A root canal is a procedure sometimes recommended by your dentist when dental decay spreads into the root of a tooth. A tooth root is part of the tooth that is below the gum line. Most teeth have two separate roots. In the old days, if decay spread that deep into a tooth, the only solution was to extract the tooth. But thankfully, root canals make it possible to save the tooth by removing the decay. In this article, we will cover what happens during a root canal, how long the process takes, and what to expect at a root canal. If you need a dentist in the Chicago area for your family, give us a call.
What Happens During A Root Canal
A root canal is necessary when the pulp of a tooth inside of the root becomes infected. The stages of dental decay often start small and progress over time. What starts as enamel erosion can become a surface cavity that can spread deep into the tooth and into the tooth root. Like with a filling, your dentist is going to create a small gap in the surface of the tooth that will allow them to get into the root of the tooth. The infected pulp is removed and then the tooth root is filled. In many ways, it is very similar to the process of a cavity and filling with the main difference being the area of the tooth that is being treated.
How Long Does a Root Canal Take?
A root canal can take one or two appointments depending on how the process is done and what you need. The second appointment is often to get a dental crown attached to the tooth. A dental crown is a synthetic cap that restores the chewing surface of your tooth. Crowns are often needed after root canals because a sufficient amount of the top of your tooth is removed in order to get to the tooth root.
Do Root Canals Hurt?
Root canals have a very bad reputation, which is probably unfair to the treatment. In the old days, the root canal procedure was done much differently and could lead to soreness that might last a few hours to days after the procedure. Modern root canals are more or less just like getting dental fillings. Anesthesia fully numbs the mouth during the procedure and you might feel a little soreness after the anesthesia wears off. Many people return to work or school immediately after a root canal procedure as there isn’t any downtime after the procedure.
Do I Need A Root Canal?
Some common symptoms that arise from infected tooth pulp are severe pain when chewing, lingering sensitivity to hot/cold foods, deep decay or darkening of the gum line, pimples or spots on the gum line, and chipped/cracked teeth. That said, with anything dental, it is much better to have a dentist notice the signs before you do. The earlier an issue is caught the better. Many dental symptoms only arise after a problem has been a problem for a long time.
Schedule A Dental Visit In Chicago
If you need to see a dentist in the Chicago area, please give us a call. We would be happy to help with your dental needs in Chicago at one of our 10 offices.