The root canal treatment procedure has been bearing a stigma to patients due to the traditional methods of performing it. In the past, the root canal is associated with discomfort and long and extensive operations. Because of this, lots of patients have been delaying dental treatments leading to their tooth loss. Most of them also turn to root canal treatment alternatives hoping that they could avoid the distressing procedure.
As time goes by, experts are continuously innovating the tools and equipment that dentists use with this treatment. With the help of laser-assisted technology, root canal therapy is now painless and faster. Slowly but surely, dental clinics are gaining the trust of their patients by introducing this modern dental equipment.
To help you understand better and feel more at ease with the treatment, here is a complete guide of the procedure.
Root canal treatment procedure
Generally, root canal treatment procedure requires two visits to the dentist’s office. Each dental appointment may take around an hour depending on the extent of the treatment. This process may be done by a dentist or a specialist they call as an endodontist. Endodontists are dentists who are experts in diagnosing and treating teeth issues that involve the pulp and the inner tissues.
During your initial consultation, you should expect that your dentist will run a comprehensive assessment of your situation. After this evaluation, your dentist will recommend either root canal therapy or other root canal treatment alternatives to save your teeth. Furthermore, here is the step-by-step guide to giving you a clearer grasp of the process.
First dental appointment
- Taking an X-ray. Before anything else, your dentist should be able to see through an X-ray the exact situation of your tooth. The X-ray will be able to determine the structure of the teeth and show signs of infection either in the chamber or the surrounding bones.
- Giving local anesthesia. Once the dentist has identified the issue, he begins the procedure by administering anesthesia on the area of the affected site to numb it. Although anesthesia isn’t necessary due to the dead nerves, this root canal treatment procedure helps in keeping the patient at ease.
- Placing a rubber dam. Your dentist will then secure the affected tooth by placing a rubber dam around it. The rubber dam or sheet is also responsible for keeping the site dry and clean from debris and saliva.
- Accessing through a hole. This time, your tooth is ready for the drilling. Using either a dental drill or laser equipment, your dentist will create a hole to access the interior where the infected pulp is. The access is made on top of the tooth that is directly in line with the tooth chamber.
- Removing infection. Using a dental file, your dentist begins to remove and clear away the infection. These include decayed nerves and tissues found in the tooth.
- Cleaning thoroughly. Your dentist in Ontario continues to clean up the root canal and uses the file to scrub and scrape it sides. This will smoothen the surfaces and prevents bacteria to cling in them again.
- Flushing the debris. After cleansing, it’s time to flush away the debris with sodium hypochlorite or regular water.
- Putting medication. Sometimes, dentists skip this part if it’s unnecessary for a specific patient. However, if he sees that additional medication is required, he puts medication just before sealing the tooth to avoid further infection.
- Sealing the tooth.
- Temporary filling. If the tooth has a medication, he places a temporary filling at the top of the hole to protect it from contaminants like saliva or food.
- Permanent filling. Once the infection has cleared up, you will return on the next appointment to have your permanent filling. The temporary cover is taken away and then the root canal is filled with gutta-percha. Then, your dentist finally seals the tooth with an external and permanent filling.
- Restoration. Some patients may need restorations like crowns or bridges to completely regain the function and appearance of his tooth. For some root canal treatment alternatives such as implants or dentures, it is best to talk to the dentist to know if you’re a good candidate for that dental procedure.