Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment is a procedure to maintain a tooth when the dental pulp has been damaged.
The pulp is the soft tissue within the tooth that contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. It extends from the crown of the tooth (chamber) to the tip of the root (root canals).
The most common causes of damage to the pulp are tooth decay and tooth fracture (crack). Both of these problems can provide a pathway for germs (bacteria) to enter the pulp. When the pulp becomes infected, it can eventually die, leading to an abscess in the bone surrounding the root.
When the infected pulp is not removed, pain and swelling can result. Without root canal treatment, the tooth will have to be removed.
Steps in Root canal Therapy
The tooth will be examined, tested, and radiographs performed to determine if root canal treatment is necessary. During treatment, the dentist removes the diseased pulp, cleans the canals of the tooth, fills them, and seals the tooth. A local anesthetic will be given if necessary.
The following outlines the steps taken to maintain the tooth through root canal treatment. You may have to make more than one visit.
To begin with, the dentist will administer local anaesthesia to make sure that you will not experience pain during the procedure.
He will then isolate the tooth with a rubber dam, which is a thin sheet of latex rubber or plastic to keep the tooth dry and isolated.
A cavity is prepared using a bur, in the crown of the tooth into the pulp chamber.
- The pulp or remaining tissue is then carefully removed from both the pulp chamber and the root canals.
- Each root canal is then cleaned and shaped to allow it to be filled.
- Medication may be placed in the pulp chamber and root canals to help eliminate bacteria.
- A temporary filling may be placed in the crown opening to prevent saliva from entering the chamber and root canals, or your dentist might immediately begin the next stage of filling the root canal.
- During the next stage of treatment, after placing the rubber dam, the dentist will remove the temporary filling (if one was placed during the previous visit). The root canals are usually filled with gutta-percha, a rubber-like material made from various tropical trees.
- In the final step, the temporary filling is removed and the tooth may be restored by a crown or a filling to strengthen and improve its appearance.
- The crown may be made of porcelain or metal alloy, and the filling may be made of many different materials.
- You might be prescribed antibiotics and other medication during the course of your treatment.
Believe in these before going for a root canal
Patients fear of root canal – It was believed to be one of the most painful procedure in dentistry and every patient who was advised to have root canal done used to fear to go to the dentist. But this is not a problem now, as good anesthetics are available which can subside the pain.
It is not time consuming – Earlier it used to take many visits for the completion of the root canal and this caused disturbance in the schedules of the patients and it was a hard task for them. Now it takes not more than 1 visit for the completion of the entire procedure.
Pain is not the only symptom- As said above, root canal should be done to prevent an infection, only the pain can not be taken as a factor to consider. If there is no pain in a particular region but there is some swelling with discoloration, the dentist have to properly check for the infection.
Better than extraction – It was believed entirely reverse of this. People used to believe in the fact that getting the tooth removed completely would be better than having root canal done. But maintaining the natural tooth for long can be helpful in proper chewing and strengthening of the tooth.
Also the cost for extraction is followed by its next procedure like removable denture or implant, which costs more than a root canal procedure.
Pregnant women – There are suitable anesthetics available for pregnant women and the x-ray required during the root canal treatment is small and focused only in the mouth region, so does not affect the abdominal region. So there is no restriction for pregnant women and they can have the root canal done, but prior to the treatment, the dentist should be kept aware about the fact that the patient is pregnant.
After Root Canal Treatment
There may be discomfort following root canal treatment. Over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or aspirin usually relieve discomfort. Dentist will prescribe or recommend medication for pain and/or infection if appropriate.
If the pain lasts more than a few days, or if severe pain or swelling occurs, you should call your dental provider.
A permanent restoration (silver filling, composite filling, or crown) is critical to the success of root canal treatment because it helps to prevent bacterial contamination and tooth fracture.
Recall appointments. The root canal treatment, permanent filling, and/or crown are evaluated for healing at recall appointments every 6-12 months at no charge.
Good oral hygiene. Your restored tooth has a better prognosis if you commit to good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups and cleanings.
During root canal treatment, the inflamed or infected pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned and disinfected, then filled and sealed with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. Afterwards, the tooth is restored with a crown or filling for protection. After restoration, the tooth continues to function like any other tooth.
Root canal treatment is needed when the blood or nerve supply of the tooth (called 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.
