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After all these years, root canals have gotten a bad reputation as one of the last dental experiences anyone would want to have. But a root canal is definitely preferable to an extraction. In years gone by, if the pulp of your tooth was damaged or infected, the only choice may have been an extraction. But root canals make it possible to remove the pulp while leaving the overall structure of your tooth intact. Although the pulp contains the nerves and blood vessels your tooth needs, it can be removed when necessary.


If diseased pulp is left in the tooth, the infection will worsen and spread to your jaw. When pus begins to form, this is known as an abscess. Besides being very painful, it is an unhealthy condition.


The dentist will access the pulp with a small drill and use an instrument to remove the pulp. Once the pulp is removed, your dentist will use an antiseptic to neutralize any bacteria left in the pulp chamber, and then enlarge the chamber. The dentist will insert a rubbery material known as gutta percha into the root chamber to take up the space left by the pulp. Afterward, the dentist will place a temporary seal on the tooth, schedule an appointment to check your progress and place permanent crown over the tooth, if necessary.


Your dentist may send you home with a prescription for a pain-reliever or an antibiotic. During your recuperation, you should watch for nausea, chills, fever, persistent pain or swelling. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should contact your dentist immediately.


If you have a tooth that is giving you problems, don’t delay in contacting Dr. Jorge Ferreira at Sonrisa Dental to schedule an appointment at Sonrisa Dental. If you live in the Santa Fe, New Mexico, area, call 505-455-2176 today.