Fillings, Crowns, Bridges: What’s the Difference?

Tooth crowns, dental bridges, and fillings are all dental treatment options that allow our teeth to heal from damage and trauma. Each available option serves its own purpose, and has its own value depending on the patient’s teeth requirements. Today, we discuss what these are and the specific cases or situations each treatment is most suitable for.

What are Tooth Crowns?

A tooth crown or a dental crown is a ceramic or porcelain prosthetic tooth that is made to fit directly over an existing tooth. It acts as a cover and is used mainly for patients with a decaying or damaged tooth. The crown acts as a “cap” to protect it from further deteriorating.

Crowns are fabricated outside of the mouth in a dental laboratory, and generally require at least two appointments. They can usually be made to match the colour of your natural teeth, but aside from ceramic and porcelain, other materials can be used to create crowns, such as gold and metal alloys. These are generally stronger than porcelain, and are the recommended material to use for molars, which can’t be seen as easily.

When do I need a Crown?

• When you need to replace a large filling
• When you have a weak tooth and you need to protect it from fractures
• When you have a fractured tooth that needs to be restored
• When you have discoloured or poorly shaped teeth that needs to be covered
• When you’ve just undergone a root canal treatment, and need to cover the tooth

What are Dental Bridges?

Just like a dental crown, a dental bridge is a fixed prosthetic device cemented onto existing teeth. A bridge is recommended by dentists in cases wherein you’re missing one or more teeth. Missing teeth that leave gaps will eventually cause the nearby teeth to rotate or shift, and try to fill in the empty space. This results in the formation of uneven teeth, and a bad bite. In more serious cases, it can also lead to gum disease, and temporomandibular joint disorders. With a dental bridge, we can replace these missing teeth, and these replacements, called abutments, will serve as anchors for the bridge. A replacement tooth, called a pontic, is attached to the crowns that cover the abutments.

When do I need a Bridge?

•  When you need to replace one or more missing teeth
•  When you have missing teeth and need to prevent the rest from moving to gaps

What are Dental Fillings?

While crowns are used in more serious cases of teeth decay, dental fillings will restore teeth that have lesser amounts of damage. Unlike crowns that only sit over you existing tooth, dental fillings require the removal of material. When treating a cavity, dentists will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and fill it with another substance. There are different types of material available to be used in fillings; Gold, porcelain, composite, and amalgam (silver fillings).

When do I need Fillings?

The amount of decay from a patient’s tooth can only be determined by dentists during a check-up. If your dentist can see you have a cavity, they will let you know.

Things to consider

It is important to have a trusted dentist that will guide you throughout the process of finding the most suitable treatment plan. Your dentist should be able to clearly explain your current oral situation. and what will work best for you and your teeth.

The dentist will determine whether you need a crown, bridge or a filling depending on:

• The severity of decay or tooth damage
• Your budget
• Your desired results
• Your heath

Ready for your check-up?

One sure way to find out whether you will be needing a crown, bridge, or a filling, is to set up an appointment with a trusted dentist, such as at Victoria Street Dental. Having a regular check-up with us will help you feel at ease, as we can guide you toward achieving your best possible smile. Contact us to book your appointment today.

Achieve the Perfect Smile with Cosmetic Dental Treatment

As a busy dentist in Wellington, we here at Victoria Street Dental see patients who are self-conscious about their smile all the time. If that sounds like you, don’t worry! You’re not alone, and even better, it’s not permanent! There’s always a solution for tooth-related problems – whether they are stained, chipped, or misaligned, your best bet is modern cosmetic dentistry.

Depending on your needs and your situation, there are a variety of cosmetic dental treatments suited for your teeth’s specific requirements. Today, we’re going over the various types of cosmetic dental procedures that can help you achieve that perfect smile.

Dental Implants

When you have a missing tooth that keeps you from giving your best smile, having dental implants is one option you can turn to. Dental implants are made of titanium, and are used to replicate the root of your tooth, inserted into the bone socket. When the jawbone starts to heal, it will then surround the implanted metal, anchoring it securely in the jaw. The best thing about dental implants is that they look and feel just like your own teeth. They are designed to fuse with the bone, so they are a permanent solution that does not require replacements.

