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Root canals; a guide from our general dentist

When you have had a dental abscess, chances are, you never want to experience another one; after all, they are more than a bit sore!

Typically after you have had a dental infection, your dental team will offer you 1 of 2 treatments depending on the condition of the affected tooth. If it is decayed beyond repair, then it will be extracted. If it is in relatively good condition, then you will be offered a root canal, (and this is where most patients cringe).

At Glenside Dental, our general dentist Glenside has performed multiple root canals in their time and they can assure you that the procedure is not as bad as you may think and offers you a myriad of benefits. Great!

In this brief article, our general dentist Glenside will introduce you to the world of root canals, why we use them and how they may be beneficial to your overall oral health. Enjoy!

What is a root canal?

In the simplest terms, a root canal is a very specific kind of restoration that involves drilling down to the root of the tooth to remove the source of infection. Once this has been removed, our general dentist Glenside will then fill the drill site (or canal) with gutta-percha, a rubber-like substance that will prevent any bacteria or debris from accessing the pulp again.

Then, the canal is topped with a crown or filling, depending on the tooth and the number of root canals performed.

Fitting a root canal

Before we can fit a root canal, our team will need to take an x-ray of the area.

This will allow us to see the size of the abscess and assess the best way to resolve it. If we decide on a root canal, we will invite you back for a longer dental session, as each root canal can take up to an hour to fit. And if you are having multiple root canals performed (such as on a molar tooth) this can require multiple sessions.

We will numb the area and then, using a very fine drill, we will drill into the root of the tooth. This canal is then widened using files, to make room for us to remove the infected pulp.

Once we have removed the infected debris, we then begin filling the canal with gutta-percha and top it off with either a composite crown or filling.

We may suggest pain relief to help you manage any short term discomfort at home, but chances are if you have had a dental abscess, it will be more comfortable than you think!

Risks and complications

There are very few risks or complications from having a root canal fitted; the most prevalent issue (while also being very rare) is that you may develop another infection due to the root canal being fitted incorrectly.

If you suspect that you have an infection forming in your tooth that has undergone this procedure, please call our team as soon as possible.


With correct dental hygiene, your root canal should easily last the rest of your life without complications. But, as before, if you suspect that there is an issue, you should contact us right away.


All treatment carries risks. Individual consultation is required with one of our practitioners to ensure that the treatment is right for you.


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