Root Canals

Alleviate Pain, Avoid Extraction with Root Canal Therapy

When a tooth is internally traumatized, we may recommend root canal therapy to save the tooth and eliminate discomfort. Your teeth have a hard outer shell (enamel), a secondary layer (dentin), and a soft inner core that contains the nerve structure (pulp). If a tooth sustains extensive damage, the pulp can die, which stimulates increased blood flow and creates pressure within the tooth. Infection can set in, and all of these components cause toothache pain. You don't have to suffer with toothache and dental sensitivity any longer. Call now and schedule your appointment with Dr. Hong or Dr. Lam for root canal therapy. Our Westmont office serves patients from Downers Grove, Hinsdale, Oak Brook, and the surrounding areas.

What is a Root Canal?

A root canal is a procedure necessary when tooth decay or damage reaches the innermost layers of teeth called the pulp. This is where the tooth’s nerve is housed. When the tooth’s nerve tissue is accessed, the result can be severe pain or dental sensitivity. During a root canal, Dr. Hong or Dr. Lam will remove the diseased and/or damaged inner tissue, fill the canal with an inert substance, and seal the tooth to prevent future problems.

Do I Need a Root Canal?

We often treat patients in need of a root canal on an emergency basis. In order to begin repairing these damaged teeth in the earliest stages, patients need to be aware of the warning signs of damage that requires treatment with root canal therapy. We encourage patients to contact us right away if they notice any of the warning signs of root canal therapy. Some of the most common symptoms of a need for root canal treatment include:

  • Severe toothache pain that may present as sharp pain while biting down or a dull, constant throb.
  • Lingering sensitivity when the tooth is exposed to heat or cold.
  • Discoloration of the tooth enamel usually near the gum line.
  • Inflammation, irritation, or infection in the gum tissue around a single tooth.

How is a Root Canal Performed?

Root canals can take two or more visits to our office to complete. We begin by relieving any pain or discomfort you’re currently experiencing. We’ll numb the area around the damaged tooth. Then, a small access hole is drilled from the top of the tooth into the pulp. The damaged tooth structures are removed through the access hole. In some cases, we need to use oral or topical antibiotics to fully debride the inside of the tooth preventing further damage. Once the tooth is free from damaged or infected tissue, we refill it with a biocompatible substance and seal the access hole. In most cases, we will design and place a dental crown in order to strengthen and protect the repaired tooth.

What Happens After Root Canal Therapy?

Many people cringe at the idea of a root canal because they think it will cause pain. What most patients don't realize is that any discomfort they feel comes from the infection inside the tooth. After root canal therapy, patients generally feel better and experience only mild soreness, which over-the-counter analgesics will relieve.

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