A root canal procedure usually requires one or more appointments and can be performed by either a dentist or an endodontist. First, the dentist administers anesthesia to numb the tooth so you have a pain free experience. Once the tooth is numb, a dental dam will be placed around the tooth to isolate it, keeping it clean and dry during the procedure.
Then, the dentist will use a small set of tools and will access the inside of the tooth by creating an opening in the top portion of the tooth. The dentist will use small files to clear away the damaged and diseased pulp from the inside of the tooth. If there are signs of tooth decay, they will also be removed. Your dentist might also put an antimicrobial solution in the chamber to kill any remaining bacteria and reduce the risk for further infection.
Once cleaned, the tooth is sealed with either a temporary or permanent filling to prevent future infection. After a few weeks have passed, your dentist will finish the treatment by placing a permanent crown or a similar type of restoration on the top of the tooth.
Once the root canal treatment is fully completed, you may be called back in for a follow-up appointment. It is very important to take good care of your teeth and gums after a root canal procedure, and the best practice is to brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss regularly and get appointments for consistent checkups and cleanings.