Procedures Requiring Multiple Appointments
Did you know your dental treatment may require multiple appointments? For example, if you are having a root canal, crown, bridge or veneers you will probably require at least two appointments with your dentist.
Root canal treatment may be completed in a single appointment; however there are many factors that could have you back for additional visits. Once your general dentist has begun a root canal procedure he/she may encounter unforeseen difficulties such as an additional or curved root that was not visible on an x-ray. Another complication that can occur during root canal treatment is a breached apex; this means that the tip of the root has been penetrated. If any of these, or other, obstacles arise your general dentist may need to stop treatment and refer you to an Endodontist (root canal specialist). Even when the treatment goes well your general dentist may require two appointments. At the first appointment the dentist will begin treatment by performing what is known as an “open and drain” on the affected tooth. The dentist will place a temporary filling afterward which contains cloves to “calm” the tooth and provide you, the patient, with relief from pain caused by infection. The second appointment will be to complete the root canal treatment, permanently filling all of the tooth’s canals. After the root canal treatment is completed you will require a permanent filling. The permanent filling may be placed at the same appointment or may require another visit. In addition to these two or three visits, you may need to book back with your dentist for a crown after root canal treatment.
In most cases a crown is completed in two visits to your dental office. In the first appointment the tooth is prepared by filing down the surface layer to make room for the crown and a temporary crown is placed. Your case is then sent to a dental lab where the permanent crown is made. One to two weeks later your dentist will see you again to place the permanent crown. You may require additional visits if your temporary crown comes off between these two appointments or if the permanent crown is not exactly right – we want it to fit and look perfect just as much as you do! The above outline of appointments applies to bridge and veneer treatments as well. While these additional appointments are rarely required it is important to allow for such delays, especially if you have a big event coming up or if you will be travelling close to the expected completion date.
Any dental service that requires the assistance of a dental lab will require more than one appointment. Such services include, but are not limited to: dental implants, crowns, bridges, veneers, inlays/onlays, and night guards. Other services such as hygiene (teeth cleaning) may also require additional visits based on the individual patient’s dental needs.
Keep in mind, dental emergency appointments will almost always require more than one appointment. There are many reasons for this. Firstly, it is impossible to know exactly what treatment will be required prior to a dental exam and possibly an x-ray. Oral pain may be caused by a wide variety of culprits; anything from a stubborn popcorn kernel to wisdom teeth or abscess can cause untold grief. The first appointment in an emergency situation is often diagnoses, treatment planning and pain management. Thereafter, additional appointments are scheduled accordingly.