WHEN IS TREATMENT NEEDED?
Usually, Root Canal Treatments are recommended or needed when there is an infection deep within the tooth. The pulp inside the tooth can become infected with bacteria because of an injury or because of a severe,deep cavity. Without treatment, the infection can become severe enough that the tooth has to be removed. If your dentist has recommended the treatment, here is a step-by-step guide of what you can expect during and after the procedure.
HOW A ROOT CANAL IS PERFORMED: STEP BY STEP
Treatment is usually performed over two (or sometimes more) visits.Occasionally it can be undertaken in just one appointment.
- Using a needle, the dentist administers local anesthesia to numb the tooth. It’s common to feel a bit of a pinch in the area when the needle goes in. After the tooth is numb, the dentist might place a dental dam, a small sheet of rubber that isolates the tooth to keep it clean and dry during the procedure.
- Your dentist will then use very small tools, such as a small drill, to access the inside of the tooth by creating an opening in the top portion of the tooth. Next, the dentist will use small files to clear away the damaged and diseased pulp from the inside of the tooth. He or she will also use the files to shape the inner chamber of the tooth and root and might irrigate the chamber with a solution to wash away any remaining pulp. Your dentist might also put an antimicrobial solution in the chamber to kill any remaining bacteria and reduce the risk for further infection.
- Once the chamber is thoroughly cleaned and dried, the dentist will fill it. A rubber-like material called gutta percha is often used. Your dentist will close the opening in your tooth with a temporary filling, while you wait for the permanent crown.IF you do not require a crown,a permanent filling will be placed.
- After a few weeks/months, your dentist may need to finish the treatment by placing a permanent crown or a similar type of restoration on the top of the tooth. Depending on the condition of your natural tooth, the dentist may need to place a small supporting post inside of the root chamber, to make the crown or restoration more stable.
AFTER THE PROCEDURE
Taking good care of your teeth and gums is a must after a root canal. You might need to schedule an additional visit with your dentist to X-ray the treated tooth and to make sure that all signs of infection are gone, in addition to twice-yearly dental cleanings and exams.