GENERAL DENTISTRY & RCT

Dental health is an important part of your general health. Whatever your age, you can and should have healthy teeth. Correct dental care can help you keep your teeth healthy for a lifetime. The best way to look after your teeth and save money is to have regular six monthly check-up and cleanings at the dentist. This helps to avoid major dental treatments by finding and preventing problems before they progress.

 

Brushing, flossing, mouth rinses and diet are also an important aspect of having a healthy mouth.

 

General dentistry includes:

  • Scaling and polishing
  • Filling
  • Root Canal Treatment (RCT)
  • Tooth extraction

 

Scaling & polishing

Dental health is an important part of your general health. Whatever your age, you can and should have healthy teeth. Correct dental care can help you keep your teeth healthy for a lifetime. Dentists recommend the procedure of deep cleaning of teeth, also called teeth scaling and root planing, for removal of plaque deposited at the gum pocket. It is the process by which your gums and teeth are kept healthy by professionally removing the infected deposits like plaque, calculus and stains from the tooth surfaces

 

What causes plaque and how it is treated?

  • Even if you practice the best oral hygiene, there are bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria, along with proteins and food by-products, form a sticky film called dental plaque. This film coats teeth. Plaque is most prevalent in areas that are hard to clean - like the back teeth - just along the gum line, and around fillings or other dental products.
  • Such deposits, if not removed, cause infection and loosening of the gums, ultimately leading to pyorrhoea and tooth loss.
  • The golden rule is to have a routine dental check up every 6 months. Your dentist will be able to advise you whether you need scaling or not

 

 

 

Filling

Tooth decay is the process that results in a cavity (dental caries). It occurs when bacteria in your mouth make acids that eat away at a tooth. If not treated, tooth decay can cause pain, infection, and tooth loss.

 

 

You can easily prevent tooth decay by brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, seeing your dentist for teeth cleaning and checkups, and avoiding foods that is high in sugar content.

 

What causes tooth decay?

The combination of bacteria and food causes tooth decay. A clear, sticky substance called plaque that contains bacteria on your teeth and gums. As the bacteria feed on the sugars in the food you eat, they make acids. The acids attack the teeth resulting in tooth decay.

 

What are the symptoms?

Tooth decay usually does not cause symptoms until you have a cavity or an infected tooth. When this occurs, a toothache is the most common symptom. Only your dentist can tell for sure whether you have a cavity.

 

Root Canal Treatment

  • Root canal treatment is the removal of the tooth's pulp, a small, thread-like tissue in the center of the tooth. There are two main reasons why Root canal treatment is needed.
  • There are two main reasons why Root canal treatment is needed. The first is infection. An untreated cavity is a common cause of pulp infection. The pulp that can't be fixed is the second reason for a root canal treatment. A fracture in a tooth can also damage the pulp.

 

What causes pulp damage?

The most common causes of pulp damage or death are:

  • A cracked tooth
  • A deep cavity
  • An injury to a tooth, such as a severe knock to the tooth, either recent or in the past.

Once the pulp is infected or dead, if left untreated, pus can build up at the root tip in the jawbone, forming an abscess. An abscess can destroy the bone surrounding the tooth and cause pain

 

What are the symptoms?

If you have an infection of the pulp, you may not feel any pain at first. But if it is not treated, the infection will cause pain and swelling. In some cases, an abscess will form. You may need a root canal if:

  • Your tooth is broken
  • Tooth hurts when you bite down on it, touch it or push on it
  • Tooth is sensitive to heat
  • Teeth are discoloured
  • Teeth are sensitive to cold for more than a couple of seconds
  • There is swelling near the tooth.

 

How is it treated

Root canal treatment consists of several steps that take place over several office visits, depending on the situation. These steps are:

  • First, an opening is made through the back of a front tooth or the crown of a molar or pre-molar
  • After the diseased pulp is removed (a pulpectomy), the pulp chamber and root canals are cleaned, enlarged and shaped in preparation for being filled.
  • If more than one visit is needed, a temporary filling is placed in the crown opening to protect the tooth between dental visits.
  • The temporary filling is removed and the pulp chamber and root canal permanently filled. A tapered, rubbery material called gutta-percha is inserted into each of the canals and is often sealed into place with cement. Sometimes a metal or plastic rod is placed in the canal for structural support.
  • In the final step, a crown is usually placed over the tooth to restore its natural shape and appearance. If the tooth is very broken down, a post may be required to build it up prior to placing a crown.

 

 

The success rates for Root Canal Therapy have been reported to be as high as 95%.

Sometimes when there has been long standing infection or abscess, there may be some soreness associated with the root canal visit. If this should turn out to be true, you will be given specific instructions to follow to minimize the discomfort. When an infection is present, it may be necessary to take an antibiotic. If pain should be present, analgesics may need to be prescribed.

 

The tooth will then possibly need a post and core and a crown in order to re-establish normal form and function. This decision will be based upon several additional factors.

 

Tooth Extraction

A tooth that is severely damaged may need to be removed. Removing a tooth is necessary when decay or an abscessed tooth is so severe that no other treatment will cure the infection.

How is the need for extraction diagnosed?

Your dentist diagnoses the need for tooth extraction by:

 

Before a tooth is removed, your dentist will thoroughly review your medical and dental history and take the appropriate X-rays.

 

X-rays reveal the length, shape, and position of the tooth and surrounding bone. From this information, your dentist can estimate the degree of difficulty of the procedure and decide whether to refer you to a specialist called an oral surgeon.

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