General and restorative dental treatments include:
During your examination appointment your dentist will thoroughly examine you to check for dental diseases and to offer advice about preventing dental problems. This includes screening for oral cancer, gum health, jaw health, and problems with your teeth. It may ne necessary for your dentist to take x-rays of your teeth to aid diagnosis.
Fillings are used to repair a defect in your tooth caused either by tooth decay, fracture or wear. Older existing fillings may require replacement also. A variety of materials can be used including ‘silver’ amalgam fillings and tooth-coloured composite fillings. Your dentist will discuss the options available to you based upon the size and location of the defect.
Onlays offer a stronger, more durable option for restoring teeth requiring more significant repair in comparison to a filling. An onlay may be suggested in preference to a crown to reduce the amount of tooth reduction required. An onlay is made by a skilled technician in a laboratory and is custom-made to fit your tooth. It may be made from gold, white composite, or aesthetic e-max ceramic.
Front and back teeth may be crowned or ‘capped’ when they are weak or have fractured significantly to help protect the tooth from further breakage. Crowns may also be used to improve the appearance of teeth. Your tooth will be x-rayed before crowing to ensure that the tooth is suitable for treatment. Crowns can be made in a variety of materials and your dentist will be able to advise you which are most appropriate for your particular circumstances. It is possible to produce beautiful, natural looking crowns with modern materials such as e.max or zirconia. After shaping of your tooth, moulds will be taken and sent to a skilled technician who will make your bespoke crown. Your tooth will be covered with a temporary crown until the permanent crown is ready, up to two weeks later.
A bridge is an option to replace a missing tooth, but using the adjacent tooth or teeth to support the replacement tooth. Various designs and materials are available and suitability will depend upon your specific circumstances.
Missing natural teeth can be replaced using a removable denture, which can be made in acrylic, metal or flexible materials. They may replace all of your top/bottom teeth (full denture), or just some teeth (partial denture). Partial dentures may clip onto your adjacent natural teeth. It is usual that at least 4 appointments will be needed to design and produce your denture. It is common for dentures to require a little adjustment after fitting to ensure they are comfortable to wear.
Dental extraction means removal of a tooth completely from the mouth. It may be necessary to remove a tooth which is too broken to repair, or due to infection. Sometimes teeth may be removed prior to orthodontic treatment. Local anaesthetic is used to numb the area thoroughly and you will be provided with instructions for looking after the site after treatment.
Root canal treatment (endodontics)
This procedure aims to eliminate the infection inside the tooth by removing the nerve tissue from within the tooth. After cleaning and disinfecting inside the tooth, the area is filled. Often the crown will be sealed using a crown.