A Step-By-Step Guide to Root Canal Treatment

A Step-By-Step Guide to Root Canal Treatment

February 1, 2022

Out of a host of dental procedures and treatments that our dentist in Kearney offers, a root canal near you is one that sends most patients into a panic. Is it because there are rumors that the procedure is “painful,” or does it sound like a tedious activity? The reasons escape us. However, the good news is that none of the stories are true. Root canal surgery is not even remotely painful since it is performed under anesthesia.

So, have you been scheduled to undergo a root canal near you and wonder how it is carried out? Well, you have come to the right place. In this step-by-step guide, our dentist in Kearney will offer a sneak peek into what the procedure is all about.

Before Your Treatment

Before you get to the appointment, as is the case with any other dental treatment, ensure that you have your insurance or payment information on hand. Also, have with you your medical history that our dentist may know the state of your overall health.

Then, when you arrive, our dentist may:

  • Step 1

Revisit any X-rays you may have taken before the procedure before performing a visual exam to inspect the affected tooth and the surrounding area.

  • Step 2

After ascertaining everything, the procedure will commence with our dentist administering local anesthesia to numb the area. You might feel a slight pinch, but you will feel very little pain when our dentist administers the anesthetic. The area will become numb in a few moments.

  • Step 3

Our dentist will place a small rubber sheet known as a dental dam over the affected tooth to isolate and protect the tooth. It will also aid in keeping the area clean and dry during the procedure.

During the Procedure

Our dentist will take close to 90 minutes to complete the root canal surgery. If you have teeth with an infection or multiple canals, it may take more than one appointment to complete the procedure.

In any case, this is what will happen during the procedure:

  • Step 4

Our dentist will commence the procedure using a drill to create an opening at the top of your affected tooth. The opening will expose the top part of the tooth pulp, which contains the infected or damaged nerves and blood vessels. The process is similar to the preparation stage of a tooth filling.

  • Step 5

Then, our dentist will remove the infected or inflamed pulp from the tooth. This section of the tooth is known as the root canal – this is where the procedure gets its name.

  • Step 6

Our dentist will carefully clean the center of the tooth (root canal) and widen it using small dental files, shaping it to accommodate the filling. Next, our dentist will rinse the pulp chamber with various solutions to wash away any remnants. Then, the affected tooth and the neighboring areas will be dried before taking the next step.

  • Step 7

Our dentist will use antimicrobial medication to treat and prevent infection at this stage. If the infection is severe, your tooth may be left open to drain for a day or two. If this is the scenario, you might have to come for a second appointment to complete the treatment.

  • Step 8

The next step will be to fill the root canal using a biocompatible material known as the gutta-percha. This rubber-like material will be cemented in place, and it will seal the tooth, preventing further infection.

  • Step 9

Lastly, our dentist will use a temporary filling to cover the top of the tooth to protect it from food and bacteria until a permanent filling or dental crown is placed. In some scenarios, our dentist may skip placing the temporary filling and place a permanent filling in the same appointment.

What Happens After Root Canal Treatment?

When the procedure is complete, you will need to pay extra attention to the treated tooth. Post-surgery, you will need to consider the following:

  • Avoid chewing or biting with the treated tooth immediately after the procedure until the anesthesia wears off. Then start with soft foods.
  • Sensitivity and mild discomfort are a normal part of the process. Therefore, you may need some prescribed medication to alleviate pain. Then, antibiotics may help clear up any remaining infection.
  • A follow-up appointment will be necessary to place the permanent filling or tooth crown in most cases.

As you have seen, root canals are not be feared. They are performed to treat infections and alleviate pain. It will take a few days, and your tooth will be as good as new. If you have any questions, you can contact us at Platte Valley Dental Clinic, and we would love to help you.

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