BRACES

What is orthodontic treatment ?


Orthodontics is a dental speciality dealing with the correction of irregular teeth structure or malformed teeth for a better facial appearance and beautiful smile.




How long will orthodontic treatment take ?


The extent of orthodontic treatments can vary depending on the condition of the tooth. Orthodontic treatment involve moving a single tooth or it can involve jaw surgery. Usually braces need to be kept for 6 - 24 months with orthodontic adjustments and monitoring once in a month.




What is the right age for Orthodontic Treatment ?


It is best to access Orthodontic treatment as early in life as possible. Early treatment (for 7- 9 year olds) usually results in shorter and less complicated procedures as it aims to influence bone growth for better and faster results. Treatments for teenagers are very effective as well. Adults can also benefit from Orthodontic treatment, though the treatment duration tends to be longer than for children.




Are there any alternatives to braces ?


Unfortunately there are no alternatives to braces. However, these days patients often prefer more cosmetic options like ceramic braces and tooth colored wires to the more conventional metal braces.




How long do you need to wear braces ?


The duration of treatment depends on a wide variety of individual factors and therefore varies from case to case.




Other than enhancing appearances do braces have other benefits ?


Braces not only enhance your appearance and make your face more visually pleasing, but they have various other advantages including: 1. Making cleaning all parts of the teeth easier preventing decay and other gum problems. 2. Correcting the bite that can make chewing more efficient thus improving the overall health. 3. Addressing speech problems. 4. Reducing jaw pains by correcting impaired bites.





ORAL CARE

How should I floss my teeth ? Is the type of dental floss I use important ?


How one floss is more important than the type of floss: 1. Slip the floss between the teeth and into the area between your teeth and gums, as far as it will go. 2. Floss with 8 to 10 strokes, up and down between each tooth, to dislodge food and plaque. 3. Floss at least twice a day. It is critical that one of these times is before going to bed.




Why is flossing important ?


There are those hidden places between one's teeth where the toothbrush cannot reach. Food particles trapped in these areas begin to rot due to bacterial action, producing acid and plaque, which in turns corrodes your teeth. You need to use a dental floss to ensure that food particles do not stay trapped in between teeth for long periods – and thus avoid the other consequences that can lead to poor oral hygiene and tooth decay.




How does rinsing help ?


Rinsing or mouthwash is a key adjunct to daily dental care, preventing and controlling deposits and oral malodour. It's important, however, to remember that a rinse does not replace the recommended regular oral hygiene routine of twice-daily tooth brushing and flossing.





DENTAL IMPLANTS

What is a dental implant ?


Dental implants are replacement of tooth roots. Just like a tooth root, it is placed into the jawbone. Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth and because they are designed to fuse with bone, they become permanent.




What are the advantages of dental implant ?


​1. Improved speech. With poor-fitting dentures, the teeth can slip within mumbling or slurring of words. Dental implants enable one to speak without worrying about the teeth slipping. 2. Improved comfort. Because they become a permanent part of the mouth, implants the discomfort of removable dentures 3. Easier eating. Sliding dentures can make chewing difficult. Dental implants function one's own teeth, allowing you to eat your favourite foods with confidence and without pain. 4. Improved self-esteem. Dental implants can give you back your smile and help you better about yourself. 5. Improved oral health. Dental implants don't require reducing other teeth, as supported bridge does. Because nearby teeth are not altered to support the implant, more of your own teeth are left intact, improving long-term oral health. Individual implants also allow easier access for cleaning between teeth and improving oral hygiene. 6. Durability. Implants are very durable and with good care many implants can last for years, sometimes even a lifetime. 7. Convenience. Removable dentures are just that; removable. Dental implants eliminate embarrassing inconvenience of removing dentures, as well as the need for messy adhesives to keep them in place.




Can Anyone Get Dental Implants ?


Usually, anyone healthy enough to undergo a routine dental extraction or oral surgery is suitable for a dental implant. Patients should have healthy gums and enough bone to hold the implant. They also must be committed to good oral hygiene and regular dental visits. Heavy smokers, people suffering from uncontrolled chronic disorders -- such as diabetes or heart disease -- or patients who have had radiation therapy (for cancer treatment) to the head/neck area need to be evaluated on an individual basis. If you are considering implants, talk to your dentist to see if they are right for you.




What Is Involved in Getting a Dental Implant ?


The first step in the dental implant process is the development of an individualized treatment plan. The plan addresses your specific needs and is prepared by a team of professionals who are specially trained and experienced in oral surgery and restorative dentistry. This team approach provides coordinated care based on the implant option that is best for you.

Next, the tooth root implant, which is a small post made of titanium, is placed into the bone socket of the missing tooth. As the jawbone heals, it grows around the implanted metal post, anchoring it securely in the jaw. The healing process can take from 3-4 months

Once the implant has bonded to the jawbone, a small connector post -- called an abutment -- is attached to the post to securely hold the new tooth. To make the new tooth or teeth, your dentist makes impressions of your teeth. A replacement tooth, called a crown, is then attached to the abutment.

Your dentist also will match the colour of the new tooth to your natural teeth. Because the implant is secured within the jawbone, the replaced tooth looks, feels, and functions just like your own natural teeth.




