Dental Clinic Singapore, Dental Implant, Dentist Singapore

Root Canal Treatment

Your natural tooth consists of 3 layers – the enamel, the dentine and the pulp. The most common causes of pulp death are:

The pulp consists of nerves and blood vessels and has an inherent ability to repair itself. When the pulp is diseased or injured and unable to repair itself, it undergoes a condition known as pulp death.

  • Extensive decay extending into the pulp chamber.
  • Deep cavities requiring large fillings.
  • Traumatic injuries to the tooth e.g. a fall.
  • Cracked tooth syndrome.

All these situations allow bacteria and their products to enter the pulp. If the injured or diseased pulp is not removed, the tissues surrounding the root of the tooth can become infected, resulting in pain and swelling. Bacteria toxins can damage the bone that anchors the tooth in the jaw. Without treatment, the tooth may have to be extracted.

Root canal treatments are quite common. In the United States alone, they save about 24 million teeth each year.

Root canal therapy can be performed in single or multiple visits.

  • Local anesthetic is administered to "numb" the tooth that is being worked on.
  • A dental x-ray of the tooth called a "periapical x-ray” is taken for the dentist to refer to during the procedure.
  • A rubber dam is placed to keep the tooth isolated from your saliva and very dry before the final steps are taken to complete the procedure. The rubber dam is also helpful in keeping chemical solutions used to disinfect the root canals from entering your mouth.
  • A small opening is made through the tooth in to the area known as the pulp chamber. Tiny files are introduced which remove the nerve and any infected tissue from the root canals. The canals are then shaped and prepared to be filled.
  • Once the entire tooth has been cleaned out, the tooth is dried with tiny absorbent paper points. Gutta percha a rubber material is then used to fill the root canals.

Since the nerve and blood supply to the tooth has been taken away, the tooth may become brittle over time, resulting in a cracked tooth. In order to prevent this, root canal treated teeth are routinely protected with a crown.