Root Canal Treatment in Fresno, CA

Keep Your Teeth & Smile Without Pain

root canal therapy in fresno, ca

Are you dealing with constant pain or discomfort in one or more of your teeth? If so, you may be due for a root canal. Contrary to popular belief, root canals aren’t painful, and getting one when you need it can help you keep your natural teeth and live without oral pain.

At Whitlow Dental Care, led by Fresno dentist Dr. Kurt Whitlow, our dentists can perform your root canal quickly and painlessly, so you can get back to eating, speaking, and smiling without discomfort. Learn more by dialing (559) 441-7700.

What is Root Canal Treatment?

Root canal treatment, also called endodontic therapy, is a dental procedure used to treat diseased or injured pulp (nerve) tissue inside the tooth. During a root canal, the affected portion of the tooth is removed along with any decay. The space is then filled with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha and sealed. Your Fresno dentist may place a dental crown over the tooth to strengthen it.

Who Qualifies for Root Canal Treatment?

root canal therapy in fresno, ca

You may need a root canal if any of the following apply to you:

Persistent Toothache

If you experience a severe and persistent toothache, especially when chewing or applying pressure to the tooth, it may be a sign of an infection that requires root canal treatment.

Sensitivity to Hot and Cold

Lingering sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, even after the temperature stimulus is removed, could indicate a problem with the tooth's pulp, necessitating a root canal.

Swollen Gums

Swelling or tenderness in the gums around a specific tooth may be a sign of infection that has reached the root, indicating the need for a root canal.

Darkening or Discoloration of the Tooth

A discolored tooth (usually appearing gray or dark yellow) may indicate damage or infection within the tooth, warranting a closer examination and potential root canal therapy.

Pimple on the Gums (Dental Abscess)

The presence of a pimple-like bump on the gums, known as a dental abscess, can be a visible sign of infection at the tooth's root. This often requires immediate attention, including root canal treatment.

Prolonged Pain or Discomfort

If you experience prolonged pain or discomfort in a specific tooth, even if it comes and goes, it may be a signal of an underlying issue requiring evaluation and potential root canal therapy.

Pain That Radiates to the Jaw or Ear

Pain extending from a specific tooth to the jaw or ear may suggest a problem with the tooth's pulp, necessitating a root canal to address the source of the pain.

Tender or Swollen Lymph Nodes

In some cases, infection in the tooth can lead to swollen or tender lymph nodes in the neck or under the jaw.

Chronic Bad Breath or Unpleasant Taste

Persistent bad breath or an unpleasant taste in the mouth, even after oral hygiene practices, may be indicative of a dental infection that could require a root canal.

Benefits of a Root Canal Treatment

Don’t let rumors about root canals deter you. Root canal treatment offers a wide range of benefits, some of which include the following:

root canal therapy in fresno, ca
  • Pain Relief: Root canal treatment helps alleviate the severe pain associated with infected or damaged pulp inside the tooth.
  • Preservation of Natural Tooth: Instead of extracting the tooth, a root canal allows the preservation of the natural tooth structure, maintaining the integrity of the dental arch.
  • Infection Removal: The procedure involves the removal of infected or inflamed pulp, preventing the spread of infection to surrounding tissues and other teeth.
  • Prevention of Abscess Formation: By eliminating the source of infection, root canal treatment helps prevent the formation of dental abscesses, which can lead to more serious health issues.
  • Functional Restoration: After the root canal, the tooth can be restored with a crown or filling, restoring its function and appearance.
  • Chewing Efficiency: The treated tooth can continue to function like a natural tooth, allowing for normal biting and chewing activities.
  • Improvement in Oral Health: Root canal treatment contributes to oral health by eliminating infection and preventing the loss of a tooth, which could otherwise impact neighboring teeth.
  • Aesthetic Benefits: With the application of a crown or filling, the appearance of the treated tooth can be restored, enhancing the aesthetic of the smile.
  • Prevention of Tooth Extraction: Root canal treatment provides an alternative to tooth extraction, helping to maintain a complete set of natural teeth.
  • Cost-Effective Long-Term Solution: While the initial cost may be higher than some alternatives, root canal treatment is a cost-effective long-term solution compared to the ongoing expenses associated with tooth replacement options.

The Root Canal Treatment Process

root canal therapy in fresno, ca


Before you’re approved for a root canal, you’ll have an initial consultation with your Fresno root canal dentist. They’ll assess the condition of your tooth and discuss your symptoms. This involves a thorough examination, possibly including X-rays to determine the extent of the damage or infection. They’ll also explain the need for a root canal, discuss the procedure, and address any questions or concerns you may have.


Before the actual root canal procedure, your dentist will administer a local anesthetic to numb the tooth and surrounding area, ensuring a pain-free experience. Sedation dentistry can also be provided to further reduce pain and induce deeper calm. Once the tooth is numb, a dental dam may be placed to isolate the affected tooth, keeping it dry and free from saliva during the procedure. This phase involves creating a clean and sterile environment for the root canal treatment.

