Bridges are used to replace a missing tooth or row of teeth. A bridge is the artificial tooth or teeth along with a dental crown on either end to anchor the replacement in position.
A dental bridge restores the look of your smile and prevents adjacent teeth from drifting into the void left by the tooth.
Who needs a bridge?
A bridge is one of several options available to replace missing teeth, especially when those missing teeth leave a gap in your smile. It is a popular option for replacing a single, decaying or missing tooth, and is typically completed in two dental visits.
What can I expect when I am being fitted for a bridge?
Once you and your dentist determine a bridge is a suitable option for your missing tooth or teeth, your dentist will administer a local anaesthetic so that you remain as comfortable as possible.
Once the anaesthetic takes effect, your dentist prepares the teeth on both sides of the area where the artificial tooth will be placed. These teeth are filed down to fit the crowns that will sit over them and secure the bridge.
Your dentist will take an impression or an image of your teeth and the space. That information is sent to a dental laboratory where lab technicians fabricate your bridge. Your dentist will place a temporary bridge to protect your prepared teeth.
Once your permanent bridge is ready, your dentist fits, adjusts and cements the bridge to the prepared teeth for a natural looking and functional tooth.
Will I have to replace the bridge in a few years?
The durable ceramic material used for your bridge can last between 10-25 years, assuming you practice good oral hygiene daily.
As long as you brush and floss your teeth regularly, and visit your dentist as recommended, your bridge can be successful for many years.
A crown is a cap that sits over a damaged, misshapen, or discoloured tooth. The crown will look, feel, and function as a normal tooth.
When would I need a crown?
Your dentist may recommend a crown when your natural tooth has been injured, or the tooth has begun to decay.
You often need a crown as part of a root canal treatment.
People also get crowns for cosmetic reasons, such as severe discolouration or a crooked or oddly shaped tooth.
What can I expect during the procedure?
The dentist will either administer a local anaesthetic or, if you desire, IV sedation can be used.
The damaged tooth is reshaped and recontoured for the crown to fit correctly. We take an impression of your tooth so your crown can be fabricated and then your dentist places a temporary crown to protect the tooth structure.
At your follow up appointment, your dentist removes the temporary crown before checking the fit and colour of the permanent crown. If everything is acceptable, a local anaesthetic is used to numb the tooth, and the crown is cemented in place with dental adhesive.
How long does a crown last?
If you properly care for your crown by brushing and flossing regularly and visiting your dentist as prescribed, it can last for at least a decade. The lifespan depends on the amount of wear and tear the crown is exposed to and how well you follow good oral hygiene habits.
Dentures are artificial teeth that you can remove from your mouth to clean. Dentures are one of the options available to replace missing teeth.
What is the difference between partial and complete dentures?
Partial dentures are dentures that fill one or more gaps in your mouth. There is a clasp that attaches to the surrounding teeth to hold the partial denture in place.
Complete dentures replace a full arch of missing teeth. Complete dentures attach to your gums using suction. Denture users often also use special adhesives to keep the dentures in place.
What can I expect during the denture fitting procedure?
Once you and your dentist determine that dentures are right for you, measurements will be taken, and the results are used to create a custom denture to fit your mouth.
If necessary, your dentist will extract any tooth or teeth.
Once the denture is ready, and after any extractions necessary have healed, you will return to the practice, and your dentist will fit the new prosthetic teeth to your mouth.
How do I keep my dentures clean?
You remove your dentures at least once a day, or ideally after every meal if possible, and brush them with a soft-bristle toothbrush.
At night you remove and soak your dentures in an anti-bacterial solution.
Do not clean your dentures using hot water, stiff brushes, or harsh cleaners such as bleaching toothpaste as this may damage the dentures.
The goal of modern dentistry is for every patient to keep all their teeth for a lifetime. A missing tooth is more than a gap in your smile. It can have serious oral health and psychological effects.
What options are available to replace a missing tooth?
There are several options available for replacing a missing tooth:
- Complete or partial dentures
How do I know which option is best?
By scheduling a consultation visit with your dentist, you can determine what option will be best for your unique situation. Factors include cost, condition of your jawbone, any infections present or chronic conditions, and your personal preference.
If my missing tooth doesn’t bother me, should I get it replaced?
If you are missing teeth, it is very important you look into your options for tooth replacement as soon as possible. The longer you wait the worse your problems with bone loss and other consequences could be;
- Your risk of gum disease increases as food particles can become trapped in the gap created between your teeth.
- Your quality of life could be adversely impacted because you may avoid social activities.
- Your diet may be compromised if it is more challenging for you to chew certain foods.
- Your existing teeth may begin to shift affecting your bite and speech, and your jaw joint.
- The jawbone in the socket of the missing tooth loses volume, and options like dental implants may no longer be viable.
Fillings are a standard dental treatment for mild to moderate tooth decay. Your dentist removes decayed material from your tooth and fills the space with a material to prevent further degradation.
Fillings have evolved to offer aesthetically attractive options to match the look and feel of natural teeth.
What types of fillings are available?
