Routine fillings are restorations that are either silver or white in colour.
Fillings can be used to replace tooth tissue lost through decay, chipping, wear and tear and abrasion.
There are a few materials available including amalgam and composite. Composites are usually the preferred option as they are available in many shades and can be matched to your natural tooth for a seemingly invisible filling. These fillings also bond better to the tooth but are not always successful if the filling is very large. If this is the case then crowns, inlay or veneers may be recommended.
The expected life of a filling is 10-12 years but this varies depending on the materials used, the state of the tooth and how well you care for them.
Amalgam fillings can be changed for the more aesthetically pleasing composite fillings. In some cases we may recommend leaving your fillings until they have come to the end of their life as each time you change a filling you have to remove more tooth tissue.
Inlays And Onlays
Inlays and Onlays are ways of repairing relatively extensive tooth decay or damage without having to replace the whole outer portion of the tooth as with a crown. Less tooth material is removed so inlays and Onlays tend to be more conservative and esthetic than crowns. Unlike fillings, these procedures strengthen a tooth’s structure. They also tend to last longer than a filling, because the inlay or onlay material is custom made and bonded to the tooth.
At the initial consultation the dentist will determine whether the tooth can be repaired using an inlay or onlay procedure or whether a more extensive treatment, such as a crown, is needed. Once it is determined that an inlay or onlay will suffice, a decision needs to be made as to the material. Gold has the longest track record, but it does tend to be less esthetical appealing. Porcelain and tooth coloured composite resin are two other choices of material for the new tooth structure. Because both of these materials are tooth coloured they are particularly favoured if the tooth is visible or if esthetic results are an important goal.
Inlays and Onlays are performed using very similar procedures. Both require two trips to the dentist. At the first appointment, the dentist begins the procedure by numbing the area using a local anaesthetic. The decay or damage is removed using a drill, preparing the tooth for its new surface. After all the damage is removed, an impression is made of the prepared tooth so the inlay or onlay material can be cast in a form that will fit the tooth exactly. A temporary restoration is placed on the tooth to protect it until the laboratory makes the new structure and it can be bonded to the tooth. This can take about two to three weeks.
Using the impression, a laboratory prepares the new tooth surface using gold, porcelain, or composite resin. Upon return to the dental clinic, the temporary restoration is removed and the surface is cleaned to prepare for the new structure. The dentist will then try in the new restoration to ensure that there is a correct fit that doesn’t interfere with your bite.
If the fit is good, using special cement or bonding, the inlay or onlay is permanently attached to the tooth. Some minor adjustment may need to be made to the restoration if there are interferences. To finish the procedure, the dentist will polish the cemented or bonded structure and tooth.
Generally, each visit will take about one hour, although the first appointment tends to be longer with an onlay as more tooth structure is removed.
The procedure is performed during two visits to the Dental Clinic.
Local anaesthetic takes care of the pain that would occur with the preparation of the tooth. Residual pain after the preparation or after cementing the structure in place is relatively rare and can usually be taken care of using over-the-counter medicines such as aspirin.
After the procedure there may be a little discomfort with the inlay or onlay, but many people adapt immediately to the new chewing surfaces. Sometimes the tissue around the work is sore or the tooth is temporarily sensitive to cold or hot foods. These minor problems should resolve themselves in one or two days.
Recovery is often immediate, with any discomfort taken care of using over-the-counter medicines.
Gold inlays and Onlays will last 10 to 30 years, given proper care and avoidance of abuse. Although the structures do strengthen the teeth, it is still a good idea to avoid chewing ice, pits, or other very hard objects, as they could damage the work.
The ideal candidate will have too much damage or decay to be treated using a filling, but enough healthy teeth left that a crown is unnecessary.
If you require any further information please contact our friendly staff at a Perfect Smile Clinic.
