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For years, root canals have gotten a bad reputation. People have made jokes about them, and they are often portrayed as the worst possible option for a dental procedure. However, a root canals is a very important treatment that has saved many smiles over the years. A root canal is needed when the pulp of the tooth, which contains the nerves and the blood vessels, becomes infected. In the past, a tooth with compromised pulp would have been extracted. But the structure of the tooth can still be saved, even when the pulp has been removed. A root canal permits the dentist to remove the infection, while allowing your tooth to remain a part of your smile.

In a root canal, the dentist will use a drill to access the infected pulp. After removing the pulp, the dentist will rinse the root chamber with an antiseptic or antibacterial solution to make sure that the infection has been removed. Then the dentist may enlarge the root chamber so that she can insert a material called gutta percha which will take the place of the pulp. When the dentist is done, she will place a temporary seal on your tooth, and schedule you for a follow-up appointment to make sure that the tooth is healing, and to discuss options for restoring your tooth.

Your dentist may send you home with a prescription for an antibiotic, pain reliever, or anti-inflammatory. You should follow your dentist’s instructions regarding your medication. If you experience sweating, nausea, chills, a fever, pain or swelling, you should contact your dentist immediately.

If you have a problematic tooth, you can make an appointment to see Dr. Marianne Morelli at Brookfield Family Dentistry, LLC in Brookfield, Connecticut. To schedule your visit, call 203.775.6167.