Crowns are first and foremost functional and not as many people assume cosmetic. The crown is considered when the tooth has lost so much tooth structure, it is so weak it could easily fracture. Crowns act primarily as a stress breaker for the tooth. Instead of the full force of the bite hitting one part of the tooth at any one time, the crown, which is like a shell that binds the underlying tooth/filling complex together, dissipates the force throughout the entire complex below. Dental crowns are restorations that protect damaged, cracked or broken down teeth. A crown strengthens your existing, damaged tooth so as to preserve its functionality. Dental crowns are also commonly known as caps (because a crown sits over your existing tooth, covering the entire outer surface) There are many types of crowns from all white porcelain, to gold/silver, to porcelain fused to metal.
Root Canal treatment is undertaken as an option when the tooth has become infected, and the patient is anxious to save the tooth. Success of root canal is multifactorial and the dentist will explain the risks to you during your consultation. The procedure involves isolating the tooth with a rubber dam, accessing the neurovascular complex i.e. the nerve and blood supply, and removing the necrotic or dead tissue. The canal is then cleaned, shaped and sterilised. Finally, it is sealed with a variety of differing root filling materials before finally being restored by the dentist.
Extractions are undertaken when the tooth is no longer viable and a potential source of infection or pain for the patient. This course of treatment is normally arrived at when all other options are not possible or when for financial/personal reasons the patient does not wish to try to save the tooth. All extractions, including most wisdom teeth removal, are done under local anaesthetic unless the difficulty or disposition of the patient requires sedation or very rarely general anaesthetic.
Amalgam is the silver coloured alloy most people are familiar with when they see fillings in their/others mouths. Despite its bad press with regards to Mercury release and the systemic effects, it is still the most widely placed material today. This is due to its relative low cost and ease of use. For those who do not want silver fillings in their teeth there are a wide range of options available. We will discuss this with you after your examination.
White (Composite) fillings are usually made of either composite or porcelain. For the most, composite can be done directly in the chair and porcelain is fabricated in the lab. Each one has its merits and limitations. Composite fillings are the most used direct filling we employ in the clinic today. Much of the early limitations of composites such as shrinkage and wear resistance have been mostly eliminated newer materials and techniques. Nine out of ten cavities can be restored confidently now in the clinic. The various options of fillings available will be discussed with you at your initial appointment after we have done our comprehensive consultation.
Dentures/False Teeth—Dentures, as most people know, are removable prostheses designed to replace the teeth and the gums following extractions of your natural teeth. Sometimes they can be used solely as an interim measure until the bone heals and a more fixed solution can be realised, such as the implant or bridge.There are many types of dentures from simple acrylic to metal framed to dentures which lie over existing roots or attached to crowns. Each case is specific to the patient and the choices will be discussed with you during consultation. Despite the negative association with false teeth, many people young and old alike continue to wear dentures with great success. With modern materials and techniques, dentures can be a tremendous solution for many patients.
Indirect Inlays and onlays are made outside the mouth, usually in a dental laboratory, and are then cemented to the tooth in the surgery. They can be made in tooth coloured porcelain, gold or a material called composite. Inlays and onlays are strong and long lasting and suitable for the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. Direct Onlays are made much in the same way as composite, chairside, and are a cheaper alternative to porcelain.
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