No. Usually, a local anaesthetic is used and it should feel no different to having an ordinary filling done. There may be some tenderness afterwards but this should gradually get less over time.
Root canal treatment consists of several steps that take place over several office visits, depending on the situation. These steps are:
First, an opening is made through the back of a front tooth or the crown of a molar or pre-molar.
After the diseased pulp is removed the pulp chamber and root canals are cleaned, enlarged and shaped in preparation for being filled.
If more than one visit is needed, a temporary filling is placed in the crown opening to protect the tooth between dental visits.
The temporary filling is removed and the pulp chamber and root canal permanently filled. A material called gutta-percha is inserted into each of the canals and is often sealed into place with cement.
In the final step, a crown is usually placed over the tooth to restore its natural shape and appearance. If the tooth is very broken down, a post may be required to build it up prior to placing a crown.How many appointments does root canal therapy take?
The number of visits it takes to complete your root canal treatment may be as few as one. With some cases, however, two or more scheduled appointments may be required.
Saving your natural teeth is the very best option, if possible. Your natural teeth allow you to eat a wide variety of foods necessary to maintain proper nutrition. The root canal procedure is the treatment of choice.
The only alternative to a root canal procedure is having the tooth extracted and replaced with a bridge, implant, or removable partial denture to restore chewing function and prevent adjacent teeth from shifting.
Any single root canal appointment will usually last somewhere between 30 to 60 minutes and, in some cases, possibly as long as 90 minutes.
If you, as a patient, have a preference or a need for short appointments (with the understanding that you will need to schedule more of them) you should let your dentist know.
Your treated and restored tooth/teeth can last a lifetime with proper care. Because tooth decay can still occur in treated teeth, good oral hygiene and regular dental exams are necessary to prevent further problems. To determine the success or failure of root canal treatment, the most relied-upon method is to compare new X-rays with those taken prior to treatment. This comparison will show whether bone continues to be lost or is being regenerated.
Root canal treatment is highly successful; the procedure has more than a 95% success rate. Many teeth fixed with a root canal can last a lifetime.
Root canal treatment is usually very successful. However, if the infection comes back, the treatment can sometimes be repeated.
The alternative is to have the tooth out. Once the pulp is destroyed it can't heal, and it is not recommended to leave an infected tooth in the mouth. It is best to keep as many natural teeth as possible.
A dental crown is an ideal solution for dental patients who have one or more teeth that have enough healthy tooth structure remaining to support a prosthesis cap. A crown fits over the natural tooth and is bonded in place, providing a more even distribution of pressure across the tooth and root. It restores a tooth’s function and natural aesthetic appearance.
Traditional crowns can cover teeth that have been partially damaged by chips, cracks, or decay. They protect the remaining healthy tooth. For patients who are missing a single tooth, a dental-implant supported crown is another option for restoration that fits over a dental implant titanium post. This is in contrast with a dental bridge, which affixes to natural teeth fitted with specialized crowns.
What are crowns made of?
There are three types of materials commonly used:
All-ceramic: due to the true revolution in dental industry. The “metal free” crowns are suitable for most cases. They combine excellent biocompatibility, high strength and high esthetics to ensure long-term success.
Porcelain-fused-to-metal: the crown is made from both metal (precious or non-precious) and porcelain. PFM crown are still very commonly used for the back teeth but do not meet today’s esthetic standards for the front teeth.
Gold: the use of gold crowns has significantly declined due to the importance of esthetic and the progress made in dental materials. However, in some cases they are still the best available option.
Crowns can be necessary for many conditions. Often times teeth crack or break as a result of large fillings, tooth decay, grinding your teeth, or a misaligned bite. When the tooth structure has been compromised, a crown is often prescribed to protect the tooth from further breakage. The crown covers the entire outside of the tooth, providing a strong, bracing action to support the underlying tooth.
Crowns are able to improve one's oral health as well as the aesthetic of one's smile.
If you have a tooth that is damaged or decayed, but still intact, a dental crown may be right for you. If your tooth is missing, but its former position is surrounded by other tooth structures, a bridge may be the solution for you. Schedule an office consultation to determine whether you could benefit from crowns or bridges.
Yes, your crown will look cohesive with the rest of your natural smile. We will choose a shape and color for your crown that matches your teeth, providing you with a natural looking tooth. In some instances, patients may choose to whiten their teeth prior to fabrication of the crown. This allows us to match the crown to their new whitened tooth color, giving them a natural aesthetic smile.
