Root Canal Diagram

It’s one of the most common dental procedures out there. And with roughly one in four people in the U.S. living with at least one untreated cavity, root canal therapy will remain commonplace.

Despite how routine a root canal is, nationally and here in Richmond, VA, there are still tons of people who don’t know much about what goes into the procedure. So if you’ve ever wondered what a dentist does when seemingly poking around curiously in the inside of a tooth, here’s a look at what the root canal process entails and what you can expect if you get one done at a dentist in Richmond, VA.

Preparing the Tooth for the Root Canal

A good chunk of the time spent at a root canal appointment is actually spent preparing the tooth for the root canal. A dental hygienist will briefly clean your mouth and you’ll have X-Rays of the site done to guide your dentist.

The dentist will then use a thin sheet of rubber, a “dental dam,” to quarantine the tooth and you’ll be given a shot of a local anesthetic to the gums to numb the area. So you won’t feel anything during the procedure.

Cleaning out the Decay

Your dentist will make a tiny bore hole in your tooth to access the infected pulp inside. Your dentist may also reshape the exterior of the tooth to help it support a dental prosthesis, such as a crown or a bridge. From there, your dentist will carefully remove decayed tooth pulp, while leaving behind healthy tissue.

Sealing and Capping the Tooth

The dentist will use latex to replace the decayed tissue that was removed from the teeth, fill the void left by the cleaning and to preserve the healthy pulp. A dental cement will be used to keep the latex in place and a temporary seal will secure the tooth until you go in for your follow up appointment. The tooth will be topped with a temporary crown or bridge to provide function and aesthetic while you await the final appointment.

At the follow up appointment, the temporary seal and prosthetic will be replaced with permanent solutions.

Talk to a Dentist in Richmond about a Root Canal

Find out whether you need a root canal, a filling or just a bit of reassurance. Click here to schedule a consultation with a local dentist in Richmond, VA.