Root canal therapy is a common dental procedure performed on millions of patients annually in the United States. Thanks to advances in technology and improved anesthetics, root canal procedures are relatively painless.

We understand that having a root canal can be intimidating for some patients, and that’s why we strive to make the process as comfortable and stress-free as possible. If you are searching for root canal therapy Buffalo Grove or root canal near me, we are here to help. To schedule an appointment, call (847) 215-1511 or complete the online booking form. We can’t wait to help you with your beautiful smile!

What Is a Root Canal? 

A root canal is an endodontic treatment that involves cleaning the inside of a tooth and removing inflamed and infected tissue. This procedure is necessary when bacteria or other elements have entered the pulp of your tooth. The pulp chamber in a tooth contains connective tissue, nerve cells, and blood vessels that nourish the tooth. If this tissue becomes infected or inflamed, a root canal procedure will be necessary to remove the infected material and stop further damage from occurring. 

When a Root Canal Is Necessary

Root canals become necessary for a variety of reasons. Common causes of infection and inflammation in the pulp chamber include:

  • Deep decay
  • Repeated dental procedures on the same tooth
  • Fractured or cracked teeth
  • Trauma to the tooth caused by an injury
  • Trauma due to clenching or grinding of teeth 
  • In some instances, the nerve simply just becomes necrotic

If left untreated, the infection can cause abscesses within your mouth. An abscess is an accumulation of pus that can cause severe pain and swelling. If left untreated, an abscess can cause significant damage to the surrounding tissue and require more invasive treatments. Dental infections can spread to other areas of the body and cause serious health problems, so it is important to address them as soon as possible.

Signs You Need a Root Canal Procedure 

You should consult your dentist if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms. Only by a dental exam and x-rays can your dentist accurately diagnose and treat the issue. 

Signs you need to visit the dentist include:

  • Severe toothache
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
  • Tenderness and swelling in the gums near the affected tooth
  • Discoloration of the affected tooth
  • Swollen lymph nodes in your jaw and neck area
  • A small pimple on the gums near an affected tooth  

Before Root Canal Therapy

Once your dentist has determined that you need a root canal, they will create a treatment plan for the procedure. Ask your dentist any questions regarding the procedure or the expected outcome. Speak about sedation options and what you can expect during the procedure.

Some ways you can prepare for the procedure include:

  • Get plenty of rest the night before
  • Talk to the dentist about food or drink to avoid before the procedure
  • Take any medications as prescribed by your dentist
  • If sedation is used, arrange for a ride home after the procedure
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing on the day of your appointment
  • Avoid wearing any jewelry that could interfere with the procedure 

The Root Canal Procedure

Thanks to modern advances, root canal treatments can usually be done in one visit. However, multiple appointments may be necessary if more than one tooth requires treatment or a severe infection. 

Below is a guide outlining what happens during a root canal procedure. 

  1. The dentist will inspect the tooth and provide local anesthesia if necessary. If you have needle anxiety, speak to the dentist about sedation options like nitrous oxide. Once the area is fully numbed, they will put a protective sheet (a dental dam) over it to keep it dry and separate from the rest of your mouth.
  2. The dentist drills into the tooth’s crown to clean out the infected pulp chamber and root canal then shapes the space for filling.
  3. A biocompatible material called Gutta-Percha is used to fill the root canals, and adhesive cement ensures they are tightly sealed to prevent further infection. In many cases, a temporary filling is also used to plug in any gaps.
  4. A crown or cap is placed over the tooth to restore its full functionality

Generally speaking, it takes approximately 90 minutes to complete a root canal procedure, with time afterward for recovery. Please note that the duration and number of appointments can differ depending on several factors. 

Following your root canal, the local anesthetic will dissipate within a few minutes and will not affect your ability to drive home. If you have been sedated, you will need to arrange for someone to drive you home. 

After the Procedure

Immediately following the procedure, you may feel some pressure and tenderness, which can be managed with over-the-counter medications. You may also use a cold compress to reduce swelling. Your dentist will provide specific instructions to ensure your teeth and gums heal properly. You must follow up with the dentist for a check-up after the procedure. This is an important step to ensure that the tooth and surrounding area are healing properly. 

For 2-3 days after the appointment, it is best to eat soft foods such as soup, yogurt, smoothies, and applesauce. Avoid hard, crunchy foods that may irritate the area or pull on the temporary filling. You should also avoid eating sticky candies or chewing gum. 

It’s important to brush and floss your teeth every day as normal, but be gentle around the affected area. Following these instructions will ensure that you don’t experience any pain and that the area heals properly. 

What Are The Risks?

Root canals are generally safe procedures, but, as with any medical procedure, there is a risk of complications developing.

Risks include:

  • Infection (usually due to leaving bacteria in the root canal)
  • Excessive bleeding or swelling
  • Allergic reaction to anesthesia
  • Damage to the surrounding tissue

These risks are rare but should be discussed with your dentist before the procedure.


  • A root canal is an endodontic treatment that involves cleaning the inside of a tooth and removing inflamed and infected tissue.
  • Steps of a root canal:
    • Area is numbed, and a dental dam is placed over the tooth. 
    • Drill into the tooth’s crown and remove the infected pulp from the pulp chamber and root canal.
    • Gutta-Percha is used to fill the root canals. 
    • Cap or crown is placed to cover the tooth and restore function. 
  • For 2-3 days after the procedure, eat soft foods and avoid hard or crunchy food. 
  • Brush and floss daily. 
  • Follow-up with your dentist.

Root Canal Therapy in Buffalo Grove

Our patients come first at our Buffalo Grove dental office. Our experienced team will ensure you feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible throughout the entire root canal process. We are dedicated to providing high-quality, comfortable dental care and use the most advanced technology to ensure you receive the best care possible. 

If you want to learn more about root canal therapy or think you may need one, contact our office for more information. If you are searching for root canal therapy Buffalo Grove or a root canal near me, call (847) 215-1511 or complete the online booking form to book an appointment at Morris Dental Solutions. Our dedicated team also proudly serves the communities of Barrington, Arlington Heights, Long Grove, and Highland Park.

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Root Canal FAQ

Do I Need a Crown After a Root Canal?

A crown is typically needed after a root canal procedure to prevent the tooth from becoming brittle and breaking. Whether or not you need a crown will depend on how much of the tooth structure is left after the root canal. 

How Much Does a Root Canal Cost?

The cost of a root canal varies depending on the tooth and the complexity of the procedure. Your dentist can provide you with an estimate after determining which tooth requires a root canal and the severity of the infection.

Can I Drive After my Root Canal?

Yes, you should be able to drive home after your root canal. However, if you have been given sedation, you should arrange for someone else to drive.

Should I Get a Root Canal or an Extraction?

Root canals are generally preferred over extractions as they allow you to preserve your natural teeth. Your dentist will be able to determine which is the best option for your situation.

What Is the Success Rate of Root Canal Therapy?

Root canal therapy has a high success rate, typically around 95%. As long as the tooth is not damaged beyond repair or infected again, it should last many years.

Should My Face Be Swollen After a Root Canal?

It is normal to experience some swelling after a root canal procedure. If the swelling persists or worsens, you should contact your dentist immediately. To reduce swelling, use an ice pack for 15 minutes every hour.

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