Details about this video.

This third video segment explains the steps associated with filling in and sealing off the tooth's now cleansed pulp chamber and root canals.

This is the final portion of the root canal process proper. However, the tooth will still need to be rebuilt before its full treatment has been completed.

What this video covers:

a) Filling and sealing the tooth.

i) Selecting the filling materials.
  • In most cases, gutta percha (a inert rubbery compound) and some type of paste-like sealer are used to fill in the cleansed space inside a tooth.
  • Gutta percha comes in pre-shaped cones that have an identical size and taper as the root canal files that were used to clean the tooth. Cones are selected for placement in the tooth's individual root canals depending on which size of file was last used to clean and shape it.
ii) Placing the filling materials.
  • The dentist will first dry the tooth's individual root canals.
  • They will then place one or more cones of gutta percha in each one, usually after first dipping it in a paste-like sealer.
  • When more than one cone is used, they are frequently compressed against each other, so to minimize any space that exists between them. Collectively, they may also be heated up (so they become soft and rubbery) and condensed together inside the tooth.

Overall, the goal of these steps is to simply create a solid mass that completely fills in and seals off the hollow space that exists within the tooth. Once that's been accomplished, formally speaking the tooth's root canal process has been completed.

b) Explaining to the patient what additional work their tooth requires.

Every tooth that has received root canal therapy will still require additional dental work. At minimum, some type of restoration will be needed to fill in their tooth's access cavity. (A temporary filling will be placed at the completion of its endodontic treatment.)

i) Coronal leakage.

Actually, when discussing root canal work there are two seals that are important.

  1. The internal one that your dentist creates during therapy (as described above).
  2. The seal of the access cavity created by the dental restoration that your dentist places after your root canal treatment has been completed.

The latter seal is just as important as the former when it comes to the long-term success of your tooth's treatment. That means you'll need to heed your dentist's advice regarding both the type of restoration that should be placed dental crowns are often chosen for this purpose), as well as when.

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