Why Does A Root Canal Require Two Dental Visits?

The words “root canal” might be something you never want to hear at the dentist. But, that is mainly because of the bad reputation they have in movies and TV shows. In fact, root canal procedures have changed quite dramatically over the last few decades. Dentists are always working hard to minimize discomfort and use new technology to make restorative procedures easier for patients. However, since root canals are often not needed until you are older, you might have a lot of questions about a root canal. For example, many dentists require two appointments for root canals. In this article we will discuss root canals and what to expect. If you live in Maine and need an emergency or family dentist near you, give us a call.

What Is A Root Canal?

A root canal is a procedure where dentists remove dental decay from the tooth root. When bacteria in our mouth leads to decay that decay spreads through the tooth. Typically decay can start on the surface of the tooth at the enamel, when the enamel is destroyed the decay enters the dentin. But if the decay spreads into the root, it won’t be able to be fixed with a traditional cavity filling. In fact, decades ago, if decay made it to the tooth root the only option was to remove the tooth, otherwise the rot would spread to nearby teeth and lead to severe toothaches. 

A root canal is the process of entering the tooth’s root through the top of the tooth to remove the decay and then filling the tooth. Signs you might need a root canal are toothaches, pain when putting pressure on the tooth, and extreme sensitivity to cold or hot foods and beverages. 

Why Do Root Canals Require Two Visits?

It is fairly common for a dentist to recommend two dental visits for a root canal. During the first appointment the dentist will use local anesthesia to numb your mouth before removing the decay from the tooth. The tooth canal is cleaned by entering a small hole in the tooth’s crown. After the root is cleaned the root has to be filled and then the tooth is sealed using a temporary filling. For the second appointment, the temporary filling is removed a permanent filling is placed and an X-ray will be taken to ensure that all of the decay has been removed from the infected tooth root. 

Will I Need A Dental Crown After A Root Canal?

Another reason a root canal might take multiple visits is because you will be getting a dental crown. A crown is a synthetic cap for a tooth that protects the tooth. They are often used as anchors for dental bridges or to replace cracked or broken sections of a tooth. Sometimes the root canal procedure will require a crown because the dentist will need to remove some of the tooth in order to get to the tooth root. The removed surface of the tooth will require a dental crown which means you will need a temporary crown while a fitted crown is created for you. It often takes a week or two for a personally fitted crown to be created. 

Emergency Dentist in Southern Maine

If you live in the Lisbon Maine area and need to see a dentist right away, give us a call. We would be happy to help you with any dental issues you are having.