Why do I need regular dental checkups?
Early detection of tooth decay helps minimise the need for root canal treatment or tooth loss. Regular check-ups may very well save you money in the long term, by treating a problem before it becomes serious and costly. Regular examinations are ideally accompanied by a scale and polish -ensuring calculus is removed, and lowering the risk of gum disease. This is a major cause of tooth loss and most people do not realise when they have it. Oral infections can potentially cause damage to other parts of the body such as heart and artificial joints. Let's avoid this.
Why do I need Root Canal Therapy?
Root canals are the tiny canals that contain the pulp of the tooth, also commonly referred to as the nerve. Any trauma or infection of the nerve will result in the need for root canal therapy.
Common reasons for root canal therapy include:
- Tooth decay invades the tooth, penetrating through the enamel and then the dentine into the pulp.
- A tooth has become abscessed -- also known as infected -- from decay.
- Trauma, such as a chipped or broken tooth, occurs and results in the exposure of the nerve.
- A tooth is slowly dying, due to aging or past trauma that did not result in the need for treatment at the time of injury.
Before the procedure, your dentist will advise you as to the number of appointments necessary to complete the canal, either two or three. If you had an infection or abscess in the tooth, the dentist may choose to have you start antibiotics before completing the root canal. Chances are, following the root canal therapy, your dentist will recommend having a crown put on to the tooth. Since the nerve and blood supply to the tooth has been taken away, the tooth may become brittle over time, resulting in a cracked tooth. A crown is designed to prevent this from happening.
How is the hygiene treatment carried out at Happy Dental?
Our dentists carry out all hygiene procedures, gently and effectively, with excellent results. Using the vibrations of an ultrasonic instrument, the tartar is removed, while spraying a cooling mist of water to wash away the debris. To finish off, the dentist will polish the tooth surfaces, leaving them smooth and ultra-shiny.
Why should I have regular (usually yearly) scale and polish or hygiene treatments along with my examination?
Having teeth cleaned by a dentist involves the removal of plaque, the soft, sticky bacteria-infested film, and tartar or calculus, the hard deposits that build up on teeth over time.
If this scale is allowed to accumulate on the teeth it creates the perfect atmosphere for bacteria to grow, next to the gums. Studies now clearly indicate that the types of bacteria that are present in diseased gums are dangerous to other systems in the body, including the heart, and that these same bacteria can be transferred to those systems via the bloodstream, leading to serious and possibly life-threatening conditions such as heart disease and stroke. It is therefore now understood that good oral hygiene is essential in the interests of living a long and healthy life.
What are Crowns made from and what are they for?
Permanent crowns can be made from all metal, porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM), or all ceramic.
Metals used in crowns include gold alloy, other alloys (for example, palladium) or a base-metal alloy (for example, nickel or chromium). Compared with other crown types, less tooth structure needs to be removed with metal crowns, and tooth wear to opposing teeth is kept to a minimum. Metal crowns withstand biting and chewing forces well and probably last the longest in terms of wear down. Also, metal crowns rarely chip or break. The metallic color is the main drawback. Metal crowns are a good choice for out-of-sight molars.
PFM crowns can be color matched to your adjacent teeth. Next to all-ceramic crowns, PFM crowns look most like normal teeth. These crowns can be a good choice for front or back teeth.
All-ceramic or all-porcelain dental crowns provide the best natural color match than any other crown type and may be more suitable for people with metal allergies. However, they are not as strong as PFM crowns and they wear down opposing teeth a little more than metal or resin crowns. All-ceramic crowns are a good choice for front teeth.
A dental crown may be needed in the following situations:
- To protect a weak tooth (for instance, from decay or following root canal therapy) from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth
- To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
- To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn't a lot of tooth left
- To hold a dental bridge in place
- To cover misshapen or severely discoloured teeth
- To cover a dental implant
Why do I need Root Planing instead of a routine Scale and Polish?
While a scale and polish removes the build up from the tooth surfaces, there are cases in which tartar deposits have formed under the gumline, and the bacteria has spread to the foundations of the teeth, and the gums, causing inflammation and ‘pocketing’. This advanced stage of gum disease eventually damages the support structure of the teeth, causing them to loosen. Left untreated, this condition becomes irreversible, so it is important to stop it progressing to that point. Root planing, or deep cleaning, will be recommended, a process which removes the bacteria from the pockets, allowing the gums to then heal. The dentist will only advise you to have this done when the level of gum disease is serious, and the possibility of losing teeth is likely in the not too distant future.