Peter J Waidzunas, DDS, Ltd


Windsor Court I Office Centre

501 N. Riverside Dr.  Suite 119

Gurnee, Illinois, 60031


Root Canal Treatment


Root canal treatment (also referred to as endodontic therapy) is a dental procedure where a damaged nerve is removed from the internal aspect of the tooth. The remaining nerve chamber and canals are then sterilized and sealed. Following root canal treatment it is prudent to place a crown with a post and core or buildup on the tooth to restore its strength and protect its longevity. The only alternative treatment when a nerve is irreversibly damaged is to extract the tooth.


There are many reasons that a root canal may be required. The most common is extensive decay in a tooth which allows the bacteria to infect the nerve. The nerve may be damaged due to trauma from a blow to a tooth, especially front teeth. Back teeth commonly suffer nerve damage from a deep fracture within the tooth. This is especially common in teeth with large silver-mercury fillings. Repeated dental work over the years can lead to a nerve which develops symptoms and requires endodontic therapy. In rare situations, the immune system can malfunction and a tooth will start to have resorption for no apparent reason. Root canal treatment may be required to halt the resorptive process.


How can you tell if a tooth needs a root canal? Occasionally, no symptoms may exist especially if the nerve has died. Dental x rays and vitality tests can normally detect such abscessed teeth. But in most cases, signs and symptoms will be present. These can include sensitivity to cold and hot, spontaneous aching or pain, tenderness to chewing, or a bump or swelling in the area of the tooth. Tooth bleaching can cause transient sensitivity to cold during the bleaching process but has not been shown to cause nerve damage. Cosmetic dentistry procedures such as veneers can cause a tooth to suffer nerve damage but it is a very small percentage due to the conservative nature of the restorations.


The best way to avoid the need for root canal treatment is regular dental examination and xrays, and prompt restoration of any teeth with decay or weakened structure that could fracture.





Phone: 1.847.336.7300

Windsor Court I Office Centre

501 N. Riverside Drive  Suite 119

Gurnee, IL  60031