Root Canal Therapy

Endodontic Therapy or commonly, Root Canal Therapy, is a procedure performed in one or two visits. It is utilized in the treatment of tooth-related pain &/or infection. Endodontic therapy involves the following steps:

  1. Dr. Thayer evaluates the tooth through testing and digital x-rays to identify the tooth causing the problem. Once identified, local anesthetic is then administered. Once the tooth is numb, a dental dam, is placed to isolate the tooth. The dental dam ensures the operating field is clean throughout the procedure, and prevents materials used during the treatment from going down your throat. 
  2. Next, a small opening is made to access the pulp of the tooth. At this time, cavities or defective restorations may also be removed. In some cases, the small opening is made through an existing crown. Once in the pulp chamber, the canals of the roots are located and each are cleaned & shaped using small instruments and various disinfecting solutions. 
  3. After the root canal systems are cleaned & shaped, the root canals are filled with a biocompatible material. Typically, this is with an inert, rubber-like material called Gutta-Percha, which is cemented using a biocompatible cement material, referred to as the sealer. Once the root canals have been filled, either a final filling is placed to close the access, or a temporary filling is placed. If a temporary is placed, your dentist will remove it before completing the final restoration. 
  4. If your tooth lacks sufficient tooth structure to support a future restoration, a post may be placed into a canal space. For anterior and premolar teeth, which may take lateral forces, and thus prone to fracturing, a post will help to provide strength back to the root system. 
  5. In many cases, the endodontic procedure is not the last stop. Once the endodontic care is completed, you will need to return to your dentist to have a final restoration placed or a crown to protect the tooth and restore it to full function.