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How Does a Root Canal Work?

Written By Cedar Creek Dental on January 15, 2021

rsz dentalcleaningIf your dentist has recommended a root canal, there’s no need to stress – millions of root canals are performed in the United States every year. This is a safe and effective means of preserving a natural tooth that may otherwise need to be removed due to infection.

Understanding how the procedure works can alleviate any anxiety.

Why a Root Canal is Necessary

The outside of your tooth is  in a tough protective layer called enamel. Underneath this is a softer material, dentin. The dentin encases the tooth's pulp (inner cavity), which holds the nerves and blood vessels that keep the tooth alive.

In some cases, bacteria can reach the tooth's inner cavity – for example, if advanced decay is untreated it can reach the nerve of the tooth. When this happens, the pulp becomes inflamed and infected. This can cause increased sensitivity to heat and cold, as well as pain. If not treated, the infection may progress to the point that you may have to have the tooth extracted.

How the Procedure is Done

Getting a root canal will not only save the infected tooth. It will also alleviate your discomfort, making it easier to talk, chew, and enjoy day-to-day life free of pain. 

To perform a root canal, the dentist drills a tiny hole in the chewing surface of your tooth. The infected pulp is removed from the nerve canal, which is subsequently cleaned and disinfected. The canal is then sealed off to keep bacteria from reentering.  Your dentist may recommend a crown (cap) that goes over the natural tooth – for added strength and stability.

The root canal procedure is done with local anesthesia (toothnumbing) to ensure the patient's comfort. You can even return to work or school on the same day.

Gentle Root Canal Treatment in Highland, Illinois

Cedar Creek Dental offers root canal therapy. We emphasize conservative care and support cost-efficient solutions that preserve your natural smile. Dr. Von Hoven will be happy to answer your questions.

Call us at (618) 654-4551 to schedule your consultation.


Posted In: Dentist Root Canal Treatment