Your teeth will need time to heal following the crown and bridge placement process, so it is normal for you to experience some sensitivity – especially to hot and cold. Additionally, you may experience soreness in the gums surrounding your restorations, though this is usually manageable with ibuprofen and should subside within a few days.
These are restorations to repair a severely broken tooth by covering all or most of the tooth after removing old fillings, fractured tooth structure, and all decay. The restoration material is made of gold, porcelain, composites, or even stainless steel. Dentists refer to all of these restorations as “crowns”. However, patients often refer to the tooth-colored ones as “caps” and the gold or stainless steel ones as “crowns.”
No. While most teeth which have had root canal treatments do need crowns to strengthen the teeth and to return the teeth to normal form and function, not every tooth needing a crown needs to have a root canal.
If you are a candidate for a crown or bridge, your teeth will be reduced to ensure a proper fit. An impression will then be taken of your bite and used to fabricate a mold for the crown or bridge. If you are choosing porcelain prosthesis, its color will be matched to the natural shade of your other teeth. If a dental lab is making your crown or bridge, you may be fitted with a temporary restoration until the permanent one is ready for placement.
A dental bridge provides the same seamless appearance of a porcelain crown, crafted in our partner dental laboratory to match the color, shape, and size of remaining natural teeth. A bridge is a prosthesis comprising one or more artificial teeth that bridge a gap where teeth have been lost.
Using discreet attachments, the bridge prosthesis affixes to specialized crowns fitted over the natural teeth. Dental bridges have added stability because of their attachment to other teeth.
Our team of dental experts may recommend a crown to:
- Protect a weak tooth from breaking, or hold together segments of a cracked tooth
- Restore an already damaged tooth
- Replace a large filling when there is not enough tooth remaining
- Hold a dental bridge in place
- Cover a dental implant
- Cover a badly shaped or severely discolored tooth
- Cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment
Full or partial tooth loss, if left untreated, doesn’t just affect a person’s self-image — it can also increase the risk of developing nutritional problems and other systemic health disorders. Fortunately, there’s a reliable and time-tested method for treating this condition: full or partial dentures.
Dentures are the original false teeth. Partial dentures fill in the gaps where several teeth are missing, while complete dentures replace an entire set of teeth.
The fit of dentures is very important. They should fit well enough that they do not require the regular use of an adhesive. Top palette dentures often sit better in the mouth due to the suction that is created. Bottom dentures rarely fit 100%.
Unfortunately, dentures do not stop the bone less that comes with missing teeth—in fact, if you haven’t had teeth for many years, the bone loss is so great that a good fit is very difficult. And since the bone continues to deteriorate, you will need to be refitted for a new set of dentures every five to seven years.
Dentures are just one option for replacing missing teeth; some of the others include fixed bridgework and dental implants. Each method has its particular pluses and minuses, which should be carefully considered. There are also several varieties of dentures available to address specific issues, from partial dentures to implant-supported overdentures. During a consultation, we can explain the available options and help determine which is best in your individual situation.
How Do Removable Dentures Work?
Full or partial dentures consist of a gum-colored base made of plastic resin, which fits over the remaining alveolar (bone) ridge that formerly held the teeth. The prosthetic teeth projecting from the base are designed to look and function just like your natural teeth. Dentures are held in place primarily by the suctioning effect of their close fit against the alveolar ridges — that’s why it’s so important that they are fitted properly. The upper denture also gets extra support from the large surface area of the roof of the mouth (palate), which generally makes it extremely stable.
At first, wearing dentures may require some getting used to in terms of talking and eating, as the dentures become “balanced” in the space formerly occupied by the teeth. But over time, the muscles, nerves and ligaments of the mouth learn to work in new ways, which allows these functions to occur normally. Dentures also help support the facial skeleton and the soft tissues of the lips and cheeks, which can help create a more youthful appearance.
Immediate Dentures: These are usually a temporary means of helping you transition to successful denture wearing. Because of the muscular readjustment required, as well as the natural shrinkage of gums, the dentures which are placed immediately after tooth extraction won’t fit as well as permanent dentures made when the healing is complete. They do, however, provide you with new teeth right away, and give you time to adjust.
