Root Canal Treatment
Here at Ethicare Dental Dr Blewitt accepts referrals for root treatments. 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.
Dr Blewitt makes use of a microscope, rotary instruments and System B warm obturation techniques. Some of the work carried out at Ethicare is shown below.
What is Endodontics (Root Canal Treatment)?
It is the speciality in dentistry that is concerned with the diagnosis and treatment off diseases of
the dental pulp. The pulp or “nerve” lies inside a tooth in the pulp chamber and root canals.
Why Does a Tooth Need Root Canal Treatment?
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. The infection if left untreated 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.
Occasionally root canal treatment is carried out in teeth that are very sensitive as a result of
Sometimes teeth that are to be crowned may be lacking in tooth structure which may be insufficient to retain a crown.
Part of the pulp chamber and root canal may have to be used to retain a post and core after root canal treatment.
What is the Success Rate of Root Canal Treatment?
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.
Is Root Canal Treatment Painful?
No, because the dentist will make sure that the tooth is anaesthetised for the procedure.
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.
What are the Alternatives to Root Canal Treatment?
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.
How Many Visits Does the Treatment Involve
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 treatment is more
What Does Root Canal Treatment Involve?
Broadly speaking the following steps occur:
- A local anaesthetic is administered.
- The tooth is isolated with a rubber dam (a sort of “mouth mackintosh” where the tooth sticks out to prevent it from contamination from saliva and to protect the patient from swallowing the small instruments and disinfectants used during the procedure).
- An opening is made through the top of the tooth or crown.
- The pulp content is removed with instruments called files and drills.
- An electronic device may be used to measure the length of the root canal.
- Radiographs (“x-rays”) are taken to confirm that the files are at the correct length.
- The canals are shaped and cleaned so they can be filled with gutta percha.
- A temporary restoration is placed subsequently.
What are the risks of Root Canal Treatment?
Although root canal treatment has a 90% success rate sometimes the infection cannot be
removed due to blockages of the root canal. These 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.
Will the Tooth Need to be Crowned After Root Canal Treatment?
That depends on the amount of tooth structure remaining after root canal treatment if there is
no existing, and the amount of chewing force that the tooth is likely to be subjected. Your
dentist will be able to advise you.
What does the treatment involve?
Root canal treatment aims to remove all infection and debris from the infected tooth. It is a skilled and time consuming procedure thatusually requires two or more visits. Root canal treatment consists ofthe following stages:
1 – Removing the remains of the infected pulp and, if an abscess is present, allowing it to drain.
2 – Cleaning and shaping of the root canals ready for filling.
3 – Putting in a temporary filling.
4 – Checking the tooth at a later visit, to ensure that the infection is cleared and if so, filling the canal/s permanently.
5 – Restoring the rest of the tooth.
When would I need root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment is needed when the pulp becomes affected by decay or or trauma. In these situations, it can become infected leading to inflammation and pain. In more severe cases the tooth can become”non-vital”, which means that it loses its blood supply altogether.Once the pulp becomes infected, the bacteria can spread through the root canal system and lead to the development of an abscess.
What is root canal?
The root canal is the area inside the centre of the tooth that houses the nerve and blood supply. This becomes a larger space towards the top of the tooth known as the “pulp”. Some teeth have only one rootcanal whilst larger teeth towards the back of the mouth can have up tofour.
For more information please read what is root canal.
Before and after:
BDS, BSc (Hons), MFDS RCS(Ed), MClinDent (Endo), MRD Endo RCS(Ed)
Dentists – Learn how to refer patients needing treatment from a specialist and about our study club for CPD in our dentists area.