Although the world of cosmetic dentistry is ever expanding, and constantly offering more and better hi-tech treatments aimed at transforming the appearance of a patients smile, there is still a place for what might be termed general dentistry. This term, generally speaking, covers a huge range of procedures aimed at diagnosing dental problems and coming up with the best way of treating them. Problems can range from decay and missing teeth to gum disease and uneven bites, and your dentist will utilise a wide range of tools and techniques in order to best diagnose what is wrong with your teeth and how best to set about treating it. There are many general dentistry types, and amongst the most common and widely implemented are the following:
Dentures – this treatment is the easiest way to replace missing teeth, whether that means just a few teeth or all of them. Dentures can be fitted as soon as the teeth have been removed, meaning that nobody else need ever know you’ve had the treatment. A partial denture can be used to replace a few missing teeth, and consists of a plastic or metal and plastic plate with the false teeth attached to it. This plate will then be held in place with clips which attach to the patients existing teeth.
Root Canal – root canal treatment aims to treat teeth which have become so badly decayed or infected that the soft material and nerve tissue inside the tooth has been affected. During the treatment, this infected tissue will be removed, and the area cleaned and then sealed, thus preventing further infection or damage to the tooth.
Routine Fillings – a filling can be carried out in the case of dental decay which has not become too extensive. In a case such as this your dentist will remove the decay which has eaten through the enamel of your tooth and fill the cavity created with a white or silver filling. Inlays and Onlays – Inlays and onlays are treatments which restore the structure of a decayed tooth in a manner which is less invasive than a filling and also less damaging to the basic structure of the tooth, whilst being less radical than having a crown fitted. They are sometimes also referred to as indirect fillings because, rather than being performed in the surgery, they are made to measure at a specialist laboratory and then bonded to the patients teeth. If the replacement rests within the cusp of the tooth then it is referred to as an inlay, whereas if it covers the entire chewing surface it will be an onlay.
Dental Bridges – a bridge is a method of filling a gap caused by one or more missing teeth. Gaps like this need to be filled for two reasons; because they look unpleasant and because the teeth on either side are more prone to decay and likely to start shifting. A bridge consists of two crowns attached to the teeth either side of the gap, and these crowns then act as the anchor for the false tooth or teeth in-between.
Children’s Teeth – making sure that your children visit the dentist from as early an age as possible will ensure that they learn the habits of good dental hygiene from day one. Your dentist will be able to spot problems such as badly aligned teeth and so called ‘baby bottle teeth’ before they become too severe, and a child who visits the dentist regularly will grow up to see it as being merely routine and nothing whatsoever to worry or be concerned about.
Hygienist Treatment – a visit to a dental hygienist is the best way of ensuring a healthy white smile whilst also battling problems such as inflamed or bleeding gums. The specialist tools and techniques utilised by the hygienist will remove plaque and calculus from the surface of the enamel and from where it tends to gather along the line of the gums.
IV Sedation – some people feel an all but overwhelming fear when faced with the idea of sitting in a dentist’s chair. At Perfect Smile we appreciate that this may stop them seeking the treatment they require, and so we offer IV sedation as a means of helping such people through. IV sedation is a technique which helps to induce a state of dream like relaxation in the patient without actually sending them to sleep. The relaxation is so complete that many patients afterwards report not even realising they had been treated until they ‘came to’ in the car on the way home.
Dental Decay – general dentistry aims, above all else, to prevent decay in the mouths of patients. This is done through regular check-ups and the encouragement of a strict and effective cleaning regime. If dental decay does occur, your dentist will be able to spot it long before you do, and treat it before it becomes too serious.
Gum Disease – gum disease refers to the inflammation of the gums caused by plaque, which can cause gums to bleed as well as being painful. If treated soon enough – by removing the plaque which collects along the gum line – it can be completely reversed. If left untreated, however, gingivitis, the earlier stage of the problem, can develop to become periodontitis, a condition which attacks the bone and connective tissue and can permanently damage the teeth and jaw.
Orthodontic Braces – teeth which don’t meet properly, are crooked or overcrowded, don’t only look unpleasant but they can also cause problems with eating and talking. Fortunately, orthodontic braces can shift teeth to the correct position, and the modern braces are much lighter, more comfortable and less obtrusive than those of a few years ago.