WHAT HAPPENS DURING A ROOT CANAL?—PART II
Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, it is sealed. That can often be completed in one appointment. But if there is an infection, your dentist may put a medication inside the tooth to clear it up and allow a painful tooth to settle down. If the root canal is not completed on the same day, a temporary filling is placed in the exterior hole in the tooth to keep out contaminants like saliva and food between appointments.
At the next appointment, to fill the interior of the tooth, a sealer paste and a rubber compound called gutta percha is placed into the tooth’s root canal. To fill the exterior access hole created at the beginning of treatment, a filling is placed.
The final step may involve further restoration of the tooth. Because a tooth that needs a root canal often is one that has a large filling or extensive decay or other weakness, a crown, crown often needs to be placed on the tooth to protect it, prevent it from breaking, and restore it to full function.
How Painful Is a Root Canal?
Root canal procedures have the reputation of being painful. Actually, most people report that the procedure itself is no more uncomfortable than having a filling placed.
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