What is root canal therapy?

Root canal therapy is a treatment for an infected tooth. The most common cause for an infected tooth is a deep cavity that has developed in the tooth.

This is an endodontic file, used to clean and shape the root canal.

 

Why is root canal treatment needed?

Root canal therapy is needed to disinfect the inside of a tooth. The body cannot get rid of the infection by itself and requires treatment to help.

Does a root canal hurt?

No. It is performed under local anaesthesia, so the tooth is entirely numb. It is less traumatic than removing a tooth. In some cases, when the infection is severe, the tooth cannot be 100% numbed with conventional methods. Root canal therapy is one of the most gentle dental treatments.

How much does it cost?

The cost is $750-$1500, depending on the complexity of the tooth.

What does the process involve?

There are three main steps in a root canal. The first one is to remove the nerve inside the tooth, the second is to clean and shape the root canal. Lastly, a root canal filling is placed inside the tooth, where the nerve used to be. The tooth is never taken out of your mouth.

What if I don't have the treatment?

The other option to having a root canal is to remove the tooth. If you choose to do neither, the body will not be able to remove the infection and will be constantly fighting against the germs. A long term infection can develop into a swelling and the pus may spread to important parts of your head and neck. 

How do I care for my tooth afterwards?

A back tooth that has had a root canal will generally require protection from cracking or breaking. This may involve a crown or porcelain onlay. Otherwise, treat the tooth as every other tooth. It may be necessary to not chew food on the tooth.

Click here if you would like to learn about the technical details on how a root canal is performed