Complete Oral Examination
At your first dental visit, your dentist will conduct a comprehensive dental examination. At regular check-up exams, your dentist and hygienist will include the following:
* Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs) which is essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. X-rays also helps to locate tooth and roots.
* Gum disease evaluation; where the gums and bone around the teeth are checked for any sign of periodontal disease.
* Examination of tooth decay; where all teeth surfaces will be checked for decay with special dental instruments.
* Examination of existing restorations; where fillings, crowns, veneers, etc. are checked for possible breakdown.
Dental radiographs (X-rays) are essential diagnostic tools that provide valuable information not visible during a regular dental exam. Dentists and dental hygienists use this to safely and accurately detect hidden dental anomalies and complete an accurate treatment plan. Without x-rays, problem areas may go undetected.
Dental x-rays may reveal;
* Abscesses or cysts.
* Bone loss.
* Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors.
* Decay between the teeth.
* Developmental anomalies.
* Poor tooth and root positions.
* Problems inside a tooth or below the gum line.
Detecting and treating dental problems at an early stage can save you time, money, unnecessary discomfort, and your teeth!
Are dental x-rays safe?
We are exposed to natural radiation in our environment. The amount of radiation exposure from a full mouth series of x-rays is equal to the amount a person receives in a single day from natural sources. Dental x-rays produce a low level of radiation and are considered safe. Dentists take necessary precautions to limit the patient’s exposure to radiation while taking the dental x-rays. These precautions include using lead apron shields to protect the body and using modern, fast film that cuts down the exposure time of each x-ray.
How often should dental x-rays be taken?
The need for dental x-rays depends on each patient’s needs. Your dentist and dental hygienist will recommend necessary x-rays based on the medical and dental history, dental examination, signs and symptoms, age consideration, and risk for disease.
Dental x-rays could be: Intraoral x-rays (The x-ray film is inside the mouth) such as: Periapical, Occlusal, and Bite-wing views. OR Extraoral x-rays (The x-ray film is outside the mouth) like, panoramic x-ray and computed tomography. Of these two, the intraoral x-rays are the most commonly used.
A full mouth series of dental x-rays is recommended for new patients. A full series is usually good for three to five years. Bite-wing x-rays (x-rays of top and bottom teeth biting together) are taken at recall (check-up) visits and are recommended once or twice a year to detect new dental problems.
Paediatric Dental Care
We at 3-J Dental Clinic have a special commitment to helping our young patients. We encourage parents to bring their children with them at early age so they can acquire habits that will preserve their teeth for life. We provide painless comprehensive dental care for all ages of children with emphasis on preventive dental care such as good oral hygiene, fluoride application or fissure sealants were necessary to help keep the need for teeth restorations like fillings to the barest minimum.
Deep pits and grooves can be found on the back teeth. Such pits and grooves are termed ‘fissures’ and are usually so narrow that toothbrush bristles and streams of water are not able to clean them effectively. These form a favourable environment for bacteria to flourish, often resulting in tooth decay.
What can be done?
Fissure sealants can be applied to the teeth. Sealants are most effective when applied after the eruption of the tooth. Early application ensures teeth are protected from the decay process. Fissure sealants are special materials used by dentists to seal off pits and fissures from the oral environment. Sealing the tooth surfaces protect fissures from bacteria and fermentable foods like sugar and starch, to prevent decay from starting deep within the fissures. The most commonly fissure-sealed teeth are the molars and premolars. Sealants are applied easily and painlessly. No drilling is required. The tooth is properly cleaned, dried, and the sealant applied. It then hardens to form a protective coating over the tooth.
How effective are sealants and how long can they last?
Many studies show sealants to be very effective in preventing decay in fissures. If properly placed, sealants can last as long as a typical amalgam filling. Even if they are damaged or lost, they are easily repaired or replaced. They do, however require regular maintenance by your dentist. This can be performed six-monthly.
Fluoride is the most effective agent available to help prevent tooth decay. It is a mineral that is naturally present in varying amounts in almost all foods and water supplies.
Fluoride works in two ways:
Topical fluoride strengthens the teeth once they have erupted by seeping into the outer surface of the tooth enamel, making the teeth more resistant to decay. We gain topical fluoride by using fluoride containing dental products such as toothpaste, mouth rinses, and gels. Dentists and dental hygienists generally recommend that children have a professional application of fluoride twice a year during dental check-ups.
Systemic Fluoride strengthens the teeth that have erupted as well as those that are developing under the gums. We gain systemic fluoride from most foods and our community water supplies. It is also available as a supplement in drop or gel form and can be prescribed by your dentist or physician. Generally, fluoride drops are recommended for infants, and tablets are best suited for children up through the teen years. It is very important to monitor the amount of fluoride a child ingests. If too much fluoride is consumed while the teeth are developing, a condition called Fluorosis (white spots on the teeth) may result.
Although most people receive fluoride from food and water, sometimes it is not enough to help prevent decay. Your dentist or dental hygienist may recommend the use of home and/or professional fluoride treatments for the following reasons:
–Deep pits and fissures on the chewing surfaces of teeth.
–Exposed and sensitive root surfaces.
–Fair to poor oral hygiene habits.
–Frequent sugar and carbohydrate intake.
–Inadequate exposure to fluorides.
–Inadequate saliva flow due to medical conditions, medical treatments or medications.
–Recent history of dental decay.
Note that, fluoride alone will not prevent tooth decay! It is important to brush at least twice a day, floss regularly, eat balanced diet, reduce sugar snacks, and visit your dentist regularly.
Family Dental care
We extend our general dental care to cover all family members in a special family plan. It could be 6 monthly, or once a year dental check-ups, where each family member will receive dental care at a reduced rate.
Scaling And Polishing
Scaling and Polishing also referred to as Professional dental cleaning or dental prophylaxis are usually performed by registered Dental Hygienists. Your scaling and polishing appointment involves removal of plaque and calculus, teeth polishing and oral hygiene instructions.
Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth. It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. The bacteria produce toxins that inflame the gums. This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease. Calculus (tartar) is hardened plaque that has been left on th tooth for some time and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface. Calculus forms above and below the gum line and can only be removed with special dental instruments.
Teeth polishing is a process of removing stains and plaque that are not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.
Tooth Fillings and repair
A filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay back to its normal function and shape. If you have a tooth that requires a filling, the dentist will first remove the decayed tooth material, clean the affected area, and then fill the cleaned out cavity with filling material. A filling also helps prevent further decay by closing off any cracks or spaces where bacteria can enter.
At 3-J dental Clinic, we do different kinds of tooth fillings (restoration), ranging from amalgam(silver) fillings to tooth coloured fillings like Glass ionomer cement fillings, composite fillings, composite build up, porcelain etc. The dentist will work with you to determine which material is best for you, depending on the extent of repair, where in your mouth the filling is needed, and cost.
General And Preventive Dentistry