Conventional Full Dentures: After a period of time, we can fabricate permanent dentures that conform to your mouth with near-perfect accuracy. These are carefully crafted to look as much like your own natural teeth as possible, and are able to function properly in your mouth for a long time.
Implant-Supported Overdentures: To increase the stability of a lower or upper denture, it’s possible for it to be securely anchored using two or more dental implants. The upper jaw requires more implants (generally three or more) than the lower jaw due to a lesser bone density. Many people find this option offers a great balance of comfort, functionality and value.
Types of Partial Dentures
Transitional Partial Dentures:
These relatively inexpensive removable plastic dentures serve as a temporary tooth replacement and space maintainer as you wait for your mouth to heal from tooth extraction, for example. Once the healing process is complete, dental implants can be placed.
Removable Partial Dentures (RPDs): Usually made of cast vitallium, these well-constructed, metal-based removable partial dentures are much lighter and less obtrusive than those made of plastic. They are a little more expensive than plastic dentures but will fit better. They are, however, much less expensive than implants or fixed bridgework.
How Dentures Are Made and Fitted
Making quality dentures is a blend of science and art. First, an accurate impression (mold) is made of the alveolar ridges on the top and bottom of your mouth. The base of the denture is made from this mold in a dental laboratory. Working together, the dentist and lab technician choose from among many different sizes and shapes of prosthetic teeth to re-create a natural-looking smile. When everyone is satisfied with the result, the temporary dentures are made in permanent form.
To enable normal speech and eating, it’s crucial to balance your bite. This means that the upper and lower dentures come together and properly stabilize each other. We carefully check the form and function of the dentures to ensure that they are working and fitting properly.
What to Expect After You Get Dentures
If you’ve recently lost your teeth and received an immediate denture, it’s normal to find some tissue shrinkage and bone loss occurring. Therefore, in several months you may find that your immediate dentures no longer fit well. You will have two choices at this point: You can have your immediate (temporary) dentures re-lined. This means that material is added under the denture’s base to better conform to the new contours of your alveolar ridge. A better option is to move to a set of conventional full dentures, which will last longer and fit better. With proper care, dentures offer a functional, aesthetic and economical solution to the problem of tooth loss.
The best starting point to see if dentures are an option for you is to see your general dentist
Dentures may replace all the teeth or only some of the teeth. The dentures that replace all the teeth are known as complete dentures and they rest on the gums that cover the jawbones. The stability and retention of these dentures can be improved by attaching them to dental implants. Dentures that replace some but not all of the teeth are known as partial dentures. They attach to the teeth that are still present and also cover and rest on the gums and bone where the teeth are missing. Dental implants can also be used to restore and stabilize partial dentures as well.
Today, the technology behind prosthodontics has become so advanced that you probably will barely notice a difference in your appearance. Each set of dentures is personalized to your gums, lips, tongue...your whole mouth. Additionally, before you're given your permanent dentures, molds are made in wax for you to try them on and see how they look. The only difference in appearance you might have is the absence of decaying teeth, and the appearance of a healthy, beautiful looking smile.
When you’re first fitted for new dentures, it’s normal to experience minor irritation, which should fade as your mouth becomes accustomed to them. The period of pain varies. If you’ve previously worn dentures and now have a new set it may take longer. Similarly, if you had some natural teeth present that were removed at the time the new dentures, the areas where the extractions were performed may be painful or uncomfortable for up to several weeks after the removal of the teeth. Regular visits to your dentist or prosthodontist to adjust the dentures as you go through the normal healing process are recommended.
Most patients need to learn how use dentures properly and as a result, it takes a little time to get used to them. After a while, you should be able to eat fairly normally, but it may take more time to get comfortable with harder foods or sticky foods. Using a small amount of denture adhesive (no more than three or four pea-sized dabs on each denture) may help stabilize the dentures and help hold them in place while you learn how to get comfortable with them and may make the learning process easier.
Dentures and chewing gum do not usually work well together, no matter which brand of chewing gum you decide to try. The gum typically sticks to the acrylic plastic in the denture and may break a seal on the dentures, which will loosen them as a result. Gum may remain stuck to the denture and eventually harden and discolor. Ultimately, if you wear dentures, you should avoid chewing gum.
Prosthodontists and their teams are highly trained in the art of color and shade matching. Assuming it is a new partial denture, they can work to produce a match to your remaining natural teeth.
