Catch decay early so its easy to treat. A full examination includes a cancer screening, inspection of hard and soft tissues, inside and outside the mouth. Often we need to do a thorough cleaning in order to assess the teeth properly. X rays are often needed too as now the outer shell of the teeth , the enamel, can be very hard and fluoridated so will not break down as readily. This would seem to be great news except if the decay gets in through an inaccessible area and the tooth can rot from the inside out. This means that by the time the tooth collapses and the decay becomes obvious it is very hard to treat. Much better to get an x-ray and catch any decay so as to minimise any necessary treatment.
A crown is a “thimble” or “helmet” which fits over a tooth to protect it. Crowns are very strong restorations, but do require tooth reduction to make space. As such we try to be very conservative before subjecting teeth to this treatment. Crowns are usually necessary over root filled back teeth, cracked teeth or heavily restored teeth.
These are false teeth which sit on top of gums to fill spaces left by missing teeth. They are relatively inexpensive way to improve the appearance and function especially if a number of teeth are missing.
If we crown one or two teeth on either side of a space we can add a porcelain false tooth to fill the space.
Resin Retained Bridges
As above but the false tooth is held in by a metal wing which is not damaging to the remaining teeth nearly as much as a conventional bridge.
Most people expect dentists to disapprove of teeth whitening. There is an assumption that cosmetic treatment will damage the teeth. The good news about whitening is that research suggests that dentist-directed tray whitening can help kill the bacteria that causes decay and gum disease. On a personal level I’m delighted to provide whitening for my patients as its wonderful to be able to facilitate such an inexpensive treatment which will make people feel better about themselves.