Root Canal Therapy

This procedure allows teeth to be treated that, in the past, would have been lost. It is used to treat a tooth where there is a deep cavity, disease or injury which has resulted in infection in the pulp of the tooth. This means that the soft tissue in the centre of the tooth has become infected.

Indications you may need Root Canal Therapy

Symptoms may be similar to those indicating a need for a filling but will likely be more severe. They may include:

  • Ongoing pain or discomfort
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold food or drinks
  • Gum tenderness when eating
  • Swelling gums
  • Discolouration


X-ray showing a tooth repaired with root canal therapy

X-ray showing a tooth repaired with root canal therapy.

Each case is different; some are more complex than others. It does depend on the size and shape of the roots of the tooth. It also depends on whether previous treatments have been attempted on the tooth. Where a tooth has two roots, only one may be infected while the other remains healthy. For most cases, the following steps are likely:

  • A pulpectomy – this is where the infected pulp is removed

Then, at a following appointment:

  • The root canal is shaped and filled
  • A post may be inserted to lend structural support
  • A filling is done or permanent crown is fitted

The cost and time will vary depending on the complexity of your case. Your dental insurance plan may cover some of this cost. The procedure may need two or more appointments but is generally more cost effective than extraction and an implant. Dr St George will advise you about your case and the best treatment for you and your circumstances.