Root Canal Arlington Heights, IL

Root Canal An Overview

Root canal therapy is often the best way to preserve a natural tooth and prevent further damage to your smile. Dr. Brent Engelberg and Dr. Jennifer Mullarkey will choose to save a natural tooth with root canal therapy whenever possible because it provides many benefits for long-term dental health. Once you lose the tooth root, the jawbone begins to deteriorate. A root canal helps to avoid this and preserve that tooth root.

There’s a large misconception about root canals. They have a reputation for being painful, making patients nervous to get them. However, root canals often actually relieve the pain in the tooth. A root canal is done because the dental pulp and soft tissue inside the tooth are infected. The infected tissue swells up, causing pain and pressure as it presses against the confines of the tooth.

When a root canal is done, the aim is to remove the infected tissue from inside the tooth. This releases pressure and pain in the tooth. A root canal actually often relieves that pain. It doesn’t cause it.

Do I Need a Root Canal?

If you think you have an infection, it’s important to get seen by your dentist right away. If the infection spreads, it comes with severe consequences for both oral and overall health. One of the most common indicators of infection is a sharp, sudden pain in the tooth. It may get worse when you’re eating or chewing and often is concentrated around the specific tooth.

But not all patients experience pain when they have an infection inside. Check the gums around your teeth, as swelling will be present around the infected tooth. You may also notice dark spots on your tooth, a sign that an infection is darkening the dental pulp inside.

"My dentist for 25 to 30 years was Dr. William Uhler. Bill eventually retired and sold his practice to Dr. Engelberg. Initially, I thought, " What the heck am I going to do if I have a tooth ache; if all my crowns, bridges and implants decide to retire with Dr. Uhler"? Well folks, enter Brent A. Engelberg, D.D.S.. My teeth and gums have a new friend, a super-pro who knows exactly what he is doing. His procedural technique is always accompanied by calming explanation. Indeed, this fits with his personality: caring, tolerant, perceptive and really empathetic. DR. Brent's staff, well, their marvelous too! Thank you, Dr. larry j. Powitz"Larry P.
"I have always mistrusted Dentist's in the past from some bad experiences. This office is the best ever. Words cannot describe how good it is. You just have to try it. Dr. Engelberg and staff will never try to "upsell" if you don't need it. I have told my friends to go, and if they aren't satisfied, I would pay for their appointment. That's how confident I am about this practice."Glenn C.
"I have ONLY gone to this dentist my entire life (before Engelberg was Uhler). Dr. Engelberg is a great dentist and even better guy! I will be a patient for life because not only are the dentist great, but my dental hygenist Pam is THE best! See ya in FEB!"Matt G.
"I have been going to Dr. Engelberg since Dr. Uhler retired. I have only had positive experiences with him and have found his work and care to be of highest quality. My questions are always answered and I feel very safe and comfortable during all my visits. I find him to be very up to date with the latest in dentistry and knowledgable regarding new techniques and devices that would help my teeth. He is easy to talk to and I enjoy speaking with him."Roberta Z.
"Everyone is super friendly and the chairs even have massages in them! Truly a one of a kind dentist office, always have a very nice experience."Erica S.
"Dear Brent, As a busy home inspector it is sometimes difficult to find the time to maintain my oral hygiene. The flexible hours and electronic follow-up your office provides makes it much easier for me to schedule and keep appointments without having to worry about losing an inspection. After a recent visit, I received an e-mail notice the other day to complete a survey regarding my experience. Instead of filling out the survey, I thought it would be more beneficial to let you know that my visit on December 11 was quite pleasant. Laura did a great job of making me feel relaxed as she turned on the chair back massager. My blood pressure is usually 150/90 when I walk into your office, this time it was 124/70. She took extra time to update my x-rays and then started to work cleaning my teeth. She kept me advised or her progress, was very gentle and before I knew it, she was finished. She even complimented me on the positive results of my flossing. What a way to start the day. You have a great staff doc and your chairside manner isn’t too shabby either. The professionalism you demonstrate clearly filters down to your staff; it makes it easy for me to send them your way when someone needs your expertise."Thomas M.

Root Canal What to Expect

The root canal procedure is similar to getting a dental filling. We begin by using a local anesthetic to numb the entire area around the infected tooth. If you have issues with dental anxiety or fear of the dentist, we offer sedation dentistry options to assist. These ensure that you stay calm and relaxed throughout the length of the procedure.

Once the anesthetic kicks in, we start by drilling a small hole in the tooth. We’ll use specialized dental tools to clean the infected dental pulp from inside the tooth. Once the tissue is removed, we thoroughly clean and sanitize the inside of the tooth. A biocompatible material called gutta-percha is used to fill the empty tooth, and it’s then sealed off.

Most of the time, we’ll use a dental crown at the end of the root canal procedure. Though the tooth is filled with material, it may not be the most stable. A dental crown seals out further infection and ensures you have full stability back in your tooth. You should be able to eat and chew like you normally would after the root canal.

Root Canal FAQs

How many days off of work do you need after a root canal?

It is recommended that patients take off at least one day after having a root canal. This means that the day following your root canal, you do not work, and rest instead. The more rest you get directly after your procedure, the quicker your recovery and healing process will be. Some more physically intensive jobs may require a bit more time, but the amount of time taken after a root canal is up to the discretion of each patient.

Do I need antibiotics after a root canal?

In some cases dentists will prescribe antibiotics after a root canal, but only if they feel it is necessary. More often than not patients take nothing more than an OTC pain medication after a root canal. Some medical conditions may cause concern for infection and issues post-operation. In these cases, patients may be prescribed an antibiotic.

Is throbbing pain after root canal normal?

Some throbbing, swelling, and discomfort are entirely normal after a root canal. This may last anywhere between 2-3 days. It is recommended to avoid chewing with the tooth that was worked on to give it time to recover. Keeping your head elevated can help stop throbbing pains.