Classic signs and symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen, tender gums that may bleed when you brush. Another sign of gum disease is gums that have receded or pulled away from your teeth, giving you teeth an elongated appearance. Gum disease can cause pockets to form between teeth and gums, where plaque and food debris collect. Some people may experience recurring bad breath or a bad taste in their mouth, even if the disease is not advanced.
Good Oral Hygiene is essential. Professional cleanings are also extremely important because once plaque has hardened and built up, or become tartar, only a dentist or dental therapist/hygienist can remove it.
The cost of the Bridge depends on the type of bridge selected and the material used.
Dental bridges can last from 5 to 15 years or even longer. With good oral hygiene and regular checkups, it is not unusual for the life span of a fixed bridge to be well over 15 years.
Replacing missing teeth with a dental bridge should actually make eating easier. Until you become accustomed to the bridge, eat soft foods that have been cut into small pieces.
It can be difficult to speak clearly when teeth are missing in the front or anterior areas. Wearing a dental bridge with the anterior teeth in their proper relationship will help you speak properly.
It is important to keep your remaining teeth healthy and strong as the success of the bridge (depending on the type selected) depends on the solid foundation offered by the surrounding teeth. Brushing twice a day and flossing daily helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease that can lead to tooth loss. Your dentist or dental hygienist can demonstrate how to properly brush and floss your teeth. Keeping a regular cleaning schedule will help diagnose problems at an early stage when treatment has a better prognosis. Selecting a balanced diet for proper nutrition is also important.
There are alternatives to a fixed bridge including an adhesive bridge (which is less intrusive) partial dentures and implants. All have pros and cons so please give our friendly staff a call for more advice.
As with all prescribed medicines there is the possibility of side effects. Your dentist will go through a series of questions with you before prescribing any medication to ensure suitability and minimise any interference with other prescribe medicines that you may be taking.
There is no set time for recovery as every patient reacts differently, but for 24 hours after taking the medication you should not drive or operate any heavy machinery. Patients are encouraged to sleep and take plenty of water and clear fluids for the rest of the day.
The IV needles are very fine and most patients won’t feel it going in. Patients who have, describe it as feeling like a pin prick with the sensation lasting only seconds.
We will need to see you for a consultation to start with – this gives you the opportunity to meet the dentist and discuss your health and any medication that you may be on. You can also take this time to let us know how we can make your treatment visits as stress free as possible. The dentist will then check your oral conditions and formulate a treatment and appointment plan with you.
A clean and healthy mouth improves your appearance and gives you fresh breath. Research has shown that good cleaning significantly reduces the risk of filling replacement, new cavities, gum recession, food trapping and teeth drifting. Gum disease is also linked to Heart disease and there are concerns about poor gum health and pregnancy.
A Hygienist is specially trained for cleaning and will spend much longer with you. They are also experts in coaching and motivating you to correctly look after your teeth and gums.
Simple cleans are usually pain free – though we do offer a topical anaesthetic cream if you are concerned. We offer longer appointments to prevent pain and discomfort as this means that the hygienist can take all the time they need to gently clean the teeth and gums.
Yes, although they’ll often feel so clean that you won’t want to! If you have a Prophy Jet clean you should avoid staining products for two hours after – this includes tea, coffee, red wine, cigarettes, beetroot etc.
Yes, as long as your regular dentist has written us a full hygiene prescription. GDC guidelines state that this prescription can only be written after your dentist has given you a full mouth assessment and is valid for as long as your recall is. Once your recall check up is due, the prescription will need to be renewed.
As long as you have a valid hygiene prescription in your notes, you can see the hygienist. We write these prescriptions at each regular check up appointment, if needed.
Your hygiene prescription will last as long as your recall so if the dentist asked to see you again in 6 months, you will need another prescription after the six months is up.
As long as you have teeth in your mouth, you are susceptible. From young babies to the elderly, we are all vulnerable to decay and should visit the dentist and hygienist regularly as well as practice good oral hygiene at home.
