What Happens During A Root Canal?

Do you have a tooth that is causing you a lot of pain, and you're being told that you need a root canal to fix it? You may be wondering what actually happens during a root canal so that you can be prepared. Here is a basic overview of what to expect.

Identifying A Need

The process starts by identifying the need for a root canal. This is likely due to a cavity that you have in a tooth that has been ignored, which then caused the pulp to be infected. An abscess will form in the tooth, and all of that infected pulp will need to be removed. The goal is to save the natural tooth and prevent you from needing an implant or bridge to fix it.

Opening The Tooth

The only way to get rid of that infected pulp is to open up the tooth. This is done by creating a large opening in the tooth's crown so that the dentist can get inside the tooth with their special tools. A root canal is quite invasive to the tooth and will cause permanent damage to the crown as a result. 

Removing The Pulp

The dentist will remove that infected pulp from the tooth and clean out all of the canals. It is crucial that they get rid of all the infected material, or else the infection can continue to spread after the procedure is finished. They'll use a file to get down deep into the canal to make sure that everything is cleared out that can cause a problem

Filling The Canals

The canals of the tooth will be filled with a special material that is inserted deep into the canals and packed in tightly. A dentist may even have to put a post into the canals to give the tooth support, but it is not that common to have done. They will fill the tooth up to the crown with that filling material so that it is not hollow in the middle.

Crowning The Tooth

The final step is to create a permanent crown that is placed over the tooth to give it strength. Since a crown can take some time to make, you'll be given a temporary crown to place over the tooth in order to protect it. You'll then return to the dentist to have your permanent crown installed on the tooth when it is ready. 

For more information on a root canal, contact a dentist near you.