Dr. Gould is a local Racine dentist who has years of experience performing root canals. He believes that a root canal should be a painless experience for a patient with modern dental technology.
Root canals have a reputation as a painful dental procedure, but with current dental technology that reputation is undeserved and misleading for patients. Knowing more about the details of a root canal treatment, why it might be needed, and what to expect can help ease patients' concerns about getting one.
A root canal is a treatment dentists use to help save badly damaged or infected teeth. It consists of removing the damaged pulp of the tooth, cleaning the canals inside the root of the tooth (where the name comes from), then filling and sealing the space left behind. With the damaged pulp or nerve gone, the tooth can heal and function properly in the future.
It's a common procedure, with more than 15 million root canals performed each year, according to the American Association of Endodontists. At Gould Dentistry, we use the most current technology available for root canals, and now the procedure is comparable to having a regular filling done.
A tooth that has major damage or infection to the pulp, or nerve, is at risk of having to be removed. If you can treat it before that point with a root canal, it's possible to save the tooth. And while life isn't over if you have to have a tooth removed, that's a result dentists don't like to see. Losing a tooth weakens the jawbone and bite, and can lead to other dental problems down the road.
Conditions that can result in needing a root canal might include a large filling in the tooth, trauma or injury to the tooth, a deep cavity, a crack in the tooth, or having had repeated dental procedures on the tooth. Some of these conditions can be painful, which is part of why root canals get a bad reputation. But, in reality, having a root canal can put an end to the pain you're experiencing.
In Dr. Gould's office, we'll start you out with a thorough X-ray to determine the extent of the cavity, trauma or damage affecting the tooth. The tooth is numbed to forestall any discomfort during the root canal. Then the damaged or infected pulp of the tooth is removed through an opening. The opening is usually made by the dentist with a tiny drill to allow access to the pulp and root structure.
The canals, or grooves inside your teeth, are cleaned thoroughly to be sure there is no debris or bacteria remaining. Then the empty space left behind is sealed with an inert material. Finally, either a temporary or permanent sealant is placed on top of the tooth to seal it up and prevent any future infection.
In many cases, to restore a weak, root canal-treated tooth to full strength, a protective crown or onlay is necessary. Doing so allows you to chew and smile with confidence. After a root canal procedure Dr. Gould will also want to check in with you a couple of weeks after the treatment to see that all signs of infection around the tooth are gone. Tooth sensitivity is normal for a short period of time following a root canal, but if it persists or you experience pain, you should call our office right away so we can help.
Dr. Gould has been a Racine dentist since 2005 and has been practicing dentistry for nearly four decades. He takes pride in providing patients with the best care possible, keeping current with the best emerging dental technologies and methods of care to ensure a comfortable experience for his patients. Dr. Gould’s treatment philosophy centers on delivering friendly, compassionate dental care that’s always in the patient’s best interest and never rushed.
If you’re ready to take the next step towards better dental health, book an appointment with us today to experience the Gould Dentistry difference.