Root Canal

A root canal is a treatment to repair and save a badly damaged or infected tooth. The procedure involves removing the damaged area of the tooth (the pulp), cleaning and disinfecting it and then filling and sealing it. The common causes affecting the pulp are a cracked tooth, a deep cavity, repeated dental treatment to the tooth or trauma. The term “root canal” comes from cleaning of the canals inside the tooth’s root.

What to Expect

If you think you need a root canal, consult your dentist. There are a number of steps that occur over a few office visits.
X-ray – if a dentist suspects you may need a root canal, he will first take X-rays or examine existing X-rays to show where the decay is located.
Anesthesia – local anesthesia is administered to the affected tooth. Contrary to popular belief, it is no more painful than a filling.
Pulpectomy – an opening is made and the diseased tooth pulp is removed.
Filling – the roots that have been opened (to get rid of the disease pulp) are filled with gutta-percha material and sealed off with cement.

What is a Root Canal?

Inner tooth pulp, sometimes referred to as “the nerve”, is at risk of becoming inflamed and infected due to:


  • Tooth decay
  • Deep or large teeth fillings
  • Over-filled teeth
  • Crown or filling leakage
  • Dental trauma caused by accidents or injuries
  • Tooth fractures, cracks or breaks

The inner tooth pulp cells may die and infection can spread through the root canals. To prevent such pulp inflammation and remove infection, root canal treatment, filling and sealing is necessary. If left untreated nerve damage may occur, resulting in tooth and bone loss.

Do I need a Root Canal?

Inflamed or infected tooth pulp may present as tooth sensitivity, tooth pain or discomfort. These symptoms may occur when experiencing hot or cold temperatures, while eating or breathing, when eating sweets, or when biting the upper and lower teeth together.

This can be an indicator of potential tooth decay near the dental nerve, which may accelerate into painful toothache. Early intervention prevents oral pain, the spread of infection and disease, and may actually save a tooth in the long run.

What's Involved in a Root Canal?

Root canal treatment involves providing:

Local anaesthetic to numb the treatment site.
Rubber dam placement where inflammation or infection is present.
Tooth dimensions and measurements from X-rays and imaging.
Cleansing for infection-free reshaping of the tooth canal.
Rubber root canal filler and sealer into the reshaped tooth canal.

How long does treatment take?

Treatment time can vary according to the number of root canals needing treatment. Treatment duration may extend from one to two hours. Individuals requiring root canal treatment need to be committed to saving their tooth for the preservation of existing tooth structure. Tax allowable root canal treatment fees range between €400 and €700.

Is Root Canal treatment painful?

Patients experience some tenderness and discomfort around the treatment site as healing progresses. The discomfort gradually subsides and so does the pain initially felt prior to treatment. You may be prescribed with anti-inflammatory medication to reduce post-treatment discomfort. Patients should immediately contact the clinic if symptoms continue or become severe.

What can be expected after Root Canal treatment?

Tooth sensitivity, discomfort and pain subside once the inflamed or infected dental pulp is removed. Temperature changes while eating or breathing should no longer cause tooth sensitivity. Root canal treatment replaces the pulp with filler and seals the treatment site, protecting the tooth structure and existing dental health.
Teeth located at the rear of the mouth may require a dental crown for stronger tooth structure, particularly for normal chewing activity. Tax allowable fees for dental crowns range between €600 and €900.
Front teeth may be restored with white composite fillings or a dental crown after root canal treatment. Discoloured or stained front teeth may also be whitened.

Get in touch with our team 01 8786999 for further information about root canal treatment, dental crowns, white fillings and teeth whitening. We can book a consultation to provide you with details and assess your oral health needs.