Dental care involves the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and conditions of the oral cavity. This includes but is not limited to the following range of procedures:
- Applying composite tooth bonding is a restorative procedure that uses tooth enamel-coloured composite resin (plastic) to repair teeth that are decayed, chipped, fractured or discoloured. Tooth gaps can also be closed. Unlike veneers, which require laboratory work, bonding is done in the dental office.
- A dental brace is a device used to correct the alignment of teeth and bite-related problems (including underbite, overbite, etc.). Braces straighten teeth by exerting steady pressure on the teeth.Bridges and implants are two ways to replace a missing tooth or teeth. Bridges are false teeth anchored in place by neighbouring teeth. The bridge consists of two crowns on the anchoring teeth along with the false tooth in the centre. Dental implants are artificial roots used to support replacement teeth.
Crowns and Caps
- Crowns are dental restorations that protect damaged, cracked or broken teeth. Dental crowns, often referred to as caps, sit over the entire part of the tooth that lies above the gum line.
- Dentures are prosthetic devices replacing lost teeth. There are two types of dentures – partial and full. Full dentures are often referred to as “false teeth”.
- A severely damaged tooth may need to be extracted. Permanent teeth may also need to be removed for orthodontic treatment.
Fillings and Repairs
- Dental fillings and repairs use restorative materials used to repair teeth which have been compromised due to cavities or trauma.
- Periodontal or gum disease is an infection that affects the gums and jaw bone, which can lead to a loss of gum and teeth. There are two major stages — gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the milder and reversible form; periodontal disease is often more severe. In some cases, gum surgery will be required to reverse the effect of the disease.
Oral Cancer Examination
- Oral cancer starts in the cells of the mouth, tongue or throat. Oral cancer screening is usually a routine part of a dental examination. In this exam, your dentist will feel for lumps or irregular tissue changes in your neck, head, face, and inside your mouth. Your dentist will also look for sores or discoloured tissue in your mouth.
- Root canals treat diseases or abscessed teeth. Once a tooth is injured, cracked or decayed, it is necessary to open the tooth and clean out the infected tissue in the centre. This space is then filled and the opening sealed.
- Dental sealants, usually applied to the chewing surface of teeth, act as a barrier against decay-causing bacteria. Most often, the sealants are applied to the back teeth, e.g., premolars and molars.
Your teeth may feel fine, but it’s still important to see the dentist regularly because problems can exist without you knowing.
Points to remember for good oral hygiene:
- Always remember to brush your teeth at least two times a day, and floss at least once.
- Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride, and ask your dentist if you need a fluoride rinse. This will help prevent cavities.
- Avoid foods with a lot of sugar (sugar increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth causing more plaque and possibly cavities) and avoid tobacco (this can stain your teeth, cause gum disease, and eventually lead to oral cancer).
- Don’t be afraid to brush your tongue! By brushing your tongue, you will remove food particles and reduce the amount of plaque-causing bacteria. Tongue brushing also helps keep your breath fresh.
- Be sure to schedule your routine checkup. It is recommended that you visit the dentist every six months.