Root canal procedure An outline of the steps a dentist follows when they perform root canal treatment (endodontic therapy). Cleaning and shaping the canals. Sealing the root canal system. What is each step like for the patient?
The steps of Root Canal Treatment • Placing the rubber dam • Creating the access cavity • Identifying all of the tooth's root canals • Measuring the length of the tooth • Cleaning and shaping the tooth's root canals • Sealing the tooth
Placing the rubber dam After numbing you up, your dentist will first "isolate" your tooth by way of placing a rubber dam. A dental dam is simply a sheet of "rubber" (actually, latex in most cases) that's pulled over your tooth so it pokes through (see picture below).
Creating the access cavity As a starting point for actually performing your tooth's treatment, your dentist will need to gain access to its nerve space. This step is called creating an "access cavity."
Identifying all of the tooth's root canals • Once the entrance into the interior of your tooth has been made, your dentist will need to identify each of its root canals. • An important aspect of endodontic therapy is that each one is identified and treated. Falling short of this goal will lead to case failure.
Measuring the length of the tooth Dentist's goal will be one of treating the entire length of each of your tooth's root canals but not beyond. Doing so is not only important for creating treatment success but also helps to minimize complications with post-operative pain.
Cleaning and shaping the tooth's root canals The next step of the root canal process involves "cleaning and shaping" the tooth's root canal system
Sealing the tooth • The most frequently used root canal filling material is a rubbery compound called gutta percha. • It comes in preformed cones (often referred to as gutta percha "points") whose sizes exactly match the dimensions (diameter, taper) of root canal files.
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