Root Canal Therapy

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Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy is a treatment for an infected or necrotic ‘pulp’ inside a tooth. Dental Pulp is the name given to the soft tissue inside the channels in the roots of your teeth. It consists of blood vessels, fibres, and the nerves. The commonest cause of damage to the pulp is deep tooth decay which leads to inflammation and infection inside the tooth. This may spread to the tip of the root and into the bone, causing an abscess. Root canal therapy is a treatment to remove the infection from inside the pulp and surrounding tissues.

Root canals are caused by deep decay, trauma, cracks, heavy wear, leaking fillings and gum disease.

You might need a root canal if:

What will it do for me?

Crowns are recommended for several reasons. The commonest are:

  • To protect cracked teeth

  • To protect root canal treated teeth

  • To restore a tooth when there is too much tooth decayed or missing to rely on a filling

  • For cosmetic reasons

Crowning a tooth when advised can help prevent unfortunate events that might require further treatment such as extractions or root canals therapy
Bridges are placed for the reasons above but also to replace a missing tooth or teeth

How long will it take?

Root canal can take several appointments; but the usual progression is:

  • Access is gained into the tooth and decay removed allowing for the root canal to be started.

  • The damage pulp is removed via small access hole.

  • The root canals are cleaned and disinfected and shaped so that they may be sealed.

  • The root canals are filled using a natural rubber based product to prevent re-infection.
    This progression takes 3 or more appointments, spaced 2-3 weeks apart. Each visit takes roughly an hour.

How much will it hurt?

Root canal therapy has a bad reputation because it is associated with pain. This is an unfair assumption because the pain precedes the treatment! Root canal therapy is undertaken to remove this pain.

The procedure is done under local anaesthetic so it is not expected to be painful during its preparation. There may be some tenderness and sensitivity of the tooth and gums following, however usual over-the-counter pain relief is more than enough to control such inconveniences.

How much will it cost me?

Root canal therapy varies in cost depending on the number of appointments required to control the infection, the complexity and the number of canals. Root canals cannot be done without x-rays to confirm healing and to assist in preparation. For an accurate quote on a root canal procedure, please contact us.


Root canals eradicate infection in the tooth and surrounding bone. This elimination of bacterial infection is very important for overall health. They alleviate pain and prevent extractions. They preserve the foundations of the teeth so that a permanent filling or crown can be fitted.

With advances in anaesthetics and pain relief these days, it is extremely unlikely that a root canal will be a painful experience. Most of the time, the tooth hurts before the procedure, and the treatment gets a reputation based upon the toothache preceding it! Many patients fall asleep during RCT.

Root canals usually take 2 or 3 visits. This is to properly clean and disinfect the canals with medications inside the tooth. Each visit is less than an hour.

Yes, all modern dentists should be doing root canals using “rotary” or nickel titanium motorised techniques to be both faster, cleaner and gentler to the patient.