In some cases, if the decay is caught early enough we may just monitor the tooth and prescribe a fluoride toothpaste as well as recommending oral hygiene techniques. Once decay becomes more advanced you will need treatment to remove the decay and replace the lost tooth tissue.
Often you will not feel decay until it has already progressed to an advanced state – this is usually once it has spread to the dentine and may be close to the nerve.
Studies have shown that using fluoride toothpaste significantly reduces the risk of dental decay. Furthermore, the use of a fluoride mouth rinse can also contribute to an additional 40% reduction in dental decay.
Permanent Crowns can be constructed from several different materials and your dentist will discuss the options with you:
Metal crowns can be made from gold alloy, or metals such as nickel and chromium. Metal crowns are usually the hardest wearing and least likely to chip or break although the obvious drawback is their metallic colouring. Gold crowns may be chosen for aesthetic reasons, or metal crowns used for teeth which are out of sight, such as molars.
Metal Fused To Porcelain
Crowns made of metal fused to porcelain combine the strength of metal crowns with the ability to match the existing shade which is available when using porcelain. One drawback of these crowns is that the metal behind the porcelain may, in time, show through as a black line where the crown meets the gum.
Porcelain or Ceramic
All porcelain and ceramic Crowns are far and away the best choice in terms of looking natural and being cosmetically pleasing.
During the time when the dentist has fitted a temporary Crown, you will have to take some precautions regarding the food you eat. Temporary Crowns are, by their nature, not intended to last forever and are therefore not fixed as securely as permanent Crowns. Therefore, it will be necessary to avoid chewing on the side of the mouth which has the temporary Crown fitted and to steer clear of sticky foods which might pull the Crown out, or hard foods which may chip and damage it. As temporary Crowns tend to stain more easily than permanent crowns, it may also be sensible to avoid foods which tend to stain, such as beetroot or curry.
To some degree, the longevity of your crown is down to you and how well you look after your teeth. If you maintain good standards of oral hygiene, visit your dentist regularly, eat the right diet and don’t grind your teeth or use them to do things like opening bottles, then a Crown can last between 10 and 15 years.
Yes. There are no special dietary precautions necessary when permanent crowns are fitted.Because they are cemented over existing teeth, normal care must be taken to avoid food and drink which will cause tooth decay.
Although, the vast majority of the time, dental Crowns are a simple and straightforward procedure, problems can arise very occasionally:
A newly crowned tooth may feel slightly uncomfortable as the Anaesthetic wears off. This should fade shortly. If the tooth to which the Crown is fitted still has a nerve, it may be that it is sensitive to hot or cold foods. This should be treated in the usual manner, i.e., with specialist toothpaste.
A porcelain Crown may chip occasionally. A small chip can be fixed with resin, whereas a large chip will mean the Crown has to be replaced.
Sometimes the cement holding the Crown in place may wear away, causing the crown to loosen. Not only does this mean it could fall out, but it also leaves the tooth beneath vulnerable to decay. If your Crown feels loose, tell your dentist.
Lumineers are much thinner than traditional veneers and can be fitted without compromising the structure of the existing teeth. The other differences are that they can be fitted without pain and the process can be reversed.
This is something which you should discuss with your dentist but, in most cases, if your teeth aren’t too badly crooked or out of line, then Lumineers can be used to reshape them, giving you a smile of uniform whiter and even teeth.
Lumineers will last for over twenty years, although they must be looked after in the same way as your natural teeth.
No. Lumineers are bonded to your teeth so strongly that you’re free to eat and drink anything you like, without any risk of damaging them.
Yes, unlike traditional veneers, Lumineers can be removed should you wish, with the teeth beneath them remaining strong and intact.
No. Unlike standard veneers, Lumineers can be fitted to an entire set of teeth at one appointment, in a procedure which only takes around an hour.
Yes. Lumineers are so light and easy to fit that they can be attached to existing dental work, such as crowns or bridges.
