For general dentistry including examinations, x-rays and fillings in Lancaster contact Bay Dental today. Please read to find out more about the services that we offer.
What is an examination?
A dental examination is commonly referred to as a check-up- It is a routine process where a dentist examines your oral health and checks for any problems.
Why do I need to have an examination?
Regular dental examinations (ideally every six months) are very important and help you to maintain a healthy mouth. The process allows the dentist to check for early signs of dental problems, such as decay or gum disease, and therefore take measures to prevent the problems from becoming serious. This could save a lot of pain, time and money!
Most importantly we always perform a mouth cancer check.
Excel Dentists perform a lifestyle analysis to improve oral and general health (a DEPPA Check).
Scale and Polish
Normally, plaque is removed fairly easily by brushing our teeth with a good toothpaste. Throughout the day, plaque builds up all over your teeth. It is a sticky film, full of bacteria, that turns into acid when it reacts with the sugary foods you eat. However, those hard to reach spots that our brush cannot get to harbour plaque, this then over time continues to build up until it hardens into calculus or tartar.
What is a scale and polish?
Your dentist will use either an electric scale, (ultrasonic) this is where a very fine tip is used which vibrates at a high frequency and emits water or they will use a set of hand instruments in various shapes to scrape away the hardened calculus on your teeth. Finally your dentist will use a rotating brush and toothpaste to give your teeth and thorough clean and remove any stubborn surface stains.
Why do I need a scale and polish?
No matter how well you clean your teeth there will always be some plaque that you cannot reach and need your dentist to remove. More significant problems may occur if the tartar build up is not removed regularly. These problems can include tooth decay, cavities and gum disease.
What is a fissure sealant?
Fissure sealants are ‘plastic’ colourless or white protective liquids, which are painted onto the biting surfaces of the back teeth. They are then hardened by the application of a concentrated beam of intense blue light. They are permanent and remain in place for many years.
Why do I need fissure sealants?
Fissure sealants provide a very effective means of preventing tooth decay. They are usually placed in the adult molar teeth soon after they present themselves in the mouth. The first molar teeth come through at about six years of age and are fissure sealed soon thereafter. The second molar teeth present at twelve years of age and are subsequently fissure sealed. Other teeth can also be fissure sealed, especially in cases where tooth decay is likely to occur rapidly.
Why do I need x-rays, what will it show my dentist?
Dental x-rays provide a picture of what’s happening in areas we normally cannot see. Early decay, impacted teeth, abscesses and bone loss from gum disease are all things that dental x-rays reveal.
Are dental x-rays safe?
No radiation is safe, however dental x-ray exposure is very low (the equivalent to flying to Spain!) They require exposure to very low levels of radiation, which makes the risk of potentially harmful effects very small, and most people only need one set taken every two years. The number of x-rays you need should be determined by your risk for gum disease and dental decay.
Dental x-ray machines use high-speed film, which reduces your exposure to radiation. In general, dental x-rays emit lower levels of radiation than other medical x-rays. Mammograms, for example, send out five times more radiation than dental x-rays, and people who live at high altitudes are regularly exposed to higher levels of natural radiation.
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal (gum) diseases, including gingivitis and periodontitis, are serious infections that, left untreated, can lead to tooth loss. The word periodontal literally means “around the tooth.” Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth. Periodontal disease can affect one tooth or many teeth. It begins when the bacteria in plaque (the sticky, colourless film that constantly forms on your teeth) causes the gums to become inflamed.
What causes periodontal disease?
Studies have shown that tobacco use may be one of the most significant risk factors in the development and progression of periodontal disease. Other causes include genetics, puberty, pregnancy and menopause in women. Certain medications and diabetes are also known causes of periodontal disease.
How will I know if I have periodontal disease?
Although periodontal disease is often silent until the advanced stages, warning signs can include bleeding gums when brushing, red, swollen and tender gums. Gums that are receding or pulling away from the teeth, loose or separating teeth, pus between your teeth and gums, or bad breath.
How is periodontal disease treated?
Periodontal disease is most commonly treated by scaling and root planing, this is careful cleaning of the root surfaces to remove plaque and calculus [tartar] from deep periodontal pockets and to smooth the tooth root to remove bacterial toxins. In more severe cases of periodontal disease your dentist may suggest surgical treatment for the soft tissues around teeth which is unhealthy and cannot be repaired.
The main snoring cause is due to the partial closure of the airway during sleep. During sleep muscles in the neck relax and for some people the soft tissue in the upper throat vibrates, which makes the sound we know as snoring.
Some snorers stop snoring and also stop breathing – a medical condition called Sleep Apnoea. This is caused by the airway closing completely during sleep thereby preventing snorers from breathing. This condition is called Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA).
At Bay Dental we will refer you to your GP who will then refer you to the local sleep clinic based at Lancaster Royal Infirmary. Here they will determine whether your sleep apnoea is mild, moderate or severe. For mild and moderate cases you will then return to us where we will make a mandibular advancement splint. This is a customised mouth piece to be worn at night time to treat snoring.
