After a thorough examination and an x-ray
and on some occasions possibly even a cone beam CT scan, the tooth is numbed using a
local anaesthetic solution. This is going to make treatment more comfortable for the
patient and supplementary anaesthesia may be required for the gums around tooth area.
Once the tooth has been fully numb, a rubber sheet or vinyl sheet is usually placed over
the tooth. This is to make sure that the tooth is as sterile as possible. As saliva is full
of bacteria and we do not want root canals to be infected where possible. This is also
makes it much easier for the patient to tolerate treatment. There’ll be no water in the back
of his throat, and we can actually make treatment easier for the dentist as well and more efficient.
Once this has been placed, a small hole is made at the top surface of the tooth. This
is to allow access to the pulp so that the inside of the root canal system can then be
thoroughly cleaned out. This is washed out with disinfectant solutions and very fine
and delicate instruments with using a hand and rotary are used to clean and shape the
inside of the root canal. After further disinfectant, the root canals are then sealed either with
a rubber-based material or a lot of more modern materials that are available that the dentist
may find suitable at that time.