Treatments

TREATMENTS

WHAT IS A CROWN?

Crowns are an ideal way to rebuild teeth which have been broken, or have been weakened by decay or a very large filling. The crown fits right over the remaining part of the tooth, making it strong and giving it the shape and contour of a natural tooth. Crowns are sometimes also known as ‘caps’.

WHY WOULD I NEED A CROWN?

There are a number of reasons. For instance:

  • The tooth may have been weakened by having a very large filling
  • You may have discoloured fillings and would like to improve the appearance of the tooth
  • You may have had a root filling which will need a crown to protect it
  • You may have had an accident and damaged the tooth
  • It may help hold a bridge or denture firmly in place

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WHY SHOULD I REPLACE MISSING TEETH?

Your appearance is one reason. Another is that the gap left by missing tooth can mean greater strain on the teeth at either side. A gap can also mean your ‘bite’ is affected, because the teeth next to the space can lean into the gap and alter the way the upper and lower teeth bite together. This can then lead to food getting packed into the gap, which causes both decay and gum disease.

HOW ARE MISSING TEETH REPLACED?

This depends on the number of teeth missing and on where they are in the mouth. The condition of the other teeth also affects the decision.

There are two main two ways to replace the missing teeth. The first is with a removable false tooth or teeth – a partial denture. The second is with a fixed bridge. A bridge is usually used where there are fewer teeth to replace, or when the missing teeth are only on one side of the mouth.

CAN I ALWAYS HAVE A BRIDGE TO REPLACE MISSING TEETH?

Yes, if you have enough strong teeth with good bone support. Your dentist will help you decide which is the best way of replacing the teeth within your budget.

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Treatment depends on the type of jaw joint problem you have.

Usually your dentist will be able to help relieve your symptoms with simple treatments. He or she will explain the problem to you and give you advice on anything you can do to reduce pain or clicking, such as not yawning too widely or choosing soft foods.

Your dentist may give you some jaw exercises to do. The aim of these is to improve the way that the joint works and to strengthen the muscles surrounding it. If stress is causing symptoms, counseling and relaxation therapy can help some people.

Your dentist may prescribe painkillers to help ease the pain. He or she may also advise you to put a heat pad or ice pack on the jaw joint area to help soothe it. If you use ice, don’t apply it directly to your skin. Wrap it in a clean cloth or towel.

If your dentist thinks that you are clenching or grinding your teeth at night then he or she may suggest that you wear a mouth splint or mouth guard. This is a cover made from hard or soft plastic that fits over your upper or lower teeth. The aim of the splint is to change the way your teeth close together and prevent you grinding your teeth.

The splint is made to fit your mouth exactly. Your dentist will take impressions of your teeth using a kind of putty and send these to a laboratory where the splint is made.

You normally wear the splint at night and can also wear it at stressful times to prevent grinding and clenching. A splint can start to relieve pain in about three or four weeks, though your dentist will probably recommend that you keep wearing it for longer.

Your dentist will refer you to a specialist if your symptoms do not improve. The specialist may prescribe stronger painkillers or other medication to help relieve the pain. If stress or anxiety is making you grind or clench your teeth, he or she may prescribe anti-depressants to help you to relax.

Occasionally, surgery may be recommended. This is not common and is only recommended for a small number of people. It is important that you talk through all of the options with your specialist before having any surgery.

PREVENTATIVE TREATMENTS

Dental Hygienist- is part of the practice team. They specialise in oral hygiene and maintaining healthy gums.

Mouth Guards-can help as part of treatment to help relieve symptoms such as headaches, tempromandibular jaw problems and prevent teeth breaking or wearing down.

Oral Cancer- is routinely checked for during an examination. Mouth Cancer can appear in different forms and can affect all parts of the mouth. It can appear as a painless ulcer that does not heal normally. A persistent white or red patch can also develop into cancer, if these areas do not heal within 3 weeks please contact us.

COSMETIC TREATMENTS

Teeth whitening is one of the easiest ways to enhance your looks. Whether you want to add a sparkle to your wedding day or perfect your look for business meetings, whitening is simple, affordable and safe.

Many people said that they feel years younger after the treatment, having erased the effects of ageing, coffee, red wine and cigarettes.

The British Dental Association recommends that home bleaching treatments are only applied in consultation with your dentist. While kits are available over the counter and via the Internet, these may be unsuitable for you especially if you have gum disease, crowns or the discolouration is a symptom of more serious dental problems.

Your dentist will take an impression of your teeth and make a plastic mould that fits your perfectly. They will then show you how to apply the bleaching gel. You wear the mould overnight and through successive applications your teeth become whiter and whiter.

WHAT IS A VENEER?

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 colour ‘composite’ material is used instead of porcelain.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF VENEERS?

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.

WHEN WOULD I NEED A VENEER?

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) generally. 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.