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Root Canal: Process, Aftercare, Side Effects & Cost

Every Smile Dentistry provides professional Cosmetic Dental Care to make your smile look its best. We want you to be happy with your smile, so we are dedicated to making sure that your dental results are natural-looking, life-changing and long-lasting.

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Get a dental health checkup with a dentist that has your best interest in mind and offers fair rates.

1. Book An Appointment

Visit our website and book an appointment with one of our experienced dentists.

2. Come In For A Consultation

Our team will sit down with you and discuss your dental needs and goals.

3. Get The Perfect Smile

We’ll work with you to develop a treatment plan that will get you the perfect smile.

What is a Root Canal?

root canal concept

A root canal is a procedure that removes infected tissue from inside a tooth’s root. This procedure can save your teeth and prevent the spread of infection.

If you have severe pain or sensitivity in your tooth, you may need a root canal.

A root canal is usually performed by a dentist or endodontist (a dentist who specializes in treating teeth).

The doctor will numb the area with local anaesthesia and remove the infected pulp from inside your tooth’s root. 

The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue—and it’s what hurts when your tooth is infected.

The dentist will then clean the infected area and seal it off with a filling material or crown to prevent bacteria from reentering.

The most common symptoms of an infected tooth are pain when chewing or cold sensitivity.

You can also experience swelling and tenderness around your gum line, redness or discolouration of gums around the affected tooth, or pus draining out of the area where your nerve connects to your gums (called a periapical cyst).

Reasons Why You Might Use A Root Canal

Root canal treatment is done when the soft inner part of the tooth, called the pulp, is damaged, inflamed, or infected.

The crown (the visible part of the gum) remains intact even when the pulp dies. Removing damaged or infected pulp is the best way to preserve tooth structure.

Common causes of damage to pulp are:

  1. Deep caries due to untreated cavities
  2. Multiple dental procedures on the same tooth
  3. chipped or cracked tooth
  4. Tooth damage (a blow in the mouth can damage the tooth; even if the damage does not break the tooth, the pulp can be damaged)

Process Of A Root Canal

Root Canal process

Root canals are one of the most common procedures performed by dentists. A root canal procedure is used to treat the pulp or soft tissue within your tooth.

The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue that helps support your tooth. The pulp also contains tiny tubules—spaces within the tooth—that connect with other parts of your body. These tubules allow bacteria to enter a tooth and infect it.

When bacteria infect a tooth, they can cause pain and inflammation. They can also spread through the body through these tubules, causing infection in other areas of your body.

During a root canal procedure, the dentist will remove all or part of the pulp from your infected tooth in order to prevent further damage to surrounding healthy tissue and bone, as well as prevent further spreading of infection throughout your mouth and body.

After removing all or part of the infected pulp, the dentist will clean out any remaining debris from inside your tooth and then seal it up with a filling material like gutta-percha (a natural rubber-like substance) or acrylic resin (a plastic).

What Happens After A Root Canal

A root canal procedure is regarded as therapeutic. The majority of patients who get the operation are able to benefit from the favourable outcomes for the rest of their lives.

However, how well you take care of your teeth will determine how long the effects persist. Your restored tooth has to be cleaned and flossed on a regular basis, just like the rest of your teeth do.

Root Canal Risks

Root Canal Example

Your tooth is attempted to be saved by having a root canal. The method, however, cannot always be used because the damage is too severe or the enamel is too weak. These elements may result in tooth loss.

If part of the diseased material is left behind or if the antibiotics are ineffective, there is also a danger of an abscess at the tooth’s root developing.

Consult your dentist about an extraction if you’re worried about getting a root canal.

This frequently entails replacing the broken tooth with a partial denture, bridge, or implant.

Root Canal: Aftercare

After a root canal, you should take some important steps to ensure that your tooth is healthy.

Step 1: First, make sure to use the prescribed mouth rinses and antibiotics as directed. This will help to prevent infection and reduce swelling.

Step 2: Second, it’s important to avoid hard or crunchy food for at least two days after your procedure. If possible, avoid chewing on the side of your mouth where you had the root canal for 24 hours after your procedure.

Step 3: Third, use an over-the-counter pain reliever as directed by your dentist if you experience any discomfort.

Step 4: Finally, schedule a follow-up appointment with your dentist within one week to ensure that all is well!

