Relieve tooth pain and painful sleepless nights due to nerve infection.
Every natural tooth structure contains a pulp chamber found at the center of the tooth between the crown and the tooth’s root canals. The chamber space is filled with a soft tissue, also known as the pulp.
These pulp tissue contain all the nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues in our teeth, which enter through the base of the tooth root, travel up through the root canal, and gather at the pulp chamber.
In the event the pulp tissue and nerve tissue from your natural tooth gets inflamed or infected (usually due to tooth decay or fracture due to trauma) and end up causing unbearable pain, you may need to undergo root canal treatment (also known as endodontic treatment) to save the teeth, which otherwise may have to be extracted.
Root canal treatment is carried out whereby the dentist or endodontist removes the infected pulp and nerve tissues in the root of the tooth, cleans and shapes the inner surfaces of the root canal using small files, and finally fills and seals the canal space with root canal filling material.
The main objectives of root canal procedure are disinfection and prevent tooth reinfection. This dental procedure start off with local anaesthetic solution injected to numb up the tooth and the area around it. After this, a rubber sheet known as dental dam will be placed to isolate the tooth from saliva.
This would follow by opening up a small access before removing the infected pulp tissues from the affected tooth using small files. The root canal system are then thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Medication will be placed in the root canal to eliminate bacteria in between appointments before closing the opening with a temporary filling.
During the follow up appointment, once your dentist is sure that the root canal is clean and free from bacterial infection, the root canal system will be sealed with biocompatible material such as gutta percha before closing the opening with a permanent filling called the core. If the affected tooth is damaged severely, a post may be inserted to act as a support for the permanent crown.
Generally, root canal treatment for front teeth is more straightforward than back teeth due to each tooth’s canals and nerves’ complexity. Thus, the cost and number of visits vary depending on which tooth is being treated. In certain more complicated cases, usually for molar teeth, we may refer you to a root canal specialist called an endodontist for treatment.
The main causes of root canal infection are badly decayed tooth, cracked tooth, trauma and severe gum disease.
Some signs and symptoms of infected pulp tissue/ pulp inflammation include:
Sharp pain on thermal stimulus which lingers and not go away immediately
Spontaneous pain (unprovoked) which may affect sleep and painkillers usually does not help
Pain spreading to other areas
Pain worsening on body postural changes (such as leaning forward or lying down)
Pain may be relieved momentarily by cold water/ food
Pain on biting/ chewing
Swollen gums or pus discharge
Root canal treatment repair and save natural teeth from being extracted, but they can also weaken the remaining tooth structure.
During the treatment, your dentist will need to drill through the tooth and then remove infected and decayed enamel, dentin, and pulp. For this reason, teeth with large cavities are weak even when the cavities are filled, thus causing it to be more prone to fracturing.
Dental crowns are thus necessary in some cases (especially your back teeth, which are used more for chewing) after a treatment is done to reinforce your tooth and restores its health and functionality.
A critical objective of endodontic treatment is to prevent tooth reinfection. Thus, it is important to follow-up after treatment is completed with the appropriate restoration, be it a tooth filling or a dental crown that will seal up the tooth’s interior and thus ensure the treatment success as a whole. A root canal treated tooth can last a lifetime if it is well taken care of and maintaining good oral hygiene.
Before the procedure, the tooth and its surrounding region are first numbed up using local anaesthesia to block the sensation of pain. Hence, most patients feel little to no pain while a root canal treatment is being performed!
There may be some discomfort or tenderness around the tooth after the local anesthesia effect wears off. However, this can be overcome by taking some painkillers. If pain persists longer than advised, do contact your dentist and schedule for a review as soon as possible.
Depending on which tooth requires the treatment, the price may vary as the number of root canals and complexity differs.
Front teeth: $500-$600
Please contact us for more information if you need a root canal treatment.
Note: Government Goods and Services Tax (GST) applies.
In the event of severe infection, the only other alternative will be to get the infected tooth extracted. However, there are many consequences following a tooth extraction, especially if a replacement like dental implants is not done after the extraction.
Extracting a tooth does not just involve losing that one tooth but also results in potentially severe consequences to the region. Apart from shrinking the jaw bone, the disruption of the structures’ neutrality leads to tilting of adjacent teeth and over-eruption of the opposing tooth. These usually subtly occur without noticing and may lead to other problems such as gum disease, spacings, and chewing issues.
This is why dentists usually recommend saving your teeth whenever possible!
The entire treatment may require two or more visits, especially for more complicated cases. Each visit will usually take 1.5 to 2hour, depending on each case.
Nonetheless, if you need a root canal treatment for your tooth, the process is painless and we aim to make your experience as comfortable as possible with monitor screens available to play you a movie if requested!
Common signs include tooth decay (deep decay) causing severe pain, sharp pain on thermal stimulus which lingers and not go away immediately, pain spreading to other teeth or face area and severe pain worsening on body postural changes. In some cases, pain may be relieved momentarily by cold.
It is important to note that in some cases, the inflamed or infected pulp tissues may have progress to pulpal necrosis whereby the tissues are dead and hence there may not be any pain. It is however still necessary to carry out treatment and not left untreated to prevent the infected root canal from spreading to other parts of the face.
Cracked tooth which confine to the crown portion of the tooth may require endodontic treatment before dental crown for better outcome too.
Just like all other medical procedures, there is no 100% success rate. However, the success rates are generally good and depends greatly on the pre-existing conditions.
Teeth with no prior infection: Over 90%
Teeth with existing infection such as infected tissues surrounding bone or bone loss: around 70-80%
Retreatment with no signs or symptoms of infection: Over 90%
Retreatment with signs or symptoms of infection: success rate much lower at approximately 50-80%
In the event if the tooth is so severely decayed to the extend that there won’t be sufficient tooth structure left to support a permanent filling or crown, the tooth may most likely have to be extracted and replace with other options such as denture, dental bridge or dental implant.
X-rays are required before the start of many dental procedures, especially for root canal procedures. This is to have an idea on the shape of the tooth pulp and canals, and many other important information your dentist need to know before initiating the root canal therapy.
During the treatment, several radiographs will be taken to achieve good standard of care. This is to ensure each step is properly checked so that the best possible outcome can be achieved – for example ensuring that the gutta percha root filling material is filled to the correct length of the root canal.
Don’t hesitate to contact us!