Root canals have a reputation as a particularly painful procedure, but the horror stories of yesteryear are no longer applicable. Indeed, advancements in dental technology, materials, and treatments have made general dentistry much more comfortable and effective than ever before.
At Gallery Dental of Oakbrook, we take great pride in offering the latest and greatest in dental advancements. From technology to treatments, our contemporary dental office in Oakbrook Terrace, IL, can handle all of your oral health needs. If you’re ready to meet our experienced dentist, Dr. Peter L. Noto, then call (630) 620-8300 or message us online here.
Meanwhile, let’s explore root canals. In this post, we tell you what they are, why you might need them, and how we can make treatment more comfortable.
What are root canals?
A root canal (also called root canal therapy) is a restorative procedure that removes infected material from a compromised tooth. The goal of root canal therapy is to save and repair the existing tooth rather than extracting it.
Why get a root canal?
The human mouth can host up to 700 different kinds of oral bacteria. Many of these bacteria keep our mouths healthy. But, other bacteria can wreak havoc, leading to gum disease and cavities.
In some cases, an untreated cavity can bore deeper into a tooth. As a result, the inside of the tooth becomes vulnerable to disease-causing bacteria. Once these bacteria begin multiplying, a harmful infection cultivates inside the compromised tooth.
A root canal infection isn’t just painful–it’s dangerous, too. If left untreated, a dental infection can spread to neighboring tissue and the bloodstream, potentially leading to life-threatening sepsis. Subsequently, it is crucial for patients to treat root canal infections as quickly as possible.
Are root canals painful?
Dentists do not perform root canals without ensuring their patients’ ultimate comfort. At Gallery Dental of Oakbrook, we offer several comfort options, such as:
- Nitrous oxide
- Oral sedation
- Local anesthesia
These pain-blocking medications can make root canal therapy completely pain-free. However, some patients report feeling light pressure or warmth during their procedure, as well as some discomfort in the days following treatment. Residual pain should dissipate after 24 to 48 hours.
Your comfort and success are our number one priority. So, let our team know if:
- You feel any pain during any dental procedure
- You experience residual pain and swelling for longer than three days
- You begin running a fever
Are there root-canal alternatives?
Unfortunately, the only alternative to root canal therapy is a tooth extraction. While many patients believe that a tooth extraction is easier and less painful than a root canal, that is not always the case. In fact, extracting a tooth can lead to worsening dental issues in the future, such as:
- Shifting teeth that change patients’ bite patterns
- Advancing gum disease
- Continued tooth loss
- Jaw bone atrophy
- Receding gums
Keeping teeth intact inside the mouth is the best way to combat these issues. Subsequently, root canals may be the best option to preserve your teeth and smile for years to come.
Need a root canal? Our Oakbrook Terrace dentist can help!
If you think that you might have a dental infection, then contact Gallery Dental of Oakbrook now. We can provide swift and gentle care to keep your smile looking and feeling its best.
Patients can reach our team at (630) 620-8300 or online here for more information and scheduling.