Endodontic treatment can often be performed in one or two visits and involves the following steps:
The dentist examines and x-rays the tooth, then administers local anaesthetic. After the tooth is numb, the dentist places a small protective sheet called a “dental dam” over the area to isolate the tooth and keep it clean and free of saliva during the procedure.
The dentist makes an opening in the crown of the tooth. Very small instruments are used to clean the pulp from the pulp chamber and root canals and to shape the space for filling.
After the space is cleaned and shaped, the dentist fills the root canals with a biocompatible material, usually a rubber-like material called “gutta-percha”. The gutta-percha is placed with an adhesive cement to ensure complete sealing of the root canals. In most cases, a temporary filling is placed to close the opening. The temporary filling will be removed by your dentist before the tooth is restored.
After the final visit with your dentist, you must return to have a crown or other restoration placed on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function. If the tooth lacks sufficient structure to hold the restoration in place, your dentist may place a post inside the tooth. Ask your dentist t for more details about the specific restoration planned for your tooth.