General dentistry involves check-ups, clean, x-rays, fillings, some extractions. During dental examinations, we conduct tests and take digital x-rays. We use our extensive expertise to diagnose dental problems. An individualized plan is then developed to prevent or to treat the diagnosed issue.
Dental fillings are used to repair damage to the structure of a tooth or teeth. Structural damage can be caused as a result of tooth decay, wear, or trauma. After the removal of a problematic tooth structure, the tooth is restored with one of several filling materials: gold, amalgam, composite resin (white filling material), or porcelain. Each filling material has its advantages and disadvantages. We will work with you to determine which material is appropriate for you.
On some areas of your mouth, you may have a build-up of calcium deposits on the teeth. This is called calculus or tartar. If left in place the gum can become inflamed under the calculus area, so we will make a note of this and may wish to provide some cleaning for you as part of your dental treatment.
We also have a general look around the skin of your mouth (technically, 'the mucosa'). This does not involve probing and should be a purely visual check to make sure everything is healthy.
After having most of the information that we need, can give us a run-through of findings, and answer any questions that you may have. We should be able to give you a rough idea of how many appointments you will require and estimate a cost for your treatment.
As part of a routine check-up of your mouth, we look at the foundations of your teeth, or in technical speak 'your gums'! You may notice from time to time when you are brushing your teeth that there is a little bit of blood when you spit out. This bleeding may indicate the presence of gingivitis or gum disease.
We use a small probe to gently run around the necks of your teeth where they meet the gums. The first signs of gum disease always start here. By doing this check, we can identify any areas where gum disease is present.
Oftentimes just telling you where you may have been missing the gum during brushing will solve this problem.
Dental x-rays provide a picture of what's happening in areas we normally cannot see.
Early decay, impacted teeth, abscesses, and bone loss from gum disease are all things that dental x-rays reveal.
When the nerve in a tooth is badly damaged, either by accidental trauma or because of dental decay, sometimes we perform Root Canal Therapy, where a hole is made into the tooth and the damaged nerve (or pulp) is removed with a special file and replaced with a filling material. Usually, the tooth is later fitted with a new top called a Crown to help it remain strong.
There are a number of reasons why the tooth, or even several teeth, extracted.
A tooth extraction might be indicated if repairing a damaged tooth is not practical.
a) Broken, cracked, or extensively decayed teeth can be extraction candidates.
b) Teeth that are unsuitable candidates for root canal treatment should be extracted.
c) Teeth associated with advanced periodontal disease (gum disease) may need to be pulled.
Malpositioned or nonfunctional teeth may need to be extracted.
Tooth extractions may be required in preparation for orthodontic treatment (braces).
During their examination of your teeth and mouth, it is possible that may recommend one or more alternative treatments to have a tooth extraction. While extracting a tooth might be less expensive than the other treatment options in the long-run. When a tooth is removed its neighboring teeth will tend to shift, sometimes significantly. Any alignment changes that do occur can have a major impact on your dental health.
Removing even a single tooth can lead to problems associated with chewing ability or jaw joint function. Additionally, teeth whose alignment has changed can become traps for food or be harder to clean thoroughly, thus placing them at greater risk for tooth decay and gum disease.
So to avoid these types of complications, in most cases we probably recommend you to replace any tooth that has been extracted. Replacing a tooth after extraction with an artificial one can easily cost more than the alternative of not extracting a tooth and instead of rebuilding it.