FAQs about root canals answered

When it comes to recovering from a dental abscess, the majority of people assume that the process is as simple as having the affected tooth removed.

However, this is not always ideal, as for some people the infection may be located under a tooth at the front of their mouth. So, if removed, would cause a significant aesthetic issue. Luckily there is another way for you to maintain your smile, whilst also ensuring that the dental infection doesn’t come back and that is with the use of a root canal.

Before you panic please be assured that a root canal is a simple procedure that almost all dental teams are able to perform in surgery. However, having some concerns about this process is to be expected and in this article a dentist Bondi Junction answers common questions that are asked about root canals.

Do they hurt?

In a word, no, root canals do not hurt as your dental team will ensure that your mouth is numbed before they begin and, when compared to the discomfort of a dental abscess or a tooth that has been split, a root canal is likely to feel a lot more comfortable. Especially if you are also put on antibiotics at the same time.

In the days following the root canal, the area may feel slightly tender or bruised, but this is to be expected and unless it worsens, should not be an area for concern.

How long do they take?

This will depend on the tooth itself. Many teeth in the mouth have 2 roots or more in some cases and the number of infected roots will determine how long the process takes. For a single rooted tooth, a root canal will typically take 45 minutes to an hour. If you need multiple root canals, your dental team will probably aim to divide the treatment over multiple appointments.

Why would I need one?

As briefly touched on before, you would need to have a root canal performed if you have recently had a dental infection or if the tooth in your mouth has become damaged down to the root. A root canal removes the source of the infection from the pulp and thus cleans the tooth and prevents it from spreading. It also aims to restore the tooth to its former strength. So once the tooth has been hollowed out by the procedure, it is filled with a rubber-based substance which will restore the strength.

Do they delay extraction?

No, if a root canal is correctly fitted it should not act as a simple delay for extraction. Rather it should restore the tooth to its former strength and should prevent extraction from being needed. If you do not maintain the tooth, however, it is likely that it may succumb to decay and will then need to be extracted, but this will not be due to the root canal.

How long do they last?

With correct care, a root canal can last the rest of your life without a recurrence of the infection or any discomfort. But if you suspect that your root canal is failing, then you need to seek advice from your dental team.


Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.