Do I Need a Root Canal? What Happens During Treatment? By Yamen Akhras on May 09, 2024

Man with a sore tooth

Root canal therapy is often misunderstood as a painful procedure to be avoided. However, root canal therapy is a treatment that can alleviate pain and restore your oral health. Explore root canal therapy, its symptoms, and why I may recommend endontic treatment for you at Premier Dental and Implant Center in Orland Park, IL.

Signs of a Tooth Infection

Be mindful of the following symptoms of an infected tooth.


Perhaps one of the most obvious signs you need root canal therapy is pain in the tooth or gums.


If you have an abscess on your gums, this is a symptom of a tooth infection in the tooth roots.

Chronic Bad Breath

Bad breath that does not go away with proper oral hygiene is yet another symptom of an infection.

Red Gums

Red gums could be a sign of a tooth infection or gum disease. In either case, it is best to have your dentist examine you to prevent further complications.

Loose Teeth

Loose teeth can be caused by a variety of oral health issues. However, it could also be a sign of infection in the tooth roots.

Why Root Canals Are Needed

If you are in pain or have any symptoms of an infection, it is important to address it as soon as possible. When left untreated, a tooth infection can spread to other teeth, the jawbone, and even the sinus cavity. This can lead to serious oral and overall health concerns, including missing teeth, jawbone deterioration, and more.

A root canal can target the area of infection while preserving the tooth structure, eliminating the need for a tooth extraction or more invasive dental procedures.


Man experiencing pain from a root canal infection

How Is an Infection Diagnosed?

If you have any symptoms of an infection in the tooth roots, you will begin with a consultation at my Orland Park dental office. Your dentist will perform an exam and may order X-rays to get a full picture of your oral health. With that information, they can accurately diagnose an infection and recommend root canal therapy.

In some cases, I may be able to perform treatment on the same day if it is an emergency, such as extreme pain. However, in other cases, I may need to schedule your treatment. This is especially true if you require sedation and need someone to drive you home from your appointment.

Does a Root Canal Hurt?

Perhaps one of the biggest misconceptions about root canal therapy is that it is painful. This is not true. In fact, root canal therapy can alleviate the painful symptoms of an infection.

Before your treatment begins, your dentist will numb the area. If you need extra comfort measures or suffer from dental anxiety, my practice offers multiple sedation options to ensure a comfortable and positive treatment. If at any point you experience pain, please inform me and my dental team so we can make any adjustments to ensure your comfort.

According to a study, pain associated with the root canal infection drops significantly within one day and is down to minimal levels within seven days.

Step-By-Step Root Canal Treatment

  1. I will begin treatment by numbing the area. This requires a quick injection. If you have dental anxiety, phobia, trouble sitting still, or are especially sensitive, please let my dental team know during your consultation. I offer several sedation options, including oral conscious sedation and IV sedation, depending on your needs. My goal is to ensure a comfortable and positive dental experience.
  2. Once you are thoroughly numbed, I will make a small opening in the middle of the tooth. This allows me to reach the infected pulp and vessels in the tooth and tooth roots. This infected tissue is removed to eliminate the infection, ease your pain, and restore your oral health.
  3. I will fill the tooth with a substance called gutta percha to seal the tooth. This prevents bacteria from entering the tooth and causing another infection.
  4. A dental crown is used to provide strength to the tooth and prevent damage to the tooth structure. I will reshape the tooth to allow the crown to fit and blend with your natural teeth and bite. Impressions are then taken of your tooth in order to craft a dental crown. Next, I will place a temporary dental crown.
  5. You will return to my Orland Park office for an appointment to place your dental crown. I will test the crown in your mouth to ensure it fits correctly, functions with your bite properly, and is comfortable. Once I am sure the crown fits, I will bond it permanently to the tooth.


Woman smiling and relaxed after root canal treatment

Does It Hurt After a Root Canal?

You may experience some mild tenderness and discomfort once the anesthetic wears off, but it should be mild. Most patients manage easily at home with comfort measures such as over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen (Tylenol) and cold compresses.

Get a lot of rest after your root canal and eat soft foods for a day or so to ease any irritations. You may also have some mild swelling for about one to two days. If you experience severe pain or swelling, please contact my Orland Park office so I can address your concerns promptly.

Shouldn't I Take Antibiotics to Treat an Infection?

In most cases, once the infection reaches the tooth roots, antibiotics are not enough to eliminate the bacteria. A root canal removes bacteria from inside the tooth structure.

I may prescribe a course of antibiotics in conjunction with your root canal treatment to ensure all the infection is eliminated.

Request a Consultation Today

I understand that root canal therapy is misunderstood and often portrayed as painful. However, I go above and beyond to ensure as painless a procedure as possible. During your initial consultation, I can walk you through each step and discuss sedation options to help you understand the treatment and feel confident and comfortable before, during, and after.

Don't wait and risk your oral health. If you have any signs of an infected tooth, contact my Orland Park dental practice to request a consultation. I provide comprehensive treatment options to address a wide range of oral health concerns in one convenient location.



Dr. Yamen AkhrasAbout Yamen Akhras, DDS
Dr. Yamen Akhras completed training in dental implants from the Misch Institute and the Urban Regeneration Institute. He specializes in treating gum disease, placing implants, and bone and gum grafting.

Read Dr. Akhras's Full Bio | All Posts by Dr. Akhras

Related to This

Premier Dental & Implant Center

Premier Dental & Implant Center

At Premier Dental & Implant Center, we provide high-quality dental care for your entire family. Periodontist and implant specialist Yamen Akhras, DDS, MS and our team offer a full range of dental services. We are also proud to be affiliated with:

  • American Academy of Periodontology
  • American Dental Association
  • Chicago Dental Associations
  • International Congress of Oral Implantologists

For more information about our services, contact our office online or call (708) 873-9709 today.

Contact Us Today

Rate, Review & Explore

Social Accounts Sprite