Endodontic Procedure Step-by-Step

Endodontic treatment can often be performed in one or two visits and involves the following steps:

1. The endodontist examines and x-rays the tooth, then administers local anesthetic. After the tooth is numb, the endodontist places a small protective sheet called a “dental dam” over the area to isolate the tooth and keep it clean and free of saliva during the procedure.

Step 1

2. The endodontist makes an opening in the crown of the tooth. Very small instruments are used to clean the pulp from the pulp chamber and root canals and to shape the space for filling.

Step 2

3. After the space is cleaned and shaped, the endodontist fills the root canals with a biocompatible material, usually a rubber-like material called “gutta-percha.” The gutta-percha is placed with an adhesive cement to ensure complete sealing of the root canals. In most cases, a temporary filling is placed to close the opening. The temporary filling will be removed by your dentist before the tooth is restored.

Step 3

4. After the final visit with your endodontist, you must return to your dentist to have a crown or other restoration placed on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function. After restoration, the tooth continues to function like any other tooth.

Step 4

If the tooth lacks sufficient structure to hold the restoration in place, your dentist or endodontist may place a post inside the tooth. Ask your dentist or endodontist for more details about the specific restoration planned for your tooth.

Step 4.5

Most endodontically treated teeth last as long as other natural teeth. In a few cases, a tooth that has undergone endodontic treatment does not heal or the pain continues. Occasionally, the tooth may become painful or diseased months or even years after successful treatment. Often when this occurs, additional endodontic procedures such as retreatment or an apicoectomy can save the tooth.


Disclaimer Notice This website is provided for information and educational purposes only. A doctor/patient relationship has not been established by your use of this site. A diagnosis or treatment has not been provided by this site. The information provided on this site should be used along with your consultations with your endodontist. There are no guarantees or warrantees regarding the information proficed on this website. This website is not intended to offer specific medical, dental, or surgical advice to anyone.