State-of-the-art treatment for infected teeth

At Ethicare Dental, our highly trained specialist endodontist, Dr Blewitt, carries out treatment and accepts referrals for his services. Dr Blewitt dedicates his practice to carrying out procedures within this field of dentistry. He is highly skilled at completing root canal treatment and produces excellent results even on teeth deemed to be difficult cases.

We have state-of-the-art facilities and technologies at the practice to elevate your treatment. Dr Blewitt makes use of a microscope, rotary instruments and System B warm obturation techniques.

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Root canal model

What is endodontics (root canal treatment)?

Endodontics is the speciality in dentistry that is concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the dental pulp. The pulp contains nerves and blood vessels, and lies inside a tooth within the pulp chamber and root canals.

When the pulp is injured, diseased and unable to repair itself it becomes inflamed and eventually dies. The most frequent causes of pulp damage are from extensive decay, deep restorations that are leaking, blows to teeth and cracks in the teeth. Bacteria from the decay and saliva can leak into the pulp to cause infection. If left untreated, the infection can spread to the tip of the root and out onto the bone, forming an abscess.

Pain and swelling will often accompany the infection. Without endodontic treatment, the tooth may have to be extracted.

Endontic Tools

What does root canal treatment involve?

Root canal treatment can be quite a lengthy process, involving several appointments. Initially, we use local anaesthetic to numb the affected area and minimise your discomfort during treatment. We isolate the infected tooth using a rubber dam, ensuring there will be no contamination from saliva and the procedure is as safe and hygienic as possible.

We enter the tooth and remove the infected pulp using small instruments and a microscope to aid precision and accuracy. In some cases, we measure the length of the root canal using an advanced digital device and aid diagnosis with x-rays.

The root canals are thoroughly cleaned and shaped before being filled with a rubber compound material known as gutta percha. This seals the tooth and prevents bacteria from entering. We then place a restoration on the tooth to help it regain the proper function. This is usually a filling, but some cases may require a crown.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • The success rate is generally very high. Studies have quoted figures of 90% to 95% success. Those in the failure group may be amenable to re-treatment or surgical treatment, however, in these cases, there is little data to offer guidelines on success rate.

  • No, because the dentist will make sure that the tooth is anaesthetised for the procedure. Often, patients find that root canal treatment is nowhere near as bad as they expected, and they feel enormous relief when they no longer are in pain from their infected tooth!

    Occasionally teeth that have very inflamed pulps may still be sensitive despite the anaesthetic, in which case the dentist will dress the tooth with a sedative dressing which will calm the nerve and make a subsequent procedure much easier and pain free.

    It is common to have some discomfort after root canal treatment as the infection has been debrided and the body requires a number of days to heal the region at the end of the root of the tooth. This usually means that the tooth is tender to bite on for a few days after but this resolves eventually.

  • The alternative is to extract the tooth if it is causing pain. There is also the option to do nothing about the problem and the dentist can advise on the risks involved.

  • Routine root canal treatment can usually be completed in one visit of up to 1 ½ hours duration. Re-root treatments may take between 1 and 3 visits to complete as the process is more involved.

  • Although root canal treatment has a 90% success rate, sometimes the infection cannot be removed due to blockages of the root canal. Reasons for this include fractured instruments or dentine debris. In this situation, the tooth may require a surgical approach after the initial root canal treatment to remove the affected root tip. Fracture of the instruments used for cleaning the root canal system can occur. This is quite rare and often does not affect the outcome of treatment. Your dentist will advise you on the best treatment options should any complications occur.

  • That depends on the amount of tooth structure remaining after root canal treatment, and if your dentist decides a crown will be needed to return the proper function. Your dentist will be able to advise you.

Our treatments may be covered by your insurance provider

Putney Bridge

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Our beautiful new practice is located at:
250 Upper Richmond Road, Putney, London, SW15 6TG

Areas we serve: Putney, Wandsworth and surrounding areas

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Opening times

Monday08:45 – 18:00
Tuesday08:45 – 21:00
Wednesday08:45 – 18:00
Thursday08:45 – 18:00
Friday08:15 – 17:00
Saturday09:00 – 14:30

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