Root Canal Treatment
Here’s everything you need to know about endodontic treatment in Singapore
What is a root canal treatment?
A root canal treatment is a common endodontic procedure that aims to repairing damaged teeth that have been severely infected or badly decayed. This treatment can help patients save their tooth from being extracted, by relieving pain and making the tooth healthy.
NoFrills Dental team of expert dentists have more than 20 years of experience in executing root canal treatment procedures safely and proficiently. In case you have any concerns and worries about your impending root canal procedure you should feel free to discuss them with your dentist.
The procedure involves the removal of infected pulp tissue from the tooth and the disinfection of the tooth canals before sealing the area with a dental filling. Through a root canal treatment, patients can expect the treated tooth to recover and restore the function of the tooth.
This treatment aims to alleviate tooth pain and address any existing infections or damage that the treated tooth may have.
What is a root canal?
The root of a tooth is the soft tissue that lives inside every tooth (also known as the “dental pulp”), which contains nerves and blood vessels that help keep the tooth alive and healthy.
These blood vessels extend from the pulp of the tooth to the end of the tooth through the root canals.
The dental pulp can become inflamed due to decay or injury, which typically leads to revere episodes of toothaches. An infection tooth can lead to the surrounding bone and gums as well, causing further complications.
Why root canal treatment?
Teeth are meant to last a lifetime of use, as long as their well taken-cared of. Before the founding of modern dentistry, infected or damaged teeth were usually extracted. But in modern times, an infected or damaged tooth can often be saved through a root canal (endodontic) treatment.
Endodontics (en-do-DON-tics) is the branch of dentistry that deals with treating diseases or injuries to the dental pulp. An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in root canal and other endodontic treatments. If you’d like to understand more about the root canal treatment process, Dr Li Kexin has written a detailed article talking about the entire root canal treatment process.
Root canal treatment procedure normally comprises of these key stages and steps:
Consultation & Assessment
During your initial consultation, your dentist will perform an X-ray of the tooth root as well as a pulp vitality test to determine the severity of the condition.
Once the severity of the case has been determined, your dentist will formulate an extensive treatment plan to address your needs based on your case.
Root Canal Procedure
Once you’ve understood the root canal procedure required to treat your case, the root canal treatment can begin.
1. Administration of Anaesthetic
Before the root canal treatment can begin, your dentist will administer a local anaesthetic to completely numb the tooth, ensuring that you do not feel any pain during the entire treatment.
2. Isolation of Tooth
The treated is then isolated from the rest of your mouth through the use of a soft, stretchable sheet of a dental dam. This sheet helps to keep clean and dry while protecting the mouth from fine dental instruments and chemicals used during the procedure.
3. Removal of Infected Pulp
Once the administered anaesthetic has taken effect, a small opening will be made on the tooth to access the pulp chamber and root canals. This process also exposes the infected pulp of the tooth. Your dentist will then introduce disinfecting fluids to kill bacteria and rinse out any debris before proceeding to clear the infected tissue from within the tooth through the use of root canal files.
4. Filling of the Tooth
Once the infected materials have been fully removed from the tooth, your dentist will ensure that your tooth is symptom-free and ready to be sealed with a temporary filling until your dental crown/inlay/onlay is ready.
*This stage of the root canal treatment may take 2 visit to fully complete*
Placement of Restoration (2nd/3rd Visit)
Once the dental crown/inlay/onlay is ready, your dentist will place a mall supporting post within your tooth to improve the stability of the permanent crown on top of the treated tooth to protect the tooth from further damage and improve the overall function of the tooth.
Most patients usually take about 1 week to recover after a root canal treatment. It is normal to feel soreness around the jaw area following treatment. A follow-up appointment may be scheduled when required.
Do I need treatment?
When is root canal treatment required required?
A root canal treatment is required when a patient is suffering from a fractured tooth due to trauma, a severe infection/decay to the tooth or a complication as a result of restorative dentistry.
Generally, a root canal is needed when a patient displays any of the following symptoms:
- Severe pain when eating, biting or chewing
- Severe decay in tooth
- Severe and prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold food and beverages that lingers long after the stimuli has been removed
- Swollen gums near infected tooth
- Gums turning black
- Formation of bumps near infected tooth
- Pus coming out from teeth or gums
FAQs on Root Canal Treatment
Here are some commonly asked questions that our dentists get.
What happens if the dental pulp is injured?
Pulp tissue within a tooth contains blood vessels and nerves. When the pulp matter within the tooth becomes infected or inflamed, a root canal treatment is required to prevent further infection. The most common cause of pulp inflammation or infection are cracked tooth, severe cavities or other serious injury to the tooth. These are the few ways that bacteria can enter the tooth and infect the pulp.
Why should the pulp be removed?
Damaged and/or infected pulp tissue should be removed as surrounding tissue around the affected tooth can also become infected, resulting in more pain and swelling.
For patients who feel no pain in their damaged and/or infected tooth, bacteria can still build up and damage bone that helps to hold the tooth in the jaw. Without a root canal treatment, the entire tooth may have to be removed at a later date due to a severe and potentially life threatening infection.
Removing a tooth can create problems
When a tooth is removed and not replaced, the teeth around it may shift. This can make biting and chewing difficult and may make it harder to clean your teeth. Areas that are not cleaned well are more likely to get gum disease.
Root canal treatment can prevent these problems by saving your natural tooth. Also, root canal treatment is usually less expensive than a replacement tooth.
What does a root canal treatment involve?
You may have to visit your dentist more than once for root canal treatment. An endodontist or a general dentist, will do all that is necessary to save a patient’s tooth. Outlined below are the things you may expect your dentist to carry out during the root canal treatment procedure:
- Area around the tooth is made numb to minimize pain to ensure you are comfortable during the procedure. Your dentist will place a thin latex rubber sheet over the tooth to be treated to remove wetness. Then the dentist makes a hole through the tooth’s crown leading to the pulp cavity.
- The dental pulp is extracted from its cavity as well as from the root canal (spacing in the root of the tooth). Your dentist cleans and shapes the root canals in preparation for filling.
- Medication may be placed inside the pulp cavity and root canals in order to eliminate bacteria.
- Usually, material like rubber is used to seal the root canals.
- The tooth is temporarily filled to prevent your tooth’s root canals from being infected. In case infection has gone further than the root ends then your dentist may prescribe antibiotics. You should use the medicine recommended only as prescribed by the dentist. Contact your dentist in case you experience any problems using the medication prescribed.
- In the next treatment phase, your dentist will remove the previously placed temporary filling. Your tooth will be restored by a filling or crown which will make it stronger and enhance its appearance. In case it is an endodotists handling your root canal treatment then this step will be performed by your generalist dentist.
What materials are used for the crown?
Various materials can be used to crown teeth. The material selected to crown your tooth depends on the tooth’s location, how much natural tooth has been left, what you prefer and finally what the dentist feels would be suitable for you based on your dental needs.
How long will the restored tooth last?
If the root canal procedure is carried out well, a restored tooth can remain in perfect condition for several years. Nonetheless just like normal teeth, the restored tooth can decay or break and the tissue near it can become infected with gum disease. You need to ensure you clean your teeth every day and visit your dentist regularly to ensure your mouth is healthy even if you have undergone the root canal procedure.
How much does root canal treatment cost in Singapore?
Root Canal Cost Singapore
In NoFrills Dental, root canal treatment range from S$500 – S$1,300 depending on the complexity of the treatment procedure. This cost does not include the fees for any dental crowns if required.
The initial consultation package costs $150 and it includes consulting our dentist and x-rays.
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