Posted .

Many dental patients automatically tense up when they hear the words “root canal.” Those words may conjure up visions of a painful, long procedure. However, root canals have proved to be extremely useful in saving teeth.

The pulp of your tooth is very important. The pulp, which is located in the root of your tooth contains the blood vessels and nerves that keep your tooth healthy. However, even without the pulp, the structure of your tooth can remain viable. Teeth that in the past would have required extractions can now be saved through root canals.

If the pulp of your tooth becomes infected because of a damage or tooth decay, it needs to be removed before it spreads to your jaw, and in some cases other parts of your body. When the infection does spread it becomes an abscess. Besides being unhealthy, it can be extraordinarily painful.

To solve this problem, your dentist will access the pulp with a small drill, and remove it from the root chamber. Afterward, he will thoroughly rinse the chamber with an antiseptic to neutralize any bacteria. The dentist may have to enlarge the tooth chamber so that he can insert a material called gutta percha, which will take the place of the pulp. When this is complete, the dentist will seal the tooth and set an appointment with you to check your progress, and to discuss placing a crown on the tooth. You may also have a prescription for a pain reliever or an antibiotic. You should take all prescribed medication as directed by the dentist. If you have persistent pain, or if you experience nausea, vomiting, sweating, shaking or a fever, you should contact the dentist right away.

If you have a tooth that has been giving you trouble, you should contact Dr. Jerard Wilson right away; don’t wait until you are in severe pain, or your jaw is swollen. If you live in the Rocklin, California area, you can make an appointment at Rocklin Dental by calling 916-663-5555.