Preparations for root canal therapy. Dental instruments for local anesthesia
If your tooth is vital (alive), rooth canal therapy requires local anesthesia. Root canal therapy should not be a painful procedure, although many patients still fear it. If your dentist tells you that you need root canal procedure, it means there is an infection: therefore, your dentist decides how much anesthetic would be needed to effectively numb the area.
- Topical anesthetic spray (benzocaine) is used for local anesthesia prior to the injection to prevent the discomfort associated with the injection.
- Needle and syringe are used to inject the anesthetic (lidocaine or similar) for nerve block. Cartridge and needle are disposable. Anesthesia works faster on soft tissues (such as your lip); it takes longer to get the pulp chamber numb: this is the reason why your dentist may still want to wait after your lip becomes numb.
- Dental cartridge syringe with aspiration is often used by your dentist during sedation to avoid hematoma, just in case the needle hits a larger blood vessel.
Dental instruments used in pulpotomy procedure (removal of a portion of the dental pulp) / pulpectomy (complete removal of the dental pulp)
- A high-speed hand piece is used to produce an opening in the tooth.
- The endodontic explorer is a hand piece that helps locating canal openings.
- A spoon excavator may be used to remove corrupted tissues such as enamel residue and decayed dentine.
- Root canal files are flexible broaches used to remove the dental pulp from the root canals. These broaches may vary in diameter. Your dentist usually starts with the smaller size and gradually increase file diameter in order to keep the procedure as non-invasive as possible. If your dentist has a different technique, that is OK! There is more than one good solution to this problem. After removing the infection and getting rid of the bacteria, your dentist will use the files to clean and shape the root canal.
- Root canal reamers see Root canal files
- A syringe with a blunt needle will be used to flush the root canals with sodium hypochlorite as soon as your dentist has finished reaming.
- Paper points. Your dentist needs to remove sodium hypochlorite and let your root canals dry. Paper points serve this purpose.
Dental instruments for dental sealing after cleaning the root canals
At the end of a standard root canal procedure, your dentist will seal the area. At this point, sealing refers to a couple of distinct procedures: closing the canals and performing dental filling (tooth restoration).
- Dental instruments to close the root canals
- Gutta-percha points are dental supplies used by your dentist to fill the dry root canals and replace the removed tissue. The cone base is colored (you may have noticed the red points).
- Endodontic spreaders are hand pieces with a sharp end used to push the gutta-perchs points into the canals.
- Pluggers have a blunt tip, but basically do what endodontic spreaders do: compress and pack the substance (gutta-percha) into the root canal.
- Dental instruments for tooth restoration
The dental instruments used by your dentist to seal the cavity formed during the root canal procedure are similar to those used for regular dental fillings. For more information on the subject, see Dental instruments for dental fillings II.
More often than not, a temporary filling is used in the first therapy session. During your next appointment, your dentist will replace this with a permanent filling. This is standard procedure. By the time your temporary filling will be replaced with a permanent filling, your tooth will no longer be vital (alive), so the procedure cannot be painful.