Dentistry is no longer just a case of filling and extracting teeth, as it was for many years. Nowadays, many people turn to cosmetic dentistry, or “aesthetic dentistry”, as a way of improving their appearance, much as they would use cosmetic surgery or even a new hairstyle. The treatment can be used as straighten, lighten, reshape and repair teeth.
Cosmetic treatments include veneers, crowns, bridges, and tooth-coloured fillings.
Most people have fillings of one sort or another in their mouths. Nowadays fillings are not only functional, but can be natural looking as well. Many people don't want silver fillings that show when they laugh or smile because they are more conscious about the way they look.
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.
Teeth whitening can be a highly effective way of lightening the natural colour of your teeth without removing any of the tooth surface. It can not make a complete colour change; but it may lighten the existing shade.
When a tooth is badly broken or heavily filled, the dentist may need to crown or “cap” it to restore its appearance and strength. If a tooth is missing or needs extracting, there are several ways to fill the gap that is left. In some cases it is important to try and replace any missing teeth in order to balance the way your jaw bites.
If you have several missing teeth, the remaining teeth are under more pressure, which can lead to broken fillings or even jaw problems. Bridges are ideal for people who don't like dentures or only have one or two teeth missing. They are fixed in the same way as crowns.
There are a number of different fillings including:
- Amalgam (silver coloured)
- Composite fillings (tooth coloured)
- Glass ionomer (tooth coloured)
- Gold inlays and onlays (gold coloured)
- Porcelain inlays (tooth coloured)
Also called (Endodontics) is needed when the blood or nerve supply of the tooth (known as the pulp) is infected through decay or injury. You may not feel any pain in the early stages of the infection. In some cases, your tooth could darken in colour which may mean that the nerve of the tooth has died (or is dying). This would need root canal treatment. Usually a local anaesthetic is used and it should feel no different to having an ordinary filling done.
When a tooth is badly broken or heavily filled, the dentist may need to crown or “cap” it to restore its appearance and strength. If a tooth is missing or needs extracting, there are several ways to fill the gap that is left. In some cases it is important to try to replace any missing teeth in order to balance the way your jaw bites.
If you have several missing teeth, the remaining teeth are under more pressure, which can lead to broken fillings or jaw problems. Bridges are ideal for people who don't like dentures or only have one or two teeth missing. They are fixed in the same way as crowns.
People wear dentures to replace lost or missing teeth so they can enjoy a healthy diet and smile with confidence.
Dentures are made of either acrylic (plastic) or metal. A “complete” or “full” denture is one which replaces all the natural teeth in either the upper or lower jaws. “partial” denture fills in the spaces left by lost or missing teeth. It may be fastened to your natural teeth with metal clasps or “precision attachments”.
Preventive dentistry is the modern way of reducing the amount of dental treatment needed to maintain a healthy mouth. It helps you to keep your teeth. The two major causes of tooth loss are decay and gum disease. The better we prevent or deal with these two problems, the more chance people have of keeping their teeth for life..
Fluoride can greatly help dental health by strengthening the tooth enamel, making it more resistant to tooth decay. It also reduces the amount of acid that the bacteria on your teeth produce.
Sealants are a safe and painless way of protecting your teeth (especially 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.
Our hygienists are specially trained to work with the dentist in giving care to patients. They play an important role in dental health care and are mainly concerned with gum health, showing people correct home care and applying preventive materials to the teeth and gums. They also show patients the best way to keep the teeth free of plaque and give advice on diet and preventing dental decay.