In more severely diagnosed cases CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) equipment is used. This consists of a cpap mask which is attached to the mouth and connected by a cpap tube to a cpap humidifier, which in turn pumps filtered humidified air under pressure into the mouth to prevent the upper airway from collapsing and to treat obstructive sleep apnoea.
What is a crown?
A crown, also sometimes known as a “cap”, is a restoration which completely caps or encircles a tooth.
Why do I need a crown?
Crowns are often needed when a large cavity threatens the on-going health of a tooth. They can also be used to improve the appearance and function of your tooth by restoring its normal shape and size, and making it stronger.
What are crowns made from?
Modern crowns can be made from a variety of different materials, including, porcelain, precious metals and ceramics. These are usually used for strength and in cases where a heavy occlusion occurs. More cosmetic options particularly for front teeth are porcelain crowns which look very natural leaving no black line at the gum margin as seen with some traditional crowns.
How long will a crown last?
Typically your dentist would expect a crown to last 10 years or longer, however this is dependent on several factors such as, the forces exposed to the crown, i.e. biting, chewing, grinding and accidental trauma. It is also dependent on each individuals oral hygiene routine and whether the crown is free from plaque.
What is a root filling?
Inside each tooth is the pulp which provides nutrients and nerves to the tooth. It runs like a thread down through the root. When the pulp is diseased or injured, usually due to decay or trauma, the pulp tissue dies. If you don’t remove it, your tooth gets infected and you could lose it. In root canal treatment, the pulp is removed and the root canal is cleaned and sealed off . A filling or crown is then placed on top of the tooth to protect it.
Why do I have to a root filling?
Nerve damage can cause severe toothache, this will usually end quite quickly once the dying or diseased nerve is cleaned out from the root canal. Without a root filling, a tooth which has a dead nerve in it would probably have to taken out.
How is a root filling done?
A root filling is usually carried out over 2-3 appointments. Your dentist will take an x-ray to determine how many canals the tooth has and the shape of the roots and to see if there is any significant infection in the bone surrounding the roots. Occasionally an x-ray will show that a root filling would not be successful, and in this instance your dentist will discuss other options with you.
Once your dentist has an x-ray, he will decide whether a local anaesthetic is needed and if so, then he will numb the area so that the procedure is painless. Your dentist will make a small hole on the surface of your tooth and enlarge it until they can see the pulp chamber (this is the opening to the root canal). Narrow files are then used to remove all the dead nerves and usually, a small machine called an apex locator will be used to determine the length of the canals within your tooth. The apex locator is not always viable and in this instance another x-ray may be needed to check the lengths of the canals. Once your dentist has the measurements he will then clean the canals and widen them, using rotary files. These canals are then filled with rubber materials and paste to fill all the spaces within the canal. A filling will then be placed on top to seal the root canal.
What is a filling?
Fillings are used to fill holes (cavities) that have formed, usually as a result of decay or tooth wear or broken teeth. There are various different types of filling materials which are all suitable for different cavities.
How is a filling done?
Your dentist will usually numb the area using a local anaesthetic, the decayed and weakened parts of the tooth are then removed using small drills and the cavity is cleaned. If the cavity has spread to the side wall of your tooth, a band will be placed around the tooth with a small wedge holding it in place. This ensures that the filling hardens into the correct shape.
To protect the tiny nerves and blood vessels inside the tooth, very thin layers of underlining, such as resin, are sometimes painted inside the hole before the filling material is packed in. The filling will either begin to harden during the first few minutes or, for some materials, a blue light is used to make it set within a few seconds.
What is a denture?
Dentures are removable replacements for your teeth that are designed to look and function like your own natural teeth. Modern day dentures can look very realistic and natural and feel comfortable. Dentures are either made of plastic (acrylic) or plastic on a cast metal base (cobalt chrome). They can be made to replace one or more teeth or all your teeth.
How long will it take to make a denture?
Typically dentures are made within 4-6 weeks with a 20minute appointment every 1-2 weeks.
Will I need to use a fixative?
Where possible we hope that a denture can be worn without using fixatives of any type. Sometimes, however, where the ridge supporting the denture is very flat, some fixative maybe required.
What is an extraction?
An extraction is the removal of a tooth from its socket in the bone.
Why do I need an extraction?
If your tooth has been broken or damaged by decay and your dentist is unable to repair it using a filling as there is too much damage then you may require an extraction. A very loose tooth caused by gum disease may also require an extraction if it can’t be saved. Wisdom teeth also occasionally need to be extracted if they become stuck in the jaw (impacted), as this causes infections, pain and swelling can also occur in this situation. Children’s teeth also sometimes need to be extracted for orthodontic reasons, if braces are required.
What will my dentist do?
Your dentist will use a local anaesthetic to numb the tooth which requires extracting. He will then loosen the tooth with an instrument called an elevator, once the tooth is loose he will then remove it using forceps. In more complex cases, for example, where your tooth may have broken below gum level, then your dentist may need to carry out a surgical extraction. This is where a small incision (cut) is made in the gum, sometimes some of the bone around the tooth may need to be removed or your tooth may need to be split into two to extract it.
If you require further information about general dentistry including fillings in Lancaster, please do not hesitate to contact Bay Dental or call 01524 32639 and ask any member of our dental team.