Man holding jaw in pain

Root Canal

Pus, pain, swelling, and more — if bacteria infect your dental pulp, it can cause discomfort and put your tooth in danger.

The moment you notice the symptoms of a root canal infection, you should reach out to a dentist or endodontist.

Dr. Kenneth J. Bagby, DDS, PC offers patient-centered root canal treatment at his Billings, MT, dental practice. Contact him today.

Struggling With Dental Pain? Get Help From Our Dentists Now

What Causes a Root Canal Infection?

Bacteria can infect the pulp within your teeth following tooth damage or tooth decay. This pulp is comprised of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. When dental pulp gets infected, it can be extremely painful and lead to more serious oral health and general wellness issues without prompt treatment.

Looking at an Infected Tooth

Root canal model
Above you can see how tooth decay can lead to a root canal infection. Notice how the cavity grants oral bacteria access to the pulp within your tooth. You may also feel pain or discomfort. Root canal therapy at our Billings, MT, office can remove the infected pulp and save your tooth from extraction.

My Tooth Doesn't Hurt Does That Mean I Don't Have a Root Canal Infection?

Unfortunately, root canal infections can be tricky. You may need a root canal because of an infected tooth but may experience no pain at all.

If you notice the symptoms of an infected tooth, like swelling and pus, then you should err on the side of caution. Always visit a dentist or endodontist if there's even a possibility that you might need root canal therapy.

Dr. Bagby can examine your teeth to make sure that you do not need root canal treatment. And if you do, he can provide you with excellent endodontic care.

In the tooth, plaque builds and destroys enamel and dentin. The infection in the tooth pulp can spread to the nerves, bones, and surrounding tissues, and bacteria forms an abscess.

Why Do Root Canal Infections Make My Mouth Taste Bad?

If you have a root canal infection, you may notice a nasty taste in your mouth.

This unpleasant taste is likely coming from the abscess forming around your infected tooth. Pus may escape from the abscess, leading to that gross taste and foul breath.

The good news is that you have a solution: visiting our dentist, Dr. Bagby, for an endodontic appointment.

"Dr. Bagby's work is the best I ever had." Reviews From Our Billings, MT, Dental Patients


Tom Peterson


Google logo

Dr. Bagby is the last dentist I will have. Not because he is bad - quite the opposite! It is because of his caring approach and impressive dental skills. His staff is also very friendly. This friendly atmosphere relieves my anxiety and reduces my stress for dental procedures.

View on Google

Holly Larson


Google logo

I LOVE going in to have my teeth cleaned and get check ups. Everyone there has become good friends of mine and my husbands. Its fun to visit with these great folks twice a year. Dr Bagby's work is the best I ever had and I've been going to dentists for over 60 years. I highly recommend everyone who works there.

View on Google

Enjoy Peace of Mind With The Dental Button

If you fear going to the dentist or endodontist, you're experiencing the same anxiety that many other dental patients have. Our Billings dental care team wants to make you feel in control and at ease.

We use a little something called The Dental Button, which is available to all our patients. You can press The Dental Button any time if you feel worried or stressed and need to stop treatment immediately.

Our team will cease working and check in with our patient the second the button is pushed.

Contact a Skilled Dentist Who Creates a Genuine Partnership With Patients

Dr. Kenneth J. Bagby sees all of his patients as the unique people they are. He knows just how important it is to tailor treatment to each individual.

In addition to providing his patients with education about preventative dental care, he makes sure that they're in full control of their treatment. That's why he offers The Button, allowing patients to have a true and trusted partnership with their dentist.

If you're ready to begin, contact our Billings office or call:

From routine cleanings to root canals, Dr. Bagby is here to help.

The Root Canal Treatment Process How Can Dr. Bagby Treat My Root Canal Infection?

If you need to go to the dentist or endodontist for root canal treatment, choose someone Billings patients trust: Dr. Bagby.
If you need to go to the dentist or endodontist for root canal treatment, choose someone Billings patients trust: Dr. Bagby.


If you think you need a root canal, please visit our dentists immediately.

Dr. Bagby will listen to your symptoms and examine the area. He may also take X-rays to determine the cause of your dental pain.

If you need endodontic treatment, he will start that as soon as possible.


Before your root canal, Dr. Bagby will ensure that you're comfortable. He will likely numb the affected area with a local anesthetic.

For those with significant anxiety or need for comfort, he can also discuss our three sedation options: IV sedation, oral conscious sedation, and nitrous oxide.


Once you're comfortable, Dr. Bagby will carefully access the pulp chamber through the surface of the infected tooth, giving him access to the diseased pulp.

Dr. Bagby will then remove the infected pulp and clean the area so the bacteria will not return. After that, he will seal up the root canals and the pulp chamber of your tooth.


Not all root canal treatments will require this step. However, some patients may need a dental crown, or a realistic cap, to go over their affected tooth.

We can design your custom crown in materials like porcelain and ceramic. Once our partner laboratory creates it, we can place it over your tooth.

A Sealed Tooth The Results of Root Canal Treatment

Sealed teeth
Visit a dentist or endodontist immediately once you notice the symptoms of an infected root canal. After the pulp is removed and the roots are thoroughly sanitized, Dr. Bagby will fill your affected tooth or teeth with an effective sealant. The results will look something like this.

"Couldn’t be happier." What Billings, MT, Patients Have to Say About Dr. Bagby


Nathan Matelich


Google logo

Dr Bagby is truly the best! Not only is he an excellent dentist, but is also the most knowledgeable in town about jaw issues which my wife had to deal with and successful took care of with Dr Bagby’s help. 5 stars, top notch!

View on Google

Kyle Starr


Google logo

I’ve been going there for years now.

Terrific staff, and Dr. Bagby is awesome. Couldn’t be happier.

View on Google

With our financing options, you're one step closer to healthy and beautiful teeth.

Do You Offer Financing?

We do offer financing options at our Billings dental practice through CareCredit® and our membership plan. They can help you with the costs of your root canal treatment that insurance does not cover. 

Dr. Bagby

Kenneth J. Bagby DDS, PC

The practice of Drs. Kenneth Bagby and Erica R. Stokke has provided superior, advanced, and personalized care to Billings, MT, patients since 1985. They specialize in dental occlusion issues, relieving TMJ disorder symptoms, and replacing missing teeth with dental implants. Our highly reviewed dentists are affiliated with prestigious organizations such as:

  • International College of Dentists 
  • American Dental Association
  • Montana Dental Association
  • Academy of General Dentistry

To schedule your free consultation or second opinion, contact our Billings, MT, office using our online form or by calling (406) 252-1078.

Contact Us

"Dr. Bagby is focused on preventive care. He takes the time to explain what I can do to take better care of my teeth and health. He and his staff are caring and courteous, and I always leave with a smile." Tristan

Rate, Review & Explore

Social Accounts Sprite
Google map image of our location in 1540 Lake Elmo Dr Ste 3 Billings, MT

Billings Office

1540 Lake Elmo Dr
Ste 3
Billings, MT 59105

Closed Today

Open Friday By Appointment

(406) 252-1078 Send a message