If the dentures no longer fit as well as they once did, you may need to have a procedure done to refit the base of the denture, called a “reline". Check with your dentist to see if your dentures can be relined. It is best not to reline your dentures with over the counter reline kits. However, this procedure will enable your dentures to fit better, and tighter, than they have previously. This procedure can be done by your dentist or prosthodontist, a specialist in denture care and maintenance.
The best solution is to return to the dentist or prosthodontist who made your dentures and have the cracked denture repaired professionally. It may seem easy to fix, but it is important that the repair is done correctly to prevent problems with chewing and to avoid any sore spots. The dentist also needs to check the denture and adjust it after it is repaired. The denture may be too old and may no longer fit closely to your gums, and you may need a new denture.
No, toothpastes are designed to be used on teeth, and they often contain materials and chemicals that help whiten and strengthen teeth, but may harm dentures, which are made of a very durable plastic. Even though the plastic is strong, it is not as strong as the enamel of teeth and may be scratched by using toothpaste to clean your dentures. You should use a dish washing liquid and a special denture brush to clean your dentures by hand every day. After rinsing them thoroughly, soak your dentures in water-based cleaning solution overnight. Do not use bleach on your dentures unless your dentist or prosthodontist gives you special instructions on using bleach. Dilute household bleach can be used to clean and disinfect your denture, but don’t use bleach until you see your dentist for instructions.
One of the most common reasons for feeling discomfort with your denture is due to food becoming trapped underneath the denture and causing irritation.
If this irritation is left untreated, it can cause the gums and jaw to become inflamed and sore. You can get rid of the offending simply by removing and rinsing your denture. After a while your dentures should feel comfortable again.
Although your dentures are made to specifically fit your mouth, they may need to be adjusted over time due to changes which can occur in your mouth. In most cases these changes are perfectly natural and are normally due to aging.
If you’re feeling somewhat self-conscious about your teeth, or just want to improve your smile, cosmetic dental treatments may be the answer to a more beautiful, confident smile. There are many cosmetic dental procedures available to improve your teeth and enhance your smile. Depending on your particular needs, cosmetic dental treatments can change your smile dramatically, from restoring a single tooth to having a full mouth make-over. Ask your dentist how you can improve the health and beauty of your smile with cosmetic dentistry.
Since teeth whitening has now become the number one aesthetic concern of many patients, there are many products and methods available to achieve a brighter smile.
Professional teeth whitening (or bleaching) is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment used to change the color of natural tooth enamel, and is an ideal way to enhance the beauty of your smile.
As we age, the outer layer of tooth enamel wears away, eventually revealing a darker or yellow shade. The color of our teeth also comes from the inside of the tooth, which may become darker over time. Smoking, drinking coffee, tea, and wine may also contribute to tooth discoloration, making our teeth yellow and dull. Sometimes, teeth can become discolored from taking certain medications as a child, such as tetracycline. Excessive fluoridation (fluorosis) during tooth development can also cause teeth to become discolored.
It’s important to have your teeth evaluated by your dentist to determine if you’re a good candidate for bleaching. Occasionally, tetracycline and fluorosis stains are difficult to bleach and your dentist may offer other options, such as veneers or crowns to cover up such stains. Since teeth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, it is also important to evaluate replacement of any old fillings, crowns, etc. before bleaching begins. Once the bleaching is done, your dentist can match the new restorations to the shade of the newly whitened teeth. Since teeth whitening is not permanent, a touch-up may be needed every several years to keep your smile looking bright.
Yes, it is possible to have your teeth removed and dentures put in the same day. The dentures are called immediate dentures and you should talk to your dentist or prosthodontist to see if that treatment is the best for your mouth.
Getting dentures for the first time is an adjustment, to say the least. There are many things you're going to have to practice a little to truly master - and speaking is one. Don't worry - it's not like relearning how to speak completely. You may experience some lisping at first, but it shouldn't take long to re-teach your tongue and lips where they go to regain you original speech patterns.
It's all an adjustment. Yes, you may have some difficulty at first, but you've spent a lifetime learning a particular way of eating. Now, you'll just need to tweak it a little. Because your natural teeth are rooted deep in your mouth, you tear your food away from its source. Picture biting into a piece of fruit. Normally, you would tear the piece you want to eat right away from the rest of the fruit. With dentures, you will learn how to bite into the food, and not pull your head away until it is already in your mouth. A small adjustment, but it will take some practice.