How Do I Care for Dental Implants ?


Dental implants require the same care as natural teeth, including brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups.




How Painful Are Dental Implants ?


Most people who have received dental implants say that there is very little discomfort involved in the procedure. Local anaesthesia is used during the procedure, and most patients report that implants involve less pain than a tooth extraction.




Are implants safe and how long will they last ?


Implants are a safe, well-established treatment and with good oral hygiene many last for years, with some even lasting a lifetime.




I have few of my natural teeth. Can I still get implants ?


Yes, you can have any number of teeth replaced with implants - from one single tooth to a complete set.




What will happen if the implant does not fuse with the bone ?


This happens very rarely. If the implant becomes loose during the healing period, or just after, it can be easily removed and your jaw will heal in the normal way. Once your jaw has healed, another implant can be placed there. Or the dentist can make a bridge, fitting it to the implanted false tooth that has been removed.





ROOT CANAL TREATMENT

What is a Root Canal ?


Root canal therapy (RCT) is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that decayed or become infected.

A root canal procedure is performed when the nerve of the tooth becomes infected or the pulp becomes damaged. During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed, and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed.

Root canal procedures have the reputation of being painful. Contrary to myth, the majority of discomfort results from the decaying/infected tooth that has necessitated the root canal therapy rather than the RCT procedure itself.




What Are the Signs That Root Canal Therapy Is Needed ?


Signs you may need root canal therapy include: 1. Severe toothache pain upon chewing or application 2. Prolonged sensitivity (pain) to hot or cold temperatures (after the heat or cold has been removed) 3. Discoloration (darkening) of the tooth 4. Swelling and tenderness in nearby gums 5. A persistent or recurring pimple on the gums Sometimes no symptoms are present but on clinical and radiographic examination it reveals that the tooth is decayed or infected.




What will be the procedure ?


The most important step before beginning the treatment is proper clinical diagnosis based on symptoms. During the root canal treatment, a dentist cleans up the root canal and enlarges it. Once the pulpal tissue is removed, the remaining area is disinfected, medicated and obturated – filled with dental-filling. This procedure seals off the canal, preventing the spread of infection to other teeth. A permanent filling is then placed to close the opening. After which crown cutting of the filled tooth is done followed by making an impression. The impression taken is poured and then the cast is sent to a laboratory where skilled dental technicians fabricate the crown. Then finally the full coverage restoration (crown) is placed.




Is crown placement after Root canal treatment necessary ?


Yes. It is necessary because a root canal treatment removes the pulp from inside the tooth, the tooth becomes more brittle and may break more easily if it is not covered with a crown or cap. Therefore, dentists always advise to get the tooth capped after a root canal treatment.




Will the procedure be painful ?


With modern techniques and local anaesthesia, the procedure is unlikely to be painful. However certain patients feel slight sensitivity which would gradually disappear after the first sitting.




Will there be pain after the procedure ?


In most cases, any discomfort will subside dramatically within the first 24-48 hours. Any sensitivity to cold, hot or even breathing air "in" will be gone after your first visit. If the tooth is already hurting the root canal procedure will remove the cause and allow healing to begin. So in fact in most cases there will be less pain after the procedure than there was before. For the first few hours a pain killer regimen is prescribed to allow you to begin healing pain- free. The most common complaint is tenderness to touch, bite, tapping or chewing on the tooth. To minimise this, it is always best to chew on the other side until a permanent restoration replaces the temporary restoration.




What are the benefits of Root Canal Therapy versus Extraction ?


The single most important benefit of root canal therapy is that you keep your natural tooth intact. Extraction may lead to other dental problems like, drifting of teeth, bite problems, Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) discomfort. Regardless of how effective modern tooth replacements are - and they can be very effective - nothing is as good as your natural tooth.




How long will my root canal last ?


If the root canal has been done in a timely way, after that proper home care is taken and regular periodontal checkups are done, there is a chance that the tooth will last a life time.




I am not in any pain. Do I still need a root canal ?


Pain is only one indication that root canal treatment may be necessary. A healthy patient may harbour an infection inside a tooth, but due to a robust ability to fight infection, the patient may be unaware of what is happening inside the tooth. Your general dentist can often identify these teeth and refer you to an Endodontist to have these infected teeth treated by root canal therapy before they cause swelling and pain.




What are the other alternatives to a Root Canal treatment ?


As far as possible, saving your natural teeth is the very best option. Your natural teeth make it possible for you to eat a wide variety of foods necessary to maintain proper nutrition. To ensure this, root canal procedure is the treatment of choice.

The only alternative to a root canal procedure is having the tooth extracted. The tooth would then be replaced with a bridge, implant, or removable partial denture to restore chewing function and prevent adjacent teeth from shifting. These alternatives are not only more expensive than a root canal procedure but also require more treatment time and additional procedures on the adjacent teeth and supporting tissues.





TOOTH DECAY

How does tooth decay happen ?


