4 Stages of a Root Canal Treatment.
Are you about to head in for your first root canal treatment?
Many patients have questions and concerns about the procedure. Thanks to modern dentistry and technology, there isn’t much to worry about. A root canal treatment is virtually pain-free and widely successful.
What goes on during a root canal treatment? Here are the stages your tooth will go through while under a local anesthetic.
Stage 1: Diagnosing the Infected Pulp.
The soft inside of your tooth is filled with a substance called pulp. When root canal treatment is required it is usually because this part of the tooth has become infected. Patients will usually visit their general dentist for a toothache. Once other issues are ruled out, the general dentist will send the patient to a specialist for further examination.
The reason patients are sent to see a specialist is because, once the general dentist has identified the problem causing the tooth ache to be inside the tooth, more advanced technology is needed to fully understand the problem.
An endodontist will use digital imaging and digital x-rays to confirm that root canal treatment is required for the tooth.
Stage 2: Getting rid of the Infected Pulp.
To get rid of the infected pulp inside the tooth, the endodontist drills a small opening in the top of the tooth. With surgical tools the endodontist cleans out the root canals, removing any infection and possibly applying medication to ensure no infection is left to cause problems.
The canals are now cleaned out and free of infection.
Stage 3: A new Root Canal Filling is Placed.
The endodontist will fill the chamber that once hosted the infected pulp with a new root filler. An adhesive is used to seal off the area, protecting the new root filler from any bacteria or saliva.
Sometimes, during stage two of a root canal treatment, the dentist must widen the root canal to clean out the infection. If this is the case the tooth will need to be restored with a rod or another strengthening method.
A temporary filling is placed over the opening at the top of the tooth.
Stage 4: The Tooth is Restored.
After a few weeks the patient must make an appointment with a restorative dentist to get the temporary filling removed. The restorative dentist will place a crown over the treated tooth, making the tooth as strong as it was before the infection.
The seal the restorative dentist uses to restore the tooth will also work to protect the tooth from further infection.