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What Is A Root Canal?

What Is A Root Canal?

A root canal is a common procedure employed when a tooth is infected or has deep decay. During the procedure, the dentist slowly removes the nerve and the tooth pulp from within the tooth. Once the pulp chamber has been cleaned and sealed, a crown is placed on top.

Although the term “root canal” is typically used to describe the procedure, the root canal is actually the natural cavity in the core of the tooth. The tooth pulp chamber contains blood vessels and nerves. A tooth nerve ceases to be important once the tooth emerges from the gum during childhood, after that the only function of the nerve is to sense temperature, a tooth does not need the nerve to function.

Why is a root canal procedure necessary?

If the tooth pulp is damaged it begins to break down and bacteria cause an infection; the result is an abscessed tooth. Pus forms at the point of the abscess, if this condition is not treated effectively the resulting infection spreads into the gums and other tissue. If left untreated, an abscess can cause bone loss in the area of the tooth root.

The pulp and tooth nerves can become infected due to bad decay, large fillings that have been done over time, a crack or chip as well as trauma to the area.

Root canal procedure:

Before the dentist or endodontist begins the procedure, X-Rays are taken of the affected area. The X-Rays show the dentist the shape of the tooth root, the X-Rays also show if the infection has spread to the surrounding bone or tissue. The area is numbed with a local anesthesia and the procedure begins.

Root canals in Chicago require a hole to be opened in the tooth; this allows the dentist access to the pulp chamber. Using very small instruments, the diseased pulp is removed. Once the tooth is cleaned of all infection and debris, the hole is sealed and a temporary filling is placed in the hole.

During a subsequent appointment, the temporary filling is removed, the access hole is filled, and in many cases, a crown is placed on the tooth that strengthens it, preventing future problems.

Root canals in Chicago are often the only way to save a tooth that is infected. If you are looking for a dentist in the Wicker Park and surrounding area of Chicago you are invited to make an appointment with East Village Dental Center or visit

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