The treatment is performed in two or three visits and involves the following steps:
- Examination and x ray of the tooth to be treated. Local anaesthetic is then administered and a small protective sheet called a “dental dam” is placed over the area to isolate the tooth and keep it clean and free of saliva during the procedure.
- An opening is made in the crown of the tooth to gain access to the dental pulp. Small instruments, called endodontic files, are used to clean the root canal system and to shape the canals in preparation for placement of the root filling. Following preparation of the canals an antibacterial medication is placed in the root canal system.
- At the following appointment the canals are filled 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. A temporary filling is placed to close the opening in the crown of the tooth. The temporary filling will be removed by your dentist before the tooth is restored.
- After the final visit you must return to your dentist to have a crown or other restoration placed on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function.