Root Canal Procedure – Step By Step Guide
When the dentist informs you that you need to have a root canal procedure, it is possible that you may not be aware of what this procedure entails. It is quite common and is usually preformed in order to save a tooth that is in jeopardy and may have to be extracted. If the tooth is in the front of the mouth, this can mar the smile and perhaps mean that the patient has to have a false tooth implanted or placed on a plate.
The process of carrying a root canal procedure is performed in the dentist’s office, but you will need to make more than one visit. In severe cases, the dentist may refer you to a specialist for the procedure. A specialist of this kind is called an endodontist and usually deals with procedures that are particularly difficult. Whichever dentist performs the work, you will receive a local anesthetic to make sure that you do not experience any pain while the work is being done on your tooth.
You may dread hearing that you need a root canal procedure because you fear that it is very painful. However, the procedure is not painful at all and will give you relief from the pain you had been experiencing before you visited the dentist. It will be uncomfortable, of course, with having to keep your mouth open and having saliva suctioned out of your mouth.
In the majority of cases, root canal is essential to save a tooth in which an infection has caused irreparable damage to the nerve. The pulp of the tooth may also be seriously affected. Once the dentist carries out an oral examination, he/she will take X-rays of the teeth to determine how deeply the tooth has been damaged. He will also check to see how far the infection has developed and if it has actually gone into the bone. The X-Ray will also reveal the shape of the root that the dentist will be working on.
Once the nerve of the tooth has become damaged the tooth will eventually become more and more decayed because the nerve is unable to supply it with the essential elements it needs to stay healthy. During the procedure, the dentist has to remove the damaged nerve and the pulp of the tooth. The damaged pulp is the breeding ground for bacteria from the remnants of food in your mouth and anything you may breathe in from the air. This growth of bacteria can lead to even more problems with your gums and teeth.
Once the dentist is satisfied that the area is numb and that you do not have any feeling in the tooth, he will isolate it by placing a rubber band around it. Then the dentist will use a drill to make a hole in your tooth and then proceed to use small files to clean out the pulp of the tooth and any debris that may have collected. At regular intervals, the dentist will flush out your mouth with water to wash away the debris.
A thorough cleaning of the tooth is then followed by making sure it is sealed. This part of the procedure is not done at this time, if the problem is the result of infection. The dentist has to make sure that all the infection is completely cleared up. To do this, he/she may inject antibiotics into the affected area and there is a good chance that the patient will have to take antibiotics for a period of time before returning to have the next part of the root canal.
If there is no sign of infection, the sealing may be done in the same visit. This involves filling in the area of the tooth that has been cleaned out. When there is an infection present, the dentist will use a temporary filling that can easily be removed on the next visit.
The last step in the root canal procedure is to repair the exterior of the tooth. The hole drilled in the process and then filled has to be covered up and made to look like your own tooth. Subsequent visits will involve having tooth restoration carried out in the form of a crown to protect the tooth from further damage.
Written By: JS Alexa