Man touching painful tooth

Root Canal Therapy

An infected tooth can cause a great deal of pain. 

Root canal treatment to remove the infection has minimal discomfort when performed by an attentive dentist. 

See how a root canal from Dr. Steve Ollason at New Mexico Smile Center in Albuquerque, NM, alleviates pain for our patients.

In Pain? Call Us Today

Serious tooth pain is a sign you may need a root canal. Dr. Ollason performs emergency dental care and can treat your infected tooth quickly. Our dental practice offers same-day appointments and free consultations

You can be pain-free after a single visit to our Albuquerque, NM, dental practice. 

How to Tell If You Need Root Canal Therapy 

Pain is a common indicator of a root canal infection. If the pain in your tooth eventually fades,  it can mean the nerves are dead, not that the root canal infection went away. 

Here are some other indicators that you may need a root canal:

  • Swollen gums
  • Abscess resembling a pimple 
  • Unexplained bad taste 
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Darkening of the tooth
  • Sensitivity to heat or cold

The sooner you seek treatment, the more likely our dentist can save your tooth. 

Patient clutching jaw in pain

Clearing the Infection Is Virtually Painless At Our Albuquerque Dental Office

A root canal infection is often excruciating – but treatment isn't. Many of our patients are surprised to learn that root canal treatment is virtually painless. Our dentist uses gentle techniques and offers sedation to make your root canal dental procedure more comfortable. 

The benefits of a root canal extend beyond pain relief, including:

Preserving Your Tooth

Removing bacteria and infected tissue in your root canal allows you to keep your natural tooth. The tooth may have to be extracted if root canal treatment is not performed in time or is not effective.

Saving Money 

The infection in a root canal can spread to other areas of the mouth, putting your oral and general health at risk. A root canal can save you from needing extensive future dental work.

See Why Albuquerque, NM, Patients  Choose Dr. Ollason 


Gregory Borah


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Friendly and very competent team. Dr Ollason has friendly confidence which reflects his expertise. Happy to have found them.

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Cathy A.


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Everyone I encountered at New Mexico Smile Center was extremely friendly and courteous! The environment is sunny and bright and Dr Ollason is an outstanding dentist. *Highly recommend*.

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Causes of Root Canal Infections

Diagram of root canal showing infected pulp and abscess
Bacteria can grow inside the pulp of your tooth, which can cause swelling and discomfort. Cavities, tooth decay, and teeth damaged by trauma can all lead to infection. 

Do I Need an Endodontist?

An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in the treatment of tooth pulp. Visiting an endodontist is not necessary for root canal therapy. Dr. Ollason has treated countless root canals, removing decayed tissue and saving teeth. 

What to Expect During Your Root Canal Treatment 

Root canals at our Albuquerque, NM, dental office usually take about an hour to complete. 

Day of Procedure

Root canals at our Albuquerque, NM, dental office usually take about an hour to complete. 


A local anesthetic will be administered to numb your teeth and gums. Sedation options are available if you are nervous or have trouble staying still during your dental procedure. Our practice offers both nitrous oxide (commonly known as laughing gas) and oral sedation. 

Pulp Removal 

Your dentist will create an opening in the tooth and completely remove the pulp, which includes blood vessels, nerves, and other tissue. Dr. Ollason will then disinfect the pulp chamber and root canals.

Draining an Abscess

If you have a dental abscess, our dentist will drain it. 

Filling the Tooth

Once bacteria and infected pulp are removed from the tooth, Dr. Ollason will fill it with a rubber-like substance and seal the tooth.

Capping the Tooth

A dental crown is usually used to cap the tooth, strengthening it and preventing future infections. When your crown is ready, Dr. Ollason will bond the crown to the tooth and make any necessary adjustments. 

A Closer Look  At Dental Crowns

Dental crown treatment

A porcelain dental crown helps strengthen your natural tooth, which may be weakened after a root canal. Dr. Ollason offers same-day crowns created in as little as an hour using our in-house CEREC® milling system. If you need or prefer a crown crafted from specialty materials, it will be made by a local dental lab that creates quality, durable restorations. 

With the proper care and regular dental checkups, a crown can last longer than a decade. They are engineered to withstand biting force and crafted to match the color of your natural tooth.

What If My Tooth Can't Be Saved?

In some cases, cavities and extensive decay can make a tooth untreatable. If so, our dentist recommends extracting the tooth. 

To compensate for the missing tooth, Dr. Ollason can place a dental implant that can support a crown.  An implant-supported crown will prevent shifting teeth and fill the gap in your smile. Talk to Dr. Ollason to find out if dental implants are an option for you. 

Not All Teeth Are Worth Preserving

Third molars, also called wisdom teeth, can erupt in a manner that is harmful to your other teeth. Due to their location at the back of your mouth, wisdom teeth are difficult to keep clean. If your wisdom tooth becomes infected, Dr. Ollason recommends pulling the tooth instead of treating it.

Wisdom teeth are not necessary for your mouth to function properly, and are prone to future dental problems. 

Wisdom tooth illustration

Preventing Root Canal Infections 

Preventative care is the best way to prevent root canal infections. The buildup of plaque can cause decay and a root canal infection. Here are some preventative tips from our Albuquerque dentist:

Brush your teeth twice a day

Floss every day

Attend regular dental cleanings 

Paying for a Root Canal

We believe dental care should be accessible to all. Root canals are considered a restorative dental procedure and are usually covered by dental insurance. Our Albuquerque, NM, staff will help you get the most out of your coverage. 

If you don't have dental insurance, New Mexico Smile Center provides additional options to cover the treatment cost. CareCredit® financing allows patients to make monthly payments for a root canal instead of paying for it all at once. We also offer a dental benefit program where uninsured patients can get discounts on treatment. 

More Top Reviews 


Robert Morgan


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I am so happy and glad to find the New Mexico Smile Center after my previous dentist retired. Everyone is so pleasant, and the facility is very nice.

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OMNICAST Hernandez


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Very professional, informative of the process at hand and just overall great environment and staff!

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The team of dental professionals at New Mexico Smile Center

New Mexico Smile Center

Dr. Steve Ollason and the team at New Mexico Smile Center are dedicated to helping you create a healthy, radiant smile that lasts a lifetime. We are proudly affiliated with the: 

  • American Dental Association
  • New Mexico Dental Association

If you are ready to transform your smile, request a consultation online or call us at (505) 275-1663 to learn more

Contact Us Today

This is a great dental practice--you won't find better in Albuquerque. Dr. Ollason is an excellent dentist and a very personable fellow.

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