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Your guide to dental treatments

Dental Veneers

Dental Veneers are only available privately, and are a treatment for the discolouration of a tooth. They are of porcelain material, and can only be fitted after a portion of the tooth has been removed and an impression has been taken. The porcelain is then fitted over the top of the tooth.

Teeth Whitening

In recent times, it had become popular to have a brilliant white, ‘Hollywood smile.’ This trend has somewhat changed, as more and more patients are looking for teeth whitening solutions which provide a more natural looking tooth colouring.

Whitening of the teeth can be a longer process than many currently understand it to be. After your initial consultation, the follow-up involves regular trips to the dentist as well as having to wear a gel-based mouthguard. From start-to-finish, this form of teeth whitening should take a couple of months.

As an alternative to this type of treatment, laser whitening is also available – a treatment which takes around an hour to complete. For the vast majority of people, teeth whitening is regarded as a cosmetic product, and is therefore only available privately. Only in cases where there has been a medical reason for the discolouration of teeth, will the NHS consider covering this type of treatment for a patient.

Broken, Chipped, and Dislodged Teeth

In the case that, via injury or otherwise, you have broken, chipped, or lost a tooth, there will be treatments in each case that can solve the problem for you.

If a tooth is badly damaged or broken, or has even been completely removed from the gums, a denture or bridge may be required in order to fix the problem. For the majority of cases whereby a patient has suffered a chipped tooth, having a crown fitted is usually the most suitable solution.

False Teeth/Dentures

Dentures, more commonly known as false teeth, are a practical solution for those who have lost a significant number of teeth and need them replaced in order to maintain the functionality of teeth.

Dentures often have a full set of false teeth created from an impression that is made of the gums. A full set of dentures must be left in cleaning solution as and when required in order to ensure they are healthy for wearing inside the mouth throughout the day. Part dentures are also available, and are used in cases when a full set is not required. These can be cleaned as part of a normal toothbrushing routine.

Implants

Rather than dentures, which are removable, implants are an option which requires the false teeth to be permanently fixed into the gums. This is usually suggested when the oral health has deteriorated to the extent that the mouth will no longer be able to support removable dentures.

An implant is fixed using a titanium screw, which is fixed into the bone in order to keep the tooth in place. Implants can replace a large number of teeth, or much fewer if necessary. It can sometimes take numerous visits to the dentist in order to have your implants fixed, with the importance of getting the procedure completed correctly is paramount with a treatment of this nature.

Once again, dental implants, more often than not, are only available privately as a cosmetic treatment.

Cleaning/Polishing

This is a practical treatment that will be carried out by your hygienist. It is useful in removing build-up and difficult-to-remove bacteria that can rest on the surface of your teeth and in between your teeth and gums.

Root Canal

Root canal is a treatment of an infection of the inside of the tooth or, more specifically, an infection of the root canal system of a tooth. An untreated root canal infection inside a tooth can lead to the tooth eventually falling out.

During the procedure (which will consist of two or three visits), the infection will be removed from the inside of the tooth, and the tooth will then be resealed with a crown in order to protect the tooth form future infection.

Fillings

Fillings are provided as a treatment when tooth decay has damaged a tooth to the extent that it is required to fill a hole. The substance the dentist uses to apply a filling is called amalgam, and can sometimes be offered in colours which match the colouring of the tooth.

Crowns

This is the recommended treatment for chipped teeth. A crown is a metal or porcelain/metal combination which is used as a cap on top of a damaged or chipped tooth. They can also be used as a treatment to improve the appearance of a naturally misshapen tooth. In order to have a crown fitted, it may be necessary to visit your dentist two or three times, as the process involves drilling of the tooth in order to shape it correctly for conjunction with the crown.

Bridge

A bridge is another form of replacement for missing teeth. A bridge is fixed inside the mouth as it is supported by the surrounding teeth, of which an impression is taken before hand. The material of the bridge is metal and porcelain.

Posted by Oak Mount Dental Practice

Website last updated: June 2022

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