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Colonial Dental Group Cosmetic Dentistry Blog - Dooley, Lewis, and Quezada

Monday, May 19, 2008


One of the most dreaded procedures of dentistry is commonly referred to as a "root canal." The actual root canal is the interior part of a tooth through which blood vessels and nerves enter it from the body’s circulatory and nervous systems. A tooth may have up to four root canals. The blood vessels and nerves, along with some connective tissue, are known as the tooth pulp. Root canal surgery is part of endodontic therapy, or endodontics.

In past years there was reason to dread a root canal, as dentistry was less effective in blocking pain and took longer to do procedures. At Colonial Dental Group, we place a high priority on your comfort and will use whatever level of anesthetic is required to keep you calm. We also of course have modern equipment and technology to finish procedures speedily.

Endodontic Procedure
Your dentist will usually prescribe a course of antibiotics to be concluded before working on the tooth. The first step is to remove infection and decay from the root canal. If the tooth has decayed from the outside all the way into the root canal, that often means it is too badly damaged to survive with just a filling and must be given a crown.

With the tooth cleaned and ready, your dentist permanently fill the space where tooth structures used to be with a rubber compound called gutta percha. The cleaned remains of the tooth are trimmed down if necessary and shaped to receive a crown.

There may be an interval of several weeks while your crown is made in a dental lab. In that time you will have a temporary filling to protect the tooth. The new porcelain crown is placed over the tooth remains and permanently bonded, so that now you have a strong tooth with a renewed life ahead of it.

It is actually a dead tooth since it no longer receives oxygen and nutrients, and has no nerve. This may make it more fragile, but in adults the tooth pulp is no longer necessary for tooth growth.

Please call or email us to learn more about endodontic therapy. Our office serves the entire Chicago area.

posted by Patti at 12:53 PM


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1775 Glenview Rd.
Suite 107
Glenview, Illinois 60025-2969