Preventive Dentistry - Check-Ups And Dental Hygiene Care
Having regular dental check-ups will help to maintain good oral health. It is commonly believed that pain is the first sign of dental problems, but problems can in fact be detected much earlier. The benefit to you of early detection includes smaller and less costly treatment instead of major (possibly painful) problems with more expensive treatments.
Combining your regular check-ups with preventive hygiene care (‘cleans’) will reduce the damaging effect of calculus (hardened plaque) on your teeth and gums. Calculus irritates gums, causing them to recede. Calculus also attracts more plaque. Over time, this can impact on many aspects of your oral health. A hygiene visit includes:
- A discussion regarding any concerns you have regarding your dental health
- A thorough dental exam (with x-rays if required) including identification of any further treatment required
- Meticulous cleaning and polishing of teeth above and below the gum line
- Application of preventive agents e.g. fluoride
- Tailored education on appropriate oral hygiene techniques
It is likely that 6 monthly hygiene visits will be recommended. Any plan for further treatment will also be provided to you.
Tooth Coloured Fillings
Fillings are used to restore decayed or broken teeth. Fillings may also be used as ‘direct veneers’ to improve the aesthetics of teeth with gaps in between, with staining, or which are chipped or broken. There are several shades available to best suit the natural shade of your teeth. Composite resin (a type of plastic) is one material we use, and this treatment usually takes one visit. Porcelain is an alternative filling material which is much stronger has a much longer lifespan. These fillings usually take two visits to place. Both composite resin and porcelain are alternatives for replacing old, leaking or cracked amalgam fillings.
Crown And Bridge
Crowns (‘dental caps’) are used when a tooth is heavily decayed, fractured or root filled, and a normal tooth coloured filling is not strong enough. Crowns are made from porcelain, and restore a tooth to an ideal function, shape and colour. Crowns may also be used to improve the cosmetic appearance of crooked or heavily stained teeth. Two visits are usually required – firstly, preparation of the tooth to make room for the crown, with a mould taken for our lab to fabricate the custom fit crown, and secondly, cementing of the crown into its fixed position. In between these visits you will be fitted with a temporary crown to protect the underlying tooth and for normal function. Where a tooth or teeth are missing, adjacent teeth can be used as anchors for a ‘bridge’ to be built to replace the missing teeth.
Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment is a process where infected, inflamed or dead pulp tissue (nerves, blood vessels) is removed from the inside of the tooth. Although root canal treatment is a much feared procedure, the process actually relieves the pain associated with infection. With the latest techniques provided, patients are often surprised at how little discomfort is felt through the process. The aim is to retain a tooth that can then still function even without its pulp.
Root canal treatment involves removal of the tooth pulp, and cleaning, sterilisation and shaping of the root canals so that they that can be completely sealed with a filling material to prevent further infection. The treatment can take a few appointments, depending on what tooth it is and how infected the tooth is.
We carry out most teeth extractions, including wisdom teeth removal, orthodontic extractions and teeth that are too broken down or infected to be retained or restored.