Sodium Hypochlorite Usage in Root Canal Treatment
In dentistry, sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) is used to rinse root canals during root canal treatments.
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 and the hollow root canal must be sealed; this is done during a 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 rinsed again and again.
Rinsing with sodium hypochlorite not only removes dentin chips, but kills bacteria as well. But in order to do so, the canals must be rinsed for a sufficient amount of time. Furthermore, the solution should have a specific concentration. With a 3% sodium hypochlorite solution, germs are killed after a sufficiently long exposure time (about three minutes), but the bone at the root end is not damaged.
In the video "Sodium Hypochlorite" you see a tooth whose canals have already been reconditioned; the work area is protected from saliva and the tongue by a cofferdam. The cofferdam also prevents you from swallowing the chemicals – in this case, the NaOCl - the canals are rinsed with NaOCl. As was already mentioned, this procedure should take a few minutes for each canal, as this is the only way to get the canals really clean. After rinsing, the canals are dried and filled – there is more information in the video labelled "Root Canal Treatment".
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