Crowns and Bridges

It’s understandable that having gaps between your teeth can become a concern. Inserting dental crowns and bridges can help bond those gaps for a better smile. A dental crown or bridge is a tooth-shaped cover placed over an existing tooth – it’s used to keep a weak tooth from further breakage, and can also be used cosmetically to cover severely discoloured teeth. This procedure is also done for clients that need to restore a fractured tooth, cover a poorly shaped tooth, or prevent loose teeth from moving.

Clear Aligners

Traditional braces are a good way to align teeth, but clear aligners are a great alternative, and draw less attention. Clear aligners – such as Invisalign – act as clear braces that allow you to achieve the smile you’ve always wanted. They use a series of virtually invisible and removable plastic aligners that fit comfortably over your teeth, in order to gradually shift them into place over time, with each new set of aligners.

Professional Cleaning

When you don’t practice good oral hygiene, your teeth can suffer from tooth decay, plaque build-up, gum disease, and more. All of these things can greatly affect the way your teeth feel, and how they look. Proper brushing and flossing is a great way to keep your smile looking great, but it’s also advisable to have regular teeth cleanings with your dentist, to remove plaque you can’t see at home, and prevent early stages of gum disease.

Ready to Achieve a Perfect Smile?

If you are keen on achieving the perfect smile and improving your oral health, you should choose the most trusted dentist Wellington offers. The team here at Victoria St. Dental can help you choose the most suitable treatment for your teeth. Book your consultation with our friendly dentists today, and greet the day with a perfect smile.

How to Prepare for a Root Canal

You may have heard things about root canals – mostly that they can be painful. However, with modern anaesthesia the procedure can usually be performed mostly free of pain and hassle. To ensure a smooth procedure, it’s important to prepare correctly – reading up a little about what a root canal is will help set your mind at ease, and there are also certain physical steps that can be taken to reduce pain and complications during the procedure. These tips will help you prepare for your root canal so it can go off without a hitch, read on to find out more

1. Know what to expect

If you know what the procedure will look like, you won’t be surprised by it, which will mitigate stress. One of the most important things to know is that it won’t be over in one sitting – on the first visit, your dentist will drill into your tooth to remove the infected tissue underneath and put a temporary crown on. In about a week, you’ll have to come back so they can fill the hole with Gutta Percha rubber. You’ll probably also need to book another appointment to follow up – root canals are usually a precursor treatment for getting a dental crown, which will help protect your tooth in the long term.

2. Get good information from your dentist

Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your dentist about the procedure. A root canal can be needed when a filling is left untreated and an infection occurs inside the tooth, so you can first ask about the severity of the infection and its likeliness to spread. Left untreated, spreading infections can threaten other parts of your body. You could also ask about the relative merits of the alternative, which is getting the tooth removed and having an implant put in. It’s important to know as much as you can about your unique situation in order to make the best possible decisions.

3. Get antibiotics and painkillers

When you need a root canal, you’ll need to get antibiotics. These are important to help stop the infection spread while you wait for your appointment, since untreated tooth infections can cause serious complications to other bodily systems. Another benefit in reducing the size of the infection before the procedure is that it will make the whole experience less painful, especially during the drilling. You may also be able to get some over the counter painkillers like paracetamol or ibuprofen, and you can take these before the procedure, and during recovery.

4. Prepare physically for your appointment

A bit of planning around the appointment can help immensely. First, get a good night’s sleep beforehand. This is recommended for any medical procedure – whenever you are going to put your body through any level of surgery, having the energy of an adequate night’s sleep behind you goes much further than many think. You should also eat healthy in the days leading up to your root canal, since your body will need a lot of nutrients to repair the damage. It’s a good idea to eat a couple hours before going in, since your mouth will be numb afterwards and it will be hard to eat anything. Finally, avoid alcohol before the procedure – it dries out your mouth, and can lead to complications.

Have you planned for a problem-free procedure?

If you follow these steps, you’re unlikely to have anything go wrong during your root canal. Of course, we’ll tell you all of this and more as we guide you through the whole process. For a dentist in Wellington who is focussed on making sure you feel comfortable and secure, look no further. Contact us to book your appointment today.

Braces vs Invisalign: Which is Better for You?

Woman smiling holding model of braces and Invisalign

Are you searching for the best Wellington braces? What if there was an easier way?

