Hearing that you need a root canal can be a scary term for many patients. Over the years, this procedure has gotten a bad name for being painful, when in actuality, the procedure relieves patients of pain and doesn’t cause it. Root canal therapy, or endodontic therapy, is an oral surgery that is performed to save a tooth from extraction.
When do I need root canal therapy?
There are several situations in which endodontic treatment may be recommended to a patient by Dr. Michael Westman. Below are a few common times when a patient might benefit from this procedure:
- A tooth has become infected
- An abscess has developed
- A large cavity has impacted the dental pulp
- An injury/trauma affects the inner canals
What happens during root canal therapy?
Endodontic treatment is done relatively quickly right in the dental chair under the care of Dr. Michael Westman. First, patients are properly sedated and anesthetized before the surgery begins to ensure patients are relaxed and do not feel any discomfort. Then, a hole is made into the tooth which allows the dentist access to the dental pulp inside. The dental pulp, which is a mass of tissues, is removed before the canals are then disinfected. Finally, the dentist will fill the tooth with gutta percha, followed by composite resin bonding. In some instances, the dentist might also fabricate and place a dental crown over the tooth, as it can become weaker after the procedure and more susceptible to damage. The crown offers an extra layer of protection and strength to ensure problems do not occur later on.
What are the alternative treatments for root canal therapy?
Oftentimes, root canal therapy is used as a last resort when other methods of repair will not work. Without this procedure, the only alternative is permanent extraction of the natural tooth.
Do you believe you are in need of endodontic therapy?
Dr. Michael Westman and his team in Racine, WI are available to help patients in and around the area with their oral healthcare needs, including root canal treatment. Call (262) 639-7000 to request an appointment at the practice, conveniently located at 4944 Charles Street.