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What are the 3 Stages of Root Canal Treatment

March 9, 2023
by: Asad A
Do Root Canals Hurt and Stages of Root Canal Treatment

Many people believe that when a tooth is severely infected, the only option is to have it extracted. While this may be effective for removing the infection, it is not the best option, as missing teeth can lead to a variety of oral and overall health issues. Therefore, at Ammons Dental, we strive to save natural teeth when possible. Root canal treatment allows us to do that.

Root canal treatment, or endodontic therapy, is a dental procedure that is used to salvage the structure of a natural tooth that is severely infected. This procedure is recommended when the tooth cannot be filled or restored in any other way. The process involves removing the infected pulp, which saves the tooth and prevents future infection.

In this article, we’ll explain the three stages of root canal treatment, as well as what you can expect from the procedure and what could happen if you ignore the infection.

What can I expect from root canal treatment?

Your tooth consists of a crown and roots. The roots go into your gum and jawbone, and the crown is the portion that is visible above the gum line. Inside the tooth, you have what is known as the root canal, which contains the pulp, made up of nerves and blood vessels.

The pulp is how the tooth and surrounding tissues are nourished. Unfortunately, sometimes bacteria get into the pulp, causing infection. When this happens, root canal treatment is necessary.

Root canal treatment involves cleaning out the infected pulp and filling the tooth with artificial material to support the natural structure. Then, to protect the tooth, we will either fill the tooth with composite resin or place a crown over it.

3 Stages of Root Canal Treatment

There are three stages involved in root canal treatment. For a long time, multiple visits were required for this procedure. However, due to today’s advancements in technology, this can be completed in one visit.

Stage 1: Assessment and Initial Clean

Root canal treatment starts with an assessment, which involves an exam and x-rays to determine the severity of the infection. If it is determined that root canal treatment is the appropriate treatment, you will be given local anesthesia. Then, we will drill a small access hole in the affected tooth and clean out the infected pulp.

Stage 2: Follow Up Clean and Medication

Once the infected pulp is removed from the tooth, we will clean, decontaminate, and shape the root canal. You will be given an antibiotic to prevent the infection from coming back and spreading.

Stage 3: Filling the Root Canal

The final step in root canal treatment is to fill the tooth. We will fill it with a rubbery substance known as gutta-percha. Then, we will seal it with rubber cement. Since the nerves and blood vessels have been removed, the tooth is dead and will deteriorate over time. Therefore, it’s important to protect it with a composite resin filling or with a dental crown.

Is a Root Canal Painful?

One of the primary reasons that people avoid root canal treatment is because they are worried that it will be painful. At Ammons Dental, we take steps to ensure that this is not the case. After all, the purpose of the procedure is to relieve the pain, not cause more.

We will administer local anesthesia when starting the procedure. This will numb the area so that you will not feel anything. If you have dental anxiety, we encourage you to let us know during your consultation so that we can include sedation as part of your treatment plan. We want your visit with us to be pleasant, not a source of anxiety.

What Happens if the Infected Root Canal is not Treated?

If left untreated, the infection may spread from the tooth into the surrounding gum and jawbone. This may cause you to lose the affected tooth as well as part of your jaw. In addition, untreated root canal infections can lead to a dental abscess or worse- sepsis, a heart attack, or a stroke. Plus, once the infection gets this bad, you will be in severe pain.


If you have an infected tooth and you believe that you might benefit from root canal treatment, schedule your consultation with the team at Ammons Dental today. We have 4 convenient locations to serve you: Downtown Charleston, Camden, James Island, and Summerville. We work with a variety of dental insurance providers, and most of them will cover a portion of root canal treatment. However, for those that do not have insurance or do not have adequate coverage, we do offer financing options to help make treatment more affordable.

See What Our Patients Are Saying

  • "I don't think I've ever been to a dental office that has been this friendly and happy and it just makes you feel at home. It's been a wonderful experience and I certainly wouldn't want to go anywhere else."
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  • "Hi there. Very pleased with my care at Dr. Ammons. He has a modern facility with friendly people and happy faces and it's always a pleasing experience."
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  • "I had a great experience getting my implant done here. The staff and Dr. Ammons have been great and everything was virtually painless. I definitely recommend them for all your dental needs."
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Multiple Convenient Dental Locations Near Charleston

Ammons Dental By Design has four locations so you can find the most convenient office for your family.
1015 Fair St.
Camden, SC 29020
Monday – Thursday:
8am – 5pm
P: (803) 969-0365
F: (803) 432-2625
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14 Lockwood Dr,
Charleston, SC 29401
(Suite A on the exterior of the Ashley House Building, across from the marina)
Monday – Thursday:
7am - 4pm
P: (843) 380-2734
F: (843) 577-4464
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1739-B Maybank Hwy.
Charleston, SC 29412
Tuesday – Friday:
7am - 4pm
P: (843) 380-8889
F: (843) 990-9504
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1710 Old Trolley., Ste.B
Summerville, SC 29485
Tuesday – Thursday: 8am – 5pm
Monday & Friday*: 8am – 5pm
*Rotating schedule
P: (843) 380-8904
F: (843) 871-0617
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