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Root Canal Therapy
Chicago, IL

Chicago, IL man smiling about his successful root canal procedure by his dentist.

Save Your Teeth with Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment (endodontic treatment), is necessary when the pulp, the soft tissue inside the root canal, becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes: deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, or a crack or chip in the tooth. In addition, an injury to a tooth may cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks.

The alternative to endodontic treatment is tooth extraction. Though an extraction is cheaper, the space left behind will require a dental implantor a bridge, which can be more expensive than root canal therapy. If you have the choice, it's always best to keep your original teeth.

How Would I know If I Need Root Canal Treatment?

1.  You have severe toothache, especially when you bite on chewy food.
2.  You have sensitivity to hot or cold food or drinks.
3.  You have a discolored tooth.
4.  You have an abscess that drains into the mouth.

How is Endodontic Treatment Done?

1.  The tooth is made numb with local anesthetics. You can also get sedation.
2.  The infected pulp tissue is removed from the tooth.
3.  The space left behind is washed, disindected and shaved to remove any debries or dead tissue.
4.  The pulp space is filled with a root canal filling.

After root canal treatment, it is important to have the tooth restored. This involves a post and core to build the outside of the tooth, followed by a crown.

What to expect after root canal treatment:

After root canal treatment (endodontic treatment), your lips and gums may remain numb for a few hours until the anesthetic wears off. Later you may have throbbing pain, which you can treat with pain medicines. Usually, the tooth will need a core buildup and a crown.

Can a tooth need retreatment after root canal?

A tooth with endodontic treatment may need retreatment a few years after the initial root canal treatment. In some cases, a root canal treated tooth may not heal as expected. In other cases, a root canal treated tooth would get a new infection in spite of a successful initial treatment. This can be due to a variety of reasons:
•  Initial treatment did not address narrow or curved canals.
•  The tooth has complicated canal anatomy.
•  Tooth restoration with a crown or other restoration was delayed following the initial treatment.

New problems that can jeopardize a tooth that was successfully treated with a root canal:
•  New infection caused by new decay that exposes the root canal filling material to bacteria. This causes a new infection.
•  New infection caused by a loose or broken crown or filling.
•  A fracture to a tooth, especially if not restored by a crown.

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