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Root Canals 101: A Step-by-Step Guide on What to Expect

November 19, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — drjasonhong @ 5:16 pm

Model jaw needing a root canalIn a recent study conducted by DentaVox, dental patients were asked if they would rather get a root canal or a tooth extraction, and why. More than a quarter of patients who favored tooth extraction said it was out of fear of the other option. Plenty of people refuse to get root canals because they’re scared of what they’ve heard. Contrary to popular belief, root canals:

  • Aren’t extremely painful
  • Don’t’ cause infection
  • Only take one or two appointments.

Let’s take a closer look at what you can really expect from getting a root canal in Westmont.

When Do You Need a Root Canal?

The goal of the root canal is to treat and remove inflamed, infected, or decayed parts of a tooth while preserving as much of the natural structure as possible. Common signs that you might need a root canal are:

  • A sharp pain in your teeth when biting down, or a constant dull pain
  • Teeth that are hypersensitive to hot or cold for longer than 30 seconds
  • Discoloration or inflammation around a tooth

With a simple examination and some X-rays, your dentist will be able to tell right away if you need a root canal.

How Root Canal Therapy Works

A root canal may take as little as one 90-minute appointment. Depending on how much damage there is and the strength of the infection, it may take two appointments. Let’s take a step-by-step look at how root canal therapy works.

  • Numbing up: First and foremost, your dentist will apply a local anesthetic to numb the area.
  • Diving in: Next, your dentist will create an access hole in your tooth in order to reach and remove all of the infected or dead tissue.
  • Cleaning up: Once all the damaged tissues have been cleared out, the area is disinfected. If you require two appointments, your dentist will install a temporary filling that will be removed at the beginning of your next appointment, and you might be prescribed an antibiotic paste to continue to fight the infection.
  • The crowning touch: Then, the hollowed out and cleaned “canal” of your tooth is filled with a warm rubbery material and the access hole is sealed. At your follow-up appointment, a dental crown is placed to strengthen and protect your tooth.


If you suffer from any of the symptoms of an infected tooth, talk to your Westmont dentist about how root canal therapy can help alleviate pain and preserve your natural tooth structure.

About the Author

Dr. Jason Hong is a preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dentist who practices in Westmont, Illinois. He believes in giving his patients superior and personalized dental care for healthier smiles, which is why he performs all stages of root canal therapy in-office. If you’d like to learn more about root canals, he can be contacted at his website or at (630) 789-1555.


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