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Root Canal Cost, Pain and Treatment

Root Canal Cost, Pain and Treatment

Have you recently chipped or cracked a tooth? Are your gums darkening and decaying?

These may be signs that you may need a root canal procedure to avoid extensive tooth rot, which could ultimately lead to a dead tooth.

Read below to help you to better understand what a root canal procedure entails, the pain associated with the procedure, and the overall treatment.

What are Root Canals?

  • The removal of infected, injured or dead pulp from inside the tooth
  • A pulp infection that can be caused by a crack, cavity, or trauma

How Painful is a Root Canal?

  • Root canal procedures have been compared to receiving an extra large tooth filling
  • Local anaesthetic is administered during a root canal to numb pain and discomfort
  • Your mouth may be sore or tender after a root canal

Root Canal Procedure

  • Root canals are a procedure that can save the natural tooth, rather than removing it completely
  • Commonly performed by a Dentist or Endodontist
  • A multi-step process that is performed under local anaesthetic

Root Canal Cost

  • Root canal costs depend on the severity and number of root canal procedures needed
  • The cost for a root canal in Alberta is between $691-$1,177, according to the Alberta Dental Fee Guide
  • Some insurance policies may cover a portion or the entire procedure

Root Canal Treatment

  • Pulp removal, sealing the canal, and tooth restoration
  • Follow up X-rays are necessary to confirm if the infection is gone
  • Aftercare includes practicing good oral hygiene, which is imperative to prevent cavities and gum disease

What are Root Canals?

A root canal is a type of endodontic treatment, which is the process of cleaning and removing damaged or dead tooth pulp.

What is tooth pulp?

  • The soft centre of the tooth, which is made up of blood vessels, nerves and connective tissues.
  • The pulp plays an important role in assisting your tooth roots’ growth during development.

The Canadian Dental Association (CDA) notes that bacteria can enter the tooth through cavities or cracks, causing an abscessed tooth – a tooth with an infection in the pulp.

According to the Journal of Pharmaceutical Research International, the purpose of a root canal procedure is to save the original tooth, reduce inflammation at the root of the tooth, and ultimately reduce pain and the spread of infection.

How Painful is a Root Canal?

We understand that a root canal might sound intimidating, but thankfully as science and technology have evolved, the root canal procedure has become much less painful.

But really, are root canals still painful?

Unfortunately, no dental procedure is guaranteed to be pain free.

Local anaesthetic is used to freeze the area, which minimizes pain, and allows for a less stressful experience.

The American Association of Endodontists (AAE) states that most patients report that they are comfortable during the procedure.

Root Canal Procedure

The Canadian Dental Association (CDA) notes, that our dentist may perform a root canal treatment or we may refer you to an Endodontist (a dentist who specializes in treating dental pulp).

A root canal procedure can be performed in one or two appointments, and can take between 90 minutes to 3 hours, depending on how severe the infection is.

Root Canal Cost

You are most likely asking yourself:

“How much does a root canal cost?”

According to the Alberta Dental Association and College fee guide the cost of a root canal can vary depending on the severity and number of root canals needed:

  • One canal – $691.15
  • Two canals – $1,006.48
  • Three canals – $1,177.04

The cost of a root canal procedure may be covered by your insurance provider. Contact your insurance representative to see if a root canal is covered by your plan.

Root Canal Treatment

The Government of Alberta breaks down the root canal treatment into three steps:

Freezing the area

  • A topical gel is used to numb the area first, and then local anaesthetic is injected into the area
  • This will ensure your gums and tooth are numb, and that the surrounding area is completely frozen

Pulp removal

  • A protective rubber sheet is used to separate the infected tooth from the rest of your teeth
  • A hole is drilled into the top of the tooth
  • The infected pulp is removed and the canal is cleaned with a solution
  • Antibiotics may be used to kill remaining bacteria and treat the area to prevent infection

Sealing the canal and tooth

  • The canal and tooth are then filled and sealed with a soft material to prevent saliva from disrupting the area

After your root canal procedure is completed, your tooth will need to go through one final step.

To get your tooth looking as normal and natural as possible, the Canadian Dental Association (CDA) says that an additional permanent filling or crown may be used to help fully restore your tooth.

If the crown is not fitted and fastened at the same appointment, the American Association of Endodontists recommends not chewing or biting down on the treated tooth until it is fully restored to avoid damaging the tooth.


A follow up X-Ray will confirm if the infection is gone, and if the tooth has healed completely.

Cavities and gum disease can still occur after a root canal, which is why Healthline suggests practicing good oral hygiene, and scheduling regular cleanings with our dentist.

Signs you may need a root canal

If you’re experiencing:

  • Severe pain while chewing
  • Pimples on the gums
  • A chipped or cracked tooth
  • Swollen and tender gums
  • Continuous sensitivity to hot and cold

Do you have questions about root canals?

We are here to treat and address your symptoms and help you to avoid major complications, like the spread of infection or permanent tooth loss.

To book a free consultation, get our professional opinion, or ask any questions, get in touch with us.

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