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Chagrin Family Dental Care

What Is a Root Canal and When Is it Necessary?

December 13, 2022
Posted By: Dr. Brian Hivick
Root Canal Treatment | Chagrin Falls, OH 44022

A root canal is a dental procedure that’s necessary when the soft tissue inside a tooth becomes inflamed or infected. It is the only treatment that can save a tooth at this stage; otherwise, the only other option is extraction.

How Does a Tooth Become Infected?

A root canal infection occurs when bacteria enter the innermost part of the tooth, called the pulp chamber. This area contains soft tissue and nerves, and the tooth becomes very painful when it becomes infected. 

Some reasons bacteria can enter this area are:

  • A deep cavity that extends to the center of the tooth
  • A crack in the tooth that creates an entrance for bacteria 
  • Dental trauma or injury to the tooth
  • Repeated dental procedures on the same tooth

What’s Involved with Root Canal Treatment?

Root canal treatment, or root canal therapy, as it’s also known, is the only procedure that relieves the excruciating pain of an infected tooth. Before beginning, your dentist in Chagrin Falls uses a powerful local anesthetic to numb the area. You’ll experience immediate pain relief, and your tooth will remain numb throughout treatment.

The root canal procedure involves the following steps:

  • Accessing the inside of the tooth and removing the infected pulp
  • Disinfecting the hollowed-out area to eliminate lingering infection
  • Placing a biocompatible material in the tooth to prevent reinfection
  • Sealing the tooth and placing a temporary filling to protect it

What Happens after Root Canal Treatment?

The treated tooth is left to heal for about two weeks. You may feel some soreness for a few days following your procedure, but taking over-the-counter pain medication will provide prompt relief.

After healing, you return to our Chagrin Falls dental office. At that time, we will place a final filling on the tooth or fit you for a custom dental crown to strengthen and protect it. Which restoration we choose depends on the location of the tooth and whether or not you have a teeth grinding habit.

Comfortable Root Canals in Chagrin Falls, OH

If you experience symptoms such as excruciating tooth pain, swollen or inflamed gums, a bump on your gums, or a discolored tooth, please call for an emergency appointment. Dr. Wenzel will get you out of pain and ensure you’re comfortable until we can provide full treatment at our next open appointment.

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