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Root canal treatment is a common procedure that many people undergo to save their natural teeth. It can happen for various reasons, such as a cavity, trauma to the tooth, or deep decay. A root canal treatment is necessary when pulp inflammation is inside the tooth. If left untreated, the pulp infection can spread and cause serious health problems. This post will discuss root canal treatment, how it is performed, what to expect, and the benefits of a root canal procedure!

What is Root Canal Treatment?

Root canal treatment procedure involves removing dead infected pulp tissue from the inside of a tooth. The dental pulp comprises nerves, connective tissues and blood vessels. It is necessary when the pulp inside the tooth has become infected or dead due to various causes. These can include deep decay, trauma to the tooth, or repeated dental procedures on the same tooth. Some underlying health conditions and medications can also increase your risk of needing root canal treatment.


The common signs and symptoms of tooth decay and infection that may require a root canal procedure include severe pain, sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, swelling, tenderness in the gums and jaw, a foul taste in the mouth, pus coming from the infected area, and discolouration of the affected tooth.

During root canal treatment, the dentist will open the top of the tooth pulp to access the inner pulp chamber where the dental pulp resides. Once this has been done, the dentist will remove the infected pulp tissue, clean out the area and then put a permanent filling in it with a special material to seal off any remaining bacteria.

What is Root Canal?

Dental Science

Tooth Anatomy

Root canal treatment is a common procedure that many people undergo to save their natural teeth. It can happen for various reasons, such as a cavity, trauma to the tooth, or deep decay. A root canal treatment is necessary when pulp inflammation is inside the tooth. If left untreated, the pulp infection can spread and cause serious health problems. This post will discuss root canal treatment, how it is performed, what to expect, and the benefits of a root canal procedure!

How do I know if I need a Root Canal Treatment?

You must visit your dentist immediately for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan if you need a root canal treatment. There will be a recommendation for root canal treatment if an inflamed or infected pulp is due to tooth decay, trauma, gum disease or other causes.

Symptoms include:

  • Severe toothache that persists for days
  • Tooth sensitivity to sweets and hot or cold food
  • Swelling in the gums near the aching tooth
  • A tender or swollen gums near the aching tooth
  • Affected tooth discolouration
  • Bad breath or taste in the mouth
  • Pain while biting or chewing food
  • Chipped or cracked tooth

Benefits of Root Canal Treatment

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Root canal treatment offers many benefits. The benefits of undergoing a root canal treatment procedures include:

  1. Relief from pain and discomfort.
  2. Preserving the tooth and restoring its strength, allowing it to remain functional and healthy.
  3. Preventing the spread of infection that could affect other teeth or even organs in your body.
  4. Improving your oral health and eliminating the need for future, expensive treatments.
  5. Protecting adjacent natural teeth from the strain caused by missing or damaged teeth.
  6. Enhancing your smile and restoring a natural-looking appearance.
  7. Helping you maintain your overall health and well-being.

Root canal treatment can also help to save money in the long run. It can help to preserve a damaged tooth that would otherwise be extracted and replaced with an artificial one. Extracting a damaged tooth and replacing it with an artificial one can be costly than treating the underlying problem with root canal treatment. As a result, root canal treatment can often provide significant savings compared to other treatments for damaged or badly decayed teeth. By helping to prevent further damage or infection, root canal treatment may reduce the need for additional dental procedures that may be required if a condition is left untreated. Finally, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene and health, ensuring that the teeth remain healthy for many years.

Root Canal Treatment Process

1. Consultation and assessment

The dentist will examine the affected tooth and take X-rays to determine the extent of the damage. They will then discuss the procedure with the patient, outlining the process and answering any questions they may have.

2. Root canal procedure

The dentist will numb the area around the tooth and create an opening to access the pulp chamber. They will then use specialized tools to remove the damaged or infected pulp from the tooth's roots and shape the canals. Once this is complete, the dentist will clean and disinfect the canals to remove any remaining bacteria.

