Porcelain crown is useful when a tooth is decayed or broken to the extent that fillings are not able to repair the damage. Porcelain crowns or “caps” wrap around the entire portion of a tooth and act as a new outer layer of the tooth in comparison to fillings which just cover a very limited part of the tooth.
The crown acts as a protective shell for the damaged tooth to strengthen it and at the same time improve the longevity of the tooth. With the right colour selection, a crown can not only help restore a damaged tooth back to its original shape but also blend in harmoniously with your natural teeth.
During your first visit, the dentist will reshape the tooth by shaving some of the tooth off to make room for the new “shell”. After that, an impression of the tooth will be taken in order to create the porcelain crown, using a special material. This impression will then be sent to the dental laboratory to create a permanent crown. While waiting for the permanent crown to be sent back to the dentist, the dentist will make a temporary crown to protect the prepared tooth as well as to improve the appearance of the tooth before the next visit. The colour of the temporary crown will usually match the original colour of your other teeth.
After the dentist receives the permanent crown from the laboratory, your temporary crown will be replaced with the new permanent one. Before permanently cementing the crown into place, the dentist will make sure that it fits and that the colour matches.
Tooth whitening is a professional treatment that can lighten the colour of teeth. This very popular treatment has very few side effects with the vast majority of people happy with the result that they achieve. It is done with custom fitted moulds and professional grade dental whitening agent that is applied to the teeth.
Whitening can remove the stains on teeth that can be caused by smoking, tea and coffee as well as other stains that develop over time. Whilst it is suitable for most patients, whitening is not suitable for everyone and therefore a careful assessment of the individual is required prior to treatment.
Two visits a few days apart are usually required. The first visit is to determine if the whitening will be effective and appropriate as well as to take the moulds of the teeth that will be used to make the whitening trays. The following visit the trays are checked in the mouth to make sure that they fit perfectly and instructions on how to use the trays are given.
The custom trays can last a very long time and once the initial whitening is done patients can keep the trays and whitening agent for a “top-up” in the future.
Bruxism or Tooth Grinding Treatment
Bruxism or tooth grinding is caused by reasons such as stress, bite problem or simply just a bad habit. Constant grinding will cause problems like worn teeth, loose teeth, chipped teeth, jaw muscle and joint soreness as well as headaches.
Treatment for tooth grinding involves two stages. The first stage involves the usage of a custom night guard, known as a splint to protect the teeth as well as decreasing inflammation in thejoint while relaxing the muscles. The splint must be made carefully to ensure that it does not exacerbate the problem. These splints are designed for long term use and therefore must be checked at the periodic check-up appointments, ensuring that they still fit the way they are supposed to. Most people will not need more than this for their grinding problem.
Depending on the seriousness of the damage caused to the teeth due to grinding, some patients may need to have their teeth built up to restore the lost height. As a result, normal chewing function is restored. This may mean that most teeth in the mouth need to be restored, typically with crowns or onlays.
Amalgam (silver fillings) have been replaced with other methods of restoring a tooth for many reasons. One of the main reasons is because of the nature of amalgam, it may expand causing the filled tooth to crack over time.
Composite resin fillings are one of the tooth coloured fillings that are commonly used, and it is done by sculpting the material directly in the mouth. Porcelain restoration on the other hand is fabricated in the laboratory based on an impression of your teeth and is stronger than the composite fillings.
Thus, many patients are replacing their amalgam for composite or porcelain fillings. Amalgam removal is being done under high speed suction in order to reduce exposure to mercury vapour in the process. Here, dentists use rubber dam because it greatly reduces the patient’s exposure to mercury vapour.
Traditionally a full denture is needed when an entire set of teeth is missing or damaged and cost is a concern. Cosmetic denture gives its wearer a smile that is designed for him or her. For a better fit, you can opt to have implants placed to help retain the denture. If only a few teeth are missing, partial dentures can be made to fit around other teeth so that the remaining teeth can be preserved.
Missing teeth not only affects your appearance but it also affects the health of your mouth.
Missing teeth can result in movement of the remaining teeth into the space. Adjacent teeth can “tip” into the space, and opposing teeth can over erupt into the space. Food traps often occurs if space is left un-restored for too long, which in turn leads to decay.