Root Canal Treatment

The core of the root canal treatment involves accessing the pulp chamber inside the tooth and removing the infected or damaged pulp. Your Fresno root canal dentist carefully cleans and shapes the root canals to eliminate bacteria and debris. In some cases, antimicrobial agents may be used to disinfect the area. Once cleaned, the canals are filled with a biocompatible material called gutta percha to seal and protect the tooth.

Gutta Percha Filling

Gutta-percha is a rubber-like material used to seal the space, prevent recontamination, and support the structural integrity of the tooth. Your dentist ensures a secure placement of the gutta-percha to prevent future infections. This step is crucial for the long-term success of the root canal treatment.

Crown Placement

After the root canal and gutta-percha filling, the tooth may be weakened and more susceptible to fractures. To restore its strength and functionality, a crown is often placed over the treated tooth. The crown, typically made of ceramic or porcelain, matches the natural appearance of your teeth. This final step not only reinforces the tooth but also enhances its aesthetic, completing the root canal treatment process.

Root Canal Treatment Aftercare

root canal therapy in fresno, ca

Following a root canal treatment, proper aftercare is crucial to ensure the success of the procedure and maintain the health of the treated tooth. Here are some essential guidelines for root canal aftercare:

  • Take Prescribed Medications: Follow your root canal dentist's instructions regarding prescribed medications, such as antibiotics or pain relievers. Completing the full course of antibiotics helps prevent infection, while pain relievers manage any postoperative discomfort.
  • Practice Good Oral Hygiene: Continue to brush and floss your teeth regularly, paying extra attention to the treated area. Good oral hygiene prevents the recurrence of infection and supports the health of your teeth and gums.
  • Avoid Chewing on the Treated Tooth: Refrain from chewing on the treated tooth until the final restoration, such as a crown, is placed. The tooth may be more vulnerable to fractures during this interim period.
  • Attend Follow-Up Appointments: Attend all scheduled follow-up appointments with your Fresno root canal dentist. These visits allow them to monitor the healing process, confirm the success of the root canal, and ensure the final restoration is placed correctly.
  • Report Unusual Symptoms: If you experience persistent pain, swelling, or any unusual symptoms after the root canal, contact your Fresno root canal dentist promptly. These could be signs of complications requiring immediate attention.
  • Maintain a Balanced Diet: Consume a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals to support oral and systemic health. A nutritious diet aids in the healing process and contributes to the longevity of the treated tooth.
  • Quit Smoking: If you smoke, consider quitting. Smoking can delay the healing process and increase the risk of complications. Talk to your dentist for support and resources if you're considering smoking cessation.
  • Protect Your Teeth: Consider using a mouthguard if you engage in activities that could pose a risk to your teeth, such as sports or teeth grinding. This precaution helps prevent injuries and fractures, especially in the treated tooth.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to maintain oral hydration. Hydration supports health and can contribute to the healing process.
  • Maintain Regular Dental Check-ups: Continue with regular dental check-ups and cleanings. Routine dental visits allow your dentist to monitor the health of your teeth and address any emerging issues promptly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a root canal painful?

No, modern root canal procedures are typically performed under local anesthesia, ensuring patients do not feel pain during the treatment. Any discomfort following the procedure is usually manageable with over-the-counter or prescribed medications.

Is root canal treatment covered by insurance?

Root canal treatment is generally covered by dental insurance, as it is considered a necessary procedure for maintaining oral health. Coverage details vary among insurance plans, with factors such as copayments, deductibles, and coverage limits influencing the out-of-pocket costs for the patient. To learn about specific coverage, contact both the dental office and the insurance provider before undergoing a root canal.

How long does it take to recover from a root canal?

The recovery time after a root canal is generally minimal. Patients may experience some mild discomfort for a few days, which can be managed with pain medication. Full recovery, including the placement of a final restoration like a crown, may take a couple of weeks.

How long does a root canal procedure take?

The duration of a root canal varies based on factors such as the tooth's location and complexity of the case. On average, a root canal procedure can take one to two hours. Multiple visits may be necessary for more complex cases.

Transform Your Smile Painlessly! Schedule Your Root Canal Treatment Today!

Root canal treatment offers pain relief, preserves natural teeth, and enhances oral health. Rediscover the joy of eating, speaking, and smiling without discomfort. If you think you may benefit from root canal treatment, call us at (559) 441-7700 to schedule your consultation. Whitlow Dental Care serves new and returning patients from Fresno and surrounding areas such as Kingsburg, Madera, and Muscatel, CA.



Phone: (559) 441-7700

Email: [email protected]


1326 Van Ness Ave, Fresno, CA 93721

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  • Monday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Tuesday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Tuesday: 8:15 am - 4:30 pm
  • Wednesday: 8:15 am - 4:30 pm
  • Wednesday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Thursday: 7:30 am - 3:45 pm
  • Thursday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
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  • Friday: Closed
  • Saturday: Closed
  • Sunday: Closed