3. Placement of restoration (2nd/3rd visit)

The purpose of this step is to restore the tooth to its original function. The dentist may place a temporary filling to protect the tooth while waiting for a permanent crown or filling (gutta-percha) to be created in a dental lab. Once the permanent restoration is ready, the dentist will place it onto the tooth.

4.  Post-operative care

After the procedure, the patient may experience some discomfort or sensitivity for a few days. The dentist may prescribe pain medication or recommend over-the-counter pain relievers to manage any pain. Patients should also avoid chewing on the treated tooth until the permanent restoration is in place. Good oral hygiene practices are crucial to ensure the success of root canal treatments.

Risks of Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment involve removing infected or damaged pulp from inside a tooth. While the procedure is generally considered safe, there are some risks associated with it due to its delicate nature. Some possible risks of root canal treatment include:

Pain and discomfort

Some patients may experience pain and discomfort after the procedure, particularly if there is a residual infection or inflammation.

Infection

Although rare, it is possible for an infection to develop in the treated tooth or the tissues surrounding it after the root canal treatment.

Nerve damage

While it is uncommon, some patients may experience temporary or permanent nerve damage, leading to numbness or tingling sensations in the affected area

Fractured tooth

Due to the removal of the pulp and the weakening of the tooth structure as a result, the treated tooth may be more prone to fractures.

Incomplete treatment

The infection will likely recur if the entire infected pulp is not removed during the procedure.

Cost Of Root Canal Treatment In Singapore

In Singapore, the cost of root canal treatment can vary based on several factors, such as the complexity of the case, the location of the dental clinic, and the type of tooth - whether anterior, premolar or molar.

TYPES OF TOOTH

PRICE

Anterior

$350 - $500

Premolar

$500 - $600

Posterior (3 - 4 canal)

$800 onwards

all prices will be subject to GST.

On average, the cost of root canal treatment in Singapore ranges from S$350 - S$900. It's important to note that root canal treatment costs typically only cover the procedure itself. It does not include any additional charges such as consultation fees, X-rays, or other procedures such as crowning. These additional charges can add up and significantly increase the overall cost of the treatment.

Your dentist will advise you of the total cost at the assessment time.

Can I use MediSave for root canal treatment?

Medisave cannot fund non-surgical root canal treatment according to MOH guidelines. Below is the list of dental insurance providers that offer coverage for root canal treatment:

Aftercare and Recovery

Root canal treatment typically causes minimal discomfort, and your dentist will give you a local anaesthetic to minimise pain. After the procedure, some mild soreness in the treated area may occur, but this should subside after a few days with over-the-counter painkillers.

Here are some post-treatment instructions for optimal healing after a root canal:

Refrain from drinking or eating for at least 4 hours following the procedure.

Avoid eating hard or chewy foods for several days.

Maintain good oral hygiene habits by brushing and flossing regularly, using an antiseptic mouthwash, and scheduling regular check-ups with your dentist.

Avoid chewing on the treated tooth until it has healed and been restored with a dental crown, root canal filling, or other restoration.

Refrain from smoking and drinking alcohol for at least 24 hours after the procedure.

Take any medication prescribed antibiotics as directed.

It is important to have a follow-up appointment with your dentist for regular check-ups and exams to ensure your tooth has healed properly. Your dentist may recommend x-rays to monitor healing and ensure the root canal is successful. Additionally, it is important to continue practising optimal oral hygiene habits, like brushing twice daily and flossing regularly. It is also important to attend regular dental exams and cleanings. It will help keep your oral health in top condition and reduce the risk of future infection or decay.

Why Casa Dental?

Casa Dental provides a range of dental treatments focusing on progressive dental services to local and expatriate patients from young to old. It comprises a team of dedicated and experienced dental professionals that provide patients with optimal dental health and a beautiful smile.

Casa Dental addresses dental health concerns by providing services for customer satisfaction. The treatments, flexible payment, and branches throughout Singapore for accessibility help you achieve a natural, healthier and brighter smile.

