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DENTAL IMPLANTS Dental Implants Dental implants are a type of artificial tooth root. They can be used for both functional and cosmetic purposes. Dental implants also provide a strong foundation on which dental crowns can be placed. These dental crowns can be designed to match your natural teeth allowing for a better-looking smile. There are various reasons why you might decide to receive dental implants. Sometimes they are a necessary treatment and in other cases, they form a part of a cosmetic dental solution. If you’re looking for a Perth dentist who specialises in dental implants for general- and cosmetic treatments, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Dental O So Gentle! Uses for Dental Implants Appearance – Dental implants can be used to enhance your appearance and when fused to the bone can both look and feel like your own natural teeth. Speech – For some people, ill-fitting dentures can pose speech problems. If you feel like you’re mumbling or slurring your words, dental implants can be a potential solution to prevent this from happening. Comfort – Both removable and partial full dentures can sometimes be uncomfortable to wear. Plus, sliding dentures can pose an issue when eating certain types of foods. Implants do not cause this problem, due to the permanency and rigidness of their application. Oral health – When you receive dental implants, the surrounding teeth do not need to be altered. This not only allows long term oral health improvement, but it also means that maintaining oral hygiene is easier due to the better access available between teeth. Convenience – The permanency of dental implants removes the necessity to take out your dentures, which can often be time consuming, embarrassing or both. Dental implants can last a lifetime when taken care of properly. If you’re interested in exploring dental implants for any of the above reasons, get in touch with your nearest Dental O So Gentle Perth clinic today. What is involved in receiving dental implants? The first step of receiving dental implants is the development of a personalised treatment plan. This will be a plan customised to address your specific needs, problems and situation, created by your dentist and implant surgeon. The actual application of the dental implants is performed through placing the titanium implants into the bone of the missing tooth. The jawbone then heals and grows around the implant, integrating it with the bone and anchoring it securely in the jaw. The healing and integration process can take anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks. Once the implant has integrated with the jawbone an abutment, which is the name of a small connector post, is then attached to the implant to further secure it in your mouth. Your dentist will take and use an impression of your teeth to then create a model of your bite and consequently a new tooth (or teeth). A replacement tooth, called a crown, is then attached to the abutment. In certain circumstances the abutment itself can be incorporated into the crown. Your new teeth are then customised to match the colour of your natural teeth and secured in the jawbone to ensure that they function, feel and appear like your other teeth. If necessary your dentist may do a bone and tissue augmentation to ensure that the crown appears as if it emerges out of the gum. An implant that is required in the area visible when smiling, may also need a temporary crown to hide the gap until the permanent crown is ready for application. Implant born dentures are applied in a similar way, with only the dentures being attached to the implant. How do I take care of my dental implants? Dental implants can be taken care of by following the same steps involved in caring for natural teeth – regular brushing, flossing and dental check-ups.
ORTHODONTIC CLEAR ALIGNERS ORTHODONTICS When consumers think about orthodontics, braces are the first thing to come to mind. However, orthodontics is more than just braces. Orthodontists are concerned with the position of the teeth, what has caused them to arrive at their current position, and what future movement may be needed so that a patient’s bite is fully functional. Your cosmetic dentist may have some orthodontic options available to straighten your teeth, ranging from conventional braces (with wires and brackets) to invisible braces (clear orthodontic aligners). Each method ranges in price and treatment length, and will vary by patient. Ask your cosmetic dentist about which treatment is right for you. CLEAR ORTHODONTICS ALIGNERS Clear orthodontic aligners can straighten a dental patient’s teeth without the wires and brackets of traditional braces. The aligners consist of a sequence of clear, removable trays that fit over the teeth to straighten them. Each tray must be worn by the patient for a specified amount of time—usually around 20 hours a day for two weeks–before the patient can progress to the next tray. In most situations, the aligners can straighten teeth in anywhere from six to 18 months. Clear orthodontic aligners are suitable for patients with mild or moderate crowding, or minor spacing issues. They may not be appropriate for patients with severe crowding or spacing. While the aligners can correct a mild malocclusion, patients with severe underbites, overbites or crossbites may require more advanced orthodontic treatment. Unlike traditional braces, the trays can be removed for brushing, flossing, and eating. Because the trays are clear, patients can undergo this type of orthodontic treatment without the usual discomfort associated with regular braces. Although treatment prices for aligners are normally set by the individual dentist or orthodontist, they can be more expensive than braces. If a patient fails to wear the trays properly, or loses them, additional costs may be incurred if new trays or impressions of a patient’s teeth are needed.
