Root Canal Treatment
in San Ramon, California

Are you having pain in your mouth? Does it hurt to bite down? If so, this could be due to an infection in your root canal. Root canal treatment is a dental procedure that involves removing a tooth’s nerves and pulp. A tooth’s pulp is located within a tooth’s root. If you are in pain that seems to be localized to one tooth, or pain that spikes when you drink something cold or hot, it could be a sign that root canal treatment is necessary.

Root Canal Treatment in San Ramon, California

What Is the Purpose of a Root Canal?

Root canal treatment is designed to remove the inside of a tooth, clean it, and then seal it. The overall goal of root canal treatment is to avoid a tooth extraction. Although many patients simply ask us to pull their tooth, it is important to save the tooth if possible. Patients understandably fear the pain of a root canal, but we can ensure that patients are not uncomfortable during the procedure. Keeping the tooth intact is helpful to your overall oral health.

We can evaluate your tooth and then give you a timeframe for completing root canal treatment. The treatment can take from one to four days to finish. Each office visit lasts for approximately 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the best way for Dr. Riopelle to perform the root canal treatment.

Pain Management

“You need a root canal” is one of the scariest phrases in the English language. Patients often have heard horror stories about the pain of root canal treatment. However, many of these stories were from another era in dentistry. The modern root canal treatment procedure is no more painful than having a filling. At your appointment, Dr. Riopelle will keep your comfort in mind. Dr. Riopelle uses a local anesthetic to numb the place in your mouth where the root canal will take place.

Before the anesthetic, Dr. Riopelle might also apply a topical gel to numb the area, which means you will not even feel the injection of an anesthetic.

After you are numb, Dr. Riopelle will check just to make sure you can’t feel anything. Dr. Riopelle will then start the procedure by using a tool to get access to your tooth. A tiny hole will be made at the top crown of your tooth. Dr. Riopelle will stick a special tool down into the tooth in order to take out the pulp. After the pulp has been removed, the tooth’s interior will be cleaned so that all bacteria and decay is gone. Then the tooth will be re-sealed. For some patients, we may also put a crown around the tooth to protect it from damage.

Since root canal treatment requires precision work, it is important to work with a highly skilled professional like Dr. Riopelle. If the root is not cleaned thoroughly, or if the tooth is sealed improperly, it could cause complications. Patients who receive bad root canals may wind up needing another root canal, or suffering from more tooth and gum decay. Working with our professional San Romeo team, we can ensure that the root canal treatment is done right the first time.

Patients who have extra sensitivity in their teeth might have some pain or discomfort, but not until after the root canal treatment is complete. You can take over-the-counter medication to treat the pain, or Dr. Riopelle will prescribe pain medications to alleviate it.

Why Do People Need a Root Canal?

Many patients are not convinced they need a root canal. Some suggest the tooth can be filled, or even that it should be pulled. Let’s consider the four main reasons root canal treatment is recommended: pain, dental decay, infection, and pre-crown restoration.


If you have pain, this is a red flag that you may need root canal treatment. Some sensitivity to hot and cold beverages or food is completely normal. But if your pain is severe enough that it makes you cringe, call the dentist.

After you receive root canal treatment, the pain and sensitivity will go away because the infected pulp has been removed.

Severe Dental Decay

If a cavity is not treated fast enough, it will actually grow. A cavity that grows will eventually reach into the root of the tooth. When the cavity grows to the root, the only option you have left is for a root canal. Unfortunately, a filling will not help your tooth or resolve the pain.


You can get an infection inside the tooth or at the root of the tooth. If this happens, you must have root canal treatment to remove the infection and bad pulp. Infections that are on the nerve are usually not the result of tooth decay and can even happen spontaneously, without any reason or warning.

If you experience inflammation and infection, this is a sign of a serious problem. Seek treatment right away.

Pre-Crown Restoration

Occasionally a patient contacts our office about getting a crown, but the patient really needs a root canal. Root canal treatment is necessary when Dr. Riopelle prepares the tooth for the crown. He may need to get close to the nerve or touch the nerve, and removing the pulp can actually help you have a more successful crown procedure. The root canal will reduce the chance of extreme sensitivity later.

See Real Patient Reviews
in San Ramon

Catie N.
Dental office in San Ramon, California, google review
Dental office in San Ramon, California, 5 stars review

Catie N.

I recently moved to California, and have been searching for a good dentist. Having a trusted dentist is a must. I'm so glad I've found Dr. Riopelle! He is very thorough in his work, with new technologies that my crown was made in the office, in less than an hour I was out! The staff are wonderful and very friendly. Love the office space!
Robert C.
Dental office in San Ramon, California, google review
Dental office in San Ramon, California, 5 stars review

Robert C.

Dr Riopelle has been my dentist of choice for years now. He and his fellow family member have me all covered in different areas of medical needs. He is kind and caring and has great follow up to make sure you are not in pain and any procedures that were done are satisfactory to me.
Erin P.
Dental office in San Ramon, California, google review
Dental office in San Ramon, California, 5 stars review

Erin P.

Dr. Riopelle and his staff are AMAZING. After several bad experiences with other dentists Dr. Riopelle made me feel totally relaxed about the procedure he was going to do and talked me through what he was doing. His assistant, was so sweet and was very reassuring the entire visit. I couldn't be happier with my experience at Dr.Riopelles and I'm so thankful I can now continue going there. Plus, they are very affordable without dental insurance!
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Dr. Garth Riopelle, DDS, dentist in San Ramon, California
Dr. Riopelle and our team provide a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere for all your dental needs!

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