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What to Expect During a Root Canal Therapy Appointment
If you have never undergone root canal therapy before, you are unsure of what to expect. This can create a fear of the unknown. You will feel more comfortable if you know what will happen during your appointment. Get the details, so you can prepare for your root canal.
What happens during root canal therapy?
Dentists usually require two appointments to complete a root canal. During the first appointment, the root canals are cleaned and sealed. During the second appointment, the patient receives a permanent restoration. Patients do not experience pain during these appointments. Go over the steps involved in the root canal procedure.
The first appointment
Most of the work takes place during the first appointment. The dentist begins by numbing the tooth. After the numbing agent kicks in, the dentist places a dental dam to isolate the tooth. The dental dam also keeps the tooth free from saliva during the procedure.
The dentist drills through the tooth to reach the pulp chamber. Using a small file, the dentist cleans the pulp from the tooth. The file is then used to shape the root’s inner chambers. The area is cleaned to remove any pulp that remains. The dentist might also use an antibacterial solution to irrigate the chamber to kill the remaining bacteria.
The chamber is dried and then filled. A rubber-like material takes the place of the pulp. The access hole the dentist drilled is also filled. Then the dentist takes an impression of the tooth, so a crown can be fabricated, if necessary. A crown might not be needed if the root canal was on a front tooth. However, crowns are typically required for the back teeth because these teeth need to withstand strong chewing forces.
After the first appointment
Patients go home to heal after the first appointment. Most do not experience much discomfort. Patients might need to take over-the-counter pain relievers. People should also avoid putting much pressure on the restored tooth until they receive the permanent restoration. It is advised that patients chew on the opposite side of the mouth during this time.
The second appointment
Approximately three weeks later, the patient returns to the dentist’s office to get the permanent crown. The dentist examines the tooth, and if it cannot support the crown on its own, a post is placed in the root chamber. Then, the crown is placed on the tooth. The dentist adjusts the crown if necessary, so it fits securely and does not impact the bite.
Do you need root canal therapy?
If you need a root canal, you can expect to make two appointments with your dentist. During the first appointment, your dentist will remove the damaged pulp and replace it with a filling material. You will get an impression for your permanent crown. Avoid biting down too hard on your treated tooth before you get your permanent crown. A few weeks later, you will return to the dentist to get your permanent restoration cemented in place.
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