Treatments

Treatments

These are brief descriptions of some of the treatments and options available at our practice.
We would like you to make an appointment so you can speak directly to the dentist to discuss your own needs.
Please click on a treatment for more details

Dental Examination

We will check that your teeth and gums are healthy and identify if there are any signs of decay, damage or gum disease.
We will look at places inside and around your mouth which you may find hard to see. For example your tongue , the floor of your mouth and other oral soft tissues.
The examination will usually include an oral cancer screening.
Then we will focus on examining any areas that you are especially concerned with.
At the end of the examination we will show and discuss the treatment you need, advise you of the treatment options available to you, and decide which treatment if any is most suitable for you.
We generally recommend an examination and scale and polish every six months.


Cleaning – Gum Disease Treatment – Periodontal Treatment

Gum disease is one of the main causes of tooth loss in adults. It is a common disease involving infection of the tissues supporting the teeth. It is worse in smokers. After initial treatment it requires regular follow up cleaning’s to keep it in check.
This animation shows how the gum disease progresses



Depending on the severity of the gum disease treatment can range from
• cleaning (scaling and polishing)
• deep root scaling, (scaling under the gums usually under local anaesthetic)The second animation shows how we perform this periodontal treatment.
• periodontal surgery ( small surgical procedures to remove infection and allow patients to clean teeth properly)



This third animation shows how calculus /tartar and stain can return over six months or in some patients sooner and so requires regular on going cleaning.
We have a hygienist to help improve your gum condition and maintain it into the future.



Fillings For Teeth

White (Composite) fillings, we use a wide range of colours to match the colour of your teeth. We use the latest techniques and materials to give more natural results.
Silver (Amalgam) fillings, long lasting, less expensive than white fillings, very effective for medium to large fillings, long history of effective use. Some controversy now over mercury content but still recommended internationally.






Cosmetic Bonding

Using the latest techniques and selecting composite materials that match or improve the colour of your teeth we carefully build up your teeth to give an appealing natural looking result.

As can be seen in this animation Cosmetic bonding can occasionally be used as a less expensive option to porcelain crowns and porcelain veneers.



Below are some examples from the practice of cosmetic bonding

Before and After photographs

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Root Canal Treatment

This treatment is used to save a tooth that is dying, dead or has an abscess. It is usually a better alternative to extracting the tooth.



The cost depends on the number of roots the tooth has, as each root needs to be cleaned out, shaped and filled, to give the best chance of a successful result.
• We use modern proven techniques and specialised equipment, such as apex locators and rotary instruments to complete the root canal treatments.
• We recommend a crown as a long-term restoration of a root treated tooth.

This animation shows how we root treat a tooth with two roots. As can be seen this is a complex treatment and if short cuts are taken the chance of its success greatly decrease. This explains why we put so much time and effort into the treatment and why we charge what we do.



Dentures



Dentures can either be made of:
Plastic. Pink plastic and white teeth possibly with clasps to help keep them in place
Cobalt Chrome metal frame with pink plastic and white teeth. Advantages are less bulk, better grip, and we design them to keep your other natural teeth as healthy as possible.
Titanium metal frame. This is a similar denture to the cobalt chrome. It is more expensive but has a stronger and lighter framework.
There are other options to replace missing teeth such as bridges or implants.

Crowns





A crown is an artificial restoration that fits over the remaining part of a prepared tooth, making it strong and giving it the shape of a natural tooth. Sometimes known as a “cap”.




A crown is ideal

• to restore teeth that have been broken, or have been weakened by decay or a very large filling.

• in cosmetic treatments to improve the look of teeth.

• when you have had a root filled tooth which will need a crown to protect it

They can be made of porcelain or gold or a combination of these materials.

They look like natural teeth.

They do not stain.

They are extremely strong and durable when prepared and fitted correctly.
This is critical to their long-term success.




See photographs from our practice below

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Veneers

A veneer is a thin layer of porcelain made to fit over the front surface of a tooth, like a false fingernail fits over a nail. Sometimes a natural coloured ‘composite bonding’ material is used instead of porcelain.



Veneers make teeth look natural and healthy, and because they are very thin and are held in place by a special strong bond (rather like super-glue) very little preparation of the tooth is needed.
Veneers can improve the colour, shape and position of teeth. A precise shade of porcelain can be chosen to give the right colour to improve a single discoloured or stained tooth or to lighten front teeth (usually the upper ones). A veneer can make a chipped tooth look intact again. The porcelain covers the whole of the front of the tooth with a thicker section replacing the broken part. Veneers can also be used to close small gaps, when orthodontics (braces) are not suitable. If one tooth is slightly out of position, a veneer can sometimes be fitted to bring it into line with the others.

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Bridges Fixed



This is a restoration used to replace a missing tooth. It is cemented permanently, using the teeth on one side of the gap (cantilever bridge) or both sides of the gap (fixed) to hold the bridge in place.

It looks like your natural teeth. We use top class laboratories to ensure the bridges fit well, look life like and match the colour and shape of your own teeth.

The average lifespan of a bridge is 10-20 years.

Typically the tooth on either side of the space is reduced in a similar way to preparing it for a crown. A bridge is constructed using a metal core for strength covered with porcelain in the shape and colour of natural teeth.

If you have gaps from missing teeth it is advisable to replace the missing teeth for a number of reasons.



