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If you have a severely decayed, infected, or damaged tooth, it is possible that you may need a root canal procedure or extraction to remedy the issue. With the innovative technology and skilled professionals at Downtown Dental, we can perform these necessary procedures to give you long-term relief with little to no pain.

Root Canals

A root canal is used as a last resort treatment to salvage a tooth when its innermost layer has been affected by inflammation, infection, or damage. Within your tooth, there is a substance known as “pulp.” This soft tissue connects the outer layer of your tooth (or enamel) all the way to the root. Because your adult teeth do not need the pulp to sustain, there are times when the best option is to remove infected pulp entirely in order to salvage the tooth.

When having a root canal procedure, here are a few steps you can expect to take:

  1. First, we will take X-rays of your tooth. This will allow us to see the extent of the damage and determine if an abscess as occurred.
  2. We will use a local anesthetic to numb the area of the treatment. Because of this, you won’t experience any pain during the procedure!
  3. Using a rubber dam, we will block off outside moisture from the point of the procedure.
  4. We will then make a small opening in the tooth using a drill to access the innermost layer of the tooth.
  5. We will then remove bacteria, debris, and infected pulp from within the tooth, and then insert an anti-bacterial medication to ensure the infection is cleared.
  6. When the pulp has been removed, we will put a temporary filling in place while the site heals, which will be filled at a later time with a permanent filling.
  7. Once the tooth is healed, we will place a crown that is customized to you, so you won’t even be able to notice it is there!

Many people experience immediate pain relief after the root canal procedure, as the source of the infection has been removed. When the procedure is complete, we will provide you with instructions to ensure your tooth is allowed to heal properly—this basically includes a thorough dental hygiene routine, avoiding use of the tooth, regular check-ups, and over-the-counter pain medication if needed. Once the tooth has healed, you can expect the results of your surgery to last a lifetime!

Tooth Extractions

Extractions are another very common form of oral surgery. This can treat a number of issues—from impacted teeth, to overcrowding, to severely damaged or decayed teeth. This procedure is also common with wisdom teeth. After carefully monitoring your wisdom teeth, your dentist may decide to extract them as they otherwise often cause many issues with the surrounding teeth.

When having a tooth extracted, there are a few things you can typically expect from the procedure:

  1. First, your dentist will take a x-rays to look at all of your teeth and determine if extraction is the best available option.
  2. Then, your dentist will administer an anesthetic to numb the area. The strength or type of anesthetic may vary, depending on the location of the tooth that requires extraction.
  3. In a simple extraction (when the tooth is visible), a dentist will loosen the necessary tooth with a device called an elevator, and then use forceps to extract the tooth.
  4. When the tooth being extracted is still hidden within the gums, an oral surgeon will need to make an incision in the gums. Then, they will either need to remove some of the bone that surrounds the tooth or cut the tooth in half to extract it.

Depending on the depth and location of the tooth within your gums, the pain you experience after the surgery may vary. Typically, though, the post-operative pain is mild and can be easily treated with over-the-counter pain medication.

If you’d like to schedule your procedure, or have more questions about what the treatment entails, call our Chicago office today!