No, not just anyone with missing teeth can have the gaps filled with implants. You need to be in reasonably good health and it should be borne in mind that smoking cigarettes can impede the healing process of the implant.
It is also important that the rest of the your teeth are in good condition and free from decay or disease. If there are any existing conditions, these will have to be treated before the implant can take place.
The placing of an implant also relies upon sufficient bone in the jaw to hold it. Your implant surgeon will check this using a CT scan and in the event of bone density being too low, a graft can be performed.
The usual alternatives to dental implants are bridges and dentures. Fitting a bridge involves attaching false teeth to the your existing teeth. For this to work, the existing teeth have to be filed down, a procedure which can have implications for their future well being.
In the case of dentures, teeth which are attached to a metal or plastic plate are placed in the mouth and taken out each day. Dentures are frequently cumbersome and uncomfortable and can limit the food which the patient is able to eat.
Dental implants are a permanent replacement for missing teeth which, in some ways, are even better than the real thing. As well as providing an aesthetic solution, dental implants solve the problem of bone loss in the jaw, something which the alternatives don’t address.
Anything. The chief advantage of a dental implant is that it behaves exactly like your original tooth, meaning that there is no food or drink that’s off limits.
The implant surgeon will administer a local anaesthetic before putting the implant in place. During the actual surgery itself, therefore, you will feel virtually no pain. Following surgery, there will be some minor discomfort and swelling, but nothing that over the counter medication can’t deal with.
There are no side effects associated with dental implants. Occasionally, the body may reject the implant, but on these rare occasions a second implant can usually be fitted.
To cover the period whilst the implant is ‘growing’ into the bone, your implant surgeon may fit you with temporary ‘teeth’ in the form of an adhesive bridge or a denture. With this in place, you will be able to carry on with your social and working life, as before.
The actual operation to fit the implant should take between an hour and two hours, after which there is a ‘healing’ period of eight to twelve weeks, at the end of which the crown can be attached to the implant.
An implant is a permanent replacement for a missing tooth and actually requires slightly less maintenance than a natural tooth. When cared for properly, existing implants have lasted longer than 40 years.
Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible. They’re unobtrusive and made from lightweight, clear plastic. Even from close quarters, you’d have to tell someone you were wearing aligners before they notice them.
The chief advantage over traditional braces is the fact that Invisalign aligners won’t mar the appearance of your smile while they do their work.
There are no unsightly metal bands holding them in place which also means that they are much more comfortable to wear.
Unlike standard permanent braces, Invisalign aligners can be removed when called for, ie when receiving standard dental treatment.
The ease of removal means it is easy to maintain dental hygiene standards whilst wearing the aligners.
You don’t need to be an adult to have aligners fitted, but you do need to have all of your adult teeth.
Yes. One of the chief advantages of Invisalign aligners is that you can remove them in order to eat or drink. Unlike standard braces, they won’t impinge upon your social or business life.
Like any braces, Invisalign aligners exert a slight pressure when they’re first fitted. Unlike conventional braces, they don’t irritate or cause any pain beyond this.
Invisalign aligners may have a slight effect upon your speech when they’re first fitted, causing a slight lisp. Unlike standard braces, however, they can be removed temporarily if you need to make an important business speech, for example.
Face & Lips
In the case of both of treatments the side effects are minimal. The injections themselves cause very mild discomfort and with Botox, there may be very slight bruising at the sight of the injection which can easily be hidden with foundation cream. In one per cent of cases, patients may experience the lowering of one eye lid or a slightly asymmetrical facial expression, but, even if it occurs, this will be barely noticeable and only temporary.
Juvederm treatments may cause mild swelling, redness, tenderness and itching, but nothing which can’t be treated by applying a little ice and which will usually last no longer than 24 hours.
