When Do You Need 3 Appointments for a Root Canal?

When Do You Need 3 Appointments for a Root Canal?

Aug 01, 2023

Overview of Root Canal

Root canal therapy is known as endodontic treatment. It is a dental procedure that treats and saves a natural tooth that would otherwise require extraction due to severe infection or damage. The process involves eliminating the infected or inflamed inner layers of the tooth, called the pulp cavity. It houses various soft tissues, including connective tissues, blood vessels, and nerve endings.

What Entails Root Canal Procedure?

When you visit us at The Dentists at 650 Heights, expect the following steps involved in a typical root canal therapy:

  • Diagnosis: The endodontist examines the diseased tooth and takes dental X-rays to assess its condition and the extent of the damage. The tests will also determine the vitality of the tooth’s pulp.
  • Local anesthesia: The dentist administers local anesthesia to numb the mouth before starting the procedure to ensure you are comfortable and pain-free.
  • Accessing the canal: Endodontists drill the tooth to create an access hole in the crown that reaches the pulp chamber and root canals.
  • Removing the infected contents of the pulp cavity: The dentist removes the infected soft tissues from the pulp chamber and root canals. This way, (s)he can shape and clean the canals eliminating any bacteria, debris, or infected tissue.
  • Disinfection and irrigation: The root canals need thorough irrigation with antimicrobial solutions to eliminate bacteria and reduce the risk of reinfection.
  • Filling the root canal: Usually with a biocompatible material called gutta-percha. Gutta-percha is placed into the canals to prevent bacteria from re-entering and promote healing.
  • Restoring the tooth: The final restoration entails sealing the access hole with a dental filling and a temporary crown. Depending on the specific case, the dentist will install a permanent crown to optimize the tooth’s strength, aesthetics, and function at a later appointment.

How Many Appointments Do You Need for A Root Canal?

Usually, dentists can complete root canal treatment in one to two appointments. The dentist will determine what suits you more based on the initial dental evaluation before root canal treatment. Besides, you will only require extra dental visits for root canal therapy in Houston under the following circumstances:

  • Abscess – features a significant infection at the tooth root. You may need multiple appointments for proper drainage of the disease and to allow time for the infection to heal before completing the root canal therapy near you.
  • Complex root canal anatomy – may cause difficulty accessing and cleaning the root canal system. Curved or narrow canals, extra canals, or calcified Canals are cases that require meticulous cleaning and shaping, which may require additional time and appointments.
  • Multiple canals and teeth – teeth with more than the usual number of root canals, such as molars with three or four canals, may require numerous appointments. Further, if the dentist has to work on multiple teeth, you will need three or more dental visits.
  • Customized treatment plans – the endodontist may plan the treatment in multiple appointments to accommodate your comfort, availability, or specific needs. The treatments are necessary to ensure each step is performed effectively.
  • Preparing dental crowns – if your dentist needs to tailor a dental crown for your tooth after root canal treatment, you may need a separate dental visit. Usually, dental crowns are developed in a laboratory, which means the process takes time. Therefore, the conditions surrounding creating a dental crown or other restoration like bridgework or dentures may push the timeline up so that you need three dental visits.
  • Failed treatment – you need to visit an endodontist near you for retreatment when you suspect you have a failed root canal. Some signs that your root canal treatment may have failed are:
    • Severe tooth pain after the first few days of recovery
    • Sensitivity that does not get better with time
    • Recurring or new infection on the treated tooth
    • Tooth discoloration – the treated tooth may appear darker or become grayish over time
    • Radiographic changes – revealing changes in the bone surrounding the root of the treated tooth.

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