Check up and cleans
Our routine check up and cleans are recommended every six months. This includes a thorough examination of the teeth and soft tissues, two bite wing X-rays, scale and clean and fluoride treatment. Xrays are taken every two-three years, as required, to check for decay in between the teeth and detect decay early.
Proper oral care is the key to maintaining good oral health. Preventive dentistry is one of the easiest way to maintain your smile. It is dependent on three factors, good home hygiene (brushing and flossing twice a day), a healthy diet and regular visits to the dentist. We recommended regular checkup and clean appointments every six months, so that small problems, such as decay and gum disease, can be detected earlier and treated before they become severe ones.
Healthy gums are important to maintain your teeth in position. Gum (Periodontal) disease is often a silent, slow acting and painless disease and many people are unaware until it is in the advanced stages. One of the most common signs of unhealthy gums is bleeding gums, bad breath and loose teeth. This can be usually treated successfully with regular cleans to remove plaque and tartar buildup. In severe cases, a referral to a periodontist can help to treat advanced gum disease.
By investing in your preventive care today and taking the time to care for your teeth and gums, you can save yourself from a lot of pain and expense in the long run and maintain a beautiful smile.
Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums which is usually caused by plaque; the sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth. Plaque should be removed daily by brushing and flossing. However, if it is not, it hardens and forms tartar which then irritate the gums and leads to gingivitis.
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease and is a reversible process. Signs and symptoms include swollen and tender gums, bleeding gums usually when brushing, and bad breath. If it is not treated, it can progress to become periodontitis, which can be detrimental to the health of your teeth and gums.
Periodontitis is characterized by the loss and destruction of the supporting tissues of your teeth due to inflammation and infection caused by bacteria. It often presents with mobility of teeth, gum recession, bad breath, painful chewing and sensitive teeth. Certain risk factors increase the risk for periodontal disease including smoking, diabetes, poor oral hygiene and genetic susceptibility.
Gum disease is often a silent, slow acting and painless disease and many people are unaware until it is in the advanced stages. Studies have shown that people with gum disease are more likely to develop heart disease and strokes. Women with gum disease were also more likely to deliver preterm, low weight babies.
Thus, it is important that early detection of gum disease occurs. Screening is carried out at routine check-up and clean appointments to assess the health of your teeth and gums. Early gum disease can be usually treated successfully with regular cleans to remove plaque and tartar buildup around your teeth. In severe cases, a referral to a periodontist can help to treat advanced periodontitis with deep cleaning of the root surfaces below the gums.
Our practice is proudly amalgam free. Our preferred choice of filling material is composite. Since we care about your smile, we offer tooth coloured fillings which can blend and match your natural teeth.Advantages of composites
- Composites require less removal of natural tooth structure ie conservative preparations
- aesthetic – white colour
- bonds to tooth, giving it greater strength
- sets instantly with the curing light
- can be repaired easily if damaged
We also offer porcelain onlays for teeth that need even stronger fillings
Do you do extractions?
Yes we do. There are several reasons why your teeth may need extraction. These include:
1. Severe periodontal (gum) disease: Bacteria in tartar (buildup) on your teeth can cause bone loss. The teeth may become very mobile and loose and require extraction if they cause discomfort in chewing or develop an abcess
2. Decay: Large decay can infect the nerve causing it to die. This can result in a infection (abcess) and present as a severe toothache. If you do not want to have the tooth extracted, we also offer root canal treatment so you can still keep your tooth and we can get rid of the infection
3. Broken teeth: Where a tooth is very broken down that it cannot be rebuilt up or restored then it will need extraction. We can also discuss ways we can replace the missing tooth
4. Wisdom teeth: Sometimes wisdom teeth become impacted where there is not enough room for it to erupt in you mouth. Over time, it may become hard to clean and develop a hole, requiring extraction. We can take out most wisdom teeth at Ashburton Dental Centre. For the difficult cases, we can also refer you to an Oral Surgeon, who will take it out for you.
We will always make sure that your tooth is very numb first before we do the extraction. We do not want you to feel any pain during the procedure as we want to make it as pain free and pleasant as possible.
Do you make dentures?
Yes we do make dentures, both acrylic (plastic) or chrome cobalt (metal) dentures.
First the dentist will assess your mouth to make sure there is no infection in the mouth, and that all the fillings are done. Once the mouth is healthy, the denture making process consists of a few steps
1. First impressions to make an impression tray that is individually made to fit the shape of your mouth
2. Second impressions are taken, which are a more accurate impression taken in the special tray. We will also record the way your teeth bite together at this appointment and choose a denture teeth colour to match your other existing teeth. (If there are no existing teeth, we can choose a colour together that will look as natural as possible for you)
3. Try in appointment will check the fit of the denture, before it is processed. At this appointment we can make sure you are happy with your denture, everything is stable. We can make changes if required.
4. Insert appointment: At this appointment you will get your new denture. We will check a few things and make sure everything feels comfortable for you. We will go over instructions on how to look after your dentures and how to keep them clean.
The denture making process is very thorough and does involve a few steps, but we want to make sure that everything fits perfectly so you feel comfortable with it when you are eating or speaking.
Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment is required when the nerve in the tooth becomes infected, either by bacteria in decay, cracks, a deep filling in the tooth, trauma or deep decay. This results in the nerve in the tooth dying and signs and symptoms present like a toothache. This can include
- Spontaneous pain – comes and goes and turn in to a constant throbbing pain
- Sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks
- Pain on biting
- Swelling around the gums
- There may be the presence of pus or facial swelling
- difficultly sleeping at night because of the toothache
Once the diagnosis is made and the tooth requires root canal, the treatment happens over several appointments, usually three.
The treatment is usually done with local anesthetic so that you don’t feel much pain during the whole appointment and a rubber dam may be used to isolate the tooth and prevent any contamination.
The decay is removed, and the nerve is taken out. This is usually a painless procedure, once the tooth has gone numb. The dentist will then flush the tooth to remove pus, bacteria and debris. The canals are then shaped or prepared to make sure that all the infection is removed. Medication in the form of antibiotics is placed in the canals and a temporary filling is placed on top. The tooth will be left for 3-4 weeks to make sure that the medication is disinfecting the canals.
At the next appointment the canals will again be flushed out and more medicine placed in the tooth to continue the disinfecting process. This will again be left for 3-4 weeks.
At the last appointment, the canal space is filled with a filling material inside the tooth so that there will be no more space for the bacteria to regrow again. The temporary filling will also be replaced with a permanent filling.
In many cases, once a tooth has undergone root canal treatment, it is important to have a crown placed on the tooth so that it doesn’t fracture or break and is well protected. Should you have any questions at any point in time, please do not hesitate to ask your dentist.
All mouth guards aren’t made the same. A custom-fitted mouthguard is made by a dentist using an impression taken of your teeth, which is then poured up into a stone model. Custom mouth guards are specifically made to fit your teeth. They are more comfortable in the mouth, allow you to talk and will not dislodge.
A boil and bite mouthguard is only a short time choice compared to a custom-fitted mouthguard. If a poorly fitting mouthguard is used during sports it offers little or not protection. It is best to let your dentist fit you with a custom-fitted mouthguard. A little investment in protection of your teeth can go a long way to prevent any serious dental injuries. You can also customise the colour of your mouthguard to your team’s colour.
For the patients who suffer from dental anxiety, we offer a few sedation options so that we can make your dental visit as comfortable and safe as possible. Please discuss this with your dentist during your appointment.
Crown and bridges
We also provide cosmetic services for aesthetic work. Whether it be implants, veneers, crowns and bridges. You are welcome to discuss this with your dentist.