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6301 S. Minnesota Ave. Sioux Falls, SD 57108
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How Fillings and Root Canals Are Done

in Dental Health

Dentistry takes many forms, so it’s no wonder that people have questions about specific procedures. In fact, even the most common procedures can be mysteries to those who have never had them done. Here is an overview of a couple of the different things done as part of dentistry in Sioux Falls:


How a filling works is simple. First, a tooth is found to have a cavity, also known as caries or simply a decayed area. Then, an appointment is made to do the filling. On that day, the decayed parts of the tooth are ground away with a drill. This can take between a couple of minutes and several depending on the size of the affected area.

After the decay is drilled out, the dentist will usually grind or otherwise shape the hole that remains. This helps the filling material stay in place. The next step is the actual filling part. The hole is filled with composite or another substance to seal the hole and prevent decay from returning to the treated spot.

Despite its simplicity, the procedure is typically painful without anaesthetic. Therefore, the needed injections of lidocaine is given to temporarily numb the tooth before the work begins.

Root Canals

These typically come after putting off getting a filling for too long. They can also be needed when teeth get cracked or broken. The reason is one of two things: The root of the tooth has become infected or its chamber has been damaged enough to break its seal. In many cases, both of these conditions exist at once.

Once these things happen, the tooth’s pulp, also known as its roots, must be removed. It’s important to note that the bony parts of the tooth roots will remain in place.

To do the procedure, a dentist with training in endodontics will be needed. This dentist will open up the tooth by drilling a big hole in the top. Then, tiny tools are used to scrape out the canals the roots occupy. Inert material is placed in the now-empty canals. Finally, a crown is placed to seal everything up and restore tooth strength.


  • Diane Kramer  

    This was a very good article!!! It filled me in in what a root canal is really for. Thank you for posting this!!

As always, very professional, thorough and friendly! - Jeff L.