The root canal procedure
The root canal treatment starts with an X-ray of the affected tooth in order to see the canals’ shape and disposal and determine if there is an abscess at the tooth’s root. A local anesthetic is injected in the gum to numb the area. In some cases, the nerves are already dead, so you should not experience any pain. The anesthetic is done anyway so that you can relax and collaborate perfectly with the dentist.
Once the area is numb, the affected tooth is isolated with a rubber dam. Using a special drill, the dentist makes a hole in the tooth and performs a pulpectomy (extracts the inflamed or infected pulp, the dead nerves, the bacteria accumulated and all the other debris trapped inside the root canals). The roots are afterward cleaned thoroughly, sterilized and filled with a biocompatible material (usually gutta-percha). Cement is used to seal the gutta-percha, and a temporary filling is used to fill the cavity. In the following visit, the dentist will thoroughly clean the tooth decay and apply a permanent filling or a crown, depending on the tooth’s health.