In today’s blog, we’re taking a look at how braces compare to the future of corrective dentistry – Invisalign.
If you’re someone with dental issues such as crowding, spacing, or an excessive overbite, then you’re looking for a solution that won’t impact your lifestyle beyond what you’re comfortable with. Many people are sent running by the image of traditional metal braces, and nobody can blame them. Pain, pressure, and alarmingly frequent doctor’s visits to tighten or adjust braces are just some of the drawbacks of the traditional method.
Invisalign offers correction for:
• Spacing
• Crossbite
• Open Bite
• Crowding
• Excessive Overjet
• Deep Bite

So, let’s talk about why Invisalign might be the better choice for you.

Reasons to choose Invisalign over braces

They’re better for your self-esteem

Unfortunately, traditional metal braces are very visible and can impact your self-esteem. The goal of dental correction is to make you feel better about your smile, and most people won’t want to wait the 6 months to 2 years it takes to remove metal braces in order to see results. The inventors of Invisalign took this into account when formulating the technology. The clear retainer-like structure of the Invisalign orthodontic tray is shaped by your clinician using ClinCheck™ Software to fit your teeth perfectly, meaning that it is virtually invisible to those around you.
Because why not feel better about your smile right now?

They’re more hygienic

The idea of dental correction is to improve your dental hygiene, right? The problem is, braces can make it harder to brush and floss regularly. In the time you’re undergoing correction, your teeth may become more susceptible to plaque build-up, and halitosis (bad breath) could become a looming figure in your life.
Invisalign clear aligners are removable to combat this problem. You can brush and floss just as easily as before, and you are also encouraged to clean the trays themselves to prevent staining or plaque build-up.
And, since they are removable, you’re able to eat your favourite foods without restrictions. After all, who would want to be denied popcorn?

Invisalign is far more comfortable

Braces are known for being rather uncomfortable! Tightening, the placement of bands, and cuts and nicks from the metal itself are all possible obstacles you could face during this kind of treatment. Invisalign offers a custom-tailored series of orthodontic trays. Made to fit your teeth precisely, these trays are far more comfortable. Your correction course, tailor made by your clinician, means that every two weeks your Invisalign tray will change shape to gradually correct your teeth, with only the first few days of each new tray exhibiting any uncomfortable pressure.
A bonus here is a distinct decline in the number of doctor’s visits you will have to endure. The correction course is formulated so that you change the trays out yourself at the right time: no painful tightening sessions!

 

Want to know more?

If you’re considering dental correction, come to us at Victoria Street Dental we’ll help you find out if Invisalign is right for you. Consultation is free, and you’ll have the chance to see your treatment plan from start to finish. To learn more about Invisalign, take a look at the official website or learn about what to expect. Don’t settle for anything less than the best dentist Wellington has to offer – contact us today!

Treating a Chipped Tooth Instead of Extraction

You might be familiar with that sinking feeling that comes when you feel a tiny, hard fragment of enamel in your mouth – you’ve chipped a tooth. Or maybe it’ll happen to you in the future. Plenty of situations can result in you getting a small chip. When there’s a crack or chip on the exterior of the tooth, several procedures could be called for depending on the damage. We’ve got some handy advice for what to do when it happens to you, and what kind of dental procedures your dentist could perform to treat it.

Get to the dentist as soon as possible

If you damage your tooth, you need to get to a professional as soon as possible. If you’re looking for a trusted dentist in Wellington, look no further than our trusted team here at Victoria Street Dental. Meanwhile, there are a couple of dangers involved with a chipped tooth. It could expose the pulp, in which case you’ll know – your tooth will be very sensitive and sore. Some pain relief like paracetamol is a good idea in this case, as well as avoiding eating on that side and sticking to soft foods. The jagged edge could also cut your lip or tongue, so you could use some paraffin wax or chewing gum to cover it up.

Minor repairs to get back on the road

For most chips, bonding or filling procedures will fix you up and often only require one visit to the dentist. Fillings are not overly painful and reduce a lot of long-term pain and damage risk. Fillings can be made of multiple materials. Silver amalgam and plastic resins are used as a quicker and more inexpensive option that can be completed in one visit. For a more clean-looking and hard-wearing job, or for a more natural look to match the tooth, porcelain or even gold fillings can be used. Bonding is similar but uses a coating of resin applied to the tooth and dried with a high-intensity curing light to fill in small chips and leave your tooth looking just like it did before – no worries.

