A root canal, which is a type of endodontic procedure, is a treatment that is undertaken when the inner part of the patient’s tooth, known as the pulp, becomes infected. The pulp contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. It can become infected as a result of physical trauma, tooth decay, gum disease, or extensive prior dental work on the affected tooth. The infection can cause acute pain and lead to further damage if left untreated. A root canal can be performed by a general dentist in Glen Ellyn or by an endodontist, specializing in this procedure.
Why Root Canals Are Necessary
Root canal treatment involves visiting a dental office to remove the diseased or inflamed tooth pulp and replacing it with a filling material. This allows the dentist to treat the infection while preserving the original tooth. The dentist will attempt to save your original tooth if at all possible. Natural teeth both look more natural and function more efficiently than even the best replacement teeth. To determine whether he or she can perform a root canal, the dentist will first determine the extent and source of the infection, by examining the tooth both visually and by means of an X-ray.
How Root Canals Are Performed
First, the dentist will administer a local anesthetic and seal off the affected area, using a dental dam. He or she will then drill a small access hole in the tooth. The dentist will then carefully remove the tooth pulp. This process is generally relatively painless. However, if you are especially nervous at the idea of receiving this treatment, your dentist may prescribe an anti-anxiety medication or sedative. Next, the root canals within the pulp are disinfected and carefully reshaped, in order to prepare them for the filling material. The dentist will then fill the root canals with a thermoplastic material known as gutta-percha. Finally, the dentist will seal the canals and the access hole. Following treatment, you may be asked to take an antibiotic to prevent reinfection. Finally, you will be fitted with a replacement crown. The treatment is now complete. You should feel no further pain and you still have your original tooth.