The office will be closed on December 24th in observance of the holidays
Why Do Some Root Canal Treatment Take Two Visits?

Why Do Some Root Canal Treatment Take Two Visits?

Feb 01, 2022

Has your dentist in Potomac scheduled you for a root canal over two dental visits? It is not something to get all worked up about because it happens more often than not. Many dentists prefer performing root canals in two separate dental visits, even just for one tooth.

What Is a Root Canal?

It is an endodontic procedure performed to treat a diseased tooth. It is done by treating the inner layers of teeth while carefully preserving the structure. The most common reasons you are likely to visit a root canal dentist are increased tooth sensitivity and toothache. These are the most common indicators of a diseased tooth nerve. Treatment entails removing the bacteria inside your tooth, along with the damaged soft tissues.

Are Two Dental Visits Necessary?

At Potomac Crown Dentistry, we often recommend two dental visits for a root canal procedure for any of the following reasons:

  1. Multiple teeth need treatment – meaning you require a root canal for more than one tooth.
  2. For an infected tooth – sometimes the dentist may need to disinfect your tooth with medicine first, then allow the infection to clear off before the root canal procedure.
  3. When you need a dental crown – usually to strengthen a weak tooth enamel after a root canal procedure.
  4. Calcified tooth
  5. Complex tooth structure that dictates more time to complete the procedure.

Understanding Procedure Involved in 1st Root Canal Appointment

The first dental visit entails most of the endodontic dental work. The initial part of your treatment is a dental exam, where your dentist studies the state of your tooth, determining whether or not a root canal procedure would be suitable for your treatment. Once you are an eligible patient for tooth canal, your procedure begins.

The dentist first numbs your mouth with local anesthesia, ensuring your procedure is painless. Afterward, the dentist removes any signs of tooth decay on your tooth. This step is then followed by drilling to access the inner layers of your tooth.

The drilled hole will allow your dentist to remove the bacteria inside your tooth pulp. The cleaning process will also get rid of all damaged soft tissues, including nerves and blood vessels. Once the tooth is clean enough, it is ready for filling and sealing. The filling used to block the tooth canal, preventing re-entry of bacteria, is called gutta-percha. Afterward, your dentist will place a temporary tooth filling to protect the outer layer of your tooth.

Reasons for 2nd Root Canal Appointment and Procedure

The second appointment for your treatment entails the completion of your procedure. The temporary tooth filling is removed to make room for the permanent filling. Your dentist will check for any indicators of re-infection before placing the permanent tooth filling.

If the size of the tooth filling is small to average, that will be all that’s necessary for your treatment. However, when the tooth filling is large, it requires reinforcement to strengthen it. It means that you need a dental crown to hold your tooth together. This will be determined during your first dental visit, allowing your dentist to create your dental crown installed in the second visit.

To observe the success of the root canal procedure, dental experts take dental x-rays of the treated tooth. An x-ray will shed light on the condition of the tooth inside, identifying any possible obstruction in the root ends of the tooth.

Does Everyone Need a Root Canal Done?

However successful the dental treatment, a root canal cannot be performed on every patient. Typically, root canal procedures save diseased and damaged teeth. However, not all damaged teeth are salvageable through these dental protocols. Some of the factors that qualify you for a root canal are:

  1. Severe toothache
  2. Dental cavities and tooth decay
  3. Cracked or broken tooth
  4. Hypersensitive tooth
  5. Abscessed tooth

Patients with severely damaged teeth may not be a fit candidate for endodontic procedures, especially if the structure of the diseased tooth is root compromised. Instead, you may require a dental extraction and a tooth replacement solution to restore your tooth.