What this video covers:

a) The beginning of the patient's root canal procedure.

As initial steps of the process, the dentist must:

  1. Numb up the tooth and surrounding tissues.
  2. Isolate the tooth (create a barrier that separates it from direct contact with the rest of the patient's mouth) by way of placing a rubber dam.

    Doing so prevents contaminates from the oral environment from entering the tooth while it is being treated.

  3. Once numbed and isolated, the dentist can then begin the process of "opening" the tooth.

    To do so, they'll create an "access cavity," which is simply a hole that's drilled through the tooth to its pulp chamber (a cavernous "nerve" space inside the center of the tooth).

B) Determining how much treatment will be accomplished during the first visit.

Once access into the tooth has been made, the dentist must decide how much additional work will be performed during this initial appointment. As the video explains, what they decide will depend on:

  • The conditions they observe inside the tooth after opening it. (Does the tooth have live pulp tissue or is it necrotic? Is pus present?)
  • What has the patient experienced leading up to their appointment? (Has the tooth displayed any symptoms or has it been "quiet"?)
i) Treating problematic teeth -

In those cases where a patient's tooth has been troublesome (has produced pain or swelling), this video describes some of the different approaches the dentist may use to relieve the patient's symptoms and stabilize conditions within their tooth.

They can then be rescheduled for a subsequent appointment (after the tooth has had a chance to settle down) during which treatment can be continued or even completed.

ii) Treating quiet teeth -

Some teeth slated for treatment may display no apparent symptoms. (The tooth's need for therapy may have been unexpectedly discovered via x-ray examination. Or possibly the tooth had previously shown symptoms but has since settled down.)

If so, the steps performed so far may simply constitute the initial segment of the total amount of treatment the tooth will receive during this appointment. (In some cases, a tooth's entire root canal procedure may be completed in one sitting).

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