Although patients dread the root canal, if you understand the process and your dentist performs it correctly, it will not be as difficult or painful as you believe. Here is a breakdown of the treatment process to help you know what to expect.

The Consultation Stage

This is the first stage where you visit a dental clinic with an excruciating toothache. The dentist will then:

  • Take a look at the tooth and notice an abscess, indicating an infected pulp
  • Request for tests and an X-ray for further investigation 
  • Go through the test results, confirm the infection, and recommend a root canal  
  • Communicate the need for a root canal, explaining the importance, steps, and costs

The Three-Step Treatment Process

You will undergo a three-step treatment process when getting a root canal. The stages are as follows.

1. Extirpation

This is the first stage where the dentist removes the nerve from the tooth, controls the infection, and medicates it. The duration of this process will depend on the infection and may take a few minutes.

What happens at this stage?

  • The dentist numbs your tooth and uses a drill to clean the root 
  • The dentist uses an antibacterial solution to kill bacteria
  • A temporary filling is placed to lock medicine in the tooth
  • The dentist gives you the date for the next appointment

You can expect mild soreness after the procedure, although it will likely subside after a day or two.

2. Instrumentation

This is the second stage where the dentist cleans the root canal extensively to control bacteria and reduce the pain. It takes longer than extirpation.

At this stage;

  • You follow up with the next appointment given during your previous visit. It could be a few weeks after the first stage.
  • The dentist repeats the same process as in extirpation. However, this time they are more thorough to get rid of all the bacteria.
  • The dentist measures how deep the root canal is and confirms the length by taking X-rays.

3. Obturation

It is the last stage that is done once the tooth is painless. Therefore, your dentist might schedule an appointment for obturation a few days after the other processes. At this stage, the dentist seals the tooth. The process can take a few minutes.

At this stage:

  • The dentist confirms there is no pain or signs of bacteria or an infection
  • Your dentist sprays the tooth using antibacterial solutions, then dries it
  • The dentist places rubber points, ensuring they extend to the previously measured length of the canal.
  • They then seal the canal and finish it off with fillings.

Failing to get a root canal could prolong the pain and cause severe tooth infection. Over time, it could cause bone loss and other dental problems. Get ahead of the infection by getting your root canal process started!

Talk to your dentist to learn more about root canals