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What happens during a root canal procedure? A root canal procedure, also known as endodontic therapy, is a dental treatment aimed at saving a tooth that has become infected or severely damaged due to decay, trauma, or other factors. The procedure involves removing the infected or damaged tissue from inside the tooth, cleaning and disinfecting the root canals, and sealing the space to prevent further infection. Here’s a step-by-step overview of what happens during a root canal procedure. In this article, we’ll walk through each step of the root canal procedure, dispel common myths, and address frequently asked questions to provide a clear understanding of what happens during this essential dental treatment.

Demystifying the Root Canal Procedure: A Step-by-Step Guide

Root canal treatment, often misunderstood and feared by many, is a dental procedure aimed at saving a severely damaged or infected tooth. Despite its reputation, modern advancements in dentistry have made root canal procedures significantly more comfortable and effective.

Understanding Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy, also known as endodontic treatment, is necessary when the soft tissue inside the tooth, known as the dental pulp, becomes inflamed or infected. This can occur due to deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, a cracked or fractured tooth, or trauma to the tooth. If left untreated, the infection can spread to the surrounding tissues and lead to abscess formation, bone loss, and ultimately, tooth loss. Root canal treatment aims to remove the infected or damaged tissue, clean and disinfect the root canals, and seal the space to prevent further infection.

Step-by-Step Guide to Root Canal Procedure

1. Assessment and Diagnosis
Before performing a root canal, our dentist will conduct a thorough examination of the affected tooth, including X-rays to assess the extent of the damage and determine the shape and length of the root canals. Based on the findings, our dentist will diagnose the need for a root canal and discuss the treatment plan with you.

2. Anaesthesia
To ensure your comfort during the procedure, your dentist will administer local anaesthesia to numb the affected tooth and surrounding tissues. In some cases, sedation dentistry options may also be available to help you relax if you experience dental anxiety or fear.

3. Access Opening
Once the anaesthesia has taken effect, our dentist will create a small access opening in the top of the tooth, known as the occlusal surface for posterior teeth or the biting surface for anterior teeth. This access opening allows your dentist to reach the pulp chamber and root canals inside the tooth.

4. Removal of Infected or Damaged Tissue
Using specialised instruments called files, your dentist will carefully remove the infected or damaged tissue from inside the tooth, including the pulp chamber and root canals. This process may take some time, depending on the extent of the infection and the complexity of the tooth’s root canal system.

5. Cleaning and Disinfection
Once the infected tissue has been removed, our dentist will thoroughly clean and disinfect the root canals to remove any remaining bacteria and debris. This is typically done using a series of irrigants and antibacterial solutions to ensure the complete elimination of infection.

6. Shaping and Enlargement
After cleaning and disinfection, your dentist will shape and enlarge the root canals using specialised instruments. This step is crucial for ensuring that the root canals are properly prepared to receive the filling material and promote healing.

7. Filling and Sealing
Once the root canals have been shaped and cleaned, your dentist will fill them with a biocompatible material, usually a rubber-like substance called gutta-percha. The root canals are then sealed to prevent reinfection and leakage using a dental cement.

8. Restoration
With the root canal treatment complete, our dentist will proceed to restore the tooth to its proper form and function. This may involve placing a dental filling or crown over the tooth to provide strength and protection. In some cases, a temporary filling or crown may be placed initially, with a permanent restoration placed at a later appointment.

FAQs About Root Canal Procedure

1. Is root canal treatment painful?
Contrary to common misconceptions, root canal treatment is not inherently painful. With the use of local anaesthesia and modern techniques, most patients report minimal discomfort or pressure during the procedure.

2. How long does a root canal procedure take?
The duration of a root canal procedure can vary depending on factors such as the location and complexity of the affected tooth. On average, a root canal can take one to two hours to complete.What happens during a root canal procedure

3. What are the signs that I may need a root canal?
Signs that you may need a root canal include severe toothache, prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold, swelling or tenderness in the gums, and discolouration of the tooth.

4. Can I drive myself home after a root canal?
In most cases, patients are safe to drive themselves home after a root canal procedure, as the effects of local anaesthesia typically wear off within a few hours. However, if you receive sedation during the procedure, it’s advisable to arrange for someone to drive you home.

