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Root Canal Treatment

When the tooth’s pulp tissue gets infected or inflamed, whether due to deep decay, injury or extensive dental work, root canal treatment may be necessary. While root canal treatment has an unfair reputation as being painful, it’s actually no more uncomfortable than getting a filling. The procedure removes the infection and inflammation, helping to save your natural tooth. Dr. Harper and Dr. Pickerell offer root canal treatment in Fryeburg and pride themselves on making the procedure painless and stress-free for patients. If you need root canal treatment, schedule a visit with a dentist at Fryeburg Dental Center today by requesting an appointment online or calling us at (207) 935-3133.

What is a Root Canal?

Root canal treatment, also called endodontics, is a set of specialized procedures utilized to treat problems of the soft pulp tissue inside of the tooth. Pulp tissue contains blood vessels, nerve cells and connective tissue, which explains why an issue there can hurt so much. Eventually, while the pain might go away (at least temporarily), without treatment, the infection will remain. It can lead to a dental abscess, and could even potentially cause systemic problems in other areas of the body.

Root canal treatment not only gets rid of the infection and acute pain, it can also save your natural tooth and help you avoid the bigger problems associated with removing a tooth. These include unwanted shifting of other teeth; chewing difficulties; the need for costly bridgework or dental implants; and the loss of bone structure from the area where the tooth once was.

How do you know if you need a root canal? If you experience constant, severe pain and pressure in your mouth, or noticeable swelling and extreme sensitivity in your gums, you should be evaluated. Other symptoms can include sharp pain when you bite down on food and lingering pain after eating hot or cold foods. If you have any of these root canal symptoms, schedule a visit with a dentist at our Mount Washington Valley office as soon as possible.

Benefits of Root Canal Treatment


Relieves Pain

Infection and inflammation of the tooth’s pulp can be extremely painful. Root canal treatment will eliminate your pain.


Preserves Your Natural Tooth

Often, a root canal can successfully save your natural tooth, which is always ideal for optimal oral health.


Saves Money

A root canal can prevent the need for a tooth extraction and the more costly restorative procedures like bridgework and dental implants.

What to Expect

First, Dr. Harper or Dr. Pickerell will take x-rays and perform an examination. If root canal therapy is needed, it can usually be accomplished in just one visit. They’ll start just as they would with a filling by administering anesthetic to numb the tooth and the surrounding area. For many patients, at this point, the worst is over already!

Next, Dr. Harper or Dr. Pickerell will make a small opening in the surface of the tooth to access the pulp chamber and root canals. Using tiny instruments, sometimes with the help of a microscope, they’ll remove the affected pulp tissue from inside of these narrow passageways. When finished, they’ll clean and disinfect the chamber and empty canals and fill them with a biocompatible material. Finally, the dentist will seal the opening in the tooth with adhesive cement to prevent future infection. To protect the tooth and restore its function, you’ll likely need a crown or other restoration. This will help preserve the tooth for years to come.

Following root canal treatment, your teeth can be slightly sensitive or tender for a few days. Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen are generally effective in alleviating discomfort. During this period, try to avoid biting hard on the affected tooth. All of these symptoms are temporary and typically mild.

Discover a New Dental Experience

Our Fryeburg dentists offer expert, comfortable care for patients of all ages in a beautiful office.