The crown jewel

A dental crown is a cover that is moulded to your tooth and is placed over the top. They can be used for structural or cosmetic reasons, or both. While crowns require multiple visits, since they are made in a dental laboratory to specification, the results are phenomenal and are well worth the effort. If your teeth are severely weakened, or they have cosmetic damage like discolouring, crowns can be the answer. The tooth crown can be made of resin, porcelain or metal and is cemented on to the tooth after reducing it a little in size. The result is like a whole new tooth, sturdy and great looking, giving you that confidence to smile!

Could a chip result in tooth extraction?

A chip will not require extraction, but more substantial damage might. Especially large cavities, as well as fractures that compromise the structural integrity of the tooth – for example, if they go down below the gumline – make some teeth prime candidates for extraction. If this is the case, your dentist will let you know. But, if you chip your tooth, don’t worry about it – there is almost no chance you’ll need to get the tooth pulled.

Are you ready to give us a toothy grin?

No matter what treatment you require, a visit to your dentist is all it takes to get the ball rolling. They will be able to judge which treatment is needed for your teeth and get you smiling again in no time. Contact us at Victoria St Dental today – your teeth will thank you for it.

How to identify and treat sensitive teeth

Looking for the advice of a dentist Wellington can trust? Today we’re talking about sensitive teeth – if you’ve been experiencing discomfort, this is the article for you. Read on to find out about the varieties of tooth sensitivity, how to spot the cause, and how to help manage the pain.

Possible triggers

To identify whether or not your teeth are sensitive, it’s worth looking into the possible triggers. There are a number of things that may cause sudden sharp pains in sensitive teeth, including:
• Cold – cool temperatures can penetrate enamel and chill the dentin of sensitive teeth, prompting a painful response. Cold air can also be a cause of this; sucking in air suddenly can pull air through microscopic holes in your dentin.
• Heat – similarly, high-temperature foods or beverages can cause pain by heating the gas produced by bacteria within your teeth. This can cause painful internal pressure.
• Sugar – sweet sensitivity is another kind of pain you may be experiencing. If sugar comes in contact with your tooth’s dentin, a possible reaction is loss of fluid, which creates a similar pressure imbalance to heat.

Conducting a self-examination

If you’re concerned about your teeth, there are a couple of major signs you can look for yourself. These include plaque, tooth decay, gingivitis, and cavities. Plaque is relatively easy to notice – food by products and proteins build up on your teeth over time and, if you fail to brush often enough, you’ll be able to see and feel the plaque that builds up as a result. Tartar is plaque that has hardened, and is usually a yellow or brown colour.
Tooth decay may not cause any symptoms straight away, but is usually visible as white or darker blotches on your teeth. If left unchecked, tooth decay will progress form simple sensitivity into cavities or infections.
Gingivitis is also relatively easy to spot as red or swollen gums. Gingivitis is important to take note of, as it can develop into periodontal disease if ignored. This is much worse than tooth sensitivity, as it can result in the loosening of your teeth from the gums.
Finally, you may notice cavities in your teeth while performing a self-examination. Cavities are typically noticeable as visible holes in teeth, and are commonly associated with bad breath. Cavities may not always contribute to sensitive teeth at first but, if ignored for a long time, they will.

