Endodontic Treatment: A Step-by-Step Explanation

by Power Road Dental Care

Endodontic Treatment: A Step-by-Step Explanation

Reviewed By Dr. Tyler N Davis, DMD

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Welcome back to our blog series about root canal therapy! So far we have learned the basics about endodontic treatment, including why it is necessary, the benefits of a root canal and common myths about root canal procedures.

We also learned 7 ways to prepare for a root canal procedure to help you feel calm and relaxed before your appointment. In this blog, we will provide a step-by-step explanation of the procedure so that you know exactly what to expect.

Step 1: Numb the area

The first step of a root canal procedure is numbing the affected tooth and its surrounding area with local anesthesia. This will ensure that you do not feel any pain during the procedure.

Step 2: Dental dam placement

After the area is numb, a small protective sheet (dental dam) will be placed around the tooth to isolate it from the rest of your mouth. This prevents saliva and any bacteria from entering the tooth during the procedure.

Step 3: Create an opening

Once the area is numb, a small access hole is made in the top of your tooth to access the pulp chamber and root canals.

Step 4: Remove infected tissue

Using specialized tools, the infected pulp is removed from the pulp chamber. This will also include removing any debris and cleaning the area thoroughly.

Step 5: Shape and disinfect

After all the infected tissue has been removed, the root canal system is cleaned and prepared for filling.

Step 6: Fill the canals

The root canals will be filled with a biocompatible material called gutta-percha, which helps to seal and protect the canals from future infection.

Step 7: Seal and restore the tooth

After the filling material has been placed, your dentist will seal the opening in the tooth with a temporary filling or dental crown, depending on your specific case. In some cases, a permanent filling can be placed at this time. 

A dental crown isn’t always needed after a root canal procedure, but it may be recommended for teeth that have extensive damage or are at risk of breaking. You may need a dental crown if you grind your teeth, if the tooth is discolored or if the tooth is weakened by previous dental procedures.

Step 8: Recovery and aftercare

Once the procedure is complete, you will be given instructions on how to care for your treated tooth and any discomfort or pain you may experience. Make sure to follow these instructions carefully to ensure proper healing.

If you received a temporary dental crown, it is important to follow up in short order to get your permanent restoration. Your temporary crown is not intended to be worn for a long time.

FAQs About the Root Canal Procedure

How long does a root canal take?

The length of the procedure can vary depending on the severity and complexity of your case. On average, a root canal takes 45 minutes to one hour to complete.

Is a root canal painful?

Thanks to modern techniques and dental sedation options, most patients report minimal discomfort during and after a root canal. If you experience any pain or discomfort, your dentist will work with you to alleviate it.

How long does the recovery take?

Recovery time can vary from person to person, but most patients feel back to normal within a few days after the procedure.

Can you eat after a root canal?

Avoid eating for a few hours after the procedure to allow the numbness to wear off. We recommend starting with soft foods and gradually reintroducing harder foods as your tooth heals.

Can I brush my teeth after a root canal?

Yes, you can brush your teeth after a root canal. However, be gentle around the treated tooth and use a soft-bristled toothbrush to prevent any discomfort or damage to the filling.

What is the success rate of a root canal?

Root canals have a high success rate, with over 95% of patients experiencing no complications after the procedure. With proper aftercare and regular dental check-ups, your treated tooth can last a lifetime.

Root Canal in Mesa

We hope this step-by-step explanation has helped to alleviate any fears or concerns you may have about root canal procedures. We are committed to providing our patients with high-quality, comfortable dental care, and we will do everything we can to save your natural tooth and make your root canal experience a positive one.

If you are searching for a dentist who specializes in cosmetic and restorative dentistry, we can help. To book an appointment, call (480) 664-1438 or complete the online booking form. If you are searching for ‘root canal therapy near me’, trust the experts at Power Road Dental Care.

Stay tuned for the final blog in this series, Root Canal Aftercare and Recovery.

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