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Root Canal

Teeth Q Dental Surgeons

What Is Root Canal Treatment?

Let’s start by taking a look at the structure of a tooth. A tooth has three layers, consisting of the outer enamel, the middle layers of dentin and cementum, and the inner pulp. The pulp holds nerves and blood vessels that nourish the tooth and is shielded by thick layers of dentin and enamel.

Root canal therapy is needed when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected as a result of:

  • A crack in the tooth
  • Severe decay in a tooth or underneath a filling/crown.
  • Infected nerve due to trauma or repeated dental procedures.

Failure to address these issues may result in pain or the development of an abscess/swelling. If the inflammation isn’t treated early or is severe, the pulp damage can’t be reversed, and the tooth might have to be removed. Removing the tooth results in other problems such as chewing and speech difficulties. It also increases the risk of decay and gum disease.

Think of a root canal as a dental procedure aimed at saving your natural tooth instead of removing it. During the procedure, the dentist removes the infected pulp, cleans the root canal, and fills it. This helps you keep your natural tooth without needing to remove it. Sometimes, a crown might be needed afterward to strengthen the tooth.

Who Needs Root Canal Treatment?

A root canal may be required when a patient experiences these symptoms:
  • Severe pain while biting or chewing
  • Severe toothache
  • Prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold food and beverages
  • Swollen gums near infected tooth
  • Darkening or discoloration of the infected tooth
  • Pimple-like bumps forming near infected tooth
  • Experiencing pus discharge from teeth or gums

Types of Root Canal Treatment

Traditional Root Canal

Traditional root canal treament is the most common type of root canal treatment. The procedure involves the removal of infected pulp (nerve tissue) from the tooth, followed by thorough cleaning and disinfection of the canals. Subsequently, the canals are filled with a special material to prevent any further infection. This treatment is effective for most cases. 

Non-surgical Root Canal

Non-surgical root canal is similar to traditional root canal, but often completed in a single session. It utilises advanced techniques such as lasers or ultrasonic tools to effectively clean and disinfect the canals. It is also less invasive.

Regenerative Root Canal

Regenerative root canal treatment aims to stimulate the regeneration of the damaged pulp tissue instead of removing it. It has the potential to preserve more tooth structure.

What Is the Root Canal
Treatment Process?


Our team of dentists will conduct a comprehensive examination of your teeth to assess whether a root canal is necessary. This examination will involve X-rays and a pulp vitality test to accurately determine the extent of the infection.



Before the root canal treatment begins, the dentist will apply local anaesthetic to numb the tooth completely. This ensures you won’t feel any pain during the procedure.


Isolating the tooth

To ensure a clean and safe procedure, your dentist will place a special sheet called a dental dam around the tooth. This soft, stretchy material acts as a barrier, isolating the tooth and protects your mouth from any chemicals used during the treatment.


Creating an opening

To treat the infected pulp, a small opening will be made on the top of your tooth to access the pulp chamber.


Removing infected pulp

The extraction of pulp is carried out with rotary instruments under the aid of a surgical microscope during the procedure. The dentist then uses disinfecting fluids to eliminate any bacterial presence as well as to flush out any debris in the pulp.


Extract infected tissue

Subsequently, the dentist will then extract the infected tissue from within the tooth with the aid of root canal files. Upon complete removal of infected materials from the tooth, the dentist will conduct a thorough examination to ascertain that the tooth is in optimal condition for sealing.


Filling of tooth

A temporary filling will be inserted in the tooth until the dental crown, inlay, or onlay is prepared for placement. The use of a temporary filling is a standard practice in dentistry and ensures that the tooth remains protected and functional until the permanent restoration is applied.


Fabrication and placement of permanent restoration

After the completion of the root canal, the dentist will take impressions of your teeth which are used for the fabrication of your custom dental crown. Once your dental crown is ready, a small supporting post may be inserted by the dentist into the tooth to enhance the stability of the permanent crown.



After undergoing a root canal treatment, it is common to feel soreness in the jaw area. Typically, it takes around one week for patients to recover.

How Much Does Root
Canal Treatment Cost?

Treatment Fees

  • Front / Premolar Tooth

    $450 - $650 (+$200 for Retreatment)
  • Molar Tooth

    $900 - $1,100 (+$200 for Retreatment)
  • Front / Premolar Tooth (by Specialist)

    $700 - $900 (+$200 for Retreatment)
  • Molar Tooth (by Specialist)

    $1,100 - $1,400 (+$200 for Retreatment)

The cost of a root canal treatment varies based on the tooth type, root anatomy, and the extent of the remaining tooth structure. Molars typically have multiple roots and root canals, making treatment more complex.

