What Happens During a Root Canal Appointment?
At your appointment, Dr. Omid will numb your tooth. Then, using a dental handpiece (drill), he’ll remove some of the tooth structure (enamel and dentin) to access the pulp chamber. Once inside the chamber, he’ll use tiny instruments that look like upside-down Christmas trees or scrub brushes. Using these tools, Dr. Omid will, in essence, scrub the inside of the tooth and into the canals of each root of the tooth (some teeth have one canal, while the molars can have up to four) to remove all the nerve tissue.
Once the nerve is removed, he’ll clean out all the decay or damaged tooth structure. Dr. Omid will take x-rays throughout the procedure to make sure he’s cleaned all the way down to the base of each canal and that no more nerve tissue remains.
Now, it’s time to fill the canals. Dr. Omid uses a product called gutta-percha, which resembles long strips of rubber. He melts the gutta-percha and packs it into the canals to ensure there’s no way bacteria can get into the tooth.
The appointment ends by placing a temporary filling in the tooth.
Will I Need a Dental Crown After Root Canal Treatment?
In most cases, you will need a dental crown once the root canal therapy is completed. After removing the nerve tissue and any diseased or damaged enamel and dentin, there’s too little tooth structure left for a filling. Placing a filling that large would put the tooth at risk of severe fracture, which would result in the need for an extraction. Again, our goal is to save the tooth, and the best way to do that is to provide as much structure and strength as possible, which a dental crown allows us to do.