Teeth require fillings when a part has been lost to decay or has broken away and needs to be restored.
Tooth-coloured or white fillings (as opposed to amalgam fillings) are made from composite resin - the end result is a filling shaped, polished and matched to your existing tooth colour.
If you have existing amalgam fillings which detract from your appearance, these can be replaced with white fillings so there is no sign of dark metal and instead, a natural, aesthetic look.
Root canal treatment
Root canal treatment is vital in order to save a tooth, which may otherwise have to be extracted.
Why is root canal treatment needed?
The most common reasons root canal treatment is required is for a deep cavity in which infection has spread to the tooth’s nerve or when a tooth has been injured by trauma such as a severe knock or strong impact. Symptoms which indicate the possible need for root canal treatment include pain or throbbing from the tooth when biting, sensitivity to hot and cold; other times, there are no obvious symptoms.
If root canal treatment is recommended, it should be performed as soon as possible, because infection which is not removed can lead to the formation of an abscess which destroys the bone around the tooth, impacting the tooth’s chances to be saved. The infection can cause other negative effects such as fever, facial and neck swelling – abscesses are a major cause of tooth pain.
What does root canal treatment involve?
Root canal treatment consists of the removal of the infected or irritated nerve tissue that lies within the root of the tooth. The next phase is to clean and remove the bacteria and infection from the pulp chamber and root canals and to shape and fill the remaining space. The root canal is then sealed off.
Inlays and onlays
There are certain instances when teeth require greater strength, reinforcement and support than fillings alone. Inlays and onlays are tooth-coloured restorations that provide the strength to fill large cavities and repair damaged or weakened teeth. Inlays and onlays can be made from tooth-coloured porcelain, which will restore the tooth to its full strength and offer a natural and aesthetic appearance.
Caring for wisdom teeth
Wisdom teeth are the last molars on each side of the jaws and usually start to emerge or erupt between the ages of 16 and 20. As they are the last permanent teeth to erupt, there is often not enough room left in the mouth to accommodate them.
This can lead to wisdom teeth growing at an angle and being trapped beneath the gum tissue by other teeth or bone, known as being ‘impacted’.
Potential wisdom teeth problems
If teeth are impacted, swelling and tenderness may occur. Wisdom teeth can also move a person’s bite out of alignment, or cause other teeth to shift and overcrowding of existing teeth. Given their location, it can be difficult to maintain proper oral hygiene around wisdom teeth and this can lead to decay or gum infection around the surrounding area.
Advice for wisdom teeth
Often, to alleviate and prevent such effects, wisdom teeth may need to be removed.
The best approach with wisdom teeth is to have them evaluated, along with xrays, to assess whether they need to be removed and if so, to identify the most suitable method to remove them.