Yes, you can wear your dentures at night but it is preferred that they be removed. You should remove your dentures at night and this will give your gums and bone a chance to relax from the pressure of the denture during the day. If you need to wear your dentures for social reasons or to prevent your jaws from over closing, you should find time during the day to properly clean your mouth and your prostheses. You should never wear your dentures 24 hours a day without preforming proper oral hygiene. Dentures should be cleaned at night and stored in water during the night. Dentures can be made to look like your teeth or, if you want changes in your teeth, the dentures can be made to improve your appearance. You should work with your dentist or prosthodontist and tell him/her how you would like to look.
Like teeth, a dentist will recommend brushing your dentures after every meal. You should clean your dentures as soon after you eat as possible. Take the dentures out and hold with your thumb and forefinger. Make sure wherever you're cleaning them, it's never over a hard surface. Put a towel down on the vanity, or make sure the sink is full of water. If you drop them, they won't break. Get a good denture brush and denture cleaner, both available in every day drugstores and brush thoroughly, as you would if the teeth were in your mouth. Avoid using bleaching agents, as they will discolor the pink acrylic for the gum line.
Dentures should be looked after in the same way as you would look after your natural teeth. Firstly dentures should be removed from the mouth before cleaning and brushed with a specially designed brush, specifically made to clean dentures. Toothpaste is also not recommended for dentures, instead there are several brands of dental paste on the market, along with denture solutions which are used to soak the denture. It’s best to clean your denture over a bowl or sink containing warm water as this will cushion the denture should you accidently drop it. You should also leave your denture out of the mouth for a few hours, or overnight as this will give your mouth and gums a rest.
If you’re not wearing your dentures they still need to be kept moist at all times, either by placing them in cold water or in a recommended denture solution to prevent them from drying out when not being worn. If you are suffering from problems you should contact your dental professional. They will be able to check your dentures and make any adjustments necessary. Never try to adjust your denture yourself, as this could result in permanent damage. Caring for your denture in the correct manner will give you years of trouble free service.
It is not possible to whiten dentures like natural teeth because dentures are made of plastic. To minimize staining, properly clean your dentures daily to remove food and plaque bacteria. Brushing with a denture brush or soft toothbrush will prevent dentures from becoming permanently stained and keep your mouth healthy. Moisten the brush and apply a non-abrasive soap or denture paste (regular toothpaste is too abrasive). Brush every surface, inside and out, scrubbing gently. A variety of over-the-counter denture cleanser products may be safely used (by following the manufacturer’s instructions) to remove most stains. A weekly 10 minute soak in dilute household bleach is recommended but discuss it with your dentist first. However More stubborn stains may require removal by your dentist or prosthodontist. a specialist in denture care and maintenance.
Dentures typically last anywhere from 5-10 years. Even though your teeth are gone, your mouth and gums will continue to change shape for the rest of your life. Because dentures are artificial, obviously, they will not change with the shape of your mouth, and you will them replaced or adjusted. Also, make sure you see your regular dentist annually at least, so as to avoid any major problems you cannot identify yourself.
Although a quality pair of dentures is intended to last for a long period, over time they can become worn and fragile. If you have had your dentures for more than ten years, it is likely you will need to have them checked and replaced.
Dentures usually have a lifespan of between five and ten years and even though your denture may feel unchanged, unfortunately our mouths and jaws do change over time, often causing the gums and mouth tissue to shrink. To compensate for these natural changes to the mouth and gums, it may be time to think about replacing your denture.
Brushing and flossing help control the plaque and bacteria that cause dental disease. Plaque is a film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva that sticks to the teeth and gums. The bacteria in plaque convert certain food particles into acids that cause tooth decay. Also, if plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar). If plaque and calculus are not removed, they begin to destroy the gums and bone, causing periodontal (gum) disease. Plaque formation and growth is continuous and can only be controlled by regular brushing, flossing, and the use of other dental aids.
Toothbrushing – Brush your teeth at least twice a day (especially before going to bed at night)
Brush at a 45 degree angle to the gums, gently using a small, circular motion, ensuring that youalways feel the bristles on the gums.
Brush the outer, inner, and biting surfaces of each tooth.
