Treatments

GENERAL/PREVENTATIVE

Examination

An examination of your mouth is advised every 6 months. During this painless procedure the dentist will check your mouth for any signs of cancer/diseases. Your teeth will be examined for cavities and wear and your gums will be examined for gum disease. Small x-rays are usually indicated every 2 years. It is advised that children have their first exam when they get their first tooth- this is not always possible. We do advocate a check up before they start primary school.

Scale and polish

Plaque builds up all over your teeth during the day. It is a sticky film, full of bacteria that turns into acid when it reacts with the sugary foods you eat. Without regular cleaning plaque will build up and cause potential problems including tooth decay, cavities, gum disease and bad breath. An ultrasonic scaler, which has a very fine tip that vibrates at high speeds, is used to clean your teeth. It emits a jet of water and flushes away the calculus and debris lodged between the teeth. Your teeth are then polished using a special dental paste. We will give you tips and ideas for keeping on top of your daily oral care.

Fissure Seals

Because the chewing surfaces of your back teeth are not flat, sometimes food and bacteria can get trapped in the crevices and pits (called fissures). Dentists sometimes suggest that they should be covered with a tough plastic coating to protect them. This treatment is normally only given to children – and usually only on permanent, not baby teeth. Children usually get their first adult molars around age 6, and it is important to seal these teeth as soon as they come into the mouth. It is easy and painless and a great introduction to dental treatments.

Gumshields

A gumshield is a customised high quality shock absorbing appliance designed for competitive sports people. Since the beginning of 2013 the GAA has made it compulsory to wear a gumshield for football training/games.

Nightguards

A nightguard is a customised appliances which aims to reduce the occurrence of, and damage caused by night time grinding. ‘Bruxing’ or grinding while asleep is a reflex type activity and therefore without the help of a nightguard is virtually impossible to stop. Over time if untreated it can lead to a variety of problems including tooth fracture, tooth wear and facial pain.

RESTORATIVE

Fillings

If part of a tooth has been lost through decay or damaged due to an accident, your dentist may put in a filling. A filling will plug the hole and should stop any future pain or discomfort. A filling can be made out of a variety of materials. The most common of these are amalgam (silver) or composite (white).

Silver fillings are made of a material called amalgam, which is a mixture of mercury, silver, tin, copper, and other metals. Amalgam fillings are very hardwearing which is why they are often put into the back chewing teeth. Some people opt for white fillings, which match the colour of the natural tooth better. We will advise you on which is best in each individual case.

Root Canal Treatment

Sometimes, damage or decay or an old filling gets deep into the tooth and can affect the root. If left unchecked, the nerve in the tooth can die and leads to an infection (abscess) causing pain. At this stage the recommendation would be to have your tooth removed or to save your tooth by doing a root canal treatment.

Your dentist will take an x-ray of the tooth to check the shape of the root canals and to see whether there is any infection around the root. After using local anaesthetic, the dentist will go through the top of your tooth into the pulp – the bit right in the middle of your tooth that holds the nerves and blood supply. He or she will then remove the infected/damaged pulp and clear out any infection. If the infection has spread beyond the tooth, he or she may have to give you a temporary filling and some antibiotics until it clears up.

After the pulp has been removed, the dentist fills the gap with a rubbery material and puts a normal filling on top. Root canal treatment is generally a pain free successful treatment, which allows you to maintain your smile!

Dentures

Removable dentures are one of the most common ways of replacing missing teeth. Dentures can replace either a few teeth – a partial denture – or a whole set – complete dentures. Some people are worried that it will be obvious to tell that they have dentures, but the quality and appearance of today’s dentures excellent.

If you have lost some teeth, dentures can improve the way you look, bite, chew and speak. The teeth that are left are then protected from wear and tear. Without dentures, the natural teeth may move or tilt, stopping your teeth biting together properly. Dentures can be fitted immediately after teeth have been taken out so that nobody will know that you have had a tooth out. These are called ‘immediate’ dentures.