Gum Surgery Gum surgery is used to treat gum disease in cases when the tissue around the teeth is unhealthy and unable to be repaired through non-surgical treatments. Gum surgery can also be performed for cosmetic reasons, as a way of elongating teeth and improving the architecture of the gums. Whether you’re undertaking gum surgery as a way to treat gum disease or you’re choosing it for cosmetic reasons, Dental O So Gentle’s dentists are experienced and qualified in performing gum surgery. What is gum disease? Gum disease is also known as periodontal disease and is caused by an infection of the bones and tissues that support and surround the teeth. There are two types of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis. While gingivitis is the more mild of the two, periodontitis is severe and can spread beyond the gums and cause damage to the surrounding bone and tissues. What is gum surgery exactly? There are a few types of gum surgery and each case requires a customised surgery to suit the specific requirements of that situation. Flap surgery/ pocket reduction surgery – this procedure is the removal of tartar from underneath the gums and the reduction in the size of the space between the gum and teeth. This surgery is performed to decrease harmful bacteria growth and to prevent further health problems. In certain cases, irregular surfaces of the damaged bone can be smoothed over, to help and reduce the amount of places in which bacteria can reside. Soft tissue grafts – this type of gum surgery is undertaken in the event where the gums have receded too far or are too thin. A graft tissue, removed from the roof of the mouth, is then stitched on to the area that has been affected. This grafting process allows the lost dental arch tissue to be restored and improves the aesthetic appeal of the gum area around the tooth. Guided tissue regeneration – this procedure occurs when the bone that supports the tooth is destroyed. The aim of this surgery is to stimulate bone and gum tissue growth. A small piece of mesh like fabric is inserted between the bone and gum tissue, often done in combination with flap surgery. This prevents tissue growth in the area where the bone needs to regenerate, allowing for the regrowth of bone and connective tissue to support the teeth. Bone Surgery – Bone surgery is performed after flap surgery has already been done. The bone is reshaped to rid the surface of any craters that may promote bacteria collection and growth. What can I expect from gum surgery? If you’re preparing to undergo gum surgery here is what to expect: Before the surgery – your dentist will clean your teeth to ensure that it is in the best state possible to receive surgical treatment. You will then be given a local anaesthetic to numb the area. During the surgery – your dentist will fold the gums back to form a flap that allows access to the tissue below the gums. This infected tissue will be removed and the appropriate tooth will be scaled to remove plaque and bacteria that might be growing beneath the gum line. This process will also smooth out rough spots that would otherwise promote gum disease reoccurrence. After the surgery – once the surgery is complete, your dentist will put the gums back into place using stitches. The stitches are resorbable and will dissolve by themselves. Is there any long-term pain after the surgery? Most people experience only mild to moderate pain, which can be managed with over-the-counter painkillers. If you experience moderate swelling we recommend the application of an ice pack to the swollen area. If you’re taking antibiotics as per your dentist’s instruction, make sure to follow the instructions carefully. It is not uncommon for there to be bleeding or swelling after gum surgery, however if these symptoms persist or if any other problems arise, make sure to contact your dentist immediately.
