Regular visits to the dentist may not only brighten your teeth but may make you generally healthier. Research has linked periodontal (gum) disease, a bacterial infection, to complications for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, preterm birth, pre-eclampsia, osteoporosis and other health issues. We can meet your general dental and hygiene needs with:
Teeth cleaning is part of oral hygiene and involves the removal of dental plaque from teeth with the intention of preventing cavities (dental caries), gingivitis, and periodontal disease. Dentist and dental hygienists can remove hardened deposits not removed by routine cleaning. The objective of scaling or deep cleaning, is to remove or eliminate the etiologic agents which cause inflammation: dental plaque, its products and calculus, thus helping to establish a periodontium that is free of disease.
What is the difference between amalgam and composite fillings?
Used by dentists for more than a century, dental amalgam is the most thoroughly researched and tested restorative material among all those in use. It is durable, easy to use, highly resistant to wear and relatively inexpensive in comparison to other materials.
Dental amalgam is a stable alloy made by combining elemental mercury, silver, tin, copper and possibly other metallic elements. Although dental amalgam continues to be a safe, commonly used restorative material, some concern has been raised because of its mercury content. However, the mercury in amalgam combines with other metals to render it stable and safe for use in filling teeth. The major U.S. and international scientific and health bodies, including the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Public Health Service, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organisation, among others have been satisfied that dental amalgam is a safe, reliable and effective restorative material.
Because amalgam fillings can withstand very high chewing loads, they are particularly useful for restoring molars in the back of the mouth where chewing load is greatest. They are also useful in areas where a cavity preparation is difficult to keep dry during the filling replacement, such as in deep fillings below the gum line. Amalgam fillings, like other filling materials, are considered biocompatible—they are well tolerated by patients with only rare occurrences of allergic response.
Disadvantages of amalgam include possible short-term sensitivity to hot or cold after the filling is placed. The silver-coloured filling is not as natural looking as one that is tooth-coloured, especially when the restoration is near the front of the mouth, and shows when the patient laughs or speaks. And to prepare the tooth, the dentist may need to remove more tooth structure to accommodate an amalgam filling than for other types of fillings.
Composite fillings are a mixture of glass or quartz filler in a resin medium that produces a tooth-coloured filling. They are sometimes referred to as composites or filled resins. Composite fillings provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small-to-mid size restorations that need to withstand moderate chewing pressure. Less tooth structure is removed when the dentist prepares the tooth, and this may result in a smaller filling than that of an amalgam. Composites can also be “bonded” or adhesively held in a cavity, often allowing the dentist to make a more conservative repair to the tooth.
The cost is moderate and depends on the size of the filling and the technique used by the dentist to place it in the prepared tooth. It generally takes longer to place a composite filling than what is required for an amalgam filling. Composite fillings require a cavity that can be kept clean and dry during filling and they are subject to stain and discoloration over time.
Why would I need an extraction?
A dental extraction (also referred to as exodontia) is the removal of a tooth from the mouth. Extractions are performed for a wide variety of reasons, including tooth decay that has destroyed enough tooth structure to render the tooth non-restorable. Extractions of impacted or problematic wisdom teeth are routinely performed, as are extractions of some permanent teeth to make space for orthodontic treatment.
What is a crown?
Commonly referred to as a “cap,” a crown is a tooth shaped covering for a tooth that has been decayed, broken or otherwise compromised such as after Root Canal therapy. This covering is permanently cemented over all surfaces of the tooth to help prevent additional decay and to restore the full function of the tooth. A crown can be made of metal, porcelain or a combination thereof.
A bridge is a series of 2 or more crowns connected together. Usually a bridge spans the space where there are one or more missing teeth.
What is Gum Health?
Gum disease affects most people at some time during their life. It is usually caused by a build-up of plaque on teeth. One of the common signs of gum disease is bleeding gums. Careful and regular cleaning of your teeth and gums each day can help prevent gum disease.
Getting treatment for dental problems early can help save teeth that are at risk from gum disease and other conditions. See your dentist or oral health professional if you have swollen or bleeding gums or loose teeth.
There are two main stages of gum disease:
Gingivitis is early gum disease and occurs when dental plaque builds up on teeth, particularly where the gum joins the tooth. The signs of gingivitis are bleeding, redness and swelling of the gum.
Periodontitis is an advanced gum disease that may occur if gingivitis is not treated. The gum margin, – the part of the gum that seals to the tooth, – is weakened and spaces form between the tooth and the gum. These spaces are called ‘periodontal pockets.’ Bacteria and their products become trapped in these pockets causing further inflammation (redness and swelling).
The structures affected by periodontitis include the covering of the tooth root (cementum), the bone and the fibres that connect the cementum to the bone (periodontal ligament). As the disease progresses and bone is lost, larger spaces begin to form between the tooth and the gum. Signs of periodontitis include bleeding, swelling and receding gums together with bad breath, a bad taste in the mouth and loose teeth.
What is Fluoride Treatment?
Fluoride therapy is the delivery of fluoride to the teeth topically or systemically in order to prevent tooth decay (dental caries) which results in cavities. Most commonly, fluoride is applied topically to the teeth using gels, varnishes, toothpaste/dentifrices or mouth rinse. Systemic delivery involves fluoride supplementation using water, salt, tablets or drops which are swallowed. Tablets or drops are rarely used where public water supplies are fluoridated.