Oak Lawn's most highly rated dentist is now accepting new patients

Root Canal

Root Canal | Inside the Smile

Has your dentist recommended a root canal to help rid you of a toothache?

You’re not alone. Many people get root canals each year to stop tooth infections, preserve oral health, and keep their teeth pain-free.

Without a root canal, your tooth infection could spread to your head, neck, or jaw – it could even kill you.

A root canal doesn’t just relieve your tooth pain and clears your tooth infection, it also helps you stay healthy and active for years to come.

Do I Need Endodontic Treatment?

Dr. Mike will perform a detailed diagnosis, which is the only surefire way to know if you need a root canal, but there are a few other tell-tale signs you can keep an eye out for:

  • Pain that lasts more than one minute after drinking hot or cold beverages.
  • Spontaneous tooth pain when you move around, or “out of the blue”.
  • Pain that radiates through the jaw and up into the ear.
  • Waking up at night with a toothache.

These might be signs that your tooth is badly infected.

Ignoring the Tooth Pain

Unfortunately, a severe tooth infection won’t go away on its own in a couple weeks – it isn’t like a stubbed toe or a headache. It’s more like a weed in your garden: if you do nothing about it, it will just keep spreading to other tissues in your body.

A root canal allows us to remove the infection from your tooth, so that you can continue to live a happy, healthy life. If your dentist has recommended a root canal, keep reading to learn what this means and what to expect:

How is a Root Canal Performed?

Performing a root canal is sort-of like weeding a garden.

Dr. Mike will remove the dead tissue and the infection inside your tooth, much like you would pull up weeds from your garden. Then, he’ll clean the inside of the tooth to make sure it stays healthy.

However, a hollow tooth is a weak tooth. To keep your tooth strong, your dentist will fill it with a rubber-like material.
We will need to fit a tooth crown over the top to protect the teeth. First it will be a temporary crown while the permanent one is being made. After a few weeks, your new crown will be ready. The crown protects the rubber-like material inside of your tooth, so that biting and chewing doesn’t cause wear and tear on the tooth.

After that – you’re done! We will continue to monitor your tooth to keep it healthy, and you’ll be able to use it the way you did before – to eat all your favorite foods.

Will I Feel any Pain?

You shouldn’t feel anything! Thanks to modern advances in medicine, root canals are no longer as painful as they once were.

Dr. Mike uses an anesthesia to numb both the tooth and your mouth, so you can lay back and relax during the procedure.

Some individuals, when holding their mouth open during a root canal, feel a little sore in their jaw. Distracting yourself from this mild soreness is as simple as bringing along some music or your favorite audio book.

Benefits of a Root Canal Procedure

You may wonder if there are any positives to getting a root canal – and there are!

Your root canal will:

  • Allow you to keep your original smile
  • Stop infection spreading to your gums, jaw, head, or neck
  • Protect your gums from future gum disease (leaving the tooth in the gums protects the gums)
  • Help you enjoy your favorite foods and drinks pain-free again

A root canal is a simple procedure that can help you return to normal life after a tooth infection, free from pain or the threat of future complications.

Post-Treatment Care Following a Root Canal

After your anesthesia wears off, you may be a little sore – that’s normal. Ask your dentist what pain medicine they recommend to help alleviate the pain while your mouth adjusts and heals.

Your dentist will want you to return in a couple weeks for a crown. Until you have your crown, be extra-careful to keep that tooth clean: try not to chew or bite down on it, and brush and floss twice a day.

After you have your crown, you can use the tooth like normal. Continue to brush and floss twice per day to keep your teeth healthy – other than that, there’s nothing further for you to do!

As you can see, a root canal is a simple, effective way to remove a dangerous infection so that you can continue with normal life.

If you think you may need a root canal, or you’ve decided to schedule one per your D. Mike’s recommendation, reach out and schedule an appointment with us – we’ll be happy to help you get back to your happiest, healthiest self!

Make Your Appointment Today

To schedule an appointment or if you or a family member need emergency dental care, please contact our office today.