We use Amalgam and BPA free composite (white filling material) because it looks natural and requires less preparation, saving more of your tooth structure.
Composite fillings are made from powdered glass and BPA free acrylic resin.
What are white fillings?
White fillings are more aesthetically appealing than the more common amalgam or silver fillings. These tooth-coloured fillings are much less noticeable than amalgam fillings.
White fillings, like all fillings, don’t last a lifetime. You may need to replace a white filling every five years.
Can I replace my silver fillings with tooth-coloured ones?
Many patients choose to replace old silver fillings with tooth-coloured composite restorations. Your dentist can determine if updating your amalgam fillings is an option for you.
How long does a filling last?
The longevity of a restoration is unique and multifactorial. It is usually dependent on the overall long-term prognosis of the tooth being restored, the way your teeth bite together in addition to your diet and oral hygiene. Depending on the aforementioned factors a composite restoration could last 5-7 years.
Mouth cancer screening
Mouth cancer does not have to be life-threatening if detected early.
At East Street Dental Surgery, we offer mouth cancer screening as part of our preventive dental program.
What is mouth cancer?
Mouth cancer, also called oral cancer, is a cancerous tumour that develops somewhere in your mouth. The tumour can start in the lips, inside the cheeks, gums, roof and floor of your mouth, or in the lining of your throat.
By detecting and treating it early, you help prevent the cancer from spreading to other parts of your body.
Are there symptoms you can recognise?
Oral cancer usually starts with small bumps or lumps inside your mouth. Sometimes you may experience persistent mouth sores or unexplained bleeding in your mouth.
Other signs of mouth cancer include difficulty in swallowing, numbness, red or white spots inside your mouth, and changes in your vocal tones.
When should I see a dentist?
If you experience any symptoms related to mouth cancer, you should make an appointment to be screened immediately.
If no symptoms are present, it is a good idea to see your dentist regularly for a check-up since early detection is critical.
Root Canal Treatment
You may need a root canal procedure for a variety of reasons including infection, tooth decay, trauma, or a failed crown.
During a root canal treatment, the dentist will remove any infected pulp, clean and disinfect your tooth, and seal it. A filling or crown is added to restore the function and appearance of the tooth.
How painful is a root canal treatment?
Your dentist numbs the area with a local anaesthetic, so you remain comfortable during the treatment. Anxious patients can request dental sedation if they desire.
Once the numbing sensation wears off, if there is any discomfort, over-the-counter pain medication is normally all that is needed to relieve any soreness.
Can a root canal be accomplished in one visit?
A routine root canal can be accomplished in 1-2 hours, and you will leave with a temporary filling or crown. A follow-up visit is required to place the permanent restoration.
How long before my tooth feels normal?
Your tooth may be sensitive up to a week after the procedure. Most people commonly stop experiencing slight sensitivity when chewing after three days.
We strive to make all of your visits as comfortable as possible.
Preventive dentistry involves regular check-ups and screenings by your dentist.
This provides a good opportunity for the detection of early signs of potential problems that can affect not only your oral health but your overall well-being.
What does preventive dentistry detect?
By scheduling regular dental exams, you have a better chance of detecting conditions like gum disease in the early stages.
Our healthcare professionals at East Street Dental Surgery can also detect and screen for oral cancer.
What can I expect during a preventive dentistry visit?
During a preventative dentistry visit, you will receive a dental check-up in which your dentist will examine your teeth, gums, and mouth for early warning signs of dental decay, gum disease, and mouth cancer to ensure long-lasting oral health.
In addition to screening, our hygienist can provide you with a scale and polish to eliminate tartar and remove stains.
At East Street Dental Surgery, we can provide you with dietary and oral hygiene advice to help keep your mouth and teeth fresh and disease-free.
At our practice, we try to save a patient’s natural tooth, but there are times when gum disease, dental decay or tooth trauma results in a poor prognosis for the affected tooth, and a tooth extraction is the best option.
What is a simple extraction?
A simple extraction is when the tooth that must be removed is easily visible to the dentist and is above the gum line. Once your tooth is numb, your dentist uses forceps to perform a simple extraction.
What is a surgical extraction?
A surgical extraction is required when the tooth has been broken off below the gum line, or the tooth is fully or partially impacted which is often the case with wisdom teeth.
If this is the case, your dentist or oral surgeon must surgically remove gum tissue or bone to extract the tooth.
What aftercare is required when you have a tooth extracted?
Biting down gently on gauze can help stop the bleeding and form a clot.
Your dentist will recommend that you avoid drinking hot beverages or eating hot food until the anaesthetic has worn off. You should also avoid rinsing your mouth for the first 24 hours. After this, you will be encouraged to complete saltwater mouth rinses two to three times daily for the following seven days and to avoid eating on the extraction site during this initial period of healing. It is imperative that your normal oral hygiene practices are maintained after the extraction and that the teeth around the extraction site are kept clean.
Over-the-counter painkillers can help with any slight discomfort you might feel if suitable for you to take.
For a careful extraction from an experienced dentist, contact us on 01903 716135.