General Treatments

Minimally Invasive Dentistry

Every tooth is precious, especially the outer protective surface of Enamel, once this is worn away the tooth health can quickly deteriorate as more tooth structure is lost. Minimally invasive treatment retains as much healthy tooth structure as possible.

Periodontal Treatments

You can have beautiful teeth, but unless you look after your gums, they’re at risk of being lost early. Dental hygiene advice and treatment is delivered by one of the dental hygiene team. They will help to remove any hard plaque from your teeth that may have built up in certain areas and advise how to minimise its reoccurrence.

When gingivitis (gum inflammation) progresses to the supporting structure of the teeth (supporting bone and ligaments) more extensive care may be required/recommended. This occurs in approximately 10% of the population with a genetic predisposition. Poor oral hygiene and smoking can exacerbate and accelerate the problem. Once the gums become too affected for you to adequately care for at home more frequent visits and a more in depth program may be suggested to slow down bone loss and thus retain your teeth for as long as possible.

Root Canal Therapy

Root canal treatment (a speciality called Endodontics) is needed when the tissue called the pulp (nerve and blood vessels) inside your tooth becomes infected through tooth decay or is damaged irreversibly by injury. Once the tissue has died infection may spread through the root canal system. If untreated may lead to abscess, potentially causing a great deal of discomfort. If root canal treatment is not carried out, the tooth may need to be taken out.

Root canal therapy involves the following: This may be split into 2 visits or carried out in 1 depending on the nature and severity of the infection:

  1. Firstly, local anaesthetic will be administered to ensure no discomfort is felt during treatment
  2. The tooth will be prepared giving access to the root canal system
  3. The root canal system will be thoroughly cleaned and shaped to remove all infection and pulp
  4. This  is then filled with a material called Gutta Percha and sealed with a restorative material
  5. The tooth is then filled or it may be recommended to crown the tooth
  6. A crown may be recommended if the tooth is weak either straight away or after a period of assessment

Root canal treatment is a skilled and time-consuming procedure and most courses of treatment will involve two or more visits. The instruments used are new for each patient to ensure no transmission of diseases.

Life benefits

  • Preservation of remaining healthy tooth structure
  • Prevention of infection spreading any further
  • Restoration of tooth which feels and looks like a natural tooth

Crowns and Bridges

A crown is used to solve the problem of broken down or weakened teeth. This may be due to decay or if a filling doesn’t have enough strength. Crowns can be made in a variety of materials such as metals, porcelain, a combination of both and ceramics.

A crown could be a good solution for you if you have some large discoloured fillings and would like to improve their appearance and give a more aesthetic smile.

Often a crown is suggested to protect a tooth that has had root canal treatment, as these teeth are vulnerable and prone to break, allowing you to eat and bite down on it as if it was a real tooth.

The process of constructing a crown is as follows:

  1. The vulnerable tooth is precisely prepared so that the crown can fit over it
  2. An impression is taken of the tooth and the surrounding structures:
    1. using impression material or
    2. using a scanner which creates a 3D image
  3. The crown can then be constructed by a dental technician to fit the tooth itself and to fit precisely into your dentition. The tooth colour will be chosen to match the neighbouring teeth to make it look as natural as possible.
  4. A temporary crown is used to temporarily protect the tooth
  5. Once the crown is complete the temporary is removed and the crown is firmly cemented into place

Life benefits

  • Strengthens remaining tooth structure
  • Natural-looking restoration
  • Functions like a real tooth, so you can bite and chew as usual

Partial Dentures

A partial denture is a removable appliance used to replace the spaces where teeth are either missing or have been lost. They can be used to replace any number of spaces around remaining natural teeth. They are very useful in preventing tilting and drifting of the remaining teeth into spaces from missing teeth. If teeth are missing or remaining teeth move, the way you bite together can be affected, which can be damaging to your other teeth. Healthy natural teeth can often be used to help support the denture with metal components called clasps. 

The teeth are made of tooth coloured acrylic or porcelain which are set in a gum-coloured acrylic or nylon base.  A framework made of a metal alloy (Cobalt-Chrome) can be used to increase strength and metal components can be used to help them stay in position.

Dentures replace spaces left where teeth are absent. They are not a replacement of teeth and only give approximately 20% function of natural teeth. However, they are very useful and are well tolerated in most cases.

