Root Canal Therapy

Root Canal Therapy

When the tooth nerve decays or becomes infected, treatment is required in order to save the tooth. While many believe that removing the tooth is the best solution, this may cost more and cause issues with adjacent teeth.

Signs & Symptoms

Some indications of the need for root canal treatment may be:

  • Spontaneous pain or throbbing while biting.
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold foods.
  • Severe decay or an injury that creates an abscess (infection) in the bone.

Treatment Consists Of:

The removal of the irritated or infected nerve tissue that lies within the root of the tooth. It is this infected pulp tissue that causes an eventual abscess.

  1. The first step in a root canal is to obtain access to the nerve. This is accomplished by establishing a small access opening in the top of the tooth. It will be done under a local anesthetic.
  2. The length of the root canals is determined and the infected pulp is removed.
  3. At the same visit, the canal where the nerve is located will be reshaped and prepared to accept a special root canal filling material. The number of visits necessary to complete your root canal will depend upon several factors including the number of nerves in the tooth (or canals), the infected state of the nerve and the complexity of the procedure. Usually molars are more challenging than other teeth due to the anatomy of these teeth.
  4. The final step will be the sealing of the roots or canals with a sterile, plastic material, called gutta percha. This is done in order to prevent possible future infection.


Postoperative discomfort is sometimes experienced after a treatment visit. This is due to irritation of the bone surrounding the tooth and may range from a mild discomfort in the area to an occasional episode of considerable pain. This discomfort will usually maximize in approximately 48-72 hours and then subside. Please avoid chewing on the treated tooth for a few days.

Request Your Next Appointment

Have questions? Call us at (701) 757-3025. Our office is open from Monday to Thursday, 8am to 5pm.
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