corner is critical to winning the battle against periodontal disease. At Smile League Dental, we are proud to offer our expertise and support to families throughout Joliet and the surrounding areas. Call us today to chat or book an appointment. You can reach us at 815-782-6243.