root canal procedure example

At East Coast Endodontics, a root canal is a gentle and painless experience because we use state-of-the-art technologies, innovative techniques and modern anesthesia practices to ensure our patients’ comfort. However, over the years, root canals have received a bad reputation, and as a result, many patients feel intimidated or afraid of visiting an endodontic practice.

East Coast Endodontics understands patients’ fears, and to ease concerns, we have outlined the basic root canal procedure a patient can expect when visiting our Richmond, Virginia practice. Please note that each patient’s case is unique, but the overall process will be similar for every individual.

While visiting the general dentist for a routine exam or because you have been experiencing discomfort, your dentist may recommend that you visit an endodontist to explore possible root canal therapies.

Your dentist fills out a referral form and forwards your case to our Richmond office.

Generally, your first appointment will take place within a week after your dentists sends a referral.

After receiving your dentist’s referral, Dr. Harris reviews your case and consults with your general dentist to determine if your tooth is a good candidate for endodontic root canal therapy.

We will inform you as soon as possible if we determine that your tooth is not suitable for root canal treatment or if your prognosis changes any time during the course of treatment.

During your first visit to our conveniently located office in Richmond, our friendly receptionist Lindsay greets you and will have you fill out a couple forms if you haven’t already done so online.

Our dental assistant, Doreen or Kaytie, will take you into an exam room and take any necessary radiographs.

Dr. Harris will review the radiographs and perform a few simple tests to determine the status of the tooth or teeth in question.

Dr. Harris will review the results of your examination and x-rays, then determine a strategy for treating your case in an expert and pain-free manner. He will discuss your root canal therapy options with you so that you can decide together how to move forward.

Your first visit will last approximately 30 minutes, and generally, your next appointment will take place as soon as possible and is convenient for you.

Your next step is usually non-surgical treatment to remove the tooth’s injured pulp and to cleanse and seal your tooth’s root canal system.

After checking in with the friendly receptionist, a dental assistant will call you back into the examining room where you will be seated.

Dr. Harris will greet you and aim to make you feel as comfortable as possible. To numb the affected area and provide a painless experience, he will administer local anesthesia, which entails a topical numbing gel and an injection near the affected tooth.

While you wait for the anesthesia to take effect (approximately 5-10 minutes), you may read magazines or watch television on the examining room’s flatscreen television.

Dr. Harris will ensure you are adequately numb and then he will complete the root canal by opening the tooth, and while looking through a high-powered, ceiling-mounted microscope, remove the infected tissue from the tooth.

During the procedure, you may listen to music on your iPod, watch television on the flatscreen television or relax and close your eyes. Dr. Harris is gentle and ensures your comfort during every step of the treatment process. You should not experience any discomfort during your root canal treatment.

When Dr. Harris completes your root canal, he places a temporary filling in the tooth.

The dental assistant will review aftercare instructions, and Dr. Harris will answer any questions or concerns you may have.
You will check out at the reception desk and receive a packet of take-home materials. In most cases, you will return to your normal routine.

This appointment typically lasts approximately 90 to 120 minutes.

In most cases, after endodontic therapy, you will feel comfortable, returning immediately to your normal routine.

As soon as possible, contact your general dentist’s office for a follow-up restoration. The recently treated tooth will require a permanent filling or crown, depending on what your general dentist recommends. Your general dentist will be contacted by our office informing them of the outcome of our visit.

To prevent fracture, avoid eating on the treated tooth until it is restored by your dentist.

If you have any questions at any point, please contact our Richmond office immediately. We are happy to answer every question that will help you feel more comfortable and confident during this process.

If you were seen for root canal surgery or retreatment, you may be asked to return for a follow up appointment. Dr. Harris will check that the area is healing correctly and that you are comfortable. He will be available to answer any questions you may have.

This appointment lasts approximately 15 minutes.

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