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General Dental Services
You may assume you should have a dental check-up every 6 months, but some people may not need to go so often and others may need more frequent checks. Your dentist will suggest when you should have your next check-up based on how good your oral health is.
The time between check-ups can vary from 3 months to 2 years, depending on how healthy your teeth and gums are and your risk of future problems. A check-up allows your dentist to see if you have any dental problems and helps you keep your mouth healthy. Leaving problems untreated could make them more difficult to treat in the future, so it’s best to deal with problems early, or, if possible, prevent them altogether.
A scale and polish is when your teeth are professionally cleaned by the hygienist or dentist It involves carefully removing the deposits that build up on the teeth (tartar).
Fluoride treatments are also offered if appropriate. Your dental team are on hand to offer advice that can help improve your general oral health. This includes which products to use, how to use them and any dietary or lifestyle advice that could be affecting your oral health.
Fillings are used to repair a hole in a tooth caused by decay. The most common type of filling is an amalgam, made from a mixture of metals including mercury, silver, tin, copper and zinc. Your dentist will offer the most appropriate type of filling according to your clinical needs. This includes white fillings, if appropriate.
A bridge is a fixed replacement for a missing tooth or teeth. It’s made by taking an impression of the surrounding teeth, which will eventually support the bridge.
A bridge is usually created from precious metal and porcelain and will be fixed in your mouth (unlike dentures, which can be removed).
If your tooth is damaged or decayed and can’t be repaired, or is very difficult to repair, you may decide to have it removed. Your dentist will consider removing a tooth a last resort.
If your tooth is broken or decayed, they’ll try to repair it with a filling or crown first. But if they can’t repair it, the best option may be to take your tooth out. They’ll talk through your options with you.
Root Canal Work
Root canal treatment (also called endodontics) tackles infection at the centre of a tooth (the root canal system). When the blood or nerve supply of the tooth has become infected, the infection will spread and the tooth may need to be taken out if root canal treatment isn’t carried out.
During treatment, all the infection is removed from inside the root canal system. The root canal is filled and the tooth is sealed with a filling or crown to stop it becoming infected again. Root canal treatment usually requires 2 or 3 visits.
More commonly known as false teeth, dentures are fitted in place of natural teeth.
A full set is used to replace all your teeth. A part set is used to replace 1 or more missing teeth. Dentures are custom-made using impressions (mouldings) from your gums. They’re usually made from metal or plastic. They’re removable so you can clean them, although part dentures can be brushed at the same time as your other teeth.
A full set needs to be removed and soaked in a cleaning solution. Dentures are important if you lose your natural teeth, as losing your teeth makes it difficult to chew your food, which will adversely affect your diet and may cause your facial muscles to sag.
Gum Shields / Bite Guards
A gum-shield or bite guard is often required by people who play impact sports and want to protect their teeth but also for other reasons such as to prevent tooth grinding at night and thus preventing erosion. These are made with the help of your dentist.
The dentist takes an impression of your teeth and sends it to a dental technician to be made. The dentist then makes sure it fits your teeth properly and comfortably. The procedure takes two visits. These gum-shields provide the best protection over the shop bought options.