Another thing to consider is how much healthy tooth is left. If there’s a lot of damage or the tooth structure is lost, your dentist might need to do more work to fix it. This could involve a bigger filling, a post inside the tooth, and sometimes a dental crown after your root canal treatment is finished.

Available Subsidies

Patients with CHAS, Pioneer Generation, or Merdeka Generation Cards are eligible for denture subsidies at CHAS participating clinics.

Dental ServicesClaim LimitsSubsidy Amount (Up to $)
Root Canal Treatment (Anterior)Up to 2 root canal treatments per calendar year (shared across all types of root canal treatment).$ 109.50$ 164.00$ 169.00$ 174.00
Root Canal Treatment (Premolar)$ 140.00$ 210.00$ 215.00$ 220.00
Root Canal Treatment
$ 170.50$ 256.50$ 261.50$ 266.50
Permanent CrownUp to 4 permanent crowns per calendar year.$ 84.50$ 127.50$ 132.50$ 137.50

Insurance Partners


Dental Surgeons


Root Canal Specialist (Endodontist)



What precautions should I take after a root canal treatment procedure?

Here are a few precautions you should take note after a root canal procedure:

- Avoid eating until the numbness has completely worn off
- Stick to consuming soft foods and avoid biting hard objects with the treated tooth to minimize the risk of fracture.
- Continue to practise good oral hygiene with gentle brushing and flossing around the treated tooth
- After the treatment, you may feel some discomfort during the first few days. Follow your dentist's instructions for any prescribed antibiotics or pain medications.

How long does root canal treatment take?

A root canal treatment on a single-rooted tooth (such as a front tooth) can usually be completed in one appointment, lasting about 60 to 90 minutes.

For more complex cases, such as molars with multiple roots or severe infections, the treatment might take two or more visits. Each visit generally lasts about 1 to 1.5 hours.

Is a root canal treatment procedure painful?

Your dentist will administer local anesthesia to numb the area so you won't feel any pain during the procedure. You may experience some pressure or mild discomfort, but it should be manageable. You will feel some soreness or mild discomfort for a few days after the treatment. Over-the-counter pain relievers (such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen) help alleviate this discomfort.

What is the success rate of root canal treatment?

The success rate of root canal treatment is as high as 85% to 95% depending on factors such as the extent of the infection, the overall condition of the tooth, and restoration and maintenance following the treatment.

Is a crown necessary after a root canal treatment?

A crown is recommended after a root canal treatment to protect and restore the tooth. This is due to the tooth becoming more fragile and prone to fractures after a root canal. A crown provides added strength and protection, restoring the functionality of the tooth, allowing proper chewing and biting.

Is it better to get a root canal or have a tooth extracted?

When deciding between a root canal and a tooth extraction, it's important to consider several factors.

A root canal offers several advantages:

- Preserves your natural tooth, which helps maintain your bite and jaw alignment. This allows you to continue using the tooth for chewing and speaking.
- Helps maintain your natural appearance and smile, as there is no visible gap.
- By saving the tooth, a root canal avoids the need for a dental implant, bridge, or denture to fill the gap left by an extraction.

Some considerations for root canal include:

- A root canal procedure is a comprehensive treatment that may necessitate multiple visits, particularly if the tooth has multiple roots or a serious infection.
- While it may involve a higher upfront cost compared to an extraction, it can ultimately prevent the need for future replacements, thus potentially saving money in the long run.

Removing a tooth can create problems

When a tooth is removed and not replaced, the teeth around it may shift. This can make biting and chewing difficult and may make it harder to clean your teeth. Areas that are not cleaned well are more likely to get gum disease.

Root canal treatment can prevent these problems by saving your natural tooth. Also, root canal treatment is usually less expensive than a replacement tooth.

What happens if the dental pulp is injured?

Pulp tissue within a tooth contains blood vessels and nerves. When the pulp matter within the tooth becomes infected or inflamed, a root canal treatment is required to prevent further infection. The most common cause of pulp inflammation or infection are cracked tooth, severe cavities or other serious injury to the tooth. These are the few ways that bacteria can enter the tooth and infect the pulp.

Why should the pulp be removed?

Damaged and/or infected pulp tissue should be removed as surrounding tissue around the affected tooth can also become infected, resulting in more pain and swelling.

For patients who feel no pain in their damaged and/or infected tooth, bacteria can still build up and damage bone that helps to hold the tooth in the jaw. Without a root canal treatment, the entire tooth may have to be removed at a later date due to a severe and potentially life threatening infection.

What materials are used for the crown?

