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.