What can I expect from root canal treatment?

Many patients who need root canal therapy have several questions about it. Is the procedure painful? How long will it take to heal? What are my alternative options? Drs. Steven Shandley, Elizabeth Kane, and Colleen Shandley of Shandley Kane Dental are pleased to educate Hoffman Estates, Illinois, area patients on this endodontics procedure and what to expect by discussing the process beforehand.

Root Canals

Root canal therapy is a very common procedure. It has a reputation of being undesirable and painful. But when done properly it is actually painless. Every tooth in your mouth is composed of a crown and a root. When a cavity or bacteria penetrates the tooth, the root and its nerves become irritated. As a result, the bacteria within the pulp cavity needs to be removed and cleaned in order to restore the tooth to its healthy state. Following the procedure, the tooth is fragile and consequently is restored with the natural crown for a lifetime of durability. Root canals have a success rate of 95% or greater. Most root canal are diagnosed by patients’ sensitivities to a specific tooth. Be sure to consult your dentist any symptoms or discomfort occur.

What is the purpose of root canal therapy?

The root canal therapy procedure is the only way to save a tooth that might otherwise need to be permanently extracted. In situations where infection is present within the tooth, the goal of the procedure is to remove the infection, dead tissue, and nerve endings from the root of the tooth to allow it to heal. Root canal therapy is also sometimes necessary to save a tooth that is severely damaged even if no infection is present. Root canal therapy may be indicated to then allow for a post to be placed down the root of the tooth so that there is enough structure above the gums to support a dental crown.

What happens during root canal therapy?

A root canal typically requires two or three appointments with our team at Shandley Kane Dental. During the first appointment, they x-ray your mouth to locate the affected area and prepare it for treatment. The procedure starts with local anesthesia to numb the area around the tooth needing repair to ensure a painless experience. Then, a small access point is made on the top or side of your tooth so that infected tissue can be removed from within.

Next, small files and special instruments are used to clean out any remaining bacteria inside the pulp chamber and root canal systems. These instruments shape and enlarge these areas before being sealed with a filling material called gutta-percha. In some instances, a crown may be needed to protect the restored tooth, which may require another appointment after tooth preparations are done, and impressions are taken. Finally, our dental team checks for possible complications and provides instructions for at-home care.

What are the risks associated with root canal therapy?

Although root canal therapy is generally considered safe, there can be rare instances of infection or failure of the treatment. Pain and swelling in the area around your treated tooth can also occur following a root canal procedure due to a flare-up of inflammation and sensitivity in the region.

How do I learn more about root canal therapy?

Call (847) 428-4646 to book an appointment at Shandley Kane Dental in Hoffman Estates, IL, at 4885 Hoffman Boulevard, Suite #300, to discuss your possible need for root canal therapy to achieve your smile goals and best oral health.