Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment involves cleaning the nerve inside a tooth if it is inflamed, infected or has died.

The nerve of the Root! Why did the nerve die? Why do I need root canal treatment?

It’s usually due to one, or a combination of the following:

  • tooth decay
  • a tooth crack or fracture
  • trauma
  • gum disease
  • tooth wear
  • breakdown of a filling, crown or other dental work

Occasionally we recommend elective root canal procedures as part of an overall treatment plan to restore a structurally compromised tooth despite the tooth having a responsive nerve.


The nerve space inside the tooth is cleaned out, disinfected, filled and sealed to wall off further infection. In cases of large infection (or abscesses), we will sometimes recommend extended treatment to allow additional disinfection visits to resolve the infection.

Potential side effects

In a small number of patients, teeth which have had root canal therapy never quite feel the same although there is no pain. In most people who experience this, the altered feeling goes away.

What happens after I've had a root canal therapy?

Following root canal treatment on a back tooth (molar or premolar), we generally recommend the tooth is crowned due to:

  • increased weakness of root canal treated teeth (compared to normal teeth)
  • high forces experienced by these teeth when you chew your food.

I've had friends who have had root canal treatment, and have absolutely sworn off it. They've told me never to go through it

No treatment (medical or dental) works 100% of the time. We’d let you know if we didn’t think something would work.

Root canal therapies also have a reputation for being painful. Although this is not always the case, anticipated pain can be overcome with modern stronger anaesthetics and/or sedation.

In any case, we routinely offer various treatment alternatives in all situations.