DENTAL CROWNS Crowns A dental crown is an artificial cap positioned over an existing tooth. They can be made from metal or ceramic materials, and can be matched up in shape, size and colour to fit in with your natural teeth. They can be used in both general dentistry and cosmetic treatments to help strengthen a tooth or improve its appearance respectively. As a cosmetic dentistry treatment they can be used as a means of changing the look of your smile and fixing the appearance of your teeth. What is the process of preparation for a crown? A crown treatment involves a few steps. Firstly, you will need to have an examination to ascertain the health of the rest of your teeth. In certain cases, a root canal treatment may need to be performed first. Once your oral health is examined, your teeth will be prepared for the crown. Your dentist will provide a temporary crown during the time in which your permanent crown is being crafted. Once this is done, the permanent crown will be cemented into place. What is a temporary crown? A temporary crown differs from a permanent crown in both material and use. Temporary crowns are made from plastic and acrylic and therefore won’t last that long, making them perfect for use as an interim measure. Temporary crowns are used during the preparation stage, before permanent crowns are fitted. The reason temporary crowns are used is to help diagnose fractured teeth, allow the gums to heal after surgery, and to help plan the layout of your new smile. Whilst treatments do differ from case to case, it is more than likely that you will be fitted with temporary crowns prior to receiving permanent crowns. How do I care for my temporary dental crown? During the time in which you have your temporary crown, we advise extra caution, as it is not as stable as a permanent crown. It is best to avoid any particularly hard or chewy foods – including chewing gum, raw vegetables, hard lollies and the like. Additionally, it is best if you try and avoid chewing on the areas of your mouth with temporary crowns. We also recommend that your refrain from flossing the crown. How do I care for my permanent crown? Unlike temporary crowns, your permanent crowns do not require any specific or careful treatment, but of course they should be looked after with the same level of care as your other teeth. This includes brushing twice a day and flossing once a day. We do, however, strongly recommend that you follow our 6-monthly hygiene maintenance programme. For more information regarding this programme, please contact your closest Dental O So Gentle clinic. How long do dental crowns last? While it is hard to say, because there are many factors that can influence the time a dental crown will last, typically they can last for 5 to 15 years. Not only will your oral health affect the life of your crowns, but so will biting your fingernails, crunching on ice or similar substances, and grinding your teeth. In short the better you take care of your crown, the longer it will last. To find out more information about how to help your dental crowns last as long as possible, get in contact with one of our Perth dental clinics.
ROOT CANAL Root canal treatment is a treatment for repairing and, ultimately, saving a tooth once the nerve has become irreversibly damaged by decay or a fracture, and is infected. If treatment is not received, then the tissue surrounding the tooth could possibly become infected and an abscess may form. Root canal treatment is when the nerve and pulp (the centre of the tooth where the nerves and blood vessels are contained) are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. Whilst it might seem extreme, the nerve has to be removed due to the multiplication of bacteria within the pulp chamber. How do I know if I might need a Root Canal Treatment? You might need a root canal treatment if you experience the following: Severe toothache during chewing or whenever there is pressure placed on the tooth. Prolonged sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. (Especially once the stimulus is removed.) Tooth discolouration (darkening). Swelling and tenderness in the gums. Bad tastes in the surrounding area. A gum boil – a persistent or recurring pimple on the gums. Throbbing pain at night. Pain during running. Pain requiring relief by swishing cold water over the tooth. What happens during a root canal treatment? A root canal treatment will require at least one visit, and potentially more, to the dentist. The first step of the procedure is the taking of an x-ray. This will help determine the shape of the root canals and check if there are any signs of infection in the surrounding bone. Your dentist will then numb the area using a local anaesthesia. To keep the area dry and free of saliva during the treatment, a rubber dam (or separator) will be placed around the tooth. An access hole is made into the tooth, so that bacteria and decayed nerve tissue and debris removed. The tooth is then cleaned out using root canal files in our automated rotary system. Once cleaned thoroughly, the tooth is then sealed. A tooth that requires a root canal treatment is often one with a large filling or extensive decay, therefore making it weak. A crown is often required and placed on the tooth to protect it. This will help prevent breakages and restore it to full function. If any additional dental work is required, your dentist will discuss it with you. What should I expect after a root canal treatment? For the first few days after a root canal treatment, your tooth may feel sensitive. This is due to natural tissue inflammation, which can also be caused by pain or infection present prior to the procedure. This discomfort usually subsides after a few days, and it can be controlled using over-the-counter pain medications. What if the discomfort doesn’t go away? If you’re still experiencing uncomfortable pain after the treatment, you may need to schedule a five minute appointment with Dental O So Gentle in order to receive a minor occlusal adjustment. What can and I can’t I do after a root canal treatment? It is advisable that you minimise chewing on the tooth under repair, until the treatment is completed and the tooth is crowned. You can and should brush/floss as you do normally. If your tooth flares up and is too painful to touch, please call your dentist. This can happen occasionally due to the complicated nature of the root canal treatment. Either further canal cleaning or an occlusal adjustment may be needed.