Root Canal Treatment  FAQs

Is root canal treatment painful?

Root canal treatment typically does not cause any pain. During the root canal procedure, a local anaesthetic numbs the area and makes it painless. After the anesthesia wears off, some patients may experience mild tenderness in the gums, which can be managed with over-the-counter medications and hot/cold compresses. If you experience pain or discomfort beyond that, contact your dentist to discuss further treatment options.

Overall, root canal treatments relieve pain, not cause it. With modern advances in dentistry, the procedure has become much simpler and comfortable for patients. So even if you're a bit nervous about having a root canal, rest assured that you'll be in good hands. Your dentist will take care to make sure the procedure is as pain-free as possible.

How many years does a root canal last?

The longevity of a root canal depends on the individual and their oral hygiene habits. Generally, a successful root canal can last up to 15 years or higher with proper care. It includes brushing your teeth twice daily, flossing once daily, and having regular dental check-ups. Additionally, avoiding chewing hard or sticky foods is important as they can put extra strain on the tooth. If you are diligent about your oral care, a root canal can continue to protect and preserve your natural tooth for many years to come.

However, due to normal wear and tear, decay or other damage may still occur. If this happens, retreatment of the root canal may be necessary. Dental crowns may also be recommendable to strengthen the tooth and protect against future damage. Ultimately, following your dentist's recommendations and taking good care of your teeth can help you maintain the longevity of your root canal treatment for many years.

Do I need a crown after a root canal?

Dental crowns are usually necessary after a root canal to protect the remaining tooth structure and restore it to its original shape, size, and function. It may be optional when the existing natural tooth structure is strong enough to withstand normal biting and chewing forces. However, a lot of dentists recommend placing dental crowns after root canal therapy to ensure the tooth's longevity and prevent future damage or decay. The type of crown selected will depend on individual circumstances, such as the extent of damage and the tooth's location. Your dentist can discuss all your options to choose a material that suits your needs.

Can I use MediSave for root canal treatment?

Medisave cannot fund non-surgical root canal treatment according to MOH guidelines.

How much does root canal treatment cost?

The cost of root canal treatment ranges from $350-$900, depending on:

  • Complexity of case
  • Which tooth it is – anterior, premolar, or molar
    Your dentist will advise you of the total cost at the time of assessment.

Can the treatment be subsidised under Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS)?

Yes, partial claim only.

There is subsidy from CHAS depending on which tier you belong to:

Blue Tier – Anterior 164, Premolar 210, Molar 256.50
Orange Tier – Anterior 109.50, Premolar 140.00, Molar 170.50
PG – Anterior 174, Premolar 220, Molar 266.5

Are there alternatives to root canal treatment?

There are alternatives to root canal treatment for treating dental pulp injuries. Some of these include removing the affected tooth and using a filling or a crown for a restored tooth. In some cases, an artificial dental implant can be used in place of the removed tooth. A dentist may also recommend performing a pulpotomy (a procedure which removes only part of the infected dental pulp instead of all of it).

What are the side effects of a Root Canal Treatment?

Root canal treatments are generally safe and effective. However, there is a small risk of experiencing side effects such as mild discomfort or tenderness after the procedure, which can be managed with over-the-counter medications and hot/cold compresses. Rarely, infection may occur in the area surrounding the tooth, but this can usually be treated quickly and effectively with antibiotics.

What happens if the dental pulp is injured?

When the dental pulp, or innermost layer of the tooth, is injured, it can lead to infection and inflammation. This can cause pain and sensitivity in the affected area. A root canal treatment may be recommended as a way to save the tooth from further decay or damage.

Endodontic treatment surgery may also be recommended as a way to save an injured tooth from further damage. This procedure is more invasive than a root canal and involves making an incision in the gums to access the affected tooth root. After this, a small hole will be drilled into the root to remove any remaining infection or decay from inside.

Let Us Help You in Taking Care of Your Dental Health

Casa Dental ensures to provide the first-class service to a wide range of clientele including local and expatriate patients from young to old.

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