Root canal treatment consists of a number of steps that take place over depending on the situation. These steps are:
- The endodontist examines and x-rays the tooth, then local anesthesia is administered to the affected tooth.
- A dental dam is usually placed over the affected tooth to isolate it and keep it free from saliva.
- The endodontist makes an opening through the back of a front tooth or the crown of a molar or pre-molar to remove the diseased pulp, called a pulpectomy.
- Next, the pulp chamber and root canals are cleaned and shaped in preparation for a filling.
- The endodontist fills the root canal with gutta percha material.
- Root canal are permanently filled with gutta percha into each of the canals and is sealed in place with cement.
- Sometimes a metal or plastic rod is placed in the canal for structural support.
- In the final step, a crown is usually placed over the tooth to restore its natural shape and appearance.
- If the tooth is broken, a post may be required to build it up prior to placing a crown.