The Root Canal Procedure: Step by Step for Patients
By Eugene D. Stanislaus on March 14, 2017
A root canal infection refers to the inflammation of the soft tissue (dental pulp) inside of a tooth. This is often the result of serious tooth decay, tooth fractures, or dental injuries that allow bacteria to access the interior chamber of a tooth. Root canal infections can be very painful. If untreated, the root canal infection can also lead to the spread of infection to other parts of the mouth.
Here at Brooklyn Heights Dental®, we can perform advanced endodontic therapy (colloquially referred to as root canal therapy) to help improve dental wellness. Let's go step by step through the procedure so you understand what is involved.
Step 1: Administering Local Anesthetic
The first step of a root canal is to administer local anesthetic. This will help reduce the pain and discomfort a patient may feel as the tooth is worked on.
Step 2: Placing a Dental Dam
The next step is placing a dental dam. This helps isolate the infected tooth and ensures that the procedure is carried out in a sterile environment. This helps prevent potential infection of healthy tissues around the infected tooth.
Step 3: Drilling the Infected Tooth
With the tooth isolated and the anesthetic in effect, a dentist can then proceed with drilling the tooth. This is done to access the pulp chamber and the infected dental pulp. The ideal manner of drilling and location of this access hole varies from tooth to tooth.
Step 4: Removing the Diseased Dental Pulp
With the pulp chamber now accessed, a dentist can then carefully extract the infected dental pulp. Specially designed instruments are used to carry this out. Once the pulp and nerves are removed, a tooth will no longer be able to feel pain.
Step 5: Disinfecting the Pulp Chamber
The next step is the sterilization and disinfecting of the hollow pulp chamber of the tooth. This is done to ensure that all of the bacteria is out of the pulp chamber and that future infections to not occur or spread.
Step 6: Filling and Protecting the Root Canals
The root canal and pulp chamber is then filled with an inert material, Sealing the root canals helps prevent future dental health issues. A root canal filling is then placed into the pulp chamber, sealing off and protecting this interior portion of the tooth. In general, this filling for the inside of the tooth is made of a plastic or rubber material that conforms to the inner contours of the tooth.
Step 7: Placing a Dental Restoration on the Tooth
The final step of the root canal process is the placement of a dental crown. This will help protect the tooth from further harm and allows the patient to bite and chew normally again. In some cases, a temporary crown will need to be worn for about a week while a permanent custom crown is fashioned at a dental lab.
Learn More About Root Canal Therapy
For more information about root canal treatment and how it can help you have a healthy smile, contact the dentists at Brooklyn Heights Dental® today. Our team is here to provide exceptional care that helps you smile with confidence.
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"I've been very happy with my experiences at Dr. Stanislaus's office, and highly recommend him to anyone in the New York City area. He and his staff go above and beyond to do the best job possible."-R.B. (Patient)