At the first dental visit, you may be prescribed antibiotic treatment
for a number of days before the root canal procedure is performed. At the beginning of the procedure, your dentist will anesthetize the tooth sufficiently to prevent pain while performing the root canal procedure.
A drill is then used to access the pulp chamber and associated canals of the tooth. Using flexible nickel titanium pin-like files, the dentist will delicately (but thoroughly) cleanse the length of the canals and tip (or apex) of the root to completely remove all traces of infection or debris. This process is performed with a great deal of care in order to minimize damage or trauma to the surrounding ligaments and bone. To accomplish this, the dentist may use additional tools to measure the root.
Your dentist will then disinfect and seal the tooth. Dentists and endodontists use a special type of heat gun to fill the canal with a material called gutta-percha. Gutta-percha is a natural, biocompatible, anti-bacterial material that expands and seals the hollowed area within the span of about 15 minutes. The dentist then fills the canal’s access hole with a temporary or permanent filling.
On occasion, a temporary filling is placed in the hole used to access the root canals in order to allow time for healing. Once the tooth is deemed to be healing properly and the root canal deemed a success, a permanent restoration (such as a dental filling or crown) is placed. During the interim, you may receive medication to manage the soreness and discomfort that may result from the procedure.