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Want to learn more about root canals?5 common queries answered by our general dentist

Following a dental emergency or a facial trauma, it rarely comes as good news that you need to have further dental work done.

And, while unpopular among dental patients, if you have recently had an abscess or a tooth that has been severely damaged, it is likely that a root canal has been suggested as the treatment option.

With over 100 years of history in dental care, a root canal is a procedure by which all the infected material is removed from the tooth (very carefully!) and the tooth is filled to prevent any recurring infection. Yet despite the obvious benefits of endodontics, it remains an unpopular procedure.

When you come to our team, our general dentist in Whanganui New Zealand will ensure that you are fully aware of all of the ins and outs of any procedure and, in relation to endodontics, will take great care to ensure you are comfortable during and after the procedure. We will always endeavour to answer all of your questions in jargon-free language, so you can be sure that the treatment you are agreeing to is the best for you.

So, do you have some questions about root canals? Our general dentist in Whanganui New Zealand answers 5 common queries below.

Why are root canals suggested?

A root canal would be recommended by our general dentist in Whanganui New Zealand if the tooth is infected or severely damaged.

Endodontics prevents the recurrence of the infection by filling the tooth, while also preserving it, leading to better long-term dental health and a much-improved smile.

Does it kill the tooth?

In a word, no.

A root canal removes the infected material from the inside of the tooth, leaving the pulp and nerves intact. Following the procedure and the healing time, you will still have sensation in your treated tooth when you bite into food and your tooth will not turn black.

Is it uncomfortable?

Actually, having a root canal treatment is often associated with a decrease in discomfort.

An oral infection can become immensely uncomfortable and, if you have suffered a trauma to your tooth resulting in exposure to the pulp, this can be very hard to ignore in daily life too.

And so, having the tooth cleaned by our team and filled will alleviate the infection, the swelling and the pressure associated with both.

Are there alternatives?

Yes, there are alternatives to having a root canal; the main one is an extraction.

While this may seem preferable, a missing tooth is rarely a desirable aesthetic and the shrinking jaw bone and gum can cause surrounding teeth to move, leading to orthodontic issues. And as a root canal bypasses all of these issues, it is the option that our team will often suggest first.

How long do they last?

With good oral hygiene, a root canal should last the rest of your life with no issue. If you suspect there is an issue with your root canal, contact our team for an emergency appointment.


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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