Dental examinations are necessary to maintain overall health and for screening for oral cancers. Examinations are recommended every 6-9 months. Regular check-ups also help in the early detection of tooth decay and prevention of gum disease.
Fillings are used to restore damaged, broken or decayed teeth. There are two types of fillings materials used: amalgam fillings which are silver coloured, white fillings which are tooth coloured. Amalgam fillings are made from a mixture of metals. These fillings are extremely durable and have a long life span. Tooth-coloured fillings are made from a composite resin or porcelain. Porcelain fillings also have a long life span but composite fillings have a shorted life span. Tooth coloured fillings can be made virtually undetectable.
No one type of filling will suit every patient, it will be determined by a number of criteria such as the location size and depth of the filling. Your dentist will suggest which type of filling will be best for you.
Crowns are natural looking, non-removable covers that fit over prepared teeth and are permanently cemented or bonded into place. They look like and function like a normal tooth and will generally improve the appearance. They are used to restore badly broken down teeth, when a tooth is fractured of when a large filling is in place. In many cases after root canal treatment a crown will be advised where the remaining tooth structure is minimal. Root filled teeth also become brittle over time leaving them more susceptible to fracture.
Bridges are one way of replacing missing teeth without the use of a denture. They are non-removable. It is suited to patients with one or two missing teeth A bridge allows the gap to be filled with artificial teeth that are anchored to the teeth on both sides for strong support. It generally involves crowning the teeth either side of the gap. Implants are preferable as a more conservative approach.
Implants are titanium replacements for the roots of missing teeth on which crowns or bridges can be placed to replace missing teeth and restore full function. They have the advantage of not requiring any destructive reduction of natural teeth and are as a result a very conservative way of treating spaces.
Veneers are a thin cover that can be placed over the natural tooth. They are custom made and can camouflage broken teeth, discoloured and crooked teeth, fill gaps and straighten teeth. They are reasonably conservative and not a lot, if any, of the natural tooth will be altered in the preparation for the veneer. They are not for everyone and each case requires careful assessment.
Periodontal treatment involves regular scaling and root planing to maintain the health of the gums and prevent gum disease. Gum disease can be divided into two classifications, gingivitis which involves only the soft tissue and bone. This treatment is frequently undertaken in conjunction with a specialist periodontist.
Often referred to as Root Canal Treatment this involves removal of the nerve tissue which is usually dead from the tooth and its root and the filling up of the resultant space. It is always done using local anaesthesia.
The use of a gel delivered in close fitting custom trays to gently brighten the teeth. It generally lasts up to three years but can be readily topped up at any time. The trays are reusable.