The fit of dentures is directly related to the shape and amount of bone and gum you have present and can be greatly affected by saliva flow (less flow gives a dry mouth and therefore less suction on the contact surface between your dentures and your soft tissues). The opposing teeth also must be taken into consideration as they can disrupt the position of your denture.

Life benefits:

  • Making eating and chewing more easy
  • Improving appearance by filling spaces where teeth have been lost
  • More confidence in smiling
  • Protecting other vulnerable teeth by spreading chewing forces

Complete Dentures

A complete denture is a removable appliance used to replace all of the spaces in either upper or lower jaws (often both) where teeth have been lost. They fit over the gums (and palate in the upper jaw). They are the most cost effective way to improve chewing and appearance to a jaw with no teeth. This can help you to eat more comfortably, speak more clearly and help to support your cheeks and lips to improve your appearance, confidence and self-esteem. 

The teeth are made of tooth coloured acrylic or porcelain set in a gum-coloured acrylic base.

Dentures replace spaces left where teeth are absent. They are not a replacement of teeth and only give approximately 20% function of natural teeth. However, they are very useful and are well tolerated in many cases.

The fit of dentures is directly related to the shape and amount of bone and gum you have present and can be greatly affected by saliva flow (a dry mouth produces less suction on the contact surface between your dentures and your soft tissues). The opposing teeth also must be taken into consideration as they can disrupt the position of your denture.

Life benefits:

  • Making eating and chewing easier
  • Improving appearance by filling spaces where teeth have been lost
  • More confidence in smiling
  • Protecting other vulnerable teeth by spreading chewing forces

Implant Retained Dentures

Alternatives to traditional dentures:

  • Implants can offer alternatives to the complete dentures that sit on your gums and palate.
  • They can be used to permanently fix a full set of teeth in position or can be used to improve the stability of your dentures.
  • Implants can also be used to help make partial dentures more stable.
  • Please ask your dentist for more information on your option regarding implants.

Oral Surgery / Extractions

Occasionally it is not possible to save teeth for example in cases of advanced gum disease or gross tooth decay and they may need to be extracted. Some patients may also develop impacted wisdom teeth which can cause pain and discomfort which is alleviated by having them removed.

Occasionally, for teeth that are very difficult to remove or due to medical reasons, it may be recommended that the extraction is done by an Oral Surgeon in the hospital setting. 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. With regular visits to your dentist and thorough oral hygiene at home hopefully extractions can be avoided and teeth can be saved.

Jaw Problems

The way your teeth meet when your top and bottom jaws close down on top of each other is known as your occlusion or ‘bite’. If your teeth don’t fit together properly (called a malocclusion) problems with your teeth, gums, the jaw joint (temporomandibular joint –TMJ) and the muscles in your face can occur.

Problems with your TMJ can lead to facial pain, headaches, discomfort and clicking when biting or chewing, migraines, neck and shoulder pain and even back pain.

If you recognise any of these symptoms or suffer from these on a daily basis, you will need to see a dentist to treat your problems or refer you to a specialist if necessary. Treatment can include the following:

  1. Pain management with painkillers
  2. TMJ and exercises to relax the facial muscles
  3. A hard occlusal guard – When the device is worn, your teeth are in a position where your facial muscles are relaxed, preventing grinding and taking pressure off your TMJ. The device also prevents the teeth from becoming worn down by grinding and protects them.
  4. Depending on the origin and severity of your problem, you may need orthodontic treatment or maxillofacial surgery.
  5. Other solutions may include replacing missing teeth or adjusting any problem teeth.

The important thing to do is see your dentist as soon as possible so your problem does not become worse over time and require more drastic measures to correct.

Life benefits

  • Alleviated facial and TMJ pain including headaches
  • Prevention of extensive tooth wear
  • Enhanced quality of sleep

Emergency Dental Care

If you require an emergency dental treatment, you should ask to see a dentist as soon as possible. A dental emergency is considered to be:

  • Uncontrollable swelling
  • Uncontrollable bleeding
  • Uncontrollable pain
  • Trauma

At our practice, we offer daily emergency appointments for all dental emergencies outlined above and also for lost or broken fillings, crowns or teeth. As part of the membership to practice plan you are also covered after the practice has closed at 5pm until 10pm and also at weekends for emergency care.

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