It can prolong the lifespan of the teeth next to the gap. Usually the teeth on either side of the gap tend to tilt into the gap which makes them more prone to gum disease

It can prolong the lifespan of the tooth opposite the gap as this tooth can tend to grow out of the jaw (as it no longer has a tooth to bite against) increasing it’s chances of eventually being lost. The bridge gives it something to bite against

It can improve your smile / appearance.

Bridges Maryland



A conservative bridge design involving less tooth removal then a conventional bridge.

It involves small preparations on the inside of the teeth next to the gap and a porcelain tooth supported by metal wings is bonded to the inside aspect of these neighbouring teeth.

It is a less expensive but good alternative to the fixed bridge but the teeth holding in the bridge have to have enough healthy enamel for it to succeed and its lifespan may not be as long as the fixed bridge.

See Photographs Below

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Implants

There are two parts to having an implant restoration



The first involves minor surgery to place a titanium screw (implant) under the gum into the jaw which then needs 3 to 6 months to allow the bone grow around and lock in(integrate) the screw.

The second part involves impressions and placing a restoration on top of the implant screw.

This restoration maybe a natural looking crown, a bridge or even a denture depending on how many teeth are missing and on the number of implants placed.

There are many advantages to implants if you would like further information please look in the question and answers section or discuss them with us.

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Routine Extraction

We try if at all possible to keep your teeth, but if an extraction is necessary we will numb the surface of the gum with an ointment and then numb the tooth with local anaesthetic before removing the tooth.

The animation shows that once we have removed the tooth we want the socket to fill with a blood clot and close over.

If the clot gets washed away or if you smoke over the area, the bone is exposed and you get a “dry socket” which can be sore.

You will probably need to re-attend to have the socket cleaned and dressed but it will eventually heal over. It just takes longer with a dry socket.

This animation shows why we prefer to keep your teeth or at least fill in the gaps left by extractions.



As you can see the loss of one tooth can lead to other teeth being more susceptible to decay and gum disease and may result in their eventual loss as well.

Please look at our Q&A section for instructions following an extraction.

Surgical Extractions / Wisdom Teeth Removal

As the animation shows removing teeth can involve raising the gingiva removing some bone and sectioning the tooth to enable us to remove it in pieces.



This is only carried out when we cannot remove the tooth in a more straight forward way.

This is carried out under local anaesthetic with or without sedation.

If the normal precautions after surgery are followed it usually heals uneventfully (see “Instructions Following Routine Extractions” in Q & A section)

Wisdom teeth can pose certain potential problems which are discussed in the Q&A section under wisdom teeth.

Fissure Sealants

Sealants are a safe and painless way or protecting your children’s teeth from decay.



A sealant is a protective plastic coating, which is applied to the biting surfaces of the back teeth.

The sealant forms a hard shield that keeps food and bacteria from getting into the tiny grooves in the teeth and causing decay.

For more information see the Q&A section

Grinding – Bruxism – Night-splints

It is not uncommon for people to grind their teeth heavily these days usually during sleep. This is called Bruxism



This results in

  • pains and even muscle spasms in the face and jaws.
  • Cracks and chips in the teeth
  • Wear and shortening of the teeth.

Longterm this can be very destructive to the teeth resulting in short stubby teeth or broken teeth.

Fitting a nightsplint interrupts the grinding , protects the teeth from wearing down further and treats the jaw symptoms(the temporomandibular joint or TMJ problems)



Anti- Snoring Devices

You will need a specific assessment appointment to see if you are suitable for the anti-snoring device we supply.



If you are suitable we take impressions to make a close fitting appliance which works by preventing your lower jaw falling backwards in your sleep and this as the animation shows stops the snoring.

If you suffer from sleep apnoea and your sleep is so disrupted that you tend to fall asleep during the day then we will probably need to refer you for further investigations

Sports Mouthguards

Full Impressions are taken to ensure a close fitting comfortable mouthguard is made.

The mouthguard will grip the teeth and gums so it will not drop down in the middle of a game. Good grip means breathing and even talking is easier!

When sports mouth guards are correctly fitted and extended they give adequate protection to the teeth and the bone supporting the teeth.

We can even get them made in your team colours

Orthodontics

Short term fixed braces.

We offer Six Month Smiles braces so you can get the smile you want in less time. These are short term fixed braces, they are used to concentrate on correcting misaligned/crooked front teeth. The average treatment time is 6 to 9 months, so, much shorter than other fixed braces. We use tooth coloured brackets and wires to achieve this so the braces are less visible.

We also offer removable braces.

Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is a simple method of lightening the colour of your teeth. The degree of whiteness achieved will vary from patient to patient

There are two methods of bleaching available

    1. Home Whitening

This involves an impression to make a tray shaped to your teeth. We fit the tray and give you a kit to take home.

You place a whitening gel in the tray and wear it for 4 to 8 hours a day( usually while you sleep)

Results are normally seen over 2 to 4 weeks.

    2. In Practice Whitening

Your teeth can be lightened immediately using this technique in the dental practice.



This 1-hour whitening can whiten teeth by up to several shades, brightening your teeth dramatically . Your lips and gums are covered and a gel is applied to your teeth. A special light is positioned over your teeth to activate the gel, which gently penetrates your teeth, breaking up stains and discolouration.

Both methods are very effective but we tend to favour the home whitening as it is less expensive to” top up” the colour achieved down the road.



See Photographs Below

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X-Rays

We have a new Digital OPG x-ray machine to take large x-ray pictures of the jaws.

For small x rays we use film x-rays and we also have x-ray digital sensors so we can take a lower dose of x-ray then was previously possible, and view these x-rays, at a higher definition, on our computer screens.