Various materials can be used to crown teeth. The material selected to crown your tooth depends on the tooth’s location, how much natural tooth has been left, what you prefer and finally what the dentist feels would be suitable for you based on your dental needs.

How long will the restored tooth last?

If the root canal procedure is carried out well, a restored tooth can remain in perfect condition for several years. Nonetheless just like normal teeth, the restored tooth can decay or break and the tissue near it can become infected with gum disease. You need to ensure you clean your teeth every day and visit your dentist regularly to ensure your mouth is healthy even if you have undergone the root canal procedure.

How much does root canal treatment cost in Singapore?

Root canal treatment range from S$500 – S$1,300 depending on the complexity of the treatment procedure. This cost does not include the fees for any dental crowns if required.

The initial consultation package costs $150 and it includes consulting our dentist and x-rays

How many visits will I need?

It is generally not recommended that root canal treatment be completed in 1 visit. This is because the tooth requires a little bit of time to heal with the medication inside it before the root canal treatment can be completed.

Most root canal treatments are completed within two visits to a dental clinic in Singapore. More complicated cases may require three visits. Each visit can be a week apart, two weeks apart, or even a few days apart. It ultimately depends on your convenience. However, we generally recommend that the duration of root canal treatment does not exceed one month; otherwise, new bacteria can enter into the tooth, causing further infection.

Does root canal treatment really work?

Yes, it does. Studies indicate that root canal treatment done under the right conditions and to a satisfactory standard carries a 98% success rate. At our dental clinic in Singapore, you can expect a high success rate for your root canal treatment.

Which doctor is best for root canal treatment?

To receive the best possible care, you should visit a root canal specialist in Singapore that is professionally trained in root canal therapy and dental trauma management.

Is root canal treatment covered by Medisave?

Unfortunately, root canal treatments cannot be claimed from Medisave in Singapore. The only exception is if your treatment requires a periradicular surgery.

Does CHAS cover root canal treatment?

Patients with CHAS Orange and Blue cards can receive dental subsidies for root canal treatments in Singapore.

Are there any alternative treatments to root canal therapy?

- Yes, there are, though their suitability largely depends on the patient’s overall health and the specific condition of the tooth. Tooth extraction, followed by the placement of a dental implant or bridge, is one such alternative. While an extraction is a simpler process, it can sometimes lead to challenges like jawbone loss or complications with adjacent teeth. As always, it’s vital to consult with your dental specialist in Singapore to evaluate these alternatives and formulate a suitable treatment plan for your needs.

- The alternative to root canal treatment is extracting the tooth. However, it is generally recommended to save the natural tooth whenever possible as it helps maintain proper biting and chewing function, prevents shifting of adjacent teeth, and preserves the jawbone structure.

Can root canal treatment be performed on children or pregnant women?

Yes, root canal treatment can be performed on children and pregnant women under suitable circumstances. For children, it’s usually done on permanent teeth that are significantly damaged. The procedure is quite similar to that in adults, and aims to save the tooth from extraction. Pregnant women can also undergo root canal treatment if necessary. It’s typically safe during pregnancy, but most dentists prefer to postpone non-emergency dental work until the second trimester to minimise any potential risks. In any case, it’s always important to consult with a root canal specialist in Singapore before undertaking any dental procedures during pregnancy.

Can a tooth that has had a root canal treatment get reinfected?

In rare cases, a tooth that has undergone root canal treatment can get reinfected. This may occur if the tooth was not properly sealed, there was a fracture in the tooth, or new decay developed. Regular dental check-ups and good oral hygiene are crucial for monitoring and preventing reinfection.

What happens after a root canal treatment?

After a root canal treatment, the tooth may require a dental crown or filling to restore its strength and protect it from further damage. Your dentist will discuss the appropriate restoration options for your specific case.

A temporary filling was placed on my tooth after the root canal treatment. Is there anything that I should be aware of?

It is not unusual for a thin layer of temporary filling to wear off in-between appointments. However, if the entire filling wears off or dislodges, please contact our clinic so we can arrange to have it replaced.

My tooth and the area surrounding it feel tender to touch. Is this normal after my root canal treatment?

Your tooth and surrounding gum tissue may be tender or sore for a few days, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure. You may also feel some tenderness in your jaw from keeping it open for an extended period of time during the treatment.

Is there anything I should avoid after root canal treatment?

You should refrain from consuming hot food and drinks until the numbness has subsided. You should also avoid using the affected tooth for biting hard foods until it is restored by a dentist.

Will I experience pain after the root canal treatment?

It is possible that you might feel some discomfort during the first few days after the treatment.you may take some pain relievers to alleviate the pain.

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