Lesson 44


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The phone’s ringing

Patient: Good morning, Doctor. I would like to make an appointment with you. I am a patient of Dr Kosinska who recommended you to me. It’s about root canal treatment in two teeth which should have some crowns done.

Doctor: I see. The nearest appointment I could offer would be in two weeks. That would be Monday afternoon. Is it suitable for you?

Patient: It’s a shame it’s so late. But I’ll wait. However, I’d rather have an appointment on a different day than Monday, because I always work on this day long hours, sometimes even into the evening.

Doctor: Of course. No problem. It may be any day: Tuesday until Friday, but only in two weeks time.

Patient: So, can it be Tuesday after 4 p.m.

Doctor: OK, we’re scheduled then. Please take X-rays photos, if you have such. If you could not come for a visit, please inform me.

Patient: Yes, of course. I have my X-rays photos on a CD, and I’ll certainly come, because I really want to have these crowns made quickly. See you!

Doctor: Goodbye.

After two weeks

Patient: Good afternoon. I have an appointment for today at 4 p.m.

Doctor: Hello, please sit down in the waiting room. I’ll be with you in ten minutes. Please fill the card out. There are some questions about your personal details, diseases you went through and general medical history.

After 10 minutes

Doctor: Please sit on the chair. Have you had any problems with filling the card out?

Patient: No, I haven’t. The questions were clear.

Doctor: I see. You have answered all the questions. I see that you are generally healthy. Now tell me what seems to be a problem.

Patient: Yes, as I said before, I am a patient of Dr Kosinska. She decided to cover the two premolars on the right side at the top with crowns. She did not want to apply fillings because they are badly damaged and the fillings would not last.

Doctor: Yes, indeed. Crowns are almost non-existent. The teeth require prosthetic reconstruction.

Patient: That’s right and the root canals are filled badly.

Doctor: Yes, let me see the pictures. These teeth require a second root canal treatment indeed. I hope that this material, which partially fills the canals, will be possible to be removed.

Patient: There might be a problem?

Doctor: Sometimes it is difficult to remove. When did you treat those teeth?

Patient: About 6-7 years ago. It was abroad. My teeth started to hurt then. I was on annual contract.

Doctor: Well, there will not be a problem. Material should be removed from the canals. However, today I will only remove those two old tooth fillings and will work on canals.
Eventually they will be filled in two weeks. I would like to apply also canals disinfectant, and I don’t have enough time to do everything. I have a next scheduled appointment in 1.5 hour.

Patient: Okay. I really would like you to take care of this root canal treatment. Doctor Kosinska strongly recommended you.

Doctor: I’m glad to hear it. So I’m getting to work. It shouldn’t be painful as your teeth are deprived of vital pulp. If, however, the procedure turns out to be painful, I’ll do anesthesia.

Patient: Thank you. I’m sure that everything will go smoothly.


Look at the description of root canal treatment. First fill it with the words from a table. Then, put the steps of a procedure in the right order.





a post















                   . deep infection

Root canal treatment is needed when an injury or a large cavity damages the tooth’s root. The root becomes infected or ______________.

                    route to the root

The dentist ____________ the tooth. An opening is made through the crown of the tooth to the pulp chamber.

                    extra support

In some cases __________is placed into the root next to the gutta-percha. This gives the crown more support.

                    filling the canals

The canals are filled with a permanent material. Typically this is done with a material known as ____________.

This helps to keep the canals free of infection or _____________.

                    removing the infected/inflamed tissue

Special files are used to clean the infection and unhealthy _________out of the canals. Then they shape the canals for the filling material. ______________is used to help clean the canals and remove debris.

                    rebuilding the tooth

A temporary filling material is placed on top of the gutta-percha to seal the opening. The filling remains until the tooth receives a permanent filling or a crown. A crown, sometimes called a _________, looks like a natural tooth. It is placed over the top of the tooth.

                    the crowning touch

The crown is _________into place.


Look at the definitions of typical tools used in root canal treatment/endodontic procedure. Try to guess what tools and instruments are being described.

__________________________– it has a lock that allows materials to be held without continuous finger pressure; also it has a groove which enables holding gutta-percha and absorbing points. (3 words)

__________________________–  it is used to carry irrigating solution into the root canal. The tip of the instrument is flat to prevent penetration of the needle to the small canals.

__________________________ –  it is larger than a spoon excavator, used to allow excavation of the contents of the pulp chamber.

__________________________– a compress or pad used to apply medication to or absorb discharges.

__________________________– a  mirror that reflects directly from its front surface. The advantages of this type are that, unlike back surface mirrors, there is no chromatic effect as the glass is not used optically.

Lesson 44 answers Lesson 44 answers