You’ve probably heard of a root canal and think of it as a notoriously painful dental procedure. The truth is that its purpose is to relieve pain and restore the health of a tooth. Green Tree Dental is experienced in performing root canal safely and comfortably for patients in Chicago.

What is a root canal?

A cavity forms in a tooth when plaque and food debris are not cleaned away properly. As a result, bacteria are allowed to collect on the tooth surfaces, releasing acids that eat away at the tooth enamel. Eventually, a hole forms in the tooth called a cavity. Usually, cavities are successfully treated with dental fillings, but when they are allowed to worsen, a filling will no longer be sufficient. When the damage threatens the pulp of a tooth (the soft core where the blood vessels and nerves are located), it must be removed to prevent an abscess from forming. A root canal is the procedure used to remove the decay and fill the space back in to restore function to the tooth. A root canal may also be needed to treat a tooth that has become affected by an injury, such as a fracture or crack, or from repeated dental procedures that disturb the tissue.

Procedure

The affordable dentist near you at Green Tree Dental will first take x-rays to get a look at the tooth below the gum line, observing the tooth roots and surrounding bone. An anesthetic will be used for this procedure to minimize pain and discomfort. A sheet of latex rubber called a dental dam will be placed around the tooth to keep it dry and clean during the procedure. Your dentist will then create a hole through the top of the tooth (the crown) in order to access the inside of it. The pulp will be removed, as well as all decay. The inside of the tooth will then be cleaned and reshaped to discourage bacteria from collecting there again. The canal will be filled with a biocompatible filling material to restore the tooth’s structure and allow you to use it as normal again. Treated teeth are usually covered with a dental crown.

If you have developed severe tooth decay on a tooth that may require a root canal, schedule an appointment with Green Tree Dental in Chicago.

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