Imagine your teeth like bricks that form a wall. A missing tooth is like a missing brick. Apart from being unattractive, the structure is not as strong as a complete wall especially during heavy biting or chewing. The remaining teeth take more loading as a result of the missing teeth, causing them to crack and break more easily.
If enough teeth are missing the bite can be changed enough to cause serious problems with the jaw joint. It can also be quite uncomfortable to chew harder foods like nuts and cereals leading people to change their diets which can have a negative impact on their overall health. Replacing missing teeth should be considered when teeth are lost.
The options for replacement of missing teeth include:
- 1.Dental Bridge
- 2.Dental Implant
- 3.Partial or Complete Denture
Dental Inlays and Onlays
Dental inlays and onlays are conservative dental restoration methods alternative to fillings and full crowns. They are commonly used to repair small cavities or replace old fillings in molar and premolar teeth. They are typically made from ceramic. Dental inlays are restricted to bonded material at the centre of the tooth, while dental onlays bonded material can extend further to one or more cusps of the tooth.
Inlays have the advantage of being less destructive than crowns, whilst being stronger than composite resin fillings and retaining the natural colour. Ceramic inlays/onlays are the ideal restorative material to replace old amalgam restorations.
The placement procedure typically requires two visits. On the first visit, the tooth will be prepared and then an impression of the tooth that will be sent to the dental laboratory to create the permanent inlay or onlay. You will be given a temporary inlay or onlay to protect the tooth in the meantime. At the next visit, the temporary inlay/onlay is removed and the permanent one is cemented in its place. The bite is checked and the restoration is polished.
Gum disease is a very common cause of tooth loss in adults. Plaque and tartar build up on the teeth cause inflammation, and subsequent damage to gums and bone that support the teeth. If left alone, gum disease will cause bad breath, loosening of teeth, infection, and chronic gum pain.
Treatment of periodontal disease can stop the disease from worsening, and in some cases, reverse the damage helping to preserve the teeth for longer.
For more information please see our FAQ on periodontal disease.
Dental bonding is the process by which a broken or discoloured tooth is restored with a resin filling material that is bonded to the tooth. Dental bonding is relatively faster and cheaper than crowns or veneers. It is a quicker and less expensive option to make minor cosmetic improvements to your teeth. It only requires one visit, because the bonding can be done in the dentist office, without having to send anything to the laboratory for fabrication.
The dental bonding procedure usually takes 30 to 60 minutes for each tooth. The colour of the resin is first chosen to get the best match so that the restoration fits harmoniously with your smile. Then the surface of the tooth is roughened in order to ensure the best bond between the material and the tooth. Once the tooth is roughened it is then conditioned prior to application of adhesive. The adhesive is hardened with a special curing light, which is also used to harden the resin material that’s subsequently placed. The whole restoration is then trimmed and polished to make sure that there are no rough or sharp edges.
Dental veneers are thin covers placed over the front teeth to improve the colour and shape of the front teeth. They can be used to restore chipped or broken teeth as well as heavily stained teeth. Also, they can reshape teeth so that they have a more pleasing shape, and thereby improving the cosmetics of the smile.
There are two common types of veneers
- Porcelain veneers
– This type of veneers is more durable. It helps prevent the development of stains better, and uses materials that match very closely with the colour of your original teeth.
- Composite Resin Veneers
– This type of veneers is applied directly on the teeth to create the thin layers of shells, instead of being made in a laboratory.
Porcelain veneers require a minimum of two visits to the dentist. During your first visit, your dentist will prepare the teeth shaving a thin portion of the tooth away to make space for the veneers. How much needs to be removed depends on the shade and position of the teeth. After that, an impression of the teeth is taken, and this impression will then be sent to the dental laboratory to create the veneers. While waiting for the veneers to be fabricated, the dentist will make a temporary veneer to protect the prepared tooth, as well as to improve the appearance of the tooth before the next visit.
In your next visit, the temporary veneers are removed and replaced with the new veneers. The fit and aesthetics of the veneers are carefully checked prior to being cemented with a special adhesive.