Based on passed down stories and scenarios that we see on different media, undergoing a root canal is often depicted as an unpleasant and scary experience. Some describe it as a feeling similar to having a tiny jackhammer inside your mouth, pounding away at your teeth and nerves. The sound of the drill is enough to make anyone’s skin crawl, and the sensation of pressure and pain can be overwhelming. That is why it is no wonder that many people avoid root canals at all costs, opting instead to live with the discomfort and risk further damage. But the reality is, a root canal treatment can be a necessary and ultimately beneficial procedure, saving your teeth from decay and preventing more serious health issues down the line. To learn more about the treatment, this article will discuss everything about root canal – what a root canal is, how to tell if you need one, benefits of getting a root canal, the costs, recovery and aftercare, and more.
What is a root canal?
A root canal is the natural cavity within the center of a tooth. It contains the tooth’s pulp, which consists of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. When infection or inflammation develops in the pulp, it can cause severe pain and potentially lead to loss of tooth if left untreated.
Signs that you may need a root canal
There are several signs that indicate you may need a root canal. If you experience persistent toothache, hot or cold tooth sensitivity, inflammation or tenderness in the gums, or a recurring ‘pimple’ on the gum, it is essential to consult a dentist. These symptoms often indicate an infection or damage to the tooth’s pulp and may require root canal treatment.
The root canal procedure explained
The root canal procedure is done by taking away the infected or damaged pulp from the tooth. This is then followed by the cleansing and disinfecting of the root canal, and then sealing it to avoid further infection. The process typically requires multiple visits to the dentist, depending on the severity of the infection or damage.
During the procedure, the dentist will numb the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic to ensure the patient’s comfort. They will then create a small access hole in the tooth to reach the pulp chamber and canals. Using specialized instruments, they will carefully remove the pulp, clean the canals, and shape them to prepare for filling.
Once the canals are thoroughly cleaned, the dentist will fill them with a biocompatible material called gutta-percha and seal the access hole with a temporary filling. In some cases, a temporary crown may be placed to protect the tooth until a permanent restoration is placed.
Is root canal treatment painful?
Many people may think that root canal treatment is a painful procedure, but it is not. Yes, you have read that right! Modern advancements in dentistry, such as effective local anesthesia and improved techniques, have made the process relatively comfortable and tolerable. Most patients report feeling little to no pain during the procedure. After the treatment, however, it is normal that you may experience some mild discomfort or sensitivity. This can easily be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers. You will also be asked to follow your dentist’s instructions for post-treatment care to promote faster healing and reduce any potential discomfort.
Recovery and aftercare following a root canal treatment in Singapore
After a root canal treatment, it is essential to take proper care of your tooth to ensure a successful recovery. Avoid chewing on hard or sticky foods immediately after the procedure to prevent any damage to the temporary filling or crown. You should maintain good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly and attending regular dental check-ups.
In some cases, a permanent restoration, such as a dental crown, may be necessary to strengthen the tooth and restore its functionality. Your dentist will provide you with specific instructions on how to care for your tooth and when to schedule follow-up appointments.
Benefits of root canal treatment
Root canal treatment offers several significant benefits. First and foremost, it saves your natural tooth, allowing you to maintain a complete and healthy smile. In addition, preserving the natural appearance of the tooth also mean that there is no need for more extensive and costly dental procedures like tooth extraction and dental implants. A root canal also helps alleviate pain and discomfort caused by tooth infection or damage, which, in turn, improves your overall quality of life. By removing the infected or damaged pulp, root canal treatment eliminates the source of infection and prevents it from spreading to other teeth or causing further complications
The cost of getting a root canal
The cost of a root canal can vary depending on various factors, including the location of the tooth, the complexity of the procedure, and your dental insurance coverage. On average, a root canal treatment can range from $500 to $1,500 per tooth. You should consult your dentist and discuss the specific costs involved in your case.
Alternatives to root canal treatment in Singapore
In some cases, a root canal treatment may not be the best option for saving a tooth. Depending on the severity of the infection or damage, alternatives such as tooth extraction or dental implants may be recommended. However, it is always important to talk with your dentist to determine the most suitable treatment plan for your specific dental condition.
Although a root canal treatment is often misunderstood and feared by many, it is a highly effective treatment for saving a tooth that is infected or damaged. By getting to know more about the procedure and its benefits, it can alleviate any anxiety and help you make an informed decision about your dental health.
If you experience any signs of tooth infection or damage, you need to consult a dentist promptly. Remember, the earlier the intervention, the higher the chances of successfully saving your natural tooth and beautiful smile!
Dennis Tan Dental Surgery – Dr Dennis Tan
22 Malacca St, # 03-01,
RB Capital Building, S(048980)
+65 6438 5622
+65 8874 7681 (Whatsapp)