Oral Hygiene and Prevention
We encourage prevention of gum disease and tooth decay through proper dental hygiene and regular 6 monthly checkups and cleans. Conditions in the mouth may be indicative of systemic diseases such as osteoporosis, diabetes, or cancer. Many studies have also shown that gum disease is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and preterm birth.
Gum disease describes a range of conditions that affect the supporting tissues of the teeth which comprise both the surface tissues that can be seen in the mouth and also the deeper tissues of the bone, root surface and the ligament that connects the teeth to the bone.
Gum disease causes permanent damage to the supporting tissues; therefore the aim of treatment is to stop the progression of the disease through controlling the bacteria. This is an ongoing, lifelong activity. Good dental hygiene is one of the most important factors in preventing gum disease. Your dentist or hygienist will show you proper brushing and flossing techniques that will help ensure healthy teeth and gums.
You may need to be referred to a Periodontist who is a specialist in treating gum disease. Treatment involves careful, deep cleaning of the teeth to remove the cause of the problem. This can be done with local anaesthetic.
Composite (White) Fillings
The main advantage of dental composite over silver amalgam is improved aesthetics. Composites can be made in a wide range of tooth colours allowing near invisible restoration of teeth. Composites are bonded into teeth and this strengthens the tooth’s structure. Unlike a silver filling, there is no need for the dentist to create retentive features which can destroy healthy tooth structure. Dental composite is usually the material of choice for treating a small to medium size cavity.
Root Canal Treatment
A root canal is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed, injured or infected. During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed, this is usually done over 2 visits. Without treatment the tissue surrounding the tooth will become infected and abscess may form. It is usual to have a crown fitted after treatment to strengthen and protect the tooth. Not every tooth can be saved and depending on the circumstances, extraction and an implant may be a better option.
Whitening is accomplished through means of a gel that is applied to the teeth using a custom made mouth tray. It is recommended that the trays are left in the mouth for 30 minutes and that the process is repeated at home for 7 to 14 days.This tray ensures that the proper amount and coverage of gel is applied. The gel usually consists of hydrogen or carbonide peroxide and promotes the introduction of oxygen into the
enamel and dentin of the tooth structure, removing stains and promoting a whiter smile.
Some people experience some sensitivity during the whitening process but this can be relieved by using desensitizing toothpastes.
Bleaching methods use carbamide peroxide which reacts with water to form hydrogen peroxide. Carbamide peroxide has about a third of the strength of hydrogen peroxide. This means that a 15% solution of carbamide peroxide is the rough equivalent of a 5% solution of hydrogen peroxide. The peroxide oxidizing agent penetrates the porosities in the rod-like crystal structure of enamel and bleaches stain deposits in the dentin.
A veneer is a thin layer of material that covers the surface of a tooth. It can be made from composite filling or porcelain and each has its own advantages or disadvantages;
Porcelain has the most natural appearance, is resistant to stain but is more expensive and usually not repairable if it chips or cracks.
Composite resin is less expensive, easy to repair but has a poorer lustre, can stain and wears more readily.
However both can provide considerable cosmetic enhancement to teeth that are discoloured, uneven or worn. They are ideal for closing spaces between teeth and can often be completed with no or minimal tooth preparation.
Crowns and Bridgework
Dental crowns cover or encase the tooth on which they are cemented. A crown is the treatment of choice to rebuild broken, heavily filled or decayed teeth and also to strengthen a root canal treated tooth. Cosmetic improvement of badly discoloured or misshapen teeth can be achieved with crowns
The type available include porcelain, porcelain-bonded-to-metal, gold alloy and acrylic crowns.
Dental bridges literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth and are supported by natural teeth or implants.
A bridge is made up of crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap, these anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth with a false tooth/teeth in between.