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Most people would rather experience almost anything else in the world other than a root canal. After all, if your dentist suggests that you have a root canal, you may envision hours in a dental chair, a great deal of pain, and days of recovery.

Despite the fact that root canals often get a bad rap from television and stand-up comics a root canal may be the only thing that keeps you from having a tooth extracted.

At the center of your tooth is a substance called pulp. The pulp contains the nerves and blood vessels that your tooth needs to stay healthy.  If that pulp becomes infected because bacteria have penetrated your tooth through damage or decay, it can spread to your jaw and possibly other parts of your body. If an abscess from pus starts to build up from the infection, your body may develop an opening to allow it to drain into your mouth. Not only is this situation unhealthy and distasteful, it is usually very painful.

In the past, if the pulp became infected, the tooth would have been extracted. But the structure of the tooth itself can be maintained, even after the diseased pulp has been removed through a root canal.

After accessing the pulp with a drill, the dentist will remove all of the diseased pulp, and then clean the root chamber to make sure any remaining bacteria is neutralized. The dentist will enlarge the root chamber and then insert a substance called gutta-percha, which will take the place of the root canal. The dentist will seal your tooth, and set an appointment to check on your progress, and perhaps place a crown on the tooth. If you experience persistent pain, swelling, nausea, a fever, or the chills, you should contact your dentist right away.

If you have a tooth that has been causing you problems, don’t wait you have an abscess, or need a root canal. You should call Randy Cockrell, DDS Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Anaheim Hills, California to make an appointment with Dr. Randy Cockrell. You can reach our office by calling 714-974-0949.