The chief advantage of our face and lips treatments is that they achieve fantastic effects whilst still being quick, almost painless and simple. The fact that our treatments are non invasive in nature means that the risk to the patient is kept to the very minimum and the convenience of the treatments is highlighted by the fact that they need take up no more time than a single hour or so out of a busy day. In the case of both treatments the effects can be seen quickly and recovery time is minimal – once treated, patients can simply get on with their lives, with no scars or indeed traces of any kind left on their face.
Patients who are treated with Juvederm have the added plus of the fact that the substance naturally attracts water molecules, hydrating the skin and giving it a healthy, youthful glow.
Put simply, there is virtually no recovery time. Immediately following treatment, patients can leave the clinic and carry on with their day, any discomfort caused by the injections being minimal.
There is no upper or lower age limit to the administration of face and lips treatments although, obviously, they shouldn’t be given to children. The technician will advise as to whether the patients’ skin type and the nature of their concerns means they are suitable for treatment and which type of treatment would suit them best.
In the case of Juvederm treatments, the effects can be seen straight away, whereas Botox injections are more variable. Some particularly deep lines and creases may improve immediately, but, in general, the effects of Botox will take hold over a period of up to 7 days.
Since every persons face and the muscle structure underlying it are different, the longevity of the effects of face and lips treatments can vary. In general, Juvederm treatments can last up to six months, whilst the effects of Botox injections can last for between 1 and 5 months.
Both procedures can take as little as 30 minutes, depending upon the specific placement and quantity of injections, but it is rare for either to take longer than an hour.
In the case of both types of treatment, patients can repeat it as desired.
It takes a minimum of 22 years of school to become an orthodontist!
Would you have your family doctor perform open heart surgery on you? General dentists are not trained in orthodontics but are not limited by law from placing braces on teeth. Some attend weekend courses and provide orthodontic services in their practice. Your assurance in receiving the best care possible for yourself or your child is to see a university trained, certified orthodontic specialist.
No, you do not need a referral from your dentist in order to see the orthodontist. However, 75 percent of our patients are referred to us by their dentist. You may call and schedule an appointment with our doctor yourself.
- A healthier more beautiful smile.
- Reduced appearance-consciousness during critical growth years.
- Better function and comfort with a proper bite.
- Increased self-esteem and confidence.
- Increased ability to keep teeth clean.
- Improved force distribution and wear patterns on teeth.
- Guided facial growth for a more attractive face and profile.
- Better long-term health of the teeth and gums.
- Reduce or eliminate the need for future jaw surgery.
- Guide the permanent teeth into a more favorable position.
- Reduce or eliminate the need to extract teeth.
- Reduce the risk of injury to protruded front teeth.
- Better lip closure.
- Improved speech and swallowing.
- Aid in optimizing other dental treatments.
- Less strain on the jaw joints and muscles.
- Prevent premature loss of teeth and ageing appearance.
- Increased facial aesthetic.
No, many tooth alignment or jaw growth problems can be detected by age 6. Some of these problems are best treated early, avoiding a more serious problem later or eliminating braces as a teenager all together.
It is recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists that a child first see an orthodontist by age 7.
No. The available space for front teeth does not increase as a child grows. In most people with the emergence of the permanent 6-year molars, the space available for the front teeth actually decreases with age.
Many adults are benefiting from orthodontics to improve and have a healthy, beautiful smile. Adults who have teeth and healthy supporting structures are never too old for braces.
Five questions will be answered at the initial consultation: Is there an orthodontic problem and if so, what is it? What must be done to correct the problem? Will any teeth need to be removed? How long will the orthodontic treatment take? How much will it cost? Dr. Theo Swanepoel will also answer any additional questions you might have.
Removing teeth is sometimes needed to achieve the desired orthodontic result. However, because of the state-of-the-art orthodontic treatments and technologies in our practice, the need to remove teeth has been greatly reduced.
Yes, the orthodontist must see the teeth, bone and the relationship of the top and bottom jaws to properly diagnose and treat the patient.
