Root Canal Treatment and Re-Treatment

Root canal treatment (also called a root canal) is done when decay will likely damage or has already killed a tooth.  Root canal treatment involves removing the infected pulp inside the tooth, from the pulp chamber.  The pulp is made up of nerve cells and blood vessels, and therefore the removal of the pulp must be carried out under anesthesia so that patients do not feel any pain.  The purpose of a root canal treatment is the proper disinfection - or removal of all the bacteria from the inside and sealed filling of the root canal system.  Thanks to the root canal treatment patients retain their own teeth without having to remove them.  This can also prevent the development of a painful infection in the pulp that may spread to other teeth. This procedure can relieve toothache, stop infection, and promote healing.

After a root canal, your lips and gums may remain numb for a few hours until the anesthetic wears off.  Later you may have throbbing pain, which you can treat with pain medicines, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, or a stronger prescription painkiller.  The pain usually lasts only a day or two.  Crowns that seal the top of the tooth and strengthen it may come loose over time.  They may need to be repaired, redone, or cemented on again.

Root canal retreatment is carried out on tooth, which has previously had root canal treatment.  In some cases the obturation material may become exposed to the oral environment leading to infection by oral bacteria.  In these cases the filling material must be completely removed, the pulp chamber thoroughly cleaned and re-filled.


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Arlington Heights, IL

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