(04) 801 6228
Lower Hutt:
(04) 570 0520

Root canals, a standard dental procedure often shrouded in misconceptions, have been discussed among patients and dental professionals. The success and effectiveness of root canals can be evaluated through various lenses, including their purpose, the procedure itself, and the long-term outcomes for patients.

Understanding Root Canals

Root canal treatment, or endodontic therapy, is a dental procedure to treat infection at the center of a tooth (the root canal system). Contrary to popular belief, root canals are not about removing roots but about removing the infected pulp inside the tooth and protecting the tooth from future microbial invasion.

The Procedure

The root canal process involves several steps. Firstly, the dentist accesses the infected pulp through the tooth's crown. Next, the pulp is removed, and the space is cleaned and shaped. Finally, the canal is filled with a biocompatible material, and the tooth is sealed with a filling or crown. This process typically takes one or two visits to the dentist.

Success Rates and Factors

Root canal treatments boast a high success rate, estimated to be around 95% or higher. This high success rate can be attributed to advancements in dental technology, such as better imaging techniques and more effective cleaning and filling materials.

However, the success of a root canal also depends on several factors:

  1. Extent of Infection: The more extensive the infection, the more challenging the treatment.
  2. Skill of the Dentist: The experience and skill of the dentist play a significant role.
  3. Tooth Location: Molars are more challenging to treat than front teeth due to their complex root systems.
  4. Post-procedure Care: Proper oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups are crucial for the longevity of the treated tooth.

Myths and Misconceptions

One of the biggest myths about root canals is that they are excruciatingly painful. With advanced anesthetics and techniques, modern dentistry ensures that root canal treatment is no more painful than a routine filling. Another misconception is tooth extraction is better than a root canal. Tooth extraction can lead to more significant issues like misalignment and jawbone deterioration.

Long-term Outcomes

The long-term success of a root canal treatment is impressive. Many teeth fixed with a root canal can last a lifetime with proper care. However, regular check-ups are vital, as treated teeth can still decay.


In summary, root canal treatments are a highly successful dental procedure designed to save natural teeth and alleviate pain. With a success rate over 95%, the procedure's effectiveness is evident, provided it is performed by a skilled dentist and followed by appropriate care. Dispelling myths and understanding the true nature of root canals can help patients approach this treatment with more confidence and less anxiety.


Book Online Now

Wellington Lower Hutt