Restorative and Cosmetic Dentistry
Strictly speaking cosmetic dentistry is carried out to enhance the appearance of the teeth in the absence of clinical disease. However all restorative dentistry or “dentistry designed to restore a tooth back to function” that we carry out at the practice is cosmetic. In other word the tooth or teeth should look better when we have finished than when we started!
What do these terms mean?
You may have read about some of the latest advances in dentistry and asked; what does that term mean? We hope that this glossary can provide some of the answers!
Food and drink, such as red wine, coffee and curry can stain and darken your teeth. Tooth whitening is the process of using an active ingredient (usually carbamine peroxide) to lift the stains off the tooth enamel. It is possible to whiten the shade of your teeth considerably and give a real sparkle to your smile.
If you have unsightly ‘black/silver’ mercury amalgam fillings these can now be replaced with white “composite” fillings. Modern white fillings are long-lasting, natural looking and are very strong thanks to dentine bonding technology. They are also the ideal option if you are at all worried about the potential risks of having mercury fillings in your mouth.
Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain shaped to fit over the front of your teeth thus covering any imperfections of shape and colour. They normally require some tooth reduction and are a long lasting, reliable way of delivering a ‘perfect smile’.
A Crown can be made from porcelain, special composite filling material or metal. The underlying tooth is often severely discoloured, broken down or misshaped. The tooth is carefully smoothed and an impression taken to record its new shape. A skilled technician makes the crown which ‘caps’ the tooth to improve it’s shape, size and appearance. They are commonly used in cosmetic dentistry to perfect your tooth position and appearance.
Bridges can be described as linked crowns. When a tooth or teeth are lost and there are strong teeth to either side of the gap, these strong teeth can be used a supports for linked crowns which reproduce the shape of the missing teeth. In function these artificial teeth are reliant on the strength of the supporting natural teeth. Problems can occur if the supports are weakened through gum problems or if the patient unknowingly clenches or grinds their teeth. Bridges can be used to replace one or more teeth.
Implants are the newest way to replace missing teeth. They are small titanium cylinders which mimic natural tooth roots. They are placed directly into the jawbone; the body accepts the titanium as a new root and heals around them. Eventually a new tooth or bridge can be connected to the implants. Implants can be very long lasting, can recreate a natural look and help retain the underlying bone structure.
Root canal treatment
Teeth can become painful to hot, cold and sweet when bacteria invade the dentine. If left for too long this tooth decay can become irreversible and a simple filling is not enough to stop the pain. The bacteria can also kill the nerve and cause an abscess, sometimes painlessly. Removal of the nerve (and the tooth decay) by root canal treatment removes the pain and in over 90% of cases is completely successful.
Is root canal treatment painful?
A local anaesthetic is used to make the tooth numb so that it does not hurt. Sometimes, if the nerve is already dead, it is possible to do root canal work painlessly without having an injection.
How long does it take?
A root filling is different from an ordinary filling and it takes much longer. As back teeth have more root canals than front teeth there is more work involved in thoroughly filing these teeth and the time required is quite variable. It will usually require two or three appointments of up to forty minutes each. After this, an ordinary filling and maybe, later, a crown will be required.
Bite splint therapy
Bite splints are sometimes required for patients who are experiencing painful or clicking jaw joints or who are grinding and wearing their teeth excessively. They are also use to stabilise the bite when patients are having large scale dental rebuilding work.
The appearance of your face is defined to a large degree by your teeth and jaws. Discoloured, poorly positioned and worn teeth can have a considerable aging effect. Tooth whitening, veneers, crowns, bridges and implants can help reconstruct your teeth and enhance your smile which will have a dramatic affect on your overall appearance.
Contact DetailsFor further information on any of the services featured on the site or to arrange a consultation please call us on 020 8950 2664, use the contact form below or write to us at:
Chiltern Avenue Dental Practice 32 Chiltern Avenue, Bushey, Hertfordshire. WD23 4QB Tel: 020 8950 2664