This blog will inform you all about Root Canal Treatment Steps in detail. Let’s start from understanding what exactly is the root canal procedure!
Root Canal Treatment – What Is It?
The natural tooth structure is made of –
- The outer, white enamel
- The spongy, yellow layer underneath the enamel called dentin
- Underneath the dentin, lies the pulp chamber
The pulp chamber is responsible for a tooth’s growth and vitality. This is because it houses the tooth’s blood vessels, connective tissue, and nerves. The pulp chamber (in the crown) extends to the roots in the form of canals, also known as root canals.
The Root Canal Treatment Steps involve removing the contents of the pulp chamber and root canals. This treatment is usually advised when the tooth is severely decayed, with the infection extending into the pulp chamber.
It is the alternative to removing a decayed tooth. The procedure is performed under anesthesia, meaning the patient feels no pain the entire time.
When Is A Root Canal Treatment Advised?
A root canal treatment, or RCT, is usually advised by your dentist when the pulp is either injured, inflamed, or infected. In some cases, the crown of the tooth can remain intact while the pulp is dead. Removing an infected or injured pulp is the best way to preserve the tooth in the oral cavity.
The usual causes of damage to the pulp are –
- Deep-seated decay due to a cavity that is left untreated
- Multiple dental procedures on a single tooth
- A crack or chip in the tooth
- An injury to the tooth that results in the death of the pulp
You will notice the following symptoms if your pulp is damaged –
- Pain in the tooth
- Inflamed gums around the tooth
- A sensation of heat in the gums
- Temperature sensitivity
- Swelling in the face and neck
What are Root Canal Treatment Steps?
A root canal treatment is a relatively simple procedure. In a nutshell, the procedure includes extracting the contents of the pulp chamber, re-filling it with another material, and sealing it.
Before your dentist starts the treatment, they will perform X-rays to understand the depth of the infection and the structure of the tooth. Given below is the entire guide of Root Canal Treatment Steps and what you can expect.
Preparation Of The Area
An RCT is performed under local anesthesia. Your dentist will begin by numbing the area around the affected tooth. Injections are used to deliver the anesthetic agent into the gums and the root of the tooth.
Once the area is numb, a dental dam is placed in the mouth. This covers the rest of the teeth and helps isolate the affected tooth, thereby, preventing contamination by saliva.
Access And Cleaning The Roots
The next step involves getting access to the pulp chamber and the root canals. Your dentist will drill through the tooth to reach the chamber space. They will then use specialized instruments to extract the pulp tissue, cleaning out the pulp chamber as well as the root canals.
An antiseptic and antibacterial solution is constantly flooded into the tooth to clean and disinfect the canals. The solution also helps eliminate bacteria and debris and treats the infection within the tooth.
Shaping The Canals
The next step is to replace the material in the root canals. But before that happens, the canals need to be shaped. With the help of tiny instruments, your dentist will shape the canals, making them adequate to receive the filling material.
Once the canals are shaped, they are cleaned a second time with the antiseptic and antibacterial solution.
Filling The Canals
Your dentist will use an inert, rubber-like material to fill the canals. This is called gutta-percha which is placed in the canals and then heated. The dentist will also compress the material so that it fits snugly against the canal walls.
Adhesive cement is placed on top to seal the canals. Furthermore, properly sealed canals prevent bacteria from invading.
Filling Till The Access Hole
Aside from the pulp chamber and canals, the access hole used to access them must also be sealed. This prevents bacteria from entering the tooth.
If the tooth is severely damaged and unable to support restoration on its own, a post might be placed to strengthen it.
Antibiotics And Healing
Once the access hole is sealed, the patient is sent home along with a prescription for antibiotics. The medication kills the rest of the infection.
Your dentist will also give you post-care instructions. You might feel a little discomfort for a few days after the treatment. This is pretty normal and can be taken care of via over-the-counter pain medication.
Addition Of The Crown
If the tooth that has undergone a root canal treatment had significant damage or was a back tooth, it will require a dental crown. The crown is a tooth-shaped cap placed on the treated tooth. It adds stability and strength.
The dental crown is fabricated to replicate the existing teeth. Once it has been cemented into place, the tooth can handle biting and chewing forces once again.
How Long Does A Root Canal Last?
If you follow proper oral hygiene, your root canal-treated tooth can last a lifetime. Proper oral hygiene steps include –
- Brushing your teeth in the morning and evening
- Flossing between teeth
- Using oral rinses
- Visiting your dentist regularly
- Avoiding habits like smoking and tobacco chewing
Failure to follow these steps could result in a re-infection – and it might become essential to remove your tooth, making it a much pricier treatment.
At Dental On First in New Prague, MN, we offer various restorative treatments to help you live a comfortable and pain-free life. Aside from the required dental procedures, we aim to deliver careful, gentle, and precise care.
If you or someone you know has a decayed tooth, is in pain, or simply wants to come in for a consult, feel free to get in touch with our office. You can dial (952) 758-3003 to schedule an appointment with our expert. Alternatively, you can also fill in this form and we’ll reach out to you at the earliest with your preferred date and time.