Most dental patients hear the term root canal and think of the basic procedure. They may also be concerned about what the root canal process actually is, as well as other aspects of the process such as healing time. What patients may not know is there are three types of root canals. If you are a dental patient and you are expecting to need a root canal, here are the three types and what you should know about each one.
Instrumentation Root Canal
An instrumentation root canal deals with more of a prep stage for the root canal. This is done after the initial area cleaning and when further bacteria and debris must be removed from the area. The dentist will ensure that x-rays are taken to determine how long and how deep the tooth issue goes and how long the root of the tooth is. This is usually done when the tooth has significant issues and further steps need to be taken to ensure the entire issue is removed. Instrumentation can also be used as a second step in a detailed root canal process.
Obturation Root Canal
Obturation root canals tend to refer to irrigation of the cleaned infected area. A rubber dam is normally placed around the tooth to section it off for easy cleaning and dental work. The tooth is irrigated with water and then an antibacterial solution to remove any leftover bacteria and ensure the area is as sterile as possible. Once this is done, the filling of the root canal can take place. This can be done as an emergency root canal or as the final step in a more detailed root canal process.
Extirpation Root Canal
Extirpation refers to the cleansing of the tooth during the root canal process. This can be done as part of a root canal same-day service or emergency service. However, it can also be done as step one to a root canal prior to future appointments. For example, you may be told you need a root canal, but the root canal is not an emergency. If this is the case, your dentist may have you start with extirpation. Once extirpation is done, you may need to come back after a few days or weeks to continue with more detailed root canal approaches.
Root canals are a way for dentists to help reduce your pain and increase your overall oral hygiene. If your dentist suggests a root canal for your dental issues, consider asking them to discuss the type of root canal they will be using. This can help you better understand the process and what to expect. It will also allow you to ask more specific questions about the procedure.