Early detection of problems allows the use of preventive strategies to reverse or stop progression of tooth decay & gum problems. Digital x rays together with laser decay detection used at the practice give enhanced diagnostics, so we can detect problems at an early stage. If tooth decay has not advanced through the enamel, in many cases an alteration in diet & eating pattern, plus effective hygiene & topical fluoride is sufficient to prevent the problem progressing. The potential saving of time, money & hassle in a lifetime is almost unquantifiable.
In cases where decay progression is un stoppable, the use of magnification, ultrasonic instruments & high quality materials under rubber dam isolation allows the use of minimally invasive techniques to restore teeth. This leaves you with teeth which are less damaged by decay & therefore stronger than they would be with conventional techniques. These smaller restorations are more aesthetic, will usually last longer & are easier to maintain.
Early gum problems are reversible and you can get back to complete gum health with the appropriate preventive strategies. Effective Oral Hygiene techniques are not intuitive, so being taught the specific technique that works in your mouth requires individual instruction, followed by practice at home. Our aim is to teach you how to keep yourself dentally healthy.
Progression of a gum problem to the point where there has been loss of supporting bone around the teeth usually causes no symptoms. This process is irreversible, but can be stopped. The objective of treatment is to prevent further bone loss & maintain bone levels over time. As with early gum problems, the sooner the problem is detected the more supporting bone there will be & the better prognosis for retaining your teeth.
Increase Success with Root Canal Therapy
In Endodontics if you are seen before the tooth develops an abscess the treatment success rate is higher. If you are in an accident and hit your tooth, have it checked out as soon as possible. When you are examined the extent of damage can be determined and the appropriate treatment strategy decided upon. Being seen early, may give you greater options and may allow the use of preventive or less invasive treatment making it more likely to retain your tooth.
If your tooth has a crack in it may give you only occasional symptoms. There is a high probability that the crack will get bigger over time. Once the crack extends into the pulp(nerve) cavity, bacteria can get into the pulp and the nerve tissue may be damaged. In the case of back teeth, if the cracked tooth is detected early enough, placing an orthodontic band around the tooth may stop further progression. This may even keep the pulp alive & avoid or postpone the necessity for a root canal filling. If placement of an orthodontic band relieves you symptoms then a crown will be required as a definitive solution. In the case of cracked teeth the purpose of a crown is to bind the tooth together and prevent further crack propagation. If left untreated, in time the crack may turn into a tooth fracture and removal of the tooth may be the only option.
Preservation of Bone & Gum
If your tooth is severely damaged & deemed beyond restoration, bone & gum preservation techniques can be used at the time the damaged tooth is removed. By using a gentle technique with specialised instruments the damaged tooth can be removed in the least traumatic way. In this way the maximum volume of tissue (bone & gum) is preserved to support a dental implant or an artificial tooth on a bridge in the near future.
Bone Resorption – Use it or Loose it
If your tooth has recently been removed and you are interested in either having fixed teeth or a more stable denture please come and see us as soon as you can. The bone which supports a tooth ceases to have a function after the tooth is lost. This process is called bone resorption and occurs rapidly, with 30-40% of the supporting bone volume lost in 3 to 4 months. It is especially important to be seen early in the highly aesthetic zone at the front of the mouth. The resorption process slows down in the first year after tooth loss but continues at a faster pace in people who wear dentures.
Everyone is Unique
The resorption process doesn’t mean you can’t have implants, as it depends on multiple factors, including the volume of bone you initially had, your genetic makeup & tissue type. However, the time since tooth loss makes it more likely that you will require bone regeneration therapies for the optimal outcome. Many patients who have been missing teeth for decades have had teeth successfully replaced at the practice, often placing the teeth in a more aesthetic position than the original natural tooth.
New developments with the Straumann dental implant system encourage faster bone growth. In some cases we can begin to place the new tooth 3 to 4 weeks after implant placement, previously it was 12 to 26 weeks or longer.
If you want to find out more just phone the practice on 01-820-1360 for Dr Lynn or 01-820-1390 for Dr Dunne and we will happy to arrange a consultation.