Use the tip of the brush head to clean the inside front teeth.
Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.
Flossing – Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gumline. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.
Take 12-16 inches (30-40cm) of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 2 inches (5cm) of floss between the hands.
Using your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert the floss between teeth using a sawing motion.
Curve the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth and under the gumline. Gently move the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth.
You should have your teeth checked and cleaned at least twice a year, though your dentist or dental hygienist may recommend more frequent visits. Regular dental exams and cleaning visits are essential in preventing dental problems and maintaining the health of your teeth and gums. At these visits, your teeth are cleaned and checked for cavities. Additionally, there are many other things that are checked and monitored to help detect, prevent, and maintain your dental health.
Four out of five people have periodontal disease and don’t know it! Most people are not aware of it because the disease is usually painless in the early stages. Unlike tooth decay, which often causes discomfort, it is possible to have periodontal disease without noticeable symptoms. Having regular dental check-ups and periodontal examinations are very important and will help detect if periodontal problems exist. Periodontal disease begins when plaque, a sticky, colorless, film of bacteria, food debris, and saliva, is left on the teeth and gums. The bacteria produce toxins (acids) that inflame the gums and slowly destroy the bone. Brushing and flossing regularly and properly will ensure that plaque is not left behind to do its damage.
Inlays & Onlays
Dental inlays and onlays are restorations used to repair rear teeth with mild to moderate decay or cracked and fractured teeth that are not sufficiently damaged to need a crown.
Ideal candidates for inlay or onlay work typically have too much damage or decay in the tooth structure to be successfully treated using a filling, but have sufficient healthy tooth remaining to avoid the need for a crown. This allows the dentist to conserve more of the patient’s original tooth structure.
There are other benefits to inlays and onlays in comparison to metal fillings:
Inlays and onlays are durable — they’re made from tough, hard-wearing materials which last up to many years.
They help to strengthen teeth by up to 75 percent, unlike traditional metal fillings which can actually reduce the strength of the teeth by up to 50 percent.
Inlays and onlays prolong tooth life and prevent the need for more dental treatment in the future.
Dental inlays and onlays are used when old fillings need to be removed or replaced. A dental inlay is similar to a filling and fits inside the cusp tips (top edges) of the tooth. A dental onlay is more extensive and extends over the cusps of the treated tooth.
During treatment the dentist removes the old fillings under local anesthesia and takes an impression of the tooth, which is sent to the dental laboratory. The new inlay or onlay is made from this mold in porcelain, gold or composite resin material. The inlay or onlay is then cemented into place at the next appointment. The inlay or onlay blends successfully with the treated tooth and the rest of the teeth to achieve a natural, uniform appearance.
How are inlays and onlays done?
It takes two appointments for the inlays and onlays treatment to be completed and to be finally bonded to the damaged area of the tooth.
Inlays and onlays are performed using very similar procedures. At the first appointment, your dentist begins the procedure by numbing the area to be treated with local anesthetic. Any decay or damage is removed by drilling, which cleans and prepares the tooth for the dental inlay or onlay.
Using a small tray filled with dental putty that fits over the teeth, the dentist takes a mold (impression) of the damaged tooth. This impression is sent off to the dental laboratory, where a dental inlay or onlay is created that will fit your tooth exactly. Inlays and onlays are usually made from porcelain, which often most closely matches the normal color of the tooth, but they can also be made from composite resin or gold. While the inlay or onlay is being created at the lab, the dentist creates a temporary restoration (cover or filling) for your tooth to protect it until your next appointment.
At the second appointment, your dentist will remove the temporary restoration and then take time to ensure the inlay or onlay fits correctly. Only when the inlay or onlay fits perfectly will the dentist bond the inlay or onlay to the tooth with a strong resin adhesive. The inlay and onlay treatment is completed with a polish to ensure a smooth and aesthetically pleasing finish.
Each visit to the dentist for inlay or onlay treatment takes about an hour, with the first appointment taking slightly longer due to the preparation process. There will probably be a little discomfort after the inlay or onlay procedure, and the new tooth surface may feel a little odd, but you soon get used to the new tooth surface and how it feels and looks in your mouth. The tissue around the treated tooth may feel sore or sensitive, but this should subside in a couple of days. If you do feel some discomfort, you can take over-the-counter pain medication to alleviate the symptoms.