Tooth decay is one of the most widespread conditions worldwide. The surface of each tooth is covered with a biofilm composed of bacteria. This is known as dental plaque and it is the principal cause of tooth decay. When exposed to sugar, the bacteria in the plaque produce a type of acid that gradually decalcifies the teeth. This can lead to tooth loss. The good news is that, prevention helps to avoid this problem. If the decay is detected early on, your dentist can treat it.
If there is presence of tooth decay, the best solution is to treat it by filling it. The carious lesion or the affected portion of the tooth is thus removed and replaced by a composite resin material, which, among its other remarkable qualities, has the advantage of being the same color as natural tooth structure. There are many types of filling materials, each with their advantages and disadvantages. Along with your dentist, you can discuss the best option to restore your tooth. Like most restorative materials, composites are not permanent and will need to be eventually replaced. However, they are very durable and can help improve your smile.
The wisdom teeth are the third molars and the last teeth in the back of your mouth. Wisdom teeth generally appear in early adulthood. However, in many cases they lack sufficient space to erupt. As a result, they can become impacted (trapped in the surrounding tissue), or are unable to fully erupt or erupt at a bad angle, making them harder to maintain.
When a patient has difficulty opening and closing and moving their jaw to each side, it is generally the temporomandibular joint and muscles of mastication that are the cause. When they are affected, they can often cause temporomandibular dysfunction.
The position in which teeth close, also known as the patient`s occlusok
If someone in your household grinds their teeth during the day or at night, he or she suffers from bruxism. Bruxism is a condition that should not be taken lightly.
Bruxism is a form of repetitive dental friction that causes premature tooth wear. It can also lead to jaw pain and, in some people, to migraines. The most severe cases can result in clicking of the temporomandibular joint, pain in the shoulders and neck, ear congestion and/or a limited ability to open the mouth.
A bite guard is an effective solution to the harmful effects of bruxism. Made from an accurate impression of your teeth, it is worn mostly at night and sometimes during the day, as required.
The bite plate:
• Partially absorbs grinding and clenching
• Relaxes the jaw muscles, thus easing tension
• Relieves the temporomandibular joints and decreases pain
• Limits bone and tooth deterioration
• Can reduce snoring in some cases
Trauma, deep decay or cracks can affect the living part of the tooth without necessarily causing pain. The innermost part of the tooth, known as the “pulp,” contains the blood vessels and nerves that nourish the tooth. If the pulp is affected, damaged, irritated or infected, a root canal may be required to save the tooth.
The procedure consists of devitalizing the tooth by removing the damaged pulp. Once emptied and cleaned, the tooth is filled with a rubber-like material. This treatment lets you keep the tooth even though it is no longer alive.
All the same, teeth that have undergone a root canal treatment are not immune to decay. What’s more, since they are no longer alive, these teeth are more vulnerable to fracture. Because of this, your dentist may recommend protecting the tooth with a crown.
Thus protected, the tooth can last a lifetime if given the proper care.
Sometimes the gum recedes due to disease (gingivitis or periodontitis), excessive friction or tooth movement. Some people may also simply not have enough natural gum to properly protect their teeth. In these cases, the dentist may ask you to consider gum grafting.
A gingival or gum graft restores gum thickness and height around the affected tooth while stopping any further recession. This reconstructive surgery strengthens supporting tissues to protect the teeth and restore your smile. The professional takes a piece of gum from the palate (called the graft) to cover the root exposed by the recession. The graft may also come from an external source.
Crowns are generally proposed when very little natural tooth structure remains that can be effectively sealed with other materials without a high risk of fracture. A crown is a little like a hat that covers the tooth, protecting it while restoring its strength.
Crafted in the laboratory, crowns are usually made from porcelain, a highly durable material that protects and reinforces the tooth. Porcelain is also the most aesthetic material, since it best mimics the appearance of natural teeth. In this sense, crowns are often used to create a more beautiful smile.
Once your tooth has been filed down to receive the crown, the dentist makes an impression. This is then used to make the crown in the laboratory. Once fabricated, the crown is cemented onto the tooth.
Crowns may also be affixed onto implants to replace missing teeth
A dental implant is a structure that replaces the natural root of a missing tooth. The implant is actually a small titanium screw installed in the bone directly below the missing tooth. The implant integrates perfectly with the bone and behaves exactly like the root of a natural tooth. This makes implants the best solution for replacing missing teeth. The chosen restoration (crown, bridge or denture) is then affixed to the implant. When complete, the treatment restores balance in the chewing action.
The dental implant is firmly anchored in the bone, making the restoration more stable than a removable prosthesis (partial or denture).
With regular follow-up and good oral hygiene, an implant is considered permanent.
Dental veneers are thin porcelain or composite films that adhere directly to the front of the tooth to improve its aesthetic appearance. Veneers are an excellent solution for a number of minor aesthetic issues:
• To change tooth colour
• To mask a chipped or broken tooth
• To change tooth shape
• To close a diastema (space