Elmhurst Root Canal Dentist Explains What You Can Expect During Root Canal Therapy

Written by Dr. Scharfenberg on May 29, 2012

Our Elmhurst Root Canal dentists know that no patients really look forward to root canal therapy. Nevertheless, a root canal is often a necessary procedure for people with severe dental decay—this procedure can literally save the appearance and the functionality of a tooth. Because we want you to feel confident and comfortable with root canal treatment, today I’m going to be reviewing what exactly happens when a patient undergoes root canal therapy. Knowledge is power, so I hope this explanation will empower you to take control of your dental health and seek treatment when you need it!


Root canal treatment begins with an X-ray of your teeth and mouth. This X-ray shows where the dental decay is located, how far it has spread, and the shape of the dental canal for the infected tooth.


If you have any concerns about experiencing anxiety or pain during treatment, make sure to discuss your concerns with your dentist before treatment. At the beginning of treatment your dentist can administer anesthesia to help keep you comfortable. As treatment begins, your dentist will also surround your tooth with a sheet of rubber so that the infected tooth will remain dry and saliva-free during the procedure.


In order to remove the infected material from the inside of the tooth, your dentist will extract the dental pulp with a series of dental files. Each dental file gets progressively bigger—they each travel down the root canal, clearing away infected dental pulp from the interior chamber of the tooth. Once all of the infected material has been your dentist will seal the hollowed out tooth with gutta percha and a dental filling.


Although root canal therapy may initially seem daunting or scary, most patients report that their root canals were no more painful than a regular filling. Don’t put off necessary dental care out of fear or anxiety—give our Elmhurst root canal dental office a call for more information or to schedule an appointment!