A crown is a type of dental restoration which completely caps or encircles a tooth or dental implant. Crowns are often needed when a large cavity threatens the ongoing health of a tooth. They are typically bonded to the tooth using a dental cement. Crowns can be made from many materials, which are usually fabricated using indirect methods. Crowns are often used to improve the strength or appearance of teeth. While inarguably beneficial to dental health, the procedure and materials can be relatively expensive.
A bridge, also known as a fixed partial denture, is a dental restoration used to replace a missing tooth by joining permanently to adjacent teeth or dental implants.
Types of bridges may vary, depending upon how they are fabricated and the way they anchor to the adjacent teeth. Conventionally, bridges are made using the indirect method of restoration. However, bridges can be fabricated directly in the mouth using such materials as composite resin.
A dental extraction (also referred to as exodontia) is the removal of a tooth from the mouth. Extractions are performed for a wide variety of reasons, including tooth decay that has destroyed enough tooth structure to render the tooth non-restorable. Extractions of impacted or problematic wisdom teeth are routinely performed, as are extractions of some permanent teeth to make space for orthodontic treatment.
Dental amalgam is a dental filling material used to fill cavities caused by tooth decay. It has been used for more than 150 years in hundreds of millions of patients. Dental amalgam is a mixture of metals, consisting of liquid mercury and a powdered alloy composed of silver, tin, and copper. Approximately 50% of dental amalgam is elemental mercury by weight. Dental amalgam fillings are also known as "silver fillings" because of their silver-like appearance.
Dentures (also known as false teeth) are prosthetic devices constructed to replace missing teeth, and which are supported by surrounding soft and hard tissues of the oral cavity. Conventional dentures are removable, however there are many different denture designs, some which rely on bonding or clasping onto teeth or dental implants. There are two main categories of dentures, depending on whether they are used to replace missing teeth on the mandibular arch or the maxillary arch.
Gingivitis ("inflammation of the gum tissue") is a term used to describe non-destructive periodontal disease. The most common form of gingivitis is in response to bacterial biofilms (also called plaque) adherent to tooth surfaces, termed plaque-induced gingivitis, and is the most common form of periodontal disease. In the absence of treatment, gingivitis may progress to periodontitis, which is a destructive form of periodontal disease.
Dental sealants are a dental treatment consisting of applying a plastic material to one or more teeth, for the intended purpose of preventing dental caries (cavities) or other forms of tooth decay.
Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings that are applied to the grooves on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to protect them from tooth decay. Most tooth decay in children and teens occurs on these surfaces. Sealants protect the chewing surfaces from tooth decay by keeping germs and food particles out of these grooves.
Applying sealants does not require drilling or removing tooth structure. The process is short and easy. After the tooth is cleaned, a special gel is placed on the chewing surface for a few seconds. The tooth is then washed off and dried. Then, the sealant is painted on the tooth. The dentist or dental hygienist also may shine a light on the tooth to help harden the sealant. It takes about a minute for the sealant to form a protective shield.
Root Canal Treatment
Your dentist will give you an injection of local anaesthetic. This completely blocks pain from the area and you will stay awake during the procedure. You may not need to have an anaesthetic if your tooth is dead. Your dentist will discuss this with you.
Your dentist will separate the affected tooth from the rest of your mouth using a thin sheet of rubber called a dam. This will keep your tooth dry and protect your airways. It also allows your root canal system to be cleaned and stops it becoming contaminated again, which can cause infection later.
Your dentist will make a hole in the top of your tooth, and remove the dead or diseased pulp through this hole. He or she will then clean the empty pulp cavity and may put in some medication to help get rid of bacteria.
This may be all your dentist does at your first visit - if so, he or she will put a temporary filling on your tooth to keep it sealed until you go back for further treatment. However, your dentist may decide to fill the cavity immediately if the root canal infection hasn't caused you any serious problems.
If you had a temporary filling, when you go back to your dentist he or she will remove this and then fill the root canal with a suitable material. This is likely to be a putty-like substance called gutta percha. A permanent filling or crown is then placed over the top of your tooth to protect your filled root canal and your tooth. Your dentist may recommend a crown made from gold or porcelain. If your dentist thinks it's necessary, he or she may also place a metal or plastic rod inside the canal to help support the crown.