What Does A Root Canal Process Look Like?

If your dentist has recommended a root canal and you’ve never had one, you’re probably a bit anxious. That’s understandable. Familiarising yourself with the root canal treatment process can help alleviate that anxiety and help you understand why the treatment is needed.

Most commonly, needing a root canal is due to severe tooth decay that has become infected. It can also be required in the case of a dental injury that impacts the tooth pulp, roots, blood supply, or cracked tooth enamel.

Let’s take a look at root canal procedures step by step.

Steps of a Root Canal Treatment Process

Root canal treatments are more complicated than a simple filling, but they’re a standard dental procedure. The root canal treatment process will likely be spread over one or two visits to your dentist. Don’t worry; your Belle Vista dentist will take the time to explain your procedure. Let’s explore the typical steps of root canal treatment.

1. Preparing the Area

First, your dentist will take an x-ray of your affected tooth. Next, your tooth and surrounding gums will be thoroughly numbed with a local anaesthetic. Finally, your dentist will attach a small protective sheet called a dental dam over and around the tooth to protect it from saliva and keep it dry during the procedure.

2. Accessing and Cleaning the Roots

Next, your dentist will make a small opening at the top of the tooth, which usually involves drilling. Once the tooth is opened, your dentist will take a small instrument and insert it into your tooth. They then remove the tooth’s pulp chamber, inflamed or infected pulp, and the tooth’s root canals. Your dentist will continue checking in with you regarding any pain you may feel, especially while removing the tooth’s nerves.

3. Shaping the Canals

Then, your dentist will begin to shape the canals so they can receive the filling material. Occasionally, a patient may have curved canals, which take a little more time to shape correctly.

4. Filling the Canals

Once the canals are correctly shaped, your dentist will fill them with a rubber-like substance called gutta-percha. Gutta-percha is biocompatible and will be cemented in place. This step prevents more bacteria from entering the formerly infected tooth and future infections. Your dentist will also insert a temporary filling. Then the rubber dam will be removed from your mouth.

5. Healing and Antibiotics

Your dentist may then send you home with a prescription for antibiotics to resolve any underlying infection. During the initial healing process, you’ll be advised to take it easy for the rest of the day and use over-the-counter analgesics to counter any tenderness or associated pain. You should also eat soft foods and not bite or chew with the treated tooth. You’ll also be instructed to continue to practice good oral hygiene, including brushing your teeth regularly and flossing. You may be required to wear a mouth guard, especially if you tend to brux while sleeping.

Initially, your treated tooth may feel a bit tender after the procedure but call your dentist immediately if you experience severe pain. While recovering, your dentist will order a customised crown to act as a permanent filling on the tooth. Occasionally, the tooth structure may require that a post be inserted in the tooth to support the eventual restorative crown.

6. Adding the Crown

At your second visit to your dentist, the temporary filling will be removed, and a permanent crown will be placed over the tooth, held in place by adhesive cement.

Advantages of Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment is far better in most cases than having the tooth extracted. Extractions can be painful and take longer to heal than a root canal treatment. Having a tooth removed also has a heightened incidence of infection of the soft tissue surrounding bone or a dry socket.

Root canal therapy allows you to keep your natural teeth, eat your favourite foods, and keep your lovely smile. A root canal procedure can require several trips to the dentist. Still, it’s much better than having repeated dental procedures to deal with deep decay, cracked teeth, a loose filling, or infected dental pulp.

A general dentist can perform a routine root canal treatment even though it’s an endodontic treatment. However, in more complicated cases, your dentist may refer you to a specialist endodontist for further treatment.

Root canal treatment cost varies depending on the complexity of the presenting issues. It’s worth the price since, left untreated, the infection may migrate into the bone and connective tissue or create a nasty abscess requiring even more dental procedures.

Root Canal Therapy Process

Today’s modern technology has made root canal treatment virtually pain-free. Some patients say their root canal procedure was less painful than a filling! Yes, there may be some temporary discomfort during a root canal. Still, the benefit of keeping your permanent tooth is well worth it.

Contact your Belle Vista dentist today for your root canal.

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