Dentures will never feel like your own teeth and it can take time to get used to them. If you haven’t had a denture before, the dentist will want to explain the difficulties of wearing dentures, as well as the benefits and how you should look after your new dentures and the teeth you have left.

Complete dentures are best made of acrylic (plastic). Partial dentures can also be made wholly of acrylic. Alternatively, they can consist of acrylic teeth on a light metal alloy base: this type of partial denture is more secure and less bulky, but also more expensive.

To make sure that the dentures fit your mouth properly, the dentist uses a putty-like material to make moulds – called ‘impressions’ – of your mouth. A dental technician uses them to make models for the denture to be built on. Sometimes, second impressions are taken.

The technician makes wax blocks that fit the models. The dentist puts these in your mouth to record the position of your jaws in relation to each other. The dentist then trims and seals the wax blocks to show the technician how your teeth should bite together and the shape to make the denture.

A trial denture is made and put in your mouth. The dentist will ask you how it fits, feels and looks before they make any final changes.

The trial denture then goes back to the technician, who permanently fixes the teeth. The denture is then ready to use. The dentist may want to see you again fairly soon to see how you are getting on with the denture. If there are problems, they can make small adjustments

Crowns

A crown is used to restore a very damaged or discoloured tooth or to restore implants. It is made to fit over your own tooth, enclosing and strengthening the remaining structure thereby restoring or even improving its function and appearance. It can be made out of porcelain (ceramic), metal (precious or non-precious), or a combination of materials. This treatment usually involves two visits. The tooth will be reshaped to allow the crown fit over it, and an impression will be taken. Your crown is then constructed in a laboratory. This is then placed on the tooth and if it meets all our requirements, it is cemented in place. Crowns are generally among the longest lasting restorations and if looked after properly with regular visits will provide excellent results.

Bridges

A fixed bridge is made, by putting crowns on the teeth at either side of a space casued by missing teeth. These two crowns are joined together into one unit using a false porcelain tooth, which fills the space. This is all made in the laboratory and then the unit/bridge is cemented into place with special adhesives. The bridge can’t be removed.

An adhesive bridge has wings that are bonded to the back of the supporting teeth with very little drilling involved.

Implants

A dental implant is used to support one or more false teeth. It is a titanium screw that is placed into the jawbone.

After your implants have been placed under local anaesthesia, the bone in your jaw needs to grow and fuse around them. This usually takes a few months. A false porcelain tooth i.e. a crown, an implant-supported bridge or a denture can then be fitted onto the implant. The success rate is around 95% in non-smoking healthy patients.

COSMETIC

Tooth whitening

Tooth whitening trays are a well-established method of tooth whitening. The treatment uses very thin trays containing whitening gel, which are worn for about one hour a day over a period of one to four weeks. It has been proven to be a safe controlled and reliable method of improving the colour of your teeth and also improving your confidence! We follow the regulations which came into play on 31.10.12, for further reading please click on the link http://www.dentalcouncil.ie/toothwhitening.php

Veneers

A dental veneer is a thin layer of tooth-coloured material, usually porcelain – which the dentist attaches to a damaged or discoloured tooth. Once it’s been attached, it will look just as natural as your other teeth.
A veneer is a relatively simple procedure to undertake and can be done in a couple of visits to the dentist. The dentist will remove a tiny amount of the tooth’s surface so that when the veneer is applied it doesn’t feel bulky and uncomfortable. They will then take an impression or a mould of your mouth so that a technician can make a veneer that will match the size and shape of the rest of your teeth. On your second visit, the newly-made veneer will be stuck on with special glue.

Veneers can also be made out of the same material that makes white fillings. Your dentist will simply add/shape layers of filling material to get the right look for you.

ORAL SURGERY

Extraction

If a tooth has been broken or damaged by decay, and if it is not possible to restore it by other treatments the tooth needs to be extracted. While some extractions can be more difficult then others we will always endeavour to make the patient as comfortable as possible during the procedure by using effective techniques and ensuring the area is well anaesthetised.