The Truth About “Root Canals”


Let’s first explain why a tooth needs a root canal.

When a tooth becomes infected with bacteria due to a cavity, trauma, or fracture that has gone untreated for too long, the bacteria start to infect the nerve of the tooth (known as the “pulp”) and causes severe pain. Eventually the nerve is damaged beyond recovery, bacteria spreads beyond the tooth and begins infecting the surrounding bone and teeth.

Baby Teeth Chart - Arbo Dental Care - Bradford

What are the options to treat an painful and infected tooth?

There are two ways to treat the infection, both require the removal of the source of infection: the bacteria inside the tooth.

  1. Remove the whole tooth and the bacteria inside it
  2. Remove only the infected nerve/pulp of the tooth, also known as root canal treatment

If it is important to you to keep a tooth in place e.g. chewing back tooth, front tooth, then a root canal treatment would be the best option.

At Arbo Dental Care, Bradford we do our best to go through the risks and benefits of all treatment options.

Baby Teeth Chart - Arbo Dental Care - Bradford

How to protect a tooth from fracturing after it has had root canal treatment?

But what’s the problem with a tooth that has been treated with a root canal? It becomes weaker as the cavity has already destroyed most of the tooth and nerve. After restoring the tooth, it will be mostly filling material. The remaining tooth becomes fracture prone. A molar tooth (chewing tooth) that has had a root canal filling has a 63% chance of lasting 5 years. If a crown is placed on the tooth to help protect the tooth from fracture, then the chance of the tooth lasting 5 years is 94%. There are no guarantees a tooth will last forever, so it’s important for us to do what we can now in order to preserve our teeth for as long as possible.

The Truth

The truth is, teeth that had a deep cavity and root canal treatment will not last as long as natural teeth that never had any cavities. The best way to treat teeth is with prevention, it’s better to prevent a cavity for as long as possible, and if a cavity forms then early detection and treatment is the most beneficial.

If you need root canal treatment or want to learn more about the different options, send us an email at or call 905-775-7377 to schedule a consultation here at Arbo Dental Care in Bradford.

Looking forward to caring for you and your smile!