Also called composite fillings, these are strong but perhaps not as hard wearing as amalgam fillings. These are tooth coloured and made from powdered glass quartz, silica or other ceramic particles added to a resin base. The shade will be matched to your own teeth.
These are silver coloured, made by combining mercury and a silver alloy. It is long lasting and hard wearing and has been used for over 150 years. It is economical to use and can last 15 to 20 years. This kind of filling is ususally used on back ‘chewing’ teeth.
Sealants are a safe and painless way of protecting your teeth from decay. A sealant is a protective plastic coating which is applied to biting surfaces of the back teeth. It forms a hard shield that keeps food and bacteria from getting into the tiny grooves in the teeth and causing decay.
ROOT CANAL TREATMENT
Also called ‘endodontics’ is needed when the blood supply or nerve supply of the tooth (called the ‘pulp’) is infected through decay or injury. You may not feel any pain in the early stages of the infection. In some cases your tooth could darken in colour which may mean that the nerve of the tooth has died (or is dying). This would need Root Canal Treatment. If the pulp has become infected, the infection may spread through the root canal system of the tooth. This may eventually lead to an abcess. An abcess is an inflamed area in which pus collects and can cause swelling of the tissues around the tooth.
An artificial restoration that fits over the remaining part of a prepared tooth, making it strong and giving it the shape of a natural tooth. It is sometimes known as a ‘cap’. It is an ideal way to repair teeth that have been broken, or could have been weakened by decay or a very large filling. It can also be used to improve the appearance of a tooth that has a discoloured filling, to protect the remainder of a tooth after a root canal filling or to help hold a bridge firmly in place.
Full dentures to replace all your own teeth fit snugly over your gums. They will help you to eat comfortably and speak clearly. Partial dentures replace teeth that are missing, and can sometimes be supported by the teeth you have left.
Bridges are ideal for people who don’t like dentures and only have a few teeth missing. Bridges are usually made by putting a crown on the teeth on either side of the gap and attaching a false tooth in the middle. The bridge cant be removed. They are usually made of precious metal bonded to porcelain.
Implants are an alternative to dentures and bridges, but they are more expensive. They are titanium rods which are surgically placed into the jawbone and act as anchors for fastening dentures or crowns onto.
Tooth Whitening can be a very effective way of lightening the natural colour of your teeth without removing any of the tooth surface. It cannot make a complete colour change but it may lighten the existing shade. Professional bleaching is the usual method used for tooth whitening. It involves using a special made tray which fits onto your mouth like a mouth guard, into which the whitening product is applied. The ‘active ingredient’ in the product is usually hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. As the active ingredient is broken down oxygen gets into the enamel on the teeth and the tooth colour is made lighter.