A root canal procedure requires one or more appointments to complete. It can be performed by a dentist or endodontist (a root canal specialist).
While the tooth is numb, we will place a rubber dam (a sheet of rubber) around the tooth to keep it dry and free of saliva. An access opening is made on top of the tooth. Then, a series of root canal files are placed into the opening, one at a time, removing the pulp, nerve tissue, and bacteria. If tooth decay is present, it’ll also be removed with special dental instruments.
Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, it’s sealed with either a permanent filling or, if additional appointments are needed, a temporary filling.
At the next appointment, usually a week later, the roots and the inside cavity of the tooth is filled and sealed with special dental materials. We will then place a filling to cover the opening on top of the tooth. In addition, all teeth that have root canal treatment should have a crown (or cap) placed. This will protect the tooth and prevent it from breaking and restore it to its full function.
After treatment, your tooth may still be sensitive, but this will subside as the inflammation diminishes and the tooth has healed. We’ll also make sure to give you care instructions after each appointment.
Good oral hygiene practices and regular dental visits will help keep your tooth healthy long after root canal therapy!