Mitigating the pain

If your teeth are sensitive and causing you consistent pain, seeking professional advice is the best thing you can do. In the meantime, there are several toothpaste brands available at your local supermarket or pharmacy which are specifically designed for sensitive teeth. It’s important to find the right one for you, and then also to use it properly – many people use sensitivity toothpastes until the pain subsides, and then switch back, only for it to return. Your dentist will be able to recommend the best toothpaste and pain management for your teeth.
Another avenue you can pursue is altering your brushing method. When you have sensitive teeth, using a softer brush, avoiding scrubbing too hard, and making sure you brush for a full two minutes are all advisable. Brushing your teeth too hard, with a very stiff brush, can eventually strip off layers of tooth enamel. It can be difficult to alter these habits, but it could completely turn your oral health around.
Limiting highly acidic foods and beverages is another great tactic for sensitive teeth. Red wine, soft drinks, and acidic fruits all have the potential to help wear away your enamel too. Over-indulging in these is dangerous even if you don’t have sensitive teeth, as enamel can’t grow back. Even diet soft drinks – while absent of sugar – alter the acidity of your mouth, which is why chewing gum is recommended to stimulate saliva and help prevent tooth decay.
Finally, many people have sensitive teeth due to grinding. Teeth grinding, especially during sleep, is a common cause of tooth sensitivity, and some may not even notice that they are doing it. Try wearing a mouth guard at night, and see if it makes a difference. Beyond that, there are exercises you can do to relax your jaw, and it may even be worth examining your mental health, as tooth grinding is often a symptom of unaddressed stress and anxiety in your life.

Talk to the dental experts

From tooth sensitivity to wisdom teeth removal, Victoria Street Dental has you covered. Come talk to us about your oral health today, and we can help you stop worrying about your teeth, and get back to enjoying life. Book a dental examination on our website now!

Discover what to expect through the process of Invisalign® Treatment

Why Invisalign?

The appearance of your smile impacts your personal and professional lives. Many patients have considered straightening their teeth but have been put off at the thought of traditional braces. The process of Invisalign treatment offers patients an option to achieve properly aligned teeth without the need for metal brackets and wires. Victoria Street Dental are your trusted Wellington Dentist for Invisalign treatments.

Invisalign Wellington

What to expect

Invisalign is a brand of orthodontic aligner trays. It can be used to treat mild to moderate orthodontic needs such as crowded, gapped, crooked, and misaligned teeth. Invisalign trays are fabricated from clear, BPA free plastic so they are safe, yet not visible to the general public. The trays are created using impressions of your teeth to ensure a snug fit around the teeth. This helps to avoid slipping while maintaining patient comfort.

Records which include x-ray, photographs and moulds of your teeth are taken to allow the dentist to devise a treatment plan. This plan uses a series of custom-made trays to gradually shift the teeth into proper alignment. The trays use gentle pressure rather than wires to move the teeth. Each set of trays is worn for a couple weeks as directed by the dentist. The trays are then discarded and a new set is worn. Each set has a different placement of pressure to promote continuous, gentle shifting of the teeth. Regular visits with your dentist are used to assess and monitor your progress.

Invisalign is a popular orthodontic treatment. The trays are convenient, removable, and subtle. From start to finish, our team makes sure you know what to expect from the Invisalign treatment process.

  1. Consultation – Patients who are interested in orthodontic correction need a consultation with the dentist to determine if Invisalign is an appropriate treatment.
  2. Treatment plan – Images and impressions are necessary to create custom aligner trays. The dentist creates a personalized treatment plan which includes the movement of the teeth and the estimated length of the treatment. Treatment time varies from patient to patient. Most patients are treated in approximately 12 months.
  3. Aligner trays – Invisalign trays are barely noticeable to the general public. They are made of clear, BPA-free plastic. Trays should be worn for 20 to 22 hours daily or as directed by the dentist for optimal results.
  4. Periodic checks – Using multiple sets of trays with differently placed pressure, the patient’s teeth are gradually shifted into proper alignment. Periodic checks with the dentist will ensure the treatment is progressing as planned.
  5. Retainers – Wearing a retainer after your Invisalign treatment is a must in order to maintain your beautiful new smile.

Patient-controlled successImage of a Young lady with white Teeth

One of the key factors in the success of Invisalign treatment lies with the patient. Aligner trays are removable. The more frequently they are removed, the less effective they are. Invisalign trays should only be removed to eat or to care for the teeth. Adhering to the dentist’s instructions ensure optimal results. Not following these instructions can hinder the effects of the treatment or create the need for future orthodontic correction.

Invisalign is a popular, effective treatment for teenagers and adults. It has become popular for the following reasons:

  1. Nearly invisible – Made of clear, BPA-free plastic, the aligner trays are not noticeable when patients are speaking or interacting with others. This allows for orthodontic correction without anyone knowing. With proper cleaning and rinsing, the trays remain invisible to the general public.
  2. Comfortable – Since they are created from impressions of your teeth, the aligner trays custom designed to fit snugly. They do not move around in the mouth.
  3. Removable – Trays can be removed to eat, drink, brush, and floss. Patients do not have to worry about particles from food or drinks getting stuck in the trays.
  4. Individualized – The trays and treatment plan are designed for each patient’s orthodontic needs.

