Fillings – repair & replace
Dental fillings are used to repair teeth that have become decayed or damaged.
As time passes, amalgam, or silver metal based fillings can make the surrounding tooth appear grey and unsightly. Old mercury based fillings can now be replaced by safer, modern tooth coloured filling materials that are not only highly aesthetic but also functional and durable.
Amalgam fillings (black or silver) – Do not bond (stick) directly to the tooth surface – unlike the composite (white) fillings – and hence have to be trapped within the tooth structure – sometimes this means that more of the natural remaining sound tooth has to be removed to help keep the amalgam fillings in place – this can be more destructive for the long term success of the tooth.
Composite fillings (white) – Are bonded (stuck) directly on to the tooth surface, thus strengthening the remaining natural tooth structure, they can feel very natural and are colour-matched to the surrounding tooth, making them appear almost invisible.
Whether amalgam fillings pose a health risk or not is a matter of controversy and the research has yet to definitely point one way or the other. If you are worried about this potential problem with amalgam fillings then please ask us for more details as we have alternatives that can be used.
If you are unhappy with your old silver fillings why not ask one of our cosmetic dental surgeons about upgrading them. For teeth which require larger fillings, a crown may be indicated.
Crowns & Bridges
If you have a weak tooth or are missing one or more teeth, you may need a crown or a bridge respectively.
A crown (also known as a cap) sits over an existing tooth that may have been broken or weakened by a crack, and will therefore serve to return the tooth back to its former strength, function and appearance.
A crown could be used for a number of other reasons, for instance:
If you have a large discoloured filling and would like to improve the appearance of the tooth.
Following root canal treatment crowns are often indicated to protect the underlying tooth structure from fracture.
Placing a tooth over an implant can also be done with a crown.
If you are missing one or more teeth, a bridge may be fitted. There are many types of bridges, from a very conservative Resin Bonded Bridge to a conventional Fixed Bridge.
The latter design (conventional bridge) uses either a single crown or multiple crowns on either side of the missing tooth to support an artificial tooth in the middle – known as the pontic.
However there are many alternatives to replacing a missing tooth.
(see treatment menu for links to Dentures and Implants)
Root Canal Treatment (Endodontics) – smile preservation
Endodontic treatment deals with the problems associated with the tooth nerve (also known as the pulp).
Nerve damage can be caused by a number of factors including:
If the nerve and nutrient supply of the tooth is damaged the tooth may throb, become sensitive to temperature extremes and even cause infection in the jawbone which could lead to an abscess (this is a collection of bacteria usually around the root of the tooth).
Traditionally, this type of tooth damage led to complete removal of the affected tooth but advances in dental technology now mean the problem can be treated with a root canal procedure which involves cleaning, disinfecting and filling the inside of the tooth and rebuilding it with a crown.
Some front teeth only have a single root canal and others (especially the back chewing teeth) have multiple root canals and therefore these can take a little more time to complete.
Extractions – can be a comfortable experience
We offer a range of services from simple extractions to removal of impacted wisdom teeth.
Most cases can be dealt with in-house – but on occasions we may refer to a specialist for a second opinion or treatment.
Following radiographic and clinical examination all options will be discussed.