If you have deep decay in a tooth that has infected the pulp (the inside soft center of the tooth), you may need to go for root canal therapy, also called root canal treatment. Symptoms that you may need the procedure include extreme sensitivity to hot and cold foods and toothache. When you visit a dentist in Dedham, MA., they will take x-rays to see how far the infection has reached and recommend root canal therapy is required. In this post, we have enlisted the steps in the procedure.
- Use of anesthesia. The whole root canal treatment is done as an outpatient procedure, and you will have to go for at least three appointments to complete that. The first appointment involves using anesthesia, usually a local anesthetic agent that’s injected into the gums surrounding the infected tooth.
- Creating an access opening. Once the tooth is numb, the dentist will make an access opening to expose the pulp and tissues inside the teeth. They will then use particular dental files to remove everything from the inside of the infected tooth. The idea is to clean all the canals in a tooth, and most molars have three root canals. If required, the dentist will use a temporary filling and ask you to return for the next appointment after a week to allow the tooth to heal.
- Cleaning the tooth. Your dentist will also clean the inside of the tooth using topical antibiotics and ensure that the infection is out. Once that’s done, they will use a sealer paste and gutta-percha to seal the tooth. You may have to take oral antibiotics for a few days.
- Getting a crown. Your dentist will finally take impressions of your tooth to create a mold, which will be sent to the lab to get a crown. Because the tooth doesn’t have the pulp or tissues inside, it is weak, and a crown will help add strength and functionality. You will have to return after a week or two to get the crown fixed. You should care for your treated tooth in the same way as other teeth.
The purpose of root canal treatment is to save your infected natural tooth from extraction, and while the procedure may sound complicated, it is fairly simple. As local anesthesia is used, you will feel no pain or discomfort. Talk to your dentist if you want to ask specific questions, and don’t forget to discuss the costs in advance.