Yes, we recommend that you continue to see your dentist for cleanings and other primary dental care at least every six months during and after the completion of your orthodontic treatment.
Most people in our practice are finished in 12-18 months or less, due to the advances in orthodontic technology. Minor tooth movement cases can be done in as little as two or three visits.
It is painless to have your braces placed! It usually takes a few days to get used to having braces on your teeth. Some patients experience minor tooth discomfort for a few days as the teeth begin to move.
Yes, there is usually no reason why you would need to miss school or work.
No. Injections are not necessary for orthodontic treatment.
No, most people do not experience any discomfort when removing the braces. Some people’s teeth are sensitive to cold air during the removal procedures.
Yes, you can play the instrument of your choice with braces on your teeth. It may take a few days getting used to playing with the braces on.
Yes, you can play sports with the braces on. You may need to wear a special mouthguard to protect your lips and teeth just as you would without braces. Ask us and we will be happy to provide you with the mouthguard when your braces are placed.
Most good nutritious foods in all the food groups can be eaten. Good nutrition is important for the teeth to move. Certain hard, crunchy foods like apples and carrots need to be cut up into smaller bites or they can be cooked. This prevents wires from being bent or braces being broken off the teeth. Food and beverages like soda pop that contain high amounts of sugar should be limited. It’s more important to brush and clean your teeth thoroughly afterwards. High acid foods like lemons should also be avoided. Chewing on ice or hard candies should be avoided, as it will break the braces off the teeth. Sticky, chewy candies like taffy, caramel, Gummy Bears and others will damage the appliances and can cause damage to the teeth while in braces. It will also delay being finished on time with your braces if things are constantly broken and in need of repair.
Although unlikely, should a situation arise where your braces break or become damaged resulting in pain, please visit us or call our practice at 02087892323. In most cases, we can address the issue remotely.
Yes, we do have braces that are barely visible or fully invisible. Ceramic braces are tooth colored and are difficult to see. Lingual braces are fitted at the back of teeth so completely invisible.
Invisalign is a system by which special molds of your teeth are taken to manufacture a series of custom aligners. Each aligner is worn approximately two weeks to move your teeth gradually.
Yes, we do have colored braces and rubber bands at no additional charge, if you want them. Colored braces can make having braces more fun.
No, braces will not damage your teeth and gums if you care for them properly and stay on schedule with your appointments. Lack of proper brushing and extended treatment can damage the teeth.
Yes. Some orthodontic problems are significant enough to require early intervention. However, if your child is not yet ready, we can follow their development to determine the proper time to begin orthodontic treatment.
Yes and yes. A tooth with a crown moves just like a tooth with a filling. Also, an orthodontic treatment can aid in the alignment of remaining teeth, filling in the gaps left by missing ones.
It takes about one hour to put braces on.
Again, it depends on the individual. Most patients with braces will need to seen every 6 to 12 weeks.
Our out of work/school hours is for adults and children who undergo private treatments. However as appointments are typically scheduled 6 to 12 weeks apart, patients miss very little school. We make every attempt to meet the scheduling needs of our patients.
Yes, although on occasion, Dr. Theo Swanepoel may need to speak with you before or after treatment. Therefore, we request that you check in with our front desk when dropping off your child. We may ask you for a mobile phone number before you leave.
Our practice utilizes the most modern sterilization equipment available to the profession. We sterilize all instruments and handpieces. For your safety, we also subscribe to a monitoring service that tests our equipment every month to be sure it is operating properly. Additionally, we practice utilizing barrier techniques and surface disinfection sterilization.
Our practice has never used recycled braces.
Retainers are designed to hold the teeth in their corrected positions after braces until the bone & ligaments remodel to the new tooth position. This takes a couple of years to occur.
No. With proper retainer wear, your teeth should stay straight for a lifetime. Some harmful habits like biting on pens and pencils or muscle imbalances will cause the teeth to shift after braces or later in life if the retainers are not worn consistently.