Does your smile need a makeover?
Believe it or not the fundamentals of good dentistry involve minimal or no actual treatment! One of our key mantras is ‘prevention is better than cure.’ We believe with the right education and motivation the majority of all dental problems can be avoided. Taking ownership of your own oral health is the first step. We will work with you, as a team, to guide you to better oral health.
The World Health Organisation defines oral health as:
A state of being free from mouth and facial pain, oral and throat cancer, oralinfection and sores, periodontal (gum) disease, tooth decay, tooth loss, and other diseases and disorders that limit an individual’s capacity in biting, chewing, smiling, speaking, and psychosocial wellbeing.
It is important to realise that good oral health goes well beyond just having good teeth!
We advise all our patients to attend for routine examinations and cleans every 6 months.
This allows us to pick up any potential issues well in advance, as well as ensuring that you are maintaining good oral hygiene habits at home.
Our gold standard is brushing twice a day with an appropriate electric tooth brush and flossing daily. This ensures plaque is adequately removed, thus reducing your individual risk for dental decay and gum disease. Speak to of our professionals in depth about what is best for your mouth. We will work with you to ensure you are getting the basics right.
A well-balanced diet will benefit all aspects of your general well-being. Please ensure sugary and acidic foods and drinks are avoided where possible. In this day and age hidden sugars are found all over, so it is up to you to research and be mindful of what you put in your mouth.
Everyone should live life to the fullest, but sometimes this may include choosing vices such as smoking and alcohol. Did you know that smoking and drinking significantly increases your risk of gum disease and oral cancer?
Our teeth are anatomically evolved to have grooves and notches in them called ‘fissures.’ These fissures are what allow us to chew and process efficiently – however, they can also collect decay causing bacteria when not properly cleaned. Thus, where possible, fissure sealants can be used to block out the deepest and harder to reach parts of the fissure. This makes them easier to clean and less susceptible to decay. Fissure sealants are highly recommended for all children as soon as their adult teeth have erupted.
Tooth decay is arguably the most commonly treated problem at the dentist. It normally occurs as a result of a combination of dietary sugars and poor oral hygiene. These sugars are processed by bacteria on your teeth that results in the production of decay causing acids.
Historically, tooth decay was filled with amalgam (silver fillings). Amalgam fillings are still found in the majority of the public. However, with advances in dental materials, and the increased demand for better aesthetics, white fillings are the material of choice.
Modern day white fillings (composites) have a range of advantages over their amalgam predecessor. They contain no mercury, are structurally stronger, bond to the tooth, and are aesthetically more appealing.
The process of restoring a tooth with a white filling is very simple. Depending on the size of the cavity, you may or may not need local anaesthesia. The decay is removed with drilling, we must ensure all of the infected tooth material is removed, to leave a nice clean healthy surface. The composite white resin filling is then bonded to the clean cavity. The final stages involve the dentist using his artistic flair to manipulate the composite to mimic your original tooth.
Root Canal Treatment
Contrary to all the horror stories that exist, root canal treatment can be very straight forward and part of routine dental treatment.
Every tooth has a nerve and a blood supply, thereby giving you sensation and the ability to gauge stimuli (hot/cold/pressure) in the mouth. When bacteria are allowed to progress into the core of the tooth because necessary restorative work hasn’t been conducted, the natural defensive mechanisms of our body are overwhelmed and the result is a toothache or in the dental world, a pulpitis (inflammation of the nerve). Trauma can also cause the nerve within the tooth to become problematic. The heavy force associated with a traumatic injury will sever the blood supply of a tooth and lead to the same eventual outcome; root canal therapy.
Root canal treatment aims to remove the dying nerve, bacteria and blood supply from the tooth, thereby rendering it dead or non-vital but still present and functioning in your mouth. This allows you to keep the tooth for hopefully a substantial period of time without the need to extract it and worry about replacing what is lost.
The tooth must be isolated during treatment, this prevents bacteria entering a canal system that is in the process of being disinfected. To do this we typically apply a rubber dam; a sheet of rubber used to cover the rest of the mouth and separate the tooth from everything else.
Once isolation is achieved, the next step is to locate the number of canals present within the tooth. This involves removing all the decay and accessing what is known as the pulp chamber. Teeth can have a varying number of root canals, this will affect the treatment time, cost, longevity and success rate. Our experienced clinicians will grab pictures of each stage to make sure you are fully comprehensive and aware of what is happening during treatment.
Once the number of canals has been determined, the next stage is to establish how long each of these are and begin cleaning them out from the inside. We use specialised machinery for this process with the aim of removing as much of that bacteria as possible. This is all painless as the anaesthetic will ensure nothing is felt during the process.
After the canal system has been cleaned and sterilised as best as possible, the next stage is to fill this whole system up. Again, specialised instrumentation is used with the aim of blocking these canals up and preventing bacteria from flooding back into them, thereby increasing the success rate of the treatment.
Finally, the root canal treatment is finished and sealed, our experienced clinicians will then restore the tooth with a filling material to provide you with functionality. This aims to restore the original purpose of the tooth prior to treatment.
If a tooth is no longer saveable, the inevitability of an extraction arises. Sometimes this cannot be avoided and we at TC Smiles understand the stress that this might cause you. As such, we will ensure that you are always fully informed about the procedure and its consequences, as numb as can be to guarantee a pain free treatment and leaving with a smile on your face.
We are fully capable of performing a wide array of extractions, whether they be single tooth, multiple teeth, wisdom and surgical processes or impacted wisdom teeth. Thankfully, the days of traumatic extractions are long gone.