Regular cleaning and check ups are essential even for perfectly healthy teeth - you want to make sure you keep them healthy!
It is so important to attend regular dental examinations as directed by your dentist. Regular dental exams are a critical part of preventive health care not just for your oral health but also for your overall health.
The dentist will check your medical history and review any changes with you. During a dental examination, your dentist will check your teeth for cavities and check your gums for gum disease and discuss any treatment findings and costs with you.
The dentist will also check for any other abnormalities by checking your face, neck, the roof and floor of the mouth, and tongue. By examining these areas, they can detect for early signs of oral cancer/skin cancer.
A dental examination might also include dental x-rays/ radiographs as and when they are necessary to diagnose problems. Your dentist will also give you diet and lifestyle advice.
The British Dental association recommends that adults and children have regular dental examinations at intervals determined by their dentist.
Most people these days can be quite conscious with the way they look, so they would prefer to have a natural looking filling when they laugh or smile instead of having a silver filling on show.
What are composite fillings?
Natural tooth coloured fillings are made from a material called composite resins, glass particles and a setting ingredient. The contents can vary depending on what material and brand we use.
Composite fillings provide strength and longevity for small to medium sized fillings that need to hold against moderate pressure from the constant stress of chewing.
Composite fillings can be used in both front and back teeth but may not always be the best option if the filling is of a very large size. If a filling is of a very large size then we would not necessary advise a composite filling. We would run through options with you such as a crown or inlay.
Amalgam fillings can be changed to tooth coloured fillings if and when a tooth needs a filling replaced. Please ask your dentist for advice.
Root Canal Therapy
When Is Root Canal Treatment Needed?
Root canal treatment (also called Endodontics) is needed when the pulp inside your tooth becomes infected by bacteria through tooth decay or damaged by an injury to your mouth.
This infection may spread through the root canal system, which could eventually lead to an abscess, causing a great deal of discomfort. If root canal treatment is not carried out, the tooth may need to be taken out.
The symptoms of a pulp infection include: pain when eating or drinking hot or cold food and drink, pain when biting or chewing, a loose tooth. As the infection progresses, these symptoms often disappear as the pulp dies. Your tooth then appears to have healed, but the infection has in fact spread through the root canal system.
Further symptoms eventually occur, such as: pain when biting or chewing returning, swelling of the gum near the affected tooth, pus oozing from the affected tooth, facial swelling and the tooth becoming a darker colour.
It's important to see your dentist if you develop toothache. If your tooth is infected, the pulp can't heal by itself.
Our dentists can perform root canal treatment to stop the infection from spreading and will preserve as much of your tooth as possible. Using specific techniques and advanced equipment, you will receive a local anaesthetic and the treatment overall should feel no different to having an ordinary filling placed. The aim of the treatment is to remove all infection from the root canal. The root is then cleaned and filled to prevent any further infection. A temporary filling is put in and the tooth is left to settle.
The tooth is checked at a later visit and when all the infection has cleared, the tooth is permanently filled. Root canal treatment is a skilled and time-consuming procedure and most courses of treatment will involve two or more visits.
To keep your mouth in tip top shape we recommend you come in for regular hygiene appointments and dental check-ups.
Extractions / Oral Surgery
One area of speciality within dentistry is known as oral surgery and this applies to procedures of a surgical nature, such as the extraction of teeth or wisdom teeth. Tooth extraction is the removal of a tooth from its socket in the bone. If a tooth has been broken or damaged by decay, your dentist will try to fix it with a filling, crown or other treatment. Sometimes, though, there's too much damage for the tooth to be repaired. In this case, the tooth needs to be extracted. A very loose tooth also will require extraction if it can't be saved, even with bone replacement surgery (bone graft).
Oral surgery requires additional training in techniques to perform procedures with care, helping patients to be able to use their teeth and mouths again.
If you have advanced tooth decay or an impacted wisdom tooth, you may require oral surgery to have them safely extracted. Depending on your particular case and the severity of your problem, you will be given anaesthetic and offered sedation if you are anxious. In some cases, we may need to refer you to an oral surgeon if the extraction cannot be performed in practice.
It is important to always get the advice of a dental professional if you are worried about any of your teeth. Never attempt to pull out your own tooth out at home as this could cause a more serious problem for you. Dentists have the right equipment and sterile environment in which to perform this type of procedure with the utmost care and your recovery can be fairly quick. In the case of wisdom teeth extractions, you may have some swelling after the procedure and discomfort that can be eased with pain killers.
A dental X-ray allows the dentist to see detailed images of specific sections of your mouth to help diagnose problems not visible during the dental exam. X-rays aren't typically needed at every dental visit, and your dentist or hygienist will discuss with you the need for X-rays based on your oral health and risk of disease.
Radiation exposure from dental X-rays is very low, especially from digital X-rays now used, but talk to the dentist if you're concerned.
If you’re a new patient, you’ll probably undergo dental X-rays so that your new dentist can get a clear picture of your dental health. This is especially important if you don’t have any X-rays from your previous dentist.
Children may need to have dental X-rays more often than adults because their dentists might need to monitor the growth of their adult teeth. This is important because it can help the dentist determine if baby teeth need to be pulled to prevent complications, such as adult teeth growing in behind baby teeth.
Pregnancy is an exception to the rule. Women who are pregnant or believe they may be pregnant should avoid all types of X-rays.
Tell your dentist if you believe you are pregnant, because radiation is not considered safe for developing foetus. Please ensure you inform your dentist if you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant or breast feeding.
Many patients feel self-conscious about dental treatment and nervous/ anxious about visiting the dentist. We offer special care to our anxious patients through three forms of sedation to make their appointments more comfortable and relaxing.
You will be under the supervision of one of our dentists who is specially trained in sedation and our team of dental nurses.
The first type is called intravenous or IV sedation. The sedative drug is injected in a controlled manner directly into a vein, so that you feel relaxed during the dental treatment.
While under IV sedation, you will feel deeply relaxed but you will still be able to understand and respond to requests from the dentist. You will be unaware of the operation and this form of treatment is ideal for patients who wish to avoid the noise and vibration of the dental drill and instruments we use.
The second type of sedation used is oral suspension sedation. A very strong sedative solution will be prescribed and administered by your dentist. This drug will work within ten to fifteen minutes and you may fall asleep in the dental chair while you are being treated. But like the IV sedation you will still be able to respond to you dentist.
We can also give you a sedative medicine as a tablet that you can take before your visit.