At one time, extraction was the only feasible treatment for a tooth with a diseased nerve. Thankfully, that is no longer the case. We can remove the infection, and save the natural tooth with root canal therapy (endodontic treatment). Despite popular misconceptions, a root canal is not an excruciating and risky procedure. Quite the contrary, it is nearly always painless, with a high success rate.

Dental pulp is a soft tissue comprised of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues. It is found in the middle of the tooth, extending to the root tip. Several factors, including decay, trauma or poor oral hygiene can lead to nerve and pulp damage. Damage, infection, and inflammation often result in frequent toothaches and temperature sensitivity. Unfortunately, this problem generally will not resolve itself – the pain, discomfort, and dental emergencies(like sudden abscesses) will continue until you have a root canal.

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Root canal therapy removes the damaged dental pulp, eliminating the source of the problem. Because the pulp is virtually always infected if it is damaged, we recommend a course of oral antibiotics prior to treatment. Some dentists may perform the procedure on an actively infected tooth, but the irritated nerve is often impossible to numb completely. After antibiotic treatment, the infection subsides enough that local anesthetic is effective, for a painless root canal.

Once your tooth is completely numb, Dr. Dietrich will remove the infected tissues, and cleanse the inside of the tooth. When all infection and damaged tissues have been removed, the chamber is shaped into a form that can be filled. If needed, medication will be put in the chamber to kill any remaining bacteria. The final step is filling and sealing, to ensure no bacteria can reenter. You can remain completely comfortable, if a bit bored, throughout the process.

Although the root canal therapy is complete when the tooth is sealed, it leaves the tooth structure weakened. Therefore, a dental crown is usually placed for strength and protection, as well as cosmetic and functional restoration.

Root canal procedures don’t cause pain; they end pain! Call Pleasant Dental® serving Dolton and Chicago today, at (708) 576-1900, for a painless smile!

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