Invisalign Wellington

Invisalign orthodontic treatments do more than just straighten and align the teeth. Straight teeth are generally healthier than crooked, misaligned teeth. The smile is improved aesthetically and functionally. Crooked, crowded teeth take away your smile but they are also harder to clean and floss. Straight teeth are easier to clean since there are fewer hard-to-reach areas where bacteria can hide and accumulate. The patient’s bite is improved. The overall smile is enhanced.

If you have any questions about Invisalign, contact us today to book an appointment or visit the Invisalign website.

Wellington Dentist

How Good Is Your Oral Hygiene Routine?

Wellington dentist
Your teeth can have a big effect on your appearance and confidence. Having the right oral hygiene routine is essential in keeping your teeth healthy. We understand that not everyone knows what the ideal oral hygiene routine should look like. In this post, we give you some tips on how to establish a good routine for your oral health.

Brush Your Teeth

● Brush your teeth for 2 minutes, spending an equal amount of time in each quadrant of your mouth.
● Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle pointed towards the gums.
● Brush all surfaces of your teeth.
● Brush your teeth twice a day.

For best results, we recommend you use a fluoride-based toothpaste and a good toothbrush (standard or electric). Brushing is an important part of your oral hygiene as it removes plaque and stimulates your gums, preventing gum disease.

Use Dental Floss

● Use a good dental floss that is recommended by your dentist.
● Floss once a day.
● Don’t forget to floss the back of your mouth.
● To properly floss, wrap each end around your finger and insert it gently between your teeth.
● While flossing, follow the curve of your teeth to avoid damaging your gums.
● Repeat this procedure for each tooth.

Note: If you have bridges or braces, the type of floss required may be different than the store bought ones. Consult your dental specialist for a recommended dental floss product.

Rinse With Mouthwash

● After brushing and flossing your teeth, rinse your mouth with mouthwash.
● For proper usage, take a small sip and swoosh it around your mouth for 40-60 seconds. Spit the mouthwash out when complete.

Clean Your Tongue To Improve Breath

Most toothbrushes have a tongue cleaner opposite the brush area. However, for the best results, we recommend having an appropriate tongue scraper. To use the tongue scraper, brush it gently against your tongue. Rinse with water once complete.

Our Tips For Optimal Oral Hygiene

● Visit your dental hygienist regularly for check-ups and cleaning. We recommend an appointment every 6 months.

● When using the above oral hygiene routine, examine your mouth to make sure there are no abnormalities.

● Eat a healthy and balanced diet recommended by your dentist.

An important part of having a good oral hygiene routine is understanding what your oral needs are. Having regular check-ups by a specialized dental hygienist is necessary to keep your oral health in check.

If you have any questions about your oral hygiene routine or need a check-up, Victoria Street Dental is a Wellington dentist offering a number of dental services. Contact us today to request more information or to book an appointment.

I have a cavity? But I don’t feel anything….

One common reaction we regularly get at a dental office is patients are often surprised to find out that they have a cavity. Personally been in that same position myself, and understand the disbelief! When showing a patient their cavity on our HD screens the common response is “but it doesn’t hurt”. While early cavities can sometimes lead to tooth aches, majority of them do not.

Picture a completely rusted car in a junkyard. The corrosion began as a small spot that eventually spread to destroy the car’s body. Tooth decay is very similar, slow process that begins as a small cavity which if left untreated, can worsen to eventually destroy the tooth. A cavity is essentially an acid burn caused by bacterial by-products sitting on and in between your teeth. This is not something that happens overnight, but takes many months and in some cases years to develop into something that we can see or feel.

How does a cavity form?

To simplify things, cavity requires 3 factors for it to develop:

  1. Tooth
  2. Diet (Carbohydrates)
  3. Bacteria

Wellington Dentist

 

Essentially once you have all 3 factors present for a period of time it will lead to the formation of a cavity. Cavities first burn into the outer enamel of the tooth which is often painless and undetectable with the naked eye. As time progress, it will progress deeper to affect the next layer of the tooth known as dentine. You may begin to feel problem at this point. However, you often won’t until the cavity burns into the deeper part of the dentine and eventually into the nerve leading to a tooth abscess.

