man holds hand to jaw in pain

Root Canal

When dental decay reaches the inside of your tooth, a root canal is the only way to achieve relief without extraction.

Thanks to our gentle techniques and modern technology, a root canal at Harris Dental Clinic is a virtually painless dental procedure.

Our Laurel, MS, dentists can eliminate your dental infection and save your tooth with comfortable, efficient root canal treatment.

The Basics of Root Canal Procedures

Your teeth contain soft tissue called pulp, which consists of blood vessels and nerves that travel down to your tooth roots through the root canals. When a cavity reaches the pulp chamber, the bacteria infects the pulp, causing pain, inflammation, and the development of dental abscesses. 

Illustration of the root canal therapy process.

A timely root canal procedure performed by your dentist can remove the infected pulp, saving the exterior of the tooth. The pulp is replaced with a rubber-like substance, the tooth is crowned, and it can then continue to support functions like chewing. We can complete most root canal treatments in a single visit to our comfortable and welcoming Laurel, MS, office

How Can a Root Canal Help You?

Roots canal procedures are categorized as endodontics, the branch of dentistry that focuses on the tissue within the tooth. Root canal therapy is highly effective at treating dental infection.  This dental procedure can:

Save Your Tooth

A root canal is often the only alternative to extraction after the tooth becomes infected. Treatment by your dentist can eliminate the infection and preserve the hard exterior of the tooth.

Save Money

Most insurance plans contribute to the cost of a root canal. This treatment is much more cost-effective than replacing a tooth with a dental implant-supported crown, since dental implants are not covered by basic dental insurance plans.

Improve Dental Appearance

Dental decay and gum inflammation, two common symptoms of a tooth infection, can affect the look of your smile. After your dentist clears the decay and infection, they will cap your tooth with a protective dental crown that blends right in with your natural teeth.

Improve Dental Function

A dental infection can be extremely painful and make chewing, speaking, and other day-to-day activities nearly unbearable. A root canal can give you relief from pain and restore your ability to eat and speak comfortably.

The Truth About Root Canals We Offer High-Tech, Comfortable Care

Our Laurel dental team wants you to know how we can make your root canal as easy and efficient as possible:

Sedation Options

Contrary to popular belief, local anesthesia and modern techniques make a root canal no more uncomfortable than receiving a filling. However, we understand that some patients may have special reservations about this procedure or just feel anxious about being at the dentist's office. This is why we also offer oral conscious sedation and nitrous oxide. These options have a deeply relaxing effect and can ensure you'll feel virtually no discomfort while receiving care.

Modern Laser Technology

Laser dentistry tools have revolutionized the field of endodontics. We can use the AMD Picasso Lite® soft tissue diode laser in your root canal treatment. Diode lasers let dentists perform much more comfortable and effective root canals, as opposed to treatment using traditional tools. This laser is incredibly effective at eliminating bacteria and minimizing the risk of requiring retreatment of the tooth.

Dr. Chadwick Harris and Dr. Robert Culpepper are ready to help you put an end to your dental pain and infection. For effective root canal treatment, contact our Laurel, MS, office online or call: 

(601) 649-3344

Laurel Loves Our Dental Team


Monica Donald


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This office treats you like family. I’ve never had a bad experience and when I walk in for an appointment, it’s the best environment. Everyone asks about families and friends ... it’s like a reunion each time!

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gnfm casper


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Harris Dental Clinic goes above and beyond to take care of their patients. They have an awesome staff. Highly recommend their office for all your dental needs.

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Signs You May Need a Root Canal

The symptoms of a tooth infection aren't always apparent, and you may not be sure if a seemingly small dental issue requires immediate treatment. The following signs can indicate the presence of a tooth infection, which requires timely attention to prevent further consequences for your oral and overall health:

  • Tooth pain, especially when biting down
  • Pain that radiates to the jaw
  • Sensitivity to heat and cold
  • Bad breath that resists brushing and flossing
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Swollen or tender gums

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact our Laurel office right away to explore whether a root canal or another treatment is the best way to resolve your issue. 

The Root Canal Procedure:
Step by Step

On the day of your root canal treatment, your dentist will:

Take X-Rays

X-rays will be taken to determine if your dental pulp is infected and whether there are abscesses near your tooth roots that require treatment.

Apply a Local Anesthetic

If x-rays reveal that you need a root canal, the treatment area will be thoroughly numbed with a local anesthetic. If you feel anxious about the procedure, you can also receive oral conscious sedation or nitrous oxide to help you feel comfortable.

Create an Access Point

A small opening will be created in the top of your tooth to provide access to the pulp chamber.

Clear the Infection

Your dentist will work through the opening in the tooth to remove the pulp from within the tooth. Your inner tooth and root canals will be sanitized with the diode laser after the infected tissue is removed.

Fill the Tooth

Your dentist will fill the pulp chamber with gutta-percha, a rubber-like material that supports the tooth structure from within. Next, the opening in the tooth will be sealed. (Note: If your crown needs to be crafted offsite, you will receive a temporary filling to seal the tooth. Once the permanent crown is ready, the temporary filling will be replaced with a permanent filling.)

Crown the Tooth 

Your tooth will be covered with a dental crown to restore its function and appearance. We can usually place a permanent crown on the same day as a root canal procedure.


You will receive detailed aftercare instructions following your root canal. Some patients report mild discomfort in the first few days after root canal treatment, but this should subside quickly. Discomfort can be easily managed with over-the-counter medication.

Determining the Cost Of Your Root Canal

Because every root canal patient comes to our Laurel, MS, practice with a unique case, the cost of a root canal treatment can vary. Factors that can affect cost include the overall complexity of your case, whether you receive sedation, and the grade of materials you choose for your dental crown.

Fortunately, the majority of dental insurance plans will at least partly cover root canal therapy. We can work with your provider to help you get the best possible coverage of your care.

If you are uninsured or paying for your root canal out-of-pocket, we have financing options available. We work with CareCredit®, a healthcare lending company that offers low-interest and interest-free loans with manageable monthly payment plans.

Laurel Recommends Us For Outstanding Dental Care


Debbie Knotts


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Harris Dental goes above & beyond to take care of their patients. They have a great staff who greets you with a smile as soon as you walk in the door. They treat you with dignity and respect. We have used them for years. We recommend them every time we are asked about dentists. Kelvin & Debbie Knotts

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Lisa Pollet


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Awesome service! Every member of the staff is great. I would most definitely recommend Harris Dental for all of your needs. You will not be disappointed.

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harris dental clinic team

Harris Dental Clinic

Drs. Chadwick James Harris and Robert Brent Culpepper proudly serve the Laurel, MS, community with high-tech, comprehensive dental care. Our affiliations include:

  • American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
  • American Academy of Facial Esthetics
  • American Dental Association
  • Mississippi Dental Association
  • Laurel Area Dental Society

You can request an appointment with us today by filling out our online form or by calling: (601) 649-3344.

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