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For nervous patients: we have an onsite sedationist at our Balgowlah Smile Office

For patients with pain: we will see you on the same day, call us on 02 9907 9877

For patients with missing teeth: all implant treatment including surgical placement, from start to finish, will be done at our Balgowlah Smile Office

For patients with cosmetic concern: very experienced and capable dental team to provide world class dental care. Call us on 02 9907 9877

Veteran Affairs patients and eligible children with Medicare "The Child Dental Benefits Schedule" are all welcome

Root Canal Therapies

Why root canal treatment? Most people nowadays prefer to save their tooth with infected pulp because it generally will function better than an artificial tooth and it avoids the complication and greater expense of replacing teeth that would otherwise be lost. Your own tooth is usually stronger and more efficient for biting and chewing. Cleaning and maintenance of a natural tooth are much easier. Problems with biting, chewing and oral health are associated with losing a tooth. For example, nearby teeth can move out of their normal position and tilt into the space left by a missing tooth. This can make chewing and biting difficult, and can lead to further decay and gum disease around the tilted teeth.


Root canal treatment is successful in most cases. If you take good care of the treated tooth, it may last for many years and possibly for the rest of your life. However, root canal treatment may not be appropriate in some cases, and extraction may be the best option. Contact the Smile Office for an appointment to discuss your problem.


Common questions and their answers


Q: Is root canal therapy painful?

A: Local anaesthesia can make most teeth painless to treat.


Between treatments, medications usually work well. Occasionally, you need a course of antibiotic or stronger pain killers.


Q: Isn’t root canal therapy quite expensive?

A: It’s not, considering the time, patience, and skill needed to perform it. And the cost of Root Canal Therapy is substantially less than the cost of a bridge needed to replace a tooth lost because root canal therapy was not done.


Q: Despite our best effort, don’t some root canal therapies fail?

A: Seldom. The odds for success in uncomplicated cases are excellent: in fact, they are well over 90%.


  • Usually due to special complications. Illustrations of some of these complications follow.
  • Why do the rare failures happen?
  • Accessory root canals - some teeth have large side canals coming off the main canals, most often near the root end. These cannot be cleaned out, and the bacteria they contain may keep a root-end inflammation going after the main canal is filled.
  • Badly curved roots – it is not possible to treat severely curved root canals. Bacteria still left in the ends of these roots can continue to infect the surrounding bone after root canal therapy.
  • Very narrow canals – some canals become exceedingly narrow, especially in the teeth of older people, or in teeth with deep fillings. It was impossible to prepare the tiny lower ends of the canals of this tooth. These canals, each only the width of a hair, contain bacteria that can cause continuing trouble.
  • Cracked root – a tooth can develop a hairline crack in its root, a crack so small it won’t show on an x-ray, but still large enough to harbour bacteria that can do damage.


Q: Does failed root canal therapy mean the tooth must be extracted (taken out)?

A: Usually not. There are special techniques of canal re-treatment. And, when a good seal at the end of a root is impossible to attain, the root end can frequently be surgically removed to solve the problem.