Routine dental care
Examination and oral health check
At the examination your dentist will discuss any problems you may have and inspect your mouth to check the following:
teeth and fillings
gums and oral hygiene
oral cancer screen
Once we have gathered all the necessary information, we will discuss our findings with you and mutually decide on a suitable treatment with an explanation of the likely costs involved. Arrangements will then be made for further visits so that the treatment carried out.
It may be appropriate to take radiographs of your teeth. This may be a periodic check to ensure that hidden areas, such as under fillings or between the teeth, are free from caries or they can be used to aid the diagnosis of a particular problem. Our digital radiographic system offers a great advantage over conventional radiographs as it significantly reduces the radiation dose and allows us instant sight of the area under investigation.
See our page on our hygienist services.
Historically, fillings on back teeth have been silver with cosmetic white fillings only being used for front teeth where the biting forces on the teeth are smaller. However, modern white fillings combine excellent physical properties with a natural appearance and can be used on most back teeth. They are bonded to the tooth so there is less reliance on the shape of the cavity for retention which means less tooth removal and stronger restorations. These materials are used in carefully controlled conditions, can be more time consuming and therefore generally more expensive than silver fillings.
White fillings are always used in front teeth; the variety of shades and techniques is improving all the time allowing more natural looking restorations to be placed.
Read more about our cosmetic fillings.
Local anaesthetic is given for all treatment where required, unless previously discussed with the dentist. Topical anaesthetic gel to numb the gum surface is used before administering the anaesthetic using a careful technique that causes surprisingly little discomfort. We realise that this can still be an unpleasant part of modern dentistry and we are very happy to discuss patient’s concerns regarding this or any other aspect of treatment.
Read about our root canal fillings.
Extractions can be a stressful and we will always try to make the procedure easy. Radiographs are taken beforehand so that individual difficulty is assessed and discussed if necessary. Difficult cases may be referred to a local specialist clinic if required or if sedation or a general anaesthetic is appropriate.
Crowns, or caps, are used for a variety of reasons. They may be used where the remaining tooth structure is very weak and liable to fracture during normal use as seen when a large filling fails or following a root filling. They can be used to improve the appearance of a tooth. They can be made from a number of materials including ceramic alone, ceramic bonded to metal or simply gold alloy. The preferred choice depends on the clinical situation of the tooth and your dentist will discuss the appropriate type of each type of restoration before a decision is reached.
Sometimes it may be necessary to place an adhesive filling in the tooth prior to making the crown to provide a firm foundation.. At the first visit, the tooth will be trimmed to make space for the crown to fit over the tooth without disturbing the bite. An impression is taken and a temporary crown then fitted while the dental laboratory constructs the restoration. The patient attends for a second visit, when the crown is cemented in place, ensuring that the appearance, fit and bite are acceptable.
On occasion, a short post is fitted into the root of a very weak root-treated tooth prior to a crown being made to provide more strength and support.