The procedure for a root canal is where a dental professional removes bacteria or dead tissue from the tooth, relieving pain caused by an infected or abscessed tooth. The dentist drains out the inflamed pulp during the root canal procedure and cleans the inner surfaces of the tooth to disinfect it, followed by the placement of a filling to seal the space.
Toothache is the first sign that you might need a root canal. The pain can range from mild to extremely bad, and your gums may also hurt and swell up where the problem is. You should visit your dentist if the toothache is persistent.
Steps Involved in Root Canal Procedure
At first, a root canal may sound frightening, but the truth is that a root canal may be made painless because of developments in dentistry. Root canal procedure typically involves two or three clinic visits and includes the following methods:
Step#1 – Dental Examination
Your dentist will first examine your teeth. You may have to get one or two X-rays to know the intensity of inflammation and tooth decay. Once your tooth is diagnosed with the infection, the dentist uses a Local anesthesia injection, numbing the tooth for treatment and surrounding tissues. It may take some time to numb a tooth with acutely irritated pulp, but your dentist will wait to begin treatment until you are comfortable.
Step#2 – Dental Dam Placement
The dentist will then place a dental dam – a thin sheet of rubber or vinyl on the affected tooth to expose it while the natural teeth are covered. It helps to perform the root canal procedure in a sterile condition, free from contamination by microorganisms present in saliva or the rest of the mouth.
Step#3 – Creation of Access Point
Next, the dentist will make a tiny hole in the tooth’s biting point, or top, to access the pulp chamber and root canal. This opening provides access for treatment to the pulp chamber and root canals. Although it might appear scary, this part won’t hurt.
Step#4 – Cleaning Process
The dentist will then use a set of surgical tools to clean out root canals of the tooth- the pulp chamber and possibly apply antiseptic/antibiotics to ensure no infection is left to cause pain. This procedure is not painful; the area is numb, and the removed tissue is either dead or dying.
Step#5 – Sterilization
After removing the infected tissues, the dentist will add a small cotton ball soaked in the antiseptic liquid to sterilize the channels to eliminate any remaining bacteria. The tooth will have a temporary filling, and you will be sent home with the given medications. Your dentist will schedule you for a next appointment at this stage.
Step#6 – Removal of Temporary Fillings
Your dentist removes the temporary filling at your second appointment. To properly seal the channels, your dentist will add adhesive fillers. Later the dentist might use small files to shape the inner chamber to fill the canals with the gutta-percha substance (rubber-like material): To make it fit against the walls, the dentist compresses it.
Step#7 – Tooth Impression
Now that your tooth is ready for the permanent crown to cover, the dentist will take an impression of your tooth with a silicone-based material, and your tooth impression will then be sent to the lab to get your crown. The clinic will then call you once your crown is ready.
Final Step – Crown Placement
Your dental professional completes the procedure by placing a permanent crown on the tooth. To make the crown placement or restoration stable, the dentist might need to insert a small post for additional support inside the root chamber, depending on the state of your original tooth.
After completing root canal therapy, you must take proper care of your teeth and gums. Keep up effective oral hygiene practices at home by brushing twice daily, flossing once daily, and scheduling regular dental cleanings and exams. After a root canal procedure, the tooth stays healthy for the rest of your life with the proper care and attention.
Contact your Walnut Creek Dentist, Dr. Tiziana Procopio Towle, DDS, at Procopio Towle Dental Office to learn more about the root canal procedure.
How Is A Root Canal Procedure Done?
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