If the dentist thinks your damaged or infected tooth can be saved, they will probably recommend a root canal. It would help to learn all that you can about the procedure, including how it is done, so you know what to expect. This article explains how a dentist performs root canal therapy.
The root canal procedure
The root canal treatment is straightforward: Remove the infected pulp tissue, fill the canals, and place a crown to protect the tooth. The following are steps involved in the procedure.
Initial preparation process
The dentist will start by administering a local anesthetic (via injection) to numb the gums and the tooth’s roots. After the anesthetic kicks in, a dental dam will be inserted into the mouth to isolate the affected tooth from the rest of the teeth.
Cleaning the roots
To access the root canals and pulp area, the dentist needs to create a hole in the tooth. Handy dental tools will be used to clean out the pulp chamber and root canals. Afterward, an antiseptic and antibacterial agent is applied to the area to clean and disinfect it. This eliminates bacteria and infection in the root canals.
Shaping and filling the canals
The dentist will shape the canals so they can hold a filling material. After shaping, the canals will be cleaned again. Next, a material called gutta-percha will be used to fill the canals and pulp chamber. The rubber-like material is heated and compressed to fill the tooth’s insides. The dentist will use dental cement to seal the canals and prevent the re-entry of bacteria.
Covering the access hole
The dental professional will close the hole created to reach the canals. This process is important to keep bacteria out. Sometimes, a post might be placed in the canal to reinforce the tooth. This is generally only needed if the tooth has suffered significant damage and can barely support a dental restoration.
Patients might get a prescription for antibiotics before leaving the dental office. The medication gets rid of any existing infection. The dentist will also provide aftercare instructions to ensure smooth healing. Patients may experience slight discomfort after the treatment, but over-the-counter pain meds should be enough for relief.
Placing the dental crown
If the tooth suffered major damage or is located at the back, the dentist will recommend placing a dental crown. The crown supports the tooth and restores its function and appearance. The crown is designed to blend with the remaining teeth and function optimally.
If the dentist has recommended a root canal, you need to undergo the procedure as soon as possible to save the tooth. If you have any concerns, be sure to ask the dentist questions about the procedure. Remember, saving the tooth is always better than removing it. To get started, contact the dental office to schedule a consultation appointment.
Request an appointment here or call Dallas Laser Dentistry at 469 838 5292 for an appointment in our Dallas office.