Has your endodontist recommended getting a root canal? Many people have root canals performed to save their teeth. According to the American Association of Endodontist, roughly, more than 15 million root canals are performed per year.
While it may seem like a scary procedure, modern medicine has improved this greatly. Here’s all you need to know about root canal treatments.
What is a Root Canal?
This procedure aims to save a tooth that has been severely infected. One of the main causes of tooth decay is the buildup of plaque and bacteria in our mouth.
During the root canal procedure, the endodontist will try removing bacteria and dying tissue from within the tooth.
As the AAE pointed out, the procedure takes two visits to complete since it consists of 4 steps.
Step 1: Numbing the Area
In this stage, your endodontist will inject local anesthesia in the areas surrounding the tooth to numb it. You may feel a slight pinch initially as the needle goes in, but this will soon fade away as the anesthesia begins to take effect.
Next, your dental care provider will place a dental dam around your tooth to isolate it and keep it dry.
Step 2: Gaining Access to the Pulp
The endodontist will achieve this through the use of small drilling tools. Once the pulp is exposed, the endodontist will file away at the infected and damaged pulp from within the tooth.
If there is still debris remaining from the infected pulp, the endodontist will irrigate the inner chamber of the tooth to completely clean it. This is followed by applying an antimicrobial solution to the chamber to kill the remaining bacteria; this will prevent an infection from forming again.
Step 3: Filling the Chamber
Once irrigation is completed, it’s time to fill up the drilled area. In most cases, a rubber-like substance called gutta-percha is used. This filling is sealed temporarily for a few weeks while you wait for a permanent dental crown.
Step 4: Installing a Permanent Crown
After your filling has been sealed temporarily, your endodontist will ask you to return after a couple of weeks. The second visit is when they will finish the treatment by placing a permanent crown. This will be placed on top of your tooth to properly protect the pulp.
This is the entirety of the root canal treatment. It’s advisable to schedule an appointment with your dentist to make sure all signs of infection have been eliminated.
If you’ve been dealing with a severe toothache and suspect that a root canal may be required, see a dentist immediately.
If you’re looking for a dental clinic in Bethesda, head over to Bethesda Dental Health. We don’t only provide services in endodontics but also perform more extensive procedures like bone grafting and dental implants.
To book appointments, call us at (301) 654-1887, or schedule an appointment online.