Frequently Asked Questions

What is a root canal?

Root canal treatment is a treatment option to help keep your tooth. The alternative is often extraction (removal of the whole tooth). Root canal treatment involves making a hole in the tooth to clean and disinfect the pulp tissues (nerves and blood vessels) and/or debris from within the root(s) of the tooth. Think of this like a deeper cavity filling. After treatment, a temporary filling is placed. Once you are comfortable, your general dentist will restore the tooth with a permanent filling.

Will it hurt?

Root canal treatment is similar to a filling, and you will be given 'freezing' during treatment. You may experience some mild discomfort for 2-3 days after treatment. This can depend on numerous factors, including the extent of tooth infection.

Are there any special instructions before or after treatment?

Usually a root canal appointment will be similar to a filling, with the use of local anaesthetic ('freezing'). You are okay to drive home by yourself and can even go to work the same day (although you may experience some discomfort, as explained above). Your individual case may vary, and specific instructions may be discussed during a consultation appointment.

After root canal treatment, you will have a temporary filling placed over the surface of the tooth. You will need to return to your family dentist to have a permanent restoration placed, usually within 1-2 weeks after completion of the root canal treatment. During this time period, avoid biting and chewing foods to minimize risk of the temporary filling coming out or tooth fracturing, which may impact the success of treatment.

I had an old root canal on a tooth, and it is now hurting. If the tooth is already dead, why does it hurt?

Even though a tooth with prior root canal treatment is 'dead,' there are still nerves around the tooth and located where the tooth is attached to your jaw. These may get irritated for various reasons, which include re-infection of the tooth, persistent bacteria, or a crack in the tooth. In many cases, it can be possible to successfully re-treat a previously treated tooth.

What is your financial policy?

Please be aware that payment is due at the time that treatment is completed. We accept credit card, debit card, and cash. We do not accept cheques. If you have dental insurance, we are happy to submit the dental claim on your behalf, which can expedite reimbursement; however, we do not direct bill.