Our Services / Root Canal Treatment

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Root Canal Treatment services offered in Downers Grove, IL

Advancements in dental technology have made root canals far easier to tolerate than in decades past. Today’s root canals are painless, and William Grotz, DDS, of OakGrove Family Dental in Downers Grove, Illinois, has extensive experience performing these restorations. If you’re concerned you might need a root canal, book a visit online or over the phone today to get started.
Root Canal Treatment Q & A

How can a tooth become infected?

The outermost layer of your teeth is a thin shell of enamel. Just beneath lies another layer of hard tissue called dentin. Below your dentin is a hollow chamber filled with a soft tissue called dental pulp. 

Your pulp is a matrix of blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissues. It’s a living tissue and is subject to infection if bacteria enters the chamber or the hollow canals that run down the root areas of each tooth. 

Numerous things can cause pulp infection, including:

  • Advanced dental decay
  • Traumatic injury to a tooth
  • Chips or cracks in the surface of a tooth
  • Multiple dental procedures on the same tooth
  • A loose or faulty crown

In some cases there is no clear sign of what caused a tooth to become infected. 

What is a root canal and how do I know if I need one?

A root canal is a restorative treatment for an infected tooth. Once an infection develops in the inside of a tooth, your body cannot effectively resolve the problem. 

Significant pain is the most common symptom of an infected tooth. Additional things that might indicate the need for a root canal include:

  • Pain that worsens when you bite down or chew
  • Lingering sensitivity to heat and cold, even when the source is removed
  • Pimple-like sores on your gum tissue
  • Areas of gum tissue that are darkened or red
  • Chipped or cracked tooth

If you experience any of these changes, schedule a diagnostic visit right away. Because the inner chamber of your tooth is such a confined space, infection can quickly create severe pain and should be treated promptly.

What are the steps involved in a root canal?

When you come in for your root canal, Dr. Grotz administers an injection of local anesthetic to ensure you won’t feel pain during the procedure. He then creates a small opening in the surface of the tooth to gain access to the inner chamber. 

Incredibly slim dental tools called files are used to remove all traces of pulp from the chamber and the tooth roots. The cleared chamber is then rinsed to ensure all bacteria is gone before placing a material called gutta-percha, which helps to seal the chamber and further prevent infection.

The access hole is closed and a portion of natural tooth tissue is removed to make room for your new dental crown. A temporary crown is placed to protect your tooth until the new crown arrives. At that point, you’ll return to have the crown checked for fit before being cemented into place, which completes the restoration.

If you are concerned about the signs of a tooth infection or want to learn more about the root canal process, call the office today to set up a visit, or schedule online in just moments.