Wellington Dentist

Treatment for a tooth cavity

Small cavity that are detected early are often treated with a simple filling with minimal risk. This can only be accomplished with regularly dental examination and x-rays as they can often go undetected due to no pain or sensitivity. With bigger cavity that have not quite reach the nerve yet, these may require a crown for treatment as there is limited tooth structure to adequately support a simple filling. However, because the cavity is deep there is a greater risk the nerve may go unsettle and require a root canal treatment. Finally, once the cavity has exposed the nerve the fate of the tooth is either a root canal treatment to decontaminate the tooth or worse case scenario the removal of the tooth. That is why it is important not to wait until you’re in pain to visit the dentist.

Take home message

In short, early detection with x-rays is an important aspect of cavity diagnosis. Don’t wait until you experience pain to visit the dentist. What could be caught as a small cavity requiring a routine filling can become a much more complicated and expensive problem if it is allowed to grow.

Book in with Victoria Street Dental for you check up today!

Wellington Dentist

Wisdom teeth: why and when they need extracting

wisdom tooth removal

Wisdom teeth: why and when they need extracting

Wisdom teeth removal is unique from patient to patient. As the last teeth to appear in healthy adults, their arrival can be relatively painless, or require immediate removal to prevent further issues in the mouth. How your dentist approaches your wisdom teeth will rely on a number of factors: the potential for infection, decay in surrounding teeth, overcrowding, or weakening of the jaw bone.

Below we’ll look at some of the complications they can cause, and when to consider asking your dentist about wisdom teeth removal.

Overcrowding and gum disease

Even before the eruption, and normally in the teenage years, planning extractions is undertaken if an orthodontic issue is present. This is commonly due to overcrowding, where insufficient space or poor alignment of the wisdom tooth will put the neighbouring teeth at risk.

If wisdom teeth are far back in the mouth, this makes them less accessible in regards to maintaining high-quality oral hygiene, which can lead to periodontal disease (gum disease) and decay. Ultimately, this will lead to more complex dental treatment simply to maintain them.

Inflammation and infection

If the wisdom teeth remain in a partially erupted state, they are prone to pericoronitis (an infection surrounding the wisdom tooth itself), potentially leading to an abscess formation. As wisdom teeth rarely all have perfect alignment or appear without issue, this is a common reason for extraction in adults. An inflamed gum area can worsen If left untreated, and pericoronitis can lead to serious health issues.

Your wisdom teeth can be a fantastic asset to your mouth if they are perfectly aligned, though for many this isn’t the case. A regular checkup at your dentist can determine whether any – or all – of your wisdom teeth will lead to further issues as you age.

Wisdom teeth removal

If you’ve spoken with your dentist and ultimately decided to have one or all of your wisdom teeth removed, the process will be fairly straightforward:

  1. A decision is made to remove the wisdom tooth or teeth.
  2. An x-ray will be performed to assess the root formation of the tooth, proximity to the major nerve in the lower jaw for lower wisdom teeth, or the sinus cavity in the upper jaw.
  3. Your dentist will discuss the procedure and any complications: access to the tooth dependent on the size of the mouth, if the tooth has fully erupted, length of the roots, any overlying bone, and any impaction on the neighbouring teeth.
  4. A decision is then made for local or general anaesthetic and, depending on the severity of the extraction, will be carried out by a dentist or a specialist oral surgeon.

The process of extraction will be entirely dependent on the individual. Extraction can be simple or complex – ranging from basic pressure using a Luxator (a small instrument with a flat blade used for extractions) to substantial bone removal, and crown and root division for surgical extraction. As there is little way of assessing the requirements for wisdom teeth extraction yourself, a visit to the dentist will provide both peace of mind and a clear pathway forward.

Victoria Street Dental – Quality services for all patients

If you’re concerned about your wisdom teeth, speak to your dentist today to arrange a consultation and x-ray. Victoria Street Dental provides a wide range of dental services. Whether you need an urgent dental appointment or a family dentist for general checkups, speak to your trusted Wellington Dentist.