A dental extraction is a procedure to completely remove damaged, unrestorable teeth from your mouth. This procedure is only required if your damaged tooth is beyond repair; leaving a damaged tooth in the mouth will likely cause more problems in the future.
Conditions that tooth extraction is considered under include:
- Severely decayed tooth that is beyond repair
- Advanced gum disease
- Impaction of erupting teeth, including wisdom teeth where the impaction is causing problems
- A painful tooth where other treatment would not be effective
- Super-erupted tooth that is causing food impaction or bite problems
All dental extractions require a recent x-ray of the tooth to assess the roots of the tooth to determine how easily the tooth can be removed.
Anaesthetic is given to numb the area of the affected tooth before the extraction is done. During the extraction, you might feel the pressure of the tooth being removed but you will not feel any pain because of the anaesthetic. Most simple extractions only take a few minutes.
It is normal to see a small amount of blood immediately after the extraction. Your dentist will help to minimize the bleeding by placing gauze over it.
Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy is only performed on a patient who suffers from deep cavity infection or serious cracked tooth in order to repair or save the tooth from being completely removed.
There are several signs that you might need a root canal therapy.
- Severe tooth pain when chewing
- Sleepless night caused by toothache
- Intense and lingering sensitivity on your teeth when reacting to hot or cold
- Discoloration or darkening of the tooth
- Swollen gums
Modern root canal therapy is painless. Anaesthetic is given to numb the tooth prior to commencing the treatment.
First, through the crown of the affected tooth, an opening is made into the pulp chamber. Then the soft tissue inside the tooth is then removed and the root canal is cleaned thoroughly and medication is placed into the canals. Usually, this procedure requires multiple visits as time is required to allow the medication to disinfect the root canals. The dentist will make sure that your tooth is protected with a temporary filling in between your visits. At the next visit, the dentist will remove the temporary filling, clean the root canal and pulp chamber and fill the root canal with a special filling material. All this is usually done under rubber dam to prevent saliva and bacteria from the mouth entering and re-infecting the tooth.
Finally the tooth will have a permanent filling or crown over the top. In most cases, root canal therapy has a high success rate and can last for a very long time.
Composite resin is a modern restorative material that is used to fill teeth where the cavity or space to be restored is small to medium. While there are multiple options for the material used in the filling procedure, most common and effective is composite resin. Composite resin has the advantage of being tooth coloured or “white” so that it matches the tooth perfectly.
With composite resin, less tooth structure needs to be removed in the preparation, as compared with amalgam fillings. This then allows more surface area to bond the filling to as well as providing a stronger overall tooth. Composite resin comes in many shades and colours that can be matched to the colour of your original teeth, allowing composite fillings to be used on your front or highly visible teeth.
The length of time needed depends on the size of the restoration. There are several steps in the procedure. First, the teeth are anaesthetised to prevent any pain or sensitivity, then the decayed portion of the tooth is cleaned. Next the tooth is prepared for bonding of the filling to the tooth. The adhesive is applied and hardened under a special light. The filling is then applied in thin layers to make sure that they are all hardened sufficiently. The final step to this procedure is to adjust and polish the filling so that it fits your bite and to make sure that you are comfortable.
Rubber dam is used wherever possible. Rubber dam is used to isolate the teeth from the rest of the mouth. It helps to keep the teeth dry when bonding composite resin and helps retract the tongue and lips. It will also help to prevent debris from falling into the mouth making the whole experience more comfortable for patients.
Dental Exams and X-Rays
Routine dental examinations are very important to maintaining a healthy mouth. With frequent, regular checkups, we can prevent dental disease and avoid complicated treatment as well as save the expense of that treatment in the long-term. It is recommended that patients of all ages have a dental examination twice a year. X-rays should be taken every 1 to 2 years to help detect the presence of decay and other conditions that are not visible to the eye.
In a regular dental exam, we will firstly examine the patient’s mouth visually using mouth mirrors, dental explorers and high intensity lights to visually detect problems. Important things that we look for in every exam include the following:
- Tooth Decay/ Tooth Wear
- Oral Cancer Screening
- Gum Disease
- Quality of existing restorations.
- Quality and Quantity of saliva
- Bite problems
If during the initial exam we suspect any hidden problems that cannot be picked up with the naked eye, patients may require diagnostic x-rays to help with further assessment of the problem and deciding on appropriate treatment.
Photographs may be taken of the mouth to serve as a record but also to allow patients to better understand their own oral condition.
Regular dental cleaning is extremely important in order to maintain good oral health. Regular professional dental cleaning at the clinic can help you remove plaque and tartar that develops on and in between your teeth that is impossible to remove by daily brushing and flossing. It is highly recommended that you visit us and have a professional dental cleaning every six months.
Dental cleaning takes about 30 minutes to an hour depending on the condition of the teeth and the time since the last clean. Most of the time, this procedure is rather painless and causes very little sensitivity to the teeth.
Professional dental cleaning involves two core steps of scaling and polishing. Teeth are first scaled to remove tartar and plaque build-up. This is usually done with an ultrasonic scaler or manually with a hand instrument. Thorough scaling also involves scaling the in between teeth and near the gums to remove tartar that has built up there where it is hardest to reach. When the scaling is done, the teeth are then polished to remove any remaining plaque as well as stains on the teeth.
Finally, a Fluoride gel is applied to the teeth to help restore the mineral content in the enamel, thereby adding protection from decay as well as reducing sensitivity.