Root Canal Therapy

Root canals have a bad reputation, but they’re really nothing to worry about. A root canal is the removal of an infected nerve from the centre of the tooth, which our friendly dentists undertake with our usual gentle approach.

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What is Involved in a Root Canal?

A root canal procedure is performed to remove bacteria and infection from the pulp of your tooth. During treatment, your dentist will remove all infected pulp, clean and shape the root canal.

Once the root canal treatment is completed a filling or sealant needs to be placed on top of the tooth to prevent bacteria from getting in again. Two separate procedures are required for your treatment and an initial consultation. 

Signs You May Need Treatment

Cracked teeth, broken fillings or trauma to a tooth can cause damage to the enamel which then opens the door for infection. Common symptoms include:


Sensitivity to temperature 


Pain when biting or to pressure 


Dull ache or sharp shooting pain 


Swelling in the jaw or gum above the infected tooth


Change in tooth colour (often grey) 


History of a cracked filling 

What You Need to Know

Root canals aren’t any more uncomfortable than a filing or other types of dental work. Before treatment, you’ll be given local anesthetic to make sure you don’t feel anything.

Our gentle dentists will remove the bacteria, fill the root canal and seal the tooth with a filling or a crown. Your dentist will tell you what to do after a root canal. It’s important that you follow their instructions so that you don’t agitate your tooth while it heals. 

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What to Expect at Your Root Canal Appointment

Gentle Dental dentist examines dental imagery


A consultation, x-rays and a mouth examination 


A 60-90 minute root canal to remove the infection 


A 30-minute crown fitting appointment at a later date 


Instructions on how to care for your tooth following treatment 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can your tooth survive without the pulp?

Beneath the layer of enamel on the outside of our teeth is a hard layer called the dentin and a soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp contains the nerves, connective tissue and blood vessels. In our early years, the pulp is important because it helps our teeth to grow. However, as adults, our teeth have fully matured, and can survive without the pulp. That’s why rather than just extracting infected teeth, dentists instead work to remove the infection and save the tooth. 

How does the tooth pulp become infected?

Infections don’t just happen on their own. As the pulp of our teeth is enclosed by the tooth enamel, damage needs to occur first before bacteria can get in. Cracked teeth, broken fillings or trauma to a tooth can cause damage to the enamel which then opens the door for infection. 

Should I have a tooth extraction or a root canal?

In years gone by, teeth damaged by bacteria were simply removed. Today, removing teeth is not recommended. Natural teeth provide structure to the mouth and jaw, provide support to the teeth next to them and make chewing and eating easier. For these reasons, we always try to restore a patient’s natural teeth whenever we can. 

Are root canals preventable?

It is possible to prevent the need for a root canal. Establishing a regular oral hygiene routine will help keep your teeth clean and free from bacteria. Brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and regular dental checkups are the best ways to take care of your teeth and gums. If you think you need a root canal, book an appointment with the team at Gentle Dental.