A 10-Step Guide to Understanding Root Canal Therapy

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a 10 step guide to understanding root canal therapy

If you have recently been diagnosed with severe tooth decay and may require a root canal, it is natural for you to feel apprehensive. While it is a considerably significant procedure, it is not painful, thanks to the advancements in dental technologies. It helps relieve the pain you are experiencing due to tooth decay!

To overcome your apprehensions about root canal therapy before you visit our dentist near you to undergo the treatment, it is essential that you understand the ‘what and how’ behind this treatment.

What is a Root Canal?

Teeth have a soft centre called the ‘pulp’ that consists of blood vessels, nerves, and living tissue, that supply nutrition to teeth and keep them alive. Sometimes, severe tooth decay causes this pulp to become inflamed and infected, causing intense pain. When this happens, removing the infected pulp of the decayed tooth becomes necessary to stop it from spreading deeper into the gums. It is done by replacing the infected pulp within the tooth’s root canal with a composite resin material called gutta-percha and sealing the tooth with a crown.

How is a Root Canal Performed?

Let us walk you through the detailed step-by-step procedure of a root canal, starting from your first visit to our dentist who will perform root canal therapy near you.

  • When you visit our dentist complaining of a severe toothache, they will first examine the tooth and take X-rays of the area to determine the extent of decay-causing the pain.
  • Once a root canal is needed, our dentist may allow you to complete the procedure on the same day or later.
    When you go in for the root canal, a local anesthetic is administered via injection to numb the area where the decayed tooth is. This is important to ensure you do not experience any pain from the treatment.
  • After the anesthetic has taken effect, our dentist prepares the tooth for treatment. The affected tooth is isolated from the rest of the mouth with the help of a ‘dental dam,’ which is a rubber sheet that covers all areas of the mouth except the tooth to be treated. This prevents any bacteria from your saliva from entering the tooth.
  • The inflamed pulp of the decayed tooth is cleared out using appropriate dental equipment so as not to cause any further damage to the tooth structure.
  • Once the pulp is removed from the pulp chamber, the area is sanitized to rule out future infections.
  • The empty pulp chamber is then shaped and prepared to receive the filling.
  • The filling called gutta-percha is placed inside the prepared and sanitized pulp chamber, which is now effectively free of living tissues.
  • The treatment site is sealed thoroughly to ensure that no further germ action occurs in the future.
  • Finally, our dentist in Yaletown, who has performed the root canal treatment, will make impressions of your teeth before placing a temporary crown on the resurrected tooth. The teeth impressions will be sent to a laboratory to make a permanent crown for your tooth unless our dentist provides same-day crowns.

After the anesthetic wears out, you will have a sensation back in the area surrounding the root canal site, but there will be no severe pain. Mild discomfort or sensation will remain for a few days and can be reduced easily with over-the-counter medication. You will be called back to our dentist’s office, who performed your root canal therapy in Yaletown in 2 weeks, to have your permanent crown placed.

This completes the entire procedure of a root canal. All you need to do now is carry on with your day-to-day activities without any nagging pain and follow healthy dental habits to reduce the chances of dental problems in the future!