General Dentistry

GENERAL DENTISTRY

At Bright Dental, we offer a wide range of treatments to help keep your teeth strong and healthy, so you can enjoy eating whatever you want, and feel confident about your smile.

Visiting us for regular check-ups is very important. It enables us to keep a close eye on what is happening in your mouth, and to spot potential problems at an early stage, often saving you time and money. Our check-ups also include screening for mouth cancer, so could even save your life.

Please note that some treatments and/or materials are only available on a private basis. We will always explain your treatment options to you so you can make an informed decision about which is best for your teeth, your lifestyle and your budget.

Fillings

Fillings are one of the most basic methods of restoring teeth, usually when they have been damaged by tooth decay.

At Bright Dental, we offer both tooth-coloured fillings, which are virtually invisible, and the traditional grey amalgam ones. Many people prefer the tooth-coloured ones simply because they look so much better, but these are not always available on the NHS.

We normally numb the tooth and the surrounding area with a local anaesthetic. Once numb, we will drill the decayed material from the tooth, and will then fill the hole with either amalgam or tooth-coloured material.

We will then shape the filling so it does not interfere with the way you bite and chew. For tooth-coloured fillings, the shaping also helps the tooth to look as realistic as possible.

Crowns

Crowns are usually recommended when the root of your tooth is still relatively strong and healthy, but the top part of it has been broken or damaged; or it is very decayed and is not strong enough to be filled any more. They are also often recommended after root canal treatment, and are sometimes needed to help support a bridge.

Before fitting your crown, we will need to prepare your tooth. Usually we will numb the tooth and surrounding area with local anaesthetic, and will then take an impression, or mould, of the area around your tooth. This will be used by a skilled dental technician, who will create a crown that will fit well and match your natural teeth.

While the crown is being made, you will be fitted with a temporary one. Once your new crown is ready, we will fit it and bond it in place with special dental cement.

As with so many things, with crowns you tend to get what you pay for. If you simply need a strong, functional crown, then a cheaper or NHS-funded crown will be absolutely fine. However, if you want a very realistic appearance – for example on a highly visible front tooth – then you may want to pay a little more for a better result.

Root canal treatment

We usually recommend root canal treatment when the pulp of the tooth becomes infected, either through decay or injury. The pulp is the soft bit inside the tooth, and runs right through the root, carrying the nerve supply and nutrients. When it becomes infected, that infection can spread throughout the root canal system of the tooth, and can cause an abscess which is usually extremely painful.

If left untreated the infection can lead to damage around the bone of the tooth, and the tooth is likely to have to be removed.

Root canal treatment can be quite lengthy – because the area we are treating is so small, it takes a great deal of skill and patience. This means that we usually only offer this service on a private basis.

During the first visit we will need to remove the infected pulp. We numb the tooth and the surrounding area first so that you do not feel any pain, and then use special tiny tools to take the pulp away. We also shape the root canal so it is easier to fill.

The tooth will need to settle down, so we will give it a temporary filling. Sometimes this filling will include medication to help to destroy any germs and prevent further infection.

On your next visit we will examine the tooth to ensure that the infection has cleared properly, and will replace the temporary filling with a permanent one. Sometimes a filling will be all you will need, but often the root canal treatment weakens the tooth and it will need strengthening with a crown.

Bridges & Dentures

A bridge is a false tooth which is held in place by the teeth next to it. Most often, the two neighbouring teeth – one on each side – will need to have crowns fixed onto them. The two crowns are then joined together by placing the false tooth between them and cementing them in place.

Dentures usually replace a number of missing teeth. A full denture, also called a complete denture, is one that replaces all the teeth at the top or the bottom of your mouth. A partial denture is one that fills spaces left by missing teeth.

Even if you have lost all your teeth, you will still need to visit us regularly to ensure that your dentures still fit properly and also so we can check for signs of oral disease, including mouth cancer. You still need to care for your mouth, brushing your gums, tongue and palate daily as well as cleaning your dentures thoroughly.

Tooth extractions

Many people have to have a tooth removed at some time in their lives. This can be for a number of reasons. Some people have over-crowded mouths, and have some teeth removed as part of their orthodontic (teeth straightening) treatment. Sometimes teeth become too badly decayed or damaged to be repaired, and need to be extracted. Gum disease can, in its later stages, cause teeth to become so loose that they have to be taken out. And some people have to have their wisdom teeth removed, usually because they are growing in the wrong direction and are causing problems.

The procedure for removing a tooth is relatively simple from a patient’s perspective. We will numb your tooth and the surrounding area with local anaesthetic, so you won’t feel any pain. We will then hold the tooth firmly, and will ease it out. There will be some bleeding, but we will place a gauze pad in the tooth socket to help stop the bleeding. We will generally ask you to bite gently on this padding for about half an hour, after which you can take it out and throw it away.