Elmhurst Root Canal Dentist Explains How Root Canals Can Save a Tooth

Written by Dr. Scharfenberg on Jun 25, 2012

Elmhurst Root Canal Dentist Explains How Root Canals Can Save a Tooth

Our patient Marcy was in desperate need of root canal therapy. One of here teeth had a severe infection, and without treatment the infection would spread to her gums, jawbone, and supporting dental structure. Marcy was in a significant amount of pain because her tooth was so damaged, and yet she still resisted root canal treatment. Unfortunately, Marcy was under the false impression that root canal therapy was incredibly uncomfortable, scary and traumatizing. This is an opinion that many adult patients share, but it’s patently false. The truth is that root canal therapy is generally as comfortable as having a normal filling, and most importantly, it can save you from significant dental problems and pain in the future. Once our Elmhurst root canal dentists explained how exactly root canals work, Marcy was finally able to get the treatment she needed.


Root canal therapy refers to a treatment in which a dentist or endodontist removes the infected inner core of an infected tooth. Teeth are made of up many different levels, which work together to keep the tooth strong and healthy. The outermost layer is white, shiny and strong—this is the dental enamel. Below the dental enamel is a layer of a substance called dentin. Dentin is hard and strong like enamel, but it is more porous (meaning that it’s easier to infiltrate) and it is slightly darker and yellower in appearance. Both the enamel and the dentin protect the inner core of the tooth, which is filled with dental pulp.


Dental pulp consists of blood vessels, nerves, and other tissues. The dental pulp feeds the tooth and allows it to grow. If an infection breaches the dental enamel and the dentin and reaches the pulp, a patient may require a root canal. Once an infection reaches the dental pulp it progresses quickly, causing a considerable amount of pain and inflammation.


A root canal actually clears away the infected dental pulp and sterilizes the hollowed out space in the tooth. Then your dentist will seal the tooth with a filling to prevent further irritation and infection. Without a root canal, the infection would continue to progress—it could spread to other teeth and dental tissues, eventually causing tooth loss.


Once Marcy understood how root canal therapy works, and that it’s actually a health-saving procedure, she finally agreed to undergo treatment. She was thrilled with the results, and she’s now proud to show off her healthy smile! Don’t wait to get the treatment you need, if you’d like to learn more about root canal therapy or schedule an appointment give our Elmhurst root canal dental office a call—(630) 733-1624.