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Specialist Root Canal Treatment

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Specialist Root Canal Treatment

Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment is a dental procedure that is performed to save a tooth when its pulp tissue has been damaged or infected. The dental pulp is the innermost layer of your tooth that contains nerves, blood vessels, connective tissues and other specialised cells. The dental pulp can become damaged or infected following decay, dental trauma, or a cracked tooth, causing bacteria to infect the root canal system. Root canal treatment involves removing the diseased pulp tissue and bacteria from the root canal system in order to eradicate infection and to save the tooth.

Root canal treatment is a safe, effective and successful procedure that can help save a tooth that might otherwise have to be removed. It can relieve and prevent pain caused by an infected tooth, and help to save your natural teeth. There are a multitude of advantages from saving your natural teeth. These include preserving a normal biting force and sensation, preserving chewing function, and protecting other teeth from excessive wear or biting forces.

Specialist Endodontics In Singapore

A general dentist is qualified to perform successful root canal treatment. However, there may be situations which require a greater level of expertise beyond the scope of a general dentist. These include complex cases involving severely calcified or curved root canals, retreatments, and the presence of multiple root canals (such as in molars), among others. In these cases, your general dentist may refer you to be treated by an endodontist. 

An endodontist is a dental specialist who has high-level expertise in carrying out root canal treatments and in managing associated conditions related to the dental pulp and root canal system. In other words, they are experts in saving teeth and managing tooth pain. In Singapore, registered endodontists are required to possess at least 3 years’ full-time additional training in the area of endodontics after their basic dental degree. At Atria-City Dental, our team of dentists work collaboratively with our endodontist to ensure that our patients get the care they deserve.

Signs and Symptoms that you may need a Root Canal Treatment

Here are some signs or symptoms that might indicate that you may need a root canal treatment. 

  1. Persistent tooth pain, especially when biting or applying pressure to the tooth
  2. Lingering pain when consuming hot or cold foods or drinks
  3. Swollen or tender gums, or the presence of a bump/pimple on the gums (abscess)
  4. Darkening of the tooth 
  5. Chipped, fractured or heavily worn-down teeth

In some cases however, a tooth with a damaged or infected pulp may not cause any pain or discomfort. If left untreated, such teeth may further deteriorate and lose their potential to be saved.

If you have noted any of the above signs or symptoms, it is important to consult a dentist for an examination so they can provide a diagnosis for your condition. Your dentist will then be able to determine if root canal treatment is an appropriate option for you.

Procedure

Root canal treatment can span from a single appointment to several appointments, depending on the case. A root canal treatment procedure involves 3 main key stages:

  1. Making an opening into the tooth to access the root canal system
  2. Carefully and meticulously cleaning and shaping the root canals
  3. Filling up the cleaned root canals with a root filling material and sealing the tooth with a dental filling

These steps are all done under local anaesthesia so a patient undergoing root canal treatment should feel minimal to no discomfort at all. A dental crown may be recommended after a root canal treatment to restore the tooth back to full function and aesthetics, and to protect the tooth against further damage and fracture.

After a root canal treatment, one may experience mild discomfort or sensitivity for a few days. Your specialist endodontist or dentist may prescribe pain medication to manage any discomfort. In cases of a severe infection, antibiotics may also be given. It is important to follow the dentist’s instructions for aftercare, such as avoiding hard or sticky foods and practicing good oral hygiene. With proper care, a tooth that has had a root canal treatment can last a lifetime.

Benefits Of A Root Canal Treatment

  • Relieving pain

Successful root canal treatment can alleviate severe pain and discomfort caused by a tooth that is infected or damaged. After the procedure, the patient may experience some minor discomfort for a few days, but this is typically much less severe than the pain that led to the need for the procedure. If several appointment are required for completion of the root canal treatment, the acute and severe pain is usually relieved after the first appointment (First stage root canal treatment) 

  • Your tooth can be saved

Often when root canal treatment is advised, the alternative is removal of the tooth. Therefore, root canal treatment might be a good alternative to preserve the tooth. By keeping the tooth, it can help to maintain the integrity of the surrounding teeth and prevent the need for more extensive dental work in the future.

  • Restoring function

After root canal treatment has been completed and the tooth has been restored with a filling or crown, it can function normally, allowing the patient to smile, eat and speak with comfort and ease.

  • Improving oral health

By removing the infected or damaged pulp, root canal treatment can help prevent the spread of infection to other teeth and other parts of the body, thereby improving overall health.

  • Cost-effective

Root canal treatment can be more cost-effective than tooth extraction followed by replacement.

Risks Associated With A Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment is a common, safe and effective procedure with high success rates. However, like any delicate and precise medical procedure, there are potential risks and complications. Some of the risks associated with root canal treatment include:

  1. Pain and discomfort: It is normal to experience some low level of discomfort following a root canal procedure. This usually resolves within a few days to a week.
  2. Fractured tooth: Root canal treatment is often carried out on teeth which are already severely worn down or structurally compromised. Following a root canal treatment, such teeth are even more prone to fracture. In some cases, especially on a back tooth, a dental crown may be necessary to reinforce the tooth and to protect against fracture. 
  3. Infection: There is a risk of re-infection following a root canal treatment. In some instances, bacteria can re-enter the root canal system and cause an infection. With a good well-sealing final restoration on a tooth, good oral hygiene and regular maintenance of the root-canal treated tooth, one can reduce the risk of re-infection occurring. 
  4. Failure of treatment: There are instances where a root canal treatment may not be successful in saving the tooth. In these situations, additional endodontic treatment may be required or the tooth may need to be extracted. This is especially so for cases of long-standing infection and complex cases. 

It is important to discuss any concerns or questions you may have about the risks and potential complications of root canal treatment with your endodontist in Singapore. They will be able to explain the risks in more detail and help you make an informed decision about whether root canal treatment is the best option for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Root canal treatment is necessary when the pulp inside a tooth becomes infected or inflamed due to deep decay, a cracked tooth, repeated dental procedures, or trauma. It aims to save the natural tooth and alleviate pain by removing the infection and preserving the tooth’s structure.

Root canal treatment is performed under local anaesthesia, ensuring that you won’t feel any pain during the procedure. In fact, root canal treatment is often sought to relieve the intense pain caused by the infected tooth pulp. After the procedure, some mild discomfort or sensitivity may be experienced, but this can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers.

The duration of a root canal treatment can vary depending on the complexity of the case. On average, it can be completed in one to three appointments, with each appointment lasting about 60 to 90 minutes. Your specialist endodontist will provide a more accurate estimate based on your specific situation.

Root canal treatment offers several benefits, including relieving tooth pain, preserving the natural tooth, restoring normal biting and chewing functions, preventing the spread of infection to surrounding teeth, and maintaining the overall appearance and alignment of your teeth. It is a highly successful procedure that can save a tooth that would otherwise require extraction.

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