Root canal treatment is usually performed in one or two visits and involves the following steps:
- After the tooth is numbed, the endodontist places a small protective sheet called a rubber dam over the tooth to isolate it and keep it clean and free of saliva during the procedure.
- The endodontist then makes an opening in the crown of the tooth and cleans the damaged pulp from the inside of the tooth (pulp chamber and root canals).
- After cleaning and shaping the root canals, the endodontist fills these empty spaces with gutta-percha (a rubber-like material) and adhesive cement, which seal the canals.
- The opening in the tooth is then filled with a core build-up (typically a tooth-coloured composite material).
- If required, the endodontist may also place a fibre post inside the tooth to help retain the core build-up.
- After the final visit, you should normally return to your dentist to have a crown placed on the tooth to help protect it from fracturing.