Root canal treatment, also known as endodontic treatment is a procedure used to treat tooth with infection along the tooth pulp chamber and root canal. Removing the infected tissue, cleaning and disinfecting the pulp chamber and the root canal will help restore the tooth. If infection is not treated soon, this will progressively destroy the nerves of the tooth and damages the tooth permanently. Root canal treatment is a painless process, but it requires several visits for the treatment.
Step 1 – Preliminary treatment
- Take x-ray and conduct a thorough examination of teeth
- removal of decay and source of infection
- Assess teeth overall condition to determine if it can still be restored
- Isolate teeth with a rubber dam
- numb tooth using anesthesia
- an opening is made through the crown of the tooth into the pulp
- careful removal of the infected pulp
- thoroughly clean inside the root canal area, enlarged and shaped
- The canals are disinfected with antiseptic and antibacterial solutions.
- Sealer is carefully placed inside the cleaned root chambers to prevent bacteria from reentering
- Temporary seal crown opening until the next appointment to continue treatment. In some cases, the tooth may be left open in order to allow the infection to drain.
- Next appointment, take x-ray to make sure all infected pulp is removed
- Sterilize the inside of tooth
- Continue treatment, fill and seal tooth. A post may sometimes be necessary to reinforce tooth
- Permanent restoration is placed, either filling or crown.
Post Treatment Care
- Wait for numbness to wear off before eating to make sure you don’t accidentally bite your cheek or tongue.
- Do not chew or bite on the newly treated tooth until it has fully recovered.
- Regularly brush and floss
- Immediately contact your dentist if you notice or feel any swelling or your bite in uneven, or the original symptoms of infection returns