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Although many people may freeze up when they hear their dentist say the words ‘‘root canal” the procedure is an extremely beneficial one that over the years has saved many teeth that would have otherwise needed to be extracted.

Your tooth depends on its pulp to remain healthy since it contains the tooth’s nerves and the blood vessels. Your tooth can be damaged by trauma or decay, which can allow bacteria to infect the pulp. That infection can result in a buildup of pus around the tooth, which is part of an infection known as an abscess. An abscess can spread to your jaw and have negative effects on other parts of your body. To stop an infection before it becomes an abscess, your dentist will use a root canal to remove the pulp. That will save the structure of the tooth, which can be used to support a dental crown.

To perform a root canal the dentist will access the pulp with a small drill, and then extract the diseased pulp. When the pulp has been removed, your dentist will clean the root chamber with an antiseptic to neutralize any bacteria remaining in the chamber. The dentist will enlarge the chamber so that he can insert a rubbery material called “gutta percha which will take up the space left by the pulp. After sealing the tooth, your dentist will schedule an appointment to discuss placing a crown on the tooth, and send you home. If you start to feel nauseous, or develop a fever, the chills or you start to shake, contact your dentist right away.

If your child is suffering from a painful tooth, contact Price Pediatric Dentistry in Price, Utah, as soon as you can to make an appointment to see our pediatric dentists, Dr. Trace M. Lund and Dr. Kevin R. Markham. We’ll be happy to see you as soon as possible.