Until they are faced with a painful toothache, people tend to take the health of their teeth for granted. Teeth are vitally important – they are used to chew and cut food, ensuring the rest of the body receives the nutrition it needs. That is why it is so important to protect your teeth, not only during your day-to-day activities, but also when you are facing any type of dental procedure. The bottom line is that it is always best to preserve your natural teeth whenever possible.
This question may arise when a tooth is severely damaged or infected, and the only way you can make an informed decision is to fully understand all of your options. Furthermore, when considering which option will be the right one for you, it is imperative to understand how your decision will impact your future dental health and your lifestyle.
At Chicago Dental Arts, we are dedicated to informing our patients about what treatments are available, as well as any alternatives, and why one may be a better choice than another.
Maintaining excellent oral health throughout your lifetime should be a priority, as well as minimizing the necessity of continued dental procedures. This is why we strive to offer a personalized treatment plan for any dental problem that may arise. We understand that it is important to preserve your best smile while ensuring function is never compromised. After all, being able to enjoy your favorite foods without experiencing
What is Root Canal Treatment?
Root canal treatment, also referred to as endodontic treatment, is a widely successful procedure utilized to alleviate pain and irritation caused by inflammation or infection of the tooth pulp. The pulp of the tooth is located beneath the enamel, and is the soft, innermost portion of the tooth. It contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue.
The nerves travel down into the roots of the tooth, extending from inside the pulp. When an infection is present, or irritation or trauma has caused inflammation, these nerves become irritated and the pain can be excruciating. Pulp can be compromised due to cracks in the tooth enamel, where bacteria enters, decay, repeated dental procedures, or mouth trauma.
The tooth can be saved in the majority of cases by using root canal treatment. Conversely, if the tooth is left untreated several complications may arise, including tooth discoloration, increasing pain, prolonged temperature sensitivity, a draining pimple located on the gum, or general swelling.
Endodontic therapy is routinely completed in two visits. During your first visit, you will receive a complete examination, x-rays will be taken, and the diagnosis will be made. Once it is determined that a root canal procedure is required, your dentist will administer an anesthetic to numb the area. Next, a rubber sheet (rubber dam) will help to isolate the tooth while the procedure is taking place – ensuring debris and fluid won’t pass into your throat causing you to choke.
The tooth pulp is accessed through a small opening drilled into the chewing surface, the pulp chamber is cleaned out and the damaged or infected pulp will be completely removed from both the root canals and the pulp chamber. Tiny, specialized instruments are used to ensure all the nerve and debris is removed from the narrow root canals, then disinfectant is utilized to remove any trace of bacteria or infection.
After the cleaning is completed, your dentist will fill and seal the spaces within the canals, and place a temporary filling in the tooth’s opening. During your next appointment, your dentist will replace the temporary filling with a permanent one and place a crown to restore function and protect the tooth.
Alternative Treatment Options
While root canal treatment in Chicago is the best option to save your natural tooth, and is usually quite effective, occasionally a root canal will fail. When this occurs, your dentist will either refer you to an oral surgeon for endodontic surgery or recommend repeating the root canal procedure.
If you would rather avoid root canal treatment, are not overly concerned about saving your natural tooth, or there isn’t enough tooth structure to stabilize a crown, our dental team will likely recommend extracting the tooth and creating a replacement. If you prefer this option, after removing the troublesome tooth, we can create a natural looking dental implant that will blend flawlessly with your surrounding teeth.
An inflamed or infected root canal can cause a great deal of pain, which worsens if the tooth is left untreated. Furthermore, it can lead to serious complications, including an infection that spreads to the bone. The best way to preserve your oral health, and save your tooth is to seek immediate treatment with our reliable dental team at Chicago Dental Arts.
We are dedicated to providing our patients with the highest-quality services in a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere you won’t find at your typical dental practice. We are well known for our “zero pain, zero anxiety” approach to dentistry and our entire team is dedicated to doing everything possible to ensure you enjoy a relaxed, painless experience every time you visit us. We invite you to reach out to us with any questions you may have or to book an appointment for examination or treatment.