22 December 2009

Root canal treatment

Do you like going to the dentist, or are you one of those who shudder at the very thought? My husband just hates going to the dentist. But I love it. I like having my teeth cleaned and polished....yummy, my mouth feels so fresh and clean after.

How about root canal treatment? That's what you need to do under a specialist dentist called an endodontist (GP dentists do it too, to earn more money, but they can really botch up the job).

Endodontics is the specialty of dentistry that deals with the diseases of the dental pulp. The word is Greek; “endo” means inside, and “odont” means tooth. The inside of the tooth has a space which contains nerves and blood vessels. When combined these are called the “dental pulp”. Although the pulp is important for the development of the tooth, it is not necessary for the tooth to function. Therefore, this tissue maybe removed, and the tooth maintained in the mouth.

I had one done when I was in university. My one and only tooth with a filling started to ache really badly and it turned out that the filling over time, had eroded and my tooth had become infected to the point that it was dying. The options were either to extract it or to save the tooth via a root canal treatment. These days, people try not to unnecessarily lose their teeth as it impedes chewing and well, it doesn't look good either.

So I had the root canal treatment done by an endodontist - in Australia! That costs a bomb.

This year when my little girl was nipped on the face by our dog Bonnie, her top frontal baby tooth was chipped at an angle, exposing the veins. The dentist who examined her said that she could extract it (my girl is only 4) or we could try to save the baby tooth by doing a root canal treatment. The cons for extracting it so early is that her permanent teeth won't start coming in until after she's 6, and with a gap in her front row, the other teeth might start to drift and crowd out the space, making it difficult for her permanent tooth to eventually erupt in the correct position.

So, we opted for a root canal for my girl. Poor darling....only 4 and doing a root canal treatment. But she is a very brave and cooperatve little girl, and the endodontist we used, Jac Lam Endodontics at Wisma Perintis in Damansara Heights, is an excellent endodontist. Light and sure handed, reassuring and patient, Dr. Lam said my little girl is his youngest and most cooperative patient yet. All went well, and her little chipped tooth is still held in place after the treatment.
(image from http://www.dentalstudentbooks.com/dentistry/endodontics.html)


  1. hi there, i came upon your blog while looking for good endodontist online..i'm actually from Melaka but if Dr Jac Lam is an excellent dr for root canal treatment, i don't mind to go to him..

    anyway wan to ask..do you roughly know how much a RCT cost for a premolar tooth? Also, is crowning compulsory after RCT is done? how many trips do you have to make to complete the treatment? TQ~ sorry for the many ques at once.

    1. Hi Hui Xian,

      Can give them a call at 03-20942860 to find out.