Root Canal Rinse - What For and When?
A root canal rinse is used to clean a reconditioned root canal during a root canal treatment.
If chemicals and/or deep caries and/or the overheating of a tooth during the cutting of a crown lead to the dying off of the dental nerve, the nerve must be removed. This is done during the root canal treatment. First, the tooth is drilled open; then the canals are reconditioned in a conical fashion with the root canal instruments and are repeatedly rinsed between the individual work steps. By rinsing with a special solution (as a rule, dentists use sodium hypochlorite), chips of dentin and cell debris are removed from the canals.
The goal is to obtain dry, conical, and clean canals – a prerequisite for filling them. Rinsing won’t do anything if the tooth is contaminated with saliva, in which the cleaning is in vain, because saliva contains many bacteria that negate the success of the root canal treatment. More on that in the videos “ Dental dam,” and “Root Canal Treatment.” The dental dam also prevents you from swallowing the chemicals. This procedure should take a few minutes for each canal, because this is the only way to get the canals really clean. After rinsing, the canals are dried and filled. Whether the root canal treatment was performed well or not can be assessed by means of an X-ray.
There are no alternatives to root canal rinsing. Although the root canal is frequently cleaned with a laser, this is not sufficient. One should always rinse; the laser cannot replace the rinse.
The risks of a root canal rinse are insignificant when done by an experienced dentist; nevertheless, complications may occur in individual cases, possibly requiring additional measures. Every additional measure may in turn lead to complications which may be life-threatening in the course of treatment. At this point, we will only discuss the specific complications encountered in a root canal rinse. These are, for example:
- Accidental application/spraying of the rinse into the eye or the maxillary sinus with the respective consequences
- Allergic reactions
- No cleaning effect due to old, expired rinsing solutions
This post is also available in: German