Root canal treatment step by step

Many people fear root canal treatment because they don’t know what to expect during the procedure. Our aim with this article is to explain root canal treatment step by step and why there’s no reason to be afraid of this dental treatment.

It is worth clarifying in advance what root canal treatment is, what dental problem dentists treat with it, and how long pain is considered normal after the treatment. Clarifying these questions can also help us not be so afraid of treatment.

It’s important to note that root canal treatment is the number one procedure that ensures the disappearance of complaints without tooth extraction, which is why it is the most effective tooth-preserving dental intervention.

Dentists advise root canal treatment if patients have inflamed, damaged, or decayed teeth that cause pain and/or facial swelling.

The root-treated tooth no longer causes complaints after the treatment, but its function and aesthetics are still preserved.

You can find out what actually happens during the procedure in our article.

What is root canal treatment and when is it needed? 

Before we go through the root canal treatment step by step, it is worth clarifying what exactly root canal treatment is.

This procedure is designed to save teeth where the pulp has died.

It can be caused by many things. Most often, pulpitis or a deep decay is the cause of the problem, but it can also be caused by an injury as a result of a strong blow.

In the past, dentists couldn’t save the teeth in which the pulp had died and the teeth were extracted.

Today, however, they can save the teeth with root canal treatment.

Root canal treatment is a treatment during which the tooth root canal is cleaned. Then, after disinfection, it is sealed with a permanent filling.

Root canal treatment step by step 

  1. Diagnosis 

The first step is always a correct diagnosis. This will probably require an X-ray. Root canal treatment is usually performed when the patient complains of severe pain that does not respond to painkillers and does not want to stop. If the cause of the pain is the dying tooth and the pain is unbearable, it is likely that the dentist will recommend a root canal.

  1. Anesthesia 

Root canal treatment requires local anesthesia to numb your tooth and gum. This is done with an anesthetic injection. Although many people do not like it and are even afraid of it, it is a necessary step, and though it may be unpleasant, you will feel no pain after it.

  1. Drilling through the crown part of the tooth 

This step is to open the tooth and expose the nerve chamber. During this, the dentist creates a hole in the crown part of the tooth, through which the tooth is cleaned and disinfected.

  1. Excavation of tooth root canal 

Once the nerve chamber is exposed, the dentist will expose the tooth and locate the root canals. Identifying the root canals is an important step. There can be a surprising number and locations of root canals in the tooth. Thanks to this, the dentist also measures the root canals, as it may happen that a hard-to-see root canal is the cause of the problem.

  1. Cleaning of channels 

After opening the root canals, the dentist performs the cleaning, for which he uses various tools, such as root canal needles. During cleaning, all inflammation-causing substances, tissue remains, dead tissue, which is the main source of inflammation, and the outer layer of the root canal are removed. As a result, only healthy tissue remains in the root canal.

  1. Disinfection and reduction of inflammation 

After the root canal has been physically cleaned, this process is also performed chemically. This is done by using antiseptic and anti-inflammatory substances, which are introduced into the root canal. This step serves to completely eliminate the inflammation. Anti-inflammatory substances are introduced into the root canal using cannulas developed for this purpose. In addition, in some cases, a laser beam is used for perfect disinfection.

  1. Temporary filling 

After the treatment, the dentist temporarily closes the tooth with a temporary filling. This filling is less durable than a permanent filling, so you should be careful when eating. The sealing is necessary so that the tooth does not become infected and the patient can eat relatively normally.

  1. One week break 

After the treatment, there is usually a “trial period” of one week. If during this time the complaints completely disappear and the pain does not return, we can be sure that the treatment was successful. After one week, the dentist prepares the final filling or crown.

The crown can be made of metal, porcelain or gold.

The tooth is rinsed again and another disinfectant is injected. Then there is another week off.

The treatments continue until the complaints cease to exist.

If the success of the treatment is questionable, the dentist will conduct another thorough examination, a new x-ray will be necessary, during which he will see whether the tooth can be saved or not.


The steps of root canal treatment can therefore be carried out based on the eight main steps just presented. However, it is very important to emphasize again that individual treatments can differ considerably.

If you have any questions regarding root canal treatment at our dental clinic in Budapest, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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