What is Root Canal Treatment?

Root canal treatment is also known as endodontic therapy and it involves the removal of infection from the pulp of the tooth where the nerves and blood vessels lie. Such infections can be very painful conditions that can also cause acute swelling on the side of the gum. Long-term infection in the tooth can result in it spreading to the end of the roots and in very severe cases, to other parts of the face.

Root canal treatment serves to allow a previously infected tooth to heal and remain in the mouth instead of being extracted. Keeping the tooth in the mouth allows maintenance of normal function.


What kind of teeth would need a Root Canal Treatment?

Teeth with signs of irreversible pulpal infection will display symptoms such as prolonged sensitivity to hot and cold foods, pain on biting, spontaneous pain and swelling on the gums near the roots of the tooth. The Specialist will have to assess the tooth during the clinical visit to check the history of pain with regard to the tooth and the suitability for a root canal treatment procedure.

Note: an elective root canal treatment can also be done in cases where there is insufficient tooth structure for a crown.


How is the procedure carried out?

The Specialist will first inform you of the pros and cons of the procedure and offer other treatment options if they are suitable for the case. After informed consent is taken, a radiograph (or x-ray) will be taken to fully assess the tooth and the tooth will be thoroughly checked.

Adequate local anaesthesia will be given to the tooth and the surrounding area for comfort during the procedure. The root canal site is then kept clean and dry with a rubber sheet which surrounds the tooth. The infected nerve in the centre of the tooth is removed and the root canals of the tooth are shaped to provide an ideal space for the filling.

A filling material called gutta-percha is subsequently used to fill the clean and empty canals and restoration such as a filling or a crown are placed on top of it.

Certain teeth may require a post-and-core to retain the structure on top, and the Specialist will advise you about whether there is a need for it before or during the treatment.

The entire process will take 2 visits or more so that it can be assessed and reviewed at each stage to ensure there is an optimum outcome for the tooth.

To find out more about root canal treatment, get in touch with us for a non-obligatory consultation with our Specialist.

This treatment is available at our Specialist Centre at Level 9 – Smileworks Endodontic Lounge.


Meet Dr Huang Shuyan

Registered Dental Specialist in Endodontics

BDS (Singapore)
MDS (Endodontics) (Singapore)
M Endo RCS (Edinburgh)

Dr Huang Shuyan is a registered specialist in Endodontics with the Singapore Dental Council and restricts her clinical practice to root canal treatment. She is an Endodontist at Smileworks, and a part-time tutor with the National University of Singapore (NUS), where she teaches the postgraduate endodontic residents.

Dr Huang obtained her Bachelor of Dental Surgery from the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 2011. She found her love for Endodontics and obtained her Master of Dental Surgery (Endodontics) in 2017 and was admitted as a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons (Edinburgh) in the same year. Upon graduation, she joined the National Dental Centre of Singapore (NDCS) where she was actively involved in conducting courses for fellow dentists and the supervision of young dental officers in Endodontics. In 2020, she published her research on the outcome of endodontic microsurgery in the Journal of Endodontics. She also spent two years in the Geriatric and Special Care Dentistry Clinic in NDCS where she had the chance to be involved in the multi-disciplinary care of medically compromised patients and patients with special needs. In recognition of her commitment to patient care, she was twice given the Singapore Health Quality Service Award.

Dr Huang believes that she found her Ikigai in Endodontics. She hopes to be able to share her passion with her patients, and to dispel the notion that root canal treatment is painful. The scope of her work includes root canal treatment, root canal surgery (endodontic microsurgery), management of cracked teeth, and the management of dental trauma.

Today, Dr. Huang practices at Royce Dental Surgery and Smileworks Endodontic Lounge. She still teaches at the Endodontic Residents’ Clinics in NDCS once a week. She is also a Key Opinion Leader for Henry Schein.