Side Effects Of Root Canal

Root canal example model

The most common side effect of a root canal is tooth sensitivity. Your dentist will discuss this issue with you before and after your procedure, so they can recommend ways to manage it, including using products like fluoride-free toothpaste or applying special desensitizing gels directly to your teeth.

Other possible side effects include:

  • Temporomandibular joint problems (TMJ). If your jaw joints are not properly aligned, they may grind together when you chew or open your mouth wide—leading to TMJ pain or headaches. Your dentist can help with this by making sure your bite is corrected before starting treatment.
  • Infection in surrounding tissues or bone loss around the site of treatment due to infection or improper healing after surgery or trauma caused by an accident involving impact on the face or head (which can result in broken jaw bones). The latter condition requires additional dental work that might not have been necessary had proper dental hygiene been followed from

What is the cost of a root canal In South Africa

The cost of a root canal in South Africa can vary depending on a number of factors, including the location of the tooth, the complexity of the procedure, and the type of dental insurance coverage you have. 

In general, the cost of a root canal can range from around ZAR 2,500 to ZAR 4,000 or more, depending on the circumstances.

It is best to consult with a dentist or dental specialist to get a more accurate estimate of the cost of a root canal in your specific case.

It is important to note that dental insurance coverage may vary and may not cover the full cost of a root canal.

It is a good idea to check with your insurance provider to see what your coverage includes and to find out if there are any out-of-pocket expenses you will be responsible for paying.

tooth on top of money

Frequently Asked Questions

You can always submit a contact request if you have more questions or email info@everysmile.co.za

This study found that 86% of root canals last ten years or more, 92% last five years, and 98% last a year. Molars treated by endodontists had a much higher 10-year survival rate than those treated by conventional dentists.

The amount of tooth structure left over following a root canal usually dictates whether a crown is necessary. Typically, a crown is recommended to repair the tooth’s structural integrity if more than half of the tooth is missing.

The removal of the nerve and blood supply during a root canal causes the tooth to become dry and brittle. The tooth is held together with a dental crown, which offers the tooth the necessary strength and longevity.


