In skilled, experienced hands, a root canal procedure is nothing to fear. Rather, this gentle, precise dental technique gets you out of pain and saves your natural tooth. The anxiety about this treatment has become almost cliché in our society. When describing something they dread, people often say, “I’d rather have a root canal.” Or, “It’s about as much fun as a root canal.” So, let’s take a factual look at how the patient feels before, during, and after root canal therapy.

Before. You said something you shouldn’t have to that big guy in the bar, or took a spill on your mountain bike. Luckily, the tooth that took the brunt of it didn’t break, but it’s a little tender when you chew. A few days later, you wake in the night with a swollen cheek and intense pain in your jaw. You aren’t even sure what’s causing it, but you remember the incident and call Pleasant Dental®.

Dr. Dietrich explains that the trauma to your tooth likely damaged the nerve at its center. That nerve has become inflamed, causing the tooth to abscess. That builds incredible pressure within the pulp chamber. Now the soft tissues around the tooth are also irritated. He recommends warm compresses and over-the-counter analgesics to ease your pain. He will likely also prescribe an antibiotic, depending on your symptoms and medical history. You are scheduled for an appointment, right away.

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During. Dr. Dietrich and his team make sure you are comfortable in the chair. You are thoroughly numbed, and they take every precaution so that you have no distress during the procedure. Now that you are out of pain from the infection, the root canal is no more stressful than having a filling. The doctor opens the tooth, which immediately eases pressure on the nerve, relieving you even more. All traces of infection and compromised tooth structure are removed. The pulp chamber is cleaned, sterilized, and sealed. The tooth will ultimately be protected with a temporary and eventually a permanent crown.

After. You feel distinctly better at once, but you’ll go home with instructions for aftercare and additional pain relievers if you need them. The swelling is gone and you are chewing normally on that side in a day or two. Then you return to Pleasant Dental® in about two weeks. Dr. Dietrich rechecks the tooth and places a lovely, natural-looking crown to provide strength and protect it from further damage.

There now, don’t you feel better about root canals? We hope you never need one, but if you do, have no fear. Call your Dolton, Illinois Pleasant Dental® dentist for help! (708) 576-1900


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