Root Canal Therapy

Root Canal Therapy today is painless, comfortable and successful.  It is a great option for saving a tooth that may otherwise need removal.

Why Would A Tooth Need A Root Canal?

Root Canal Therapy is needed when the pulp

(nerve tissue) inside of the tooth becomes inflamed, damaged or infected.


Some causes for this damage include:

  • deep decay
  • crack or fracture of the tooth.
  • a hard jolt or blow to a tooth that damages the pulp.
  • repeated dental procedures on the same tooth.


Some signs of pulp damage include:


  • intermittent or continuous toothache pain in the tooth.
  • sensitivity to cold or hot foods or drinks
  • sore to chewing or biting pressure.
  • tenderness in area of gums above or around the gums of the tooth
  • discoloration of the tooth
  • often, there is no pain at all.


In any case, when the nerve becomes infected, the nerve tissue must be removed by either extracting the tooth, or performing a root canal (endodontic treatment).


What Is A Root Canal?

When the nerve in a tooth dies, the infected tissue must be removed by either extracting the tooth, or performing a root canal.


Ideally, the root canal should be done before the infection has a chance to get into the bone, before the area develops extreme swelling and pain.


Removing the infection from the tooth and filling the canal where the nerve was removed is called a root canal (also known as endodontic treatment)


More Information on Root Canal Therapy.

What happens during root canal treatment?

After completely numbing the tooth, an tiny opening is made to access the inside of the tooth. Using small, thin, sterile instruments called endodontic files, which come in different sizes, that will clean and shape the tiny canal(s) of the tooth.


After the canal(s) are cleaned, shaped and sterilized, a biocompatible material, called gutta percha, is placed within the canal(s) to completely seal them, to make sure that no other bacteria or debris enter the canal(s).


After completion of the root canal procedure, Dr. Neuhaus will determine if a post and crown (cap) will be required to restore the tooth.

What is the dental pulp?

The pulp is the soft tissue that contains nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue. It lies within the tooth and extends from the crown of the tooth to the tip of the root in the bone of the jaw.

An abscessed (infected) tooth caused by tooth decay.

What happens if the pulp gets injured?

When the pulp is diseased or injured and can't repair itself, it dies. The most common cause of pulp death is a cracked tooth or a deep cavity. Both of these problems can let germs (bacteria) enter the pulp. Germs can cause an infection inside the tooth. Left without treatment, pus builds up at the root tip, in the jawbone, forming a "pus-pocket" called an abscess. An abscess can cause damage to the bone around the teeth.

What happens if the pulp gets injured?

An opening is made through the crown of the tooth into the pulp chamber.

Why does the pulp need to be removed?

When the infected pulp is not removed, pain and swelling can result. Certain byproducts of the infection can injure your jaw bones. Without treatment, your tooth may have to be removed.


What does treatment involve?

Treatment often involves from one to three visits. During treatment, Dr. Neuhaus or an endodontist (a dentist who specializes in root canal problems) removes the diseased pulp. The pulp chamber and root canals of the tooth are then cleaned and sealed.


Here's how your tooth is saved through treatment:


1. First, a small opening is made through the crown of the tooth.


The root canals are cleaned filled and sealed.

2. The pulp is then removed. The root canal(s) is cleaned and shaped to a form that can be filled.

3. The shaped root canals are cleansed and sterilized to help get rid of germs and prevent infection. Finally they are permanently sealed with a special, biocompatible filling material called gutta percha.


4. A temporary filling will be placed in the crown opening to protect the tooth between dental visits. You might also be given medicine to help control infection that may have spread beyond the tooth.


5. Finally, a porcelain crown is typically placed over the tooth to restore and protect it. This is usually done at a separate visit.


How long will the restored tooth last?

Your restored tooth could last a lifetime, if you continue to care for your teeth and gums. However, regular checkups are necessary. As long as the roots of a treated tooth are nourished by the tissues around it, your tooth will remain healthy.



What To Expect After Root Canal Therapy

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Wilmette Dental

344 Linden Ave.

Wilmette, IL 60091




Office Hours

Monday: 8:00AM - 4:30PM

Tuesday: 8:00AM - 4:30PM

Wednesday: 8:00AM - 2:00PM

Thursday: 1:30PM - 7:30PM

Friday: Closed

Saturday: 8:00AM - 2:00PM (alternating)



Outside our regular business hours, please note our emergency care information.


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