Endodontic Therapy: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Root Canal Treatment
Root Canal treatment is a widely used treatment used to recover, repair and save an infected tooth. If you’re having intense pain in your tooth and recommended a root canal treatment by your endodontist, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Millions of teeth are saved each year with root canal treatment.
Root canal treatment is rumored as one of the scariest dental treatments, that keeps people from visiting the dentist. But, it’s not. In fact, the latest techniques make it quite simple, less time consuming and painless for both doctors, and the patients. Before we see the root canal treatment steps, let’s first understand what it is and why it’s required.
What is an endodontic treatment?
Root canal is a kind of dental cosmetic surgery that is performed when there is an infection deep within the tooth. The infection can be caused because of an ignored tooth cavity or an injury. The treatment removes the bacteria that causes infection in the pulp inside the tooth and covers it with a protective layer for better protection and support. Root canal treatment helps restoring damaged tooth and prevents from further decaying.
How it is performed?
Root Canal treatment is essentially a four-step-treatment that involves numbing, drilling, cleaning and filling. Read on to know the root canal treatment steps and gear-up before your root canal treatment.
- Numbing– Root canal treatment without giving an anesthesia is nearly impossible. In the first step your endodontist will numb the tooth by injecting the local anesthesia. It will make the tooth and infected area numb so you don’t feel pain, except for the minor pinch when the needle goes in. Your endodontist will educate you about the procedure well in advance and the expected treatment time beforehand. So, you can already know the kind of pain and stretch expected during the treatment.
- Drilling– Cleaning the tooth from inside requires drilling from the top of the tooth for visibility and access. The surgeon might use a small drill to make holes in your teeth for proper removal of infected pulp from inside the tooth. They use specific files to shape the inner chamber of the tooth. Further, they will use an antimicrobial solution and saline to rinse away any remaining diseased pulp and clean the teeth completely from inside. Root canal might seem like a complex dental cosmetic surgery, but it is one of the most effective and long-lasting treatments of tooth decay.
- Filling– Once the chamber of the teeth is completely cleaned and dried, the surgeon will then fill it with a rubber-like material called ‘gutta percha’. The material is soft and flexible to get easily adjusted in the chambers of the teeth and is completely biocompatible. Then a permanent white colored composite filling is done in the holes of the teeth to prevent it from exposure to any kind of infection, until the permanent crown/onlay is placed.
- Post Endodontic Restoration– After the final filling, the dentist will then take impression for a permanent crown or onlay (more conservative) to be cemented on top of the teeth to prevent it from any kind of damage or injury. It will work like a shield and provide complete support and structure to the tooth.
Generally, a root canal treatment lasts for many years provided it is taken care of well. Asking your dentist about the root canal treatment steps beforehand will help you understand the procedure better and psyche yourself to deal with pre and post-treatment effects.