The combination of bacteria and food particles is the primary cause of tooth decay. Certain types of bacteria get attached to hard surfaces like the enamel that covers your teeth forming a clear, sticky substance called plaque. If they're not removed, they multiply to form a colony. As these bacteria feed on the sugars in the food you eat, they generate harmful acids which attack the teeth after eating. Over time, these acids destroy tooth enamel, resulting in tooth decay also called, dental cavities or caries. Not having proper dental hygiene, frequent snacking and sugary drinks also make your teeth vulnerable to tooth decay.




What are the symptoms of dental decay ?


In the early stages of dental decay there are often no symptoms. However, your dentist be able to spot a cavity in its early stages when they examine or X-ray your teeth. Hence regular dental check-ups are always recommended as small cavities are much easier and more inexpensive to treat than advanced decay.




What happens if I have a cavity ?


Once the cavity has reached the dentine your tooth may become sensitive, particularly with sweet foods and drinks, and acidic or hot foods.

As the decay gets near the dental pulp you may suffer from toothache. If the toothache is brought on by hot or sweet foods this may last for only a few seconds. As the decay gets closer to the dental pulp the pain may last longer. In this case, you must visit your dentist straight away as the tooth is decayed or infected and you may develop a dental abscess if it is not treated on time.




What happens if I don't get the decay treated in time ?


Toothache is a sign that you should visit a dentist straight away, as it is a warning that something is wrong. If you don't do anything, this will usually make matters worse and you may lose a tooth that could otherwise have been saved.




What treatment will I require ?


If the decay is not too serious, the dentist will remove all the decay and restore the tooth with a filling. Sometimes the nerve in the middle of the tooth can be damaged. If so, the dentist will need to do a root canal treatment by removing the nerve and then restoring the tooth with a filling followed by a crown. If the tooth is so badly decayed that it cannot be restored, the dentist may have to extract it.




What can I do to prevent decay ?


The best way to prevent dental decay is by brushing your teeth thoroughly twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, making sure that you brush the inner, outer and biting surfaces of your teeth. Using 'interdental' brushes, or dental floss also helps remove plaque and food from between your teeth and where they meet the gums. These are the areas where an ordinary toothbrush can't reach. Along with these preventive home cares you should visit your dentist every 6 months for a through oral health check-up.





TEETH WHITENING

What is tooth whitening ?


Tooth whitening can be a very effective way of lightening the natural colour of your teeth without removing any of the tooth surfaces. It may not make a complete colour change, but it will definitely lighten the existing shade.




Why would I need my teeth whitened ?


There are a number of reasons why you might get your teeth whitened. Everyone is different; and just as our hair and skin colour vary, so do our teeth. Very few people have brilliant- white teeth, and our teeth can also become more discoloured as we get older.

Your teeth can also be stained on the surface by food and drinks such as tea, coffee, red wine and blackcurrant. Smoking can also stain teeth.

'Calculus' or tartar can also affect the colour of your teeth. Some people may have staining under the surface, which can be caused by certain antibiotics or tiny cracks in the teeth which take up stains.




What are the advantages of teeth bleaching ?


This mode of treatment has solely been developed to lighten teeth in a simple and comfortable manner. It can bring about a dramatic change in almost everyone's smile by changing a dull smile and yellow teeth to a bright smile with white teeth. The advantages of teeth bleaching are as follows:- 1. Bleaching of healthy teeth is the safest and most conservative cosmetic treatment available for your teeth today. 2. It generally requires no grinding of your teeth. 3. It does not require any anaesthesia and is painless and well tolerated. 4. The time taken for bleaching is relatively less considering the number of teeth that can be done at one sitting. 5. Bleaching works very well even when combined with other cosmetic treatment options to enhance the aesthetics of your teeth. 6. Bleaching does not damage your teeth, or change the structure of your teeth, nor does it change the shape or form of your teeth.




How is teeth bleaching done ?


Your Dentist will polish your teeth and check their current shade. Firstly, the dentist will protect your gums and lips. They will then apply the bleaching agent on the target teeth to be lightened and leave it there for a specific period of time. Intermittently, your teeth will be exposed to a special light, which will accelerate the bleaching process.




How long does this teeth bleaching take ?


The teeth bleaching procedure usually takes about one hour.




Are there any side effects of teeth bleaching ?


Some people's teeth become sensitive to cold during or after the treatment. Others may have discomfort in the gums. These symptoms are usually temporary and would disappear within a few days of the treatment finishing.




When might teeth whitening not work ?


Teeth whitening can only lighten your underlying teeth colour. Also it only works on natural teeth. It will not work on any types of 'false' teeth such as dentures, crowns and veneers. If your dentures are stained or discoloured visit your dentist and ask for them to be cleaned.




What is the difference between cleaning and whitening ?


Cleaning teeth which is technically called Scaling is the regular removal of stains and tartar from the tooth surface. Teeth bleaching otherwise called tooth whitening is a procedure done to improve the whiteness of the teeth and make them appear better cosmetically.




Is teeth bleaching safe ?


The American Dental Association recognizes bleaching as the most effective short-term treatment in the lightening of tooth color when performed under dental supervision. The bleaching solution can sometimes cause teeth to become temporarily temperature sensitive. This goes away within a few days of bleaching completion and no long-term ill effects have been reported.