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Every Smile Dentistry
Based on 48 reviews
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monde dyantyimonde dyantyi
11:10 16 Jul 23
I have been using Every Smile Dentistry for a while now. The service that I have received from the Doctors is very professional. Currently the only Dr that I use with them is Dr Somthunzi that is very patient with kids. Thank you for the excellent service Dr Somthunzi.
Janice MarriottJanice Marriott
13:54 15 Jun 23
If I could give 10 stars out of 5 - i would....the best experience i have had ever at a Dentis - Dr Somtumzi and her team are Angels-caring, professional, understanding and more....i am now 59 years old- had my 1st full set of upper dentures at the tender age of 19...which gives me 40 years of Denture Experience.....NEVER have i been treated with such dignity and grace - THANK YOU - in fact ....here are my 10 out of 5...**********
Malaika KuenaMalaika Kuena
11:40 10 Jun 23
Surgical tooth extraction was quick and painless. Thanks to Dr Mthunzi and her team in East London.
Bakhe GatyeniBakhe Gatyeni
13:09 02 Jun 23
Sesethu LeqelaSesethu Leqela
15:49 01 Jun 23
Today I went for braces consultation and the service that I received was beyond excellent,from the receptionist lady, dental nurse to Dr Zungu. He came up with many solutions on how we can tackle my issue and explained the process to the level of my understanding. Everyone at the branch is so welcoming 🙏 and super friendly/kind☺️. Please keep it up 💯!!!
Kimone BooysenKimone Booysen
08:29 16 May 23
The staff is sooo friendly. I have a big fear when it comes to dentists, but my dentist calmed me down so well and talked me through what she was going to do and what she was doing while busy. I had an infected tooth that she extracted. I felt no pain and it was over within seconds. I will definitely go back.
Soso MtiniSoso Mtini
14:01 21 Apr 23
We all dread appointments at the dentist but all my worries were put to rest by the lovely Dr Govender. She handled my tooth extraction with such great care and took time to explain the whole process. I appreciate her being so patient with me. Reception was warm and so helpful. Thank you to the whole team for being so professional and efficient.I can't wait to visit the dentist again!
ncediswa xeloncediswa xelo
11:24 12 Apr 23
Yesterday my daughter went for consultation. Wow she's lost of words explaining the Dr's friendliness, warm heart . It was our first visit I'm sold this is going to be our family dentist. Thank you all for your excellent customer service from the receptionist to assistants. Big up !!!!
Damaine JohnsonDamaine Johnson
09:13 20 Sep 22
Dentist knows what she's doing. I personally had my wisdom tooth extracted. Felt no pain at all during the extraction. Clean, professional and affordable. Thanks to the team at Every Smile Dentistry Selborne.
Leverne StrydomLeverne Strydom
17:54 26 Aug 21
I've been with the Dentistry for over two years now and I don't think I'll ever go to another dentist. Very clean and affordable too.I must say their customer service is exceptional!! From the receptionist to the Dr.I would recommend anybody to support Every Smile Dentistry!!
Bonisile NomanyaBonisile Nomanya
09:39 16 Oct 20
The service was exceptional! She explain every procedure throughout. She cleaned me and then removed the damaged one. I recommend Every Smile Dentistry.
Chesznokov ZunguChesznokov Zungu
11:31 20 Mar 20
I really appreciated the level of care and consideration from the staff. I experienced absolutely no pain and was kept comfortable at all times. I will definitely be going back🙂
Ziyanda CisheZiyanda Cishe
09:26 11 Apr 19
Today I had my teeth cleaned at Every Smile Dentistry. I just moved to East London so I was nervous about starting over with a new dentist. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming and the dentist was very gentle and attentive. I recommend Every Smile Dentistry to everyone looking for a pleasant experience at the dentist! 🙂
promise sitholepromise sithole
13:49 05 Jul 23
I have to give credit to Musa, the Doctors assistant. He knows how to treat patients. Im not quite sure about the Doctor, she was not friendly at all. No greetings or whatsoever.
tumelo pitsitumelo pitsi
18:34 10 Jun 23
Wonderful place,my son took out about four of his teeth there.
Tshiamo MokoenaTshiamo Mokoena
13:35 05 Jun 23
Experience and treatment was great , Friendly staff, Excellent service.
hildah nhlekohildah nhleko
09:31 01 Jun 23
Did slimming wires and I lost 5kg in 6days...the service was exceptional..the Dr and her assistant were very friendly and explained the process...m very happy with their service...THANX EVERY SMILE DENTISTRY
Mamolefe Bavley MoagiMamolefe Bavley Moagi
08:45 22 May 23
Brought my boy who had a tooth ache got to say they have excellent service and they are very good with kids. Great work
Overall, they offer great service and they take care of their clients. They are all so nice and really kind, they made me feel less anxious and comfortable and would constantly ask whether or not I was ohk and comfortable during the procedure. I 1000% recommend this place!!
Perseverance ChaukePerseverance Chauke
15:25 30 Apr 23
The place is overall beautiful and the reception guys are too friendly. My only issue was the doctor. 1st she didn’t greet or introduce herself I had to ask the assistant what the Doctors name was. Also she was not patient with my son and seemed irritated most of the time. I however have to give thanks to Musa who was the assistant that guy is amazing and super patient he made my son super comfortable and explained every process to me and my son.
Nontsikelelo MpanzaNontsikelelo Mpanza
10:02 27 Mar 23
5 stars is not enough for the service in this place! Truly amazed, my daughter is the happiest girl and would definitely recommend these guys. Warmth welcome from entering till exist.
Tshego MnisiTshego Mnisi
07:43 25 Aug 22
I started my braces journey April 2021 and I must say an exceptional experience it was👌🏾. First and foremost my Orthodontist you really out did yourself Sir thank you. Assistant Doctor and the Receptionist thank you for the kind and warm atmosphere you brought.If you want 100% oral hygiene Every Smile is the place to go🙂
Kagiso NtsokoKagiso Ntsoko
04:23 24 Jun 21
My son and I received an exceptional service, from the lady at the reception, dentist and the assistant. Thank you for your manner of serving and please continue with the excellent service.
Takura MalabaTakura Malaba
01:27 09 Jun 21
Very affordable and professional service. Would definitely recommend.
sbusiso Cindisbusiso Cindi
05:08 15 May 21
The lady at reception is very friendly.. Her and Doctor Mphiwe are stars.. For all your dental needs these guys will sort you out 😊😊
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Every Smile Dentistry offers a team of experienced dentists in South Africa in a variety of areas with friendly prices.

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