5. How long does it take to recover from a root canal?
Recovery from a root canal procedure is typically quick, with most patients able to resume normal activities the same day or the next day. Any post-procedure discomfort can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain medications.

6. Are there alternatives to root canal treatment?
In some cases, tooth extraction may be considered as an alternative to root canal treatment. However, tooth extraction can lead to additional dental issues, making root canal therapy the preferred option for preserving natural teeth whenever possible.

7. Will I need a crown after a root canal?
In many cases, a dental crown is recommended after a root canal to provide strength and protection to the treated tooth. Your dentist will evaluate your specific situation and recommend the appropriate restoration.

8. What should I expect after a root canal procedure?
After a root canal procedure, you may experience some mild discomfort or soreness in the treated tooth and surrounding tissues as the anesthesia wears off. This is normal and can typically be managed with over-the-counter pain medications.

9. How much does a root canal cost?
The cost of a root canal procedure can vary depending on factors such as the location of the tooth, the complexity of the case, and whether additional procedures, such as dental crowns, are needed. On average, root canal treatment can cost between £300 to £1000 per tooth.

10. Is root canal treatment effective?
Yes, root canal treatment is highly effective in alleviating tooth pain caused by infection or damage to the dental pulp. By removing the infected or damaged tissue, cleaning and disinfecting the root canals, and sealing the space, root canal therapy eliminates the source of pain and promotes healing.

In a Nutshell

Understanding the root canal procedure is crucial for dispelling myths and alleviating fears surrounding this essential dental treatment. By familiarising yourself with each step of the process and addressing common questions and concerns, you can approach root canal therapy with confidence and ensure a positive outcome for your dental health. If you believe you may need a root canal or have questions about the procedure, don’t hesitate to consult with our dentist, who can provide personalised care and guidance based on your specific needs.

Why Choose O'Hagan & Murray for Root Canal Treatments

O'Hagan & Murray stands out as a premier choice for root canal treatments due to our unwavering commitment to excellence and patient-centric approach. With a team of highly skilled and experienced dental professionals, we specialise in performing root canal procedures with precision and care. Utilising state-of-the-art technology and advanced techniques, we ensure thorough treatment while prioritising patient comfort and satisfaction. Our clinic fosters a welcoming and supportive environment, where patients can feel at ease throughout the entire treatment process. From diagnosis to post-treatment care, O'Hagan & Murray is dedicated to delivering exceptional results and helping patients achieve optimal oral health. Trust us to provide the highest standard of care for your root canal needs.

What Our Patients Think of Us

O'Hagan & Murray
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Jay CumminsJay Cummins
16:32 20 Nov 23
The dentist saved my tooth that had bad decay. I was ready for them to suggest removing it, but he X-rayed it and showed me the situation on his big-screen, and walked me through my options. Very professional. His initial treatment was so good that my tooth recovered quickly. Can't thank them enough. The hygienist was great too and worth the appointment.If you have something that needs attention, just go get it looked at, don't wait until it gets worse. I highly recommend this practise.
Sophie O’HaganSophie O’Hagan
18:41 09 Apr 23
The best dental treatment I have experienced. Lovely staff
loh 96loh 96
18:39 09 Apr 23
Declan McAteerDeclan McAteer
18:39 09 Apr 23
Brilliant experience. From the moment I walked to the moment I walked out everything was amazing!!
Emma O'HaganEmma O'Hagan
18:39 09 Apr 23
5 star experience!
Mary O'HaganMary O'Hagan
09:17 27 Oct 21
Zara is the best hygienist I have ever attended. provides an excellent service and is a very calming presence for those of us who are nervous in dental surgeries. Thank you Zara.
Robert MegarityRobert Megarity
18:22 01 Feb 17
I recently had treatment completed in this surgery. The service I received was excellent from the time I crossed the door. The reception staff were very helpful and pleasant and the dental surgeons were very very skilled and professional. I have always been rather afraid of dentists but they made me feel very at ease. I will continue to use this professional and caring surgery.Rob Newry
matt dohertymatt doherty
14:59 06 Aug 13
I was delighted that I went to this practice,from Doris and Eimear on reception to all the other staff ,I found them all very courteous and practice had a great atmosphere.My treatment went great and I saved 50% on what I had been quoted in Dublin.I will be returning for my checkup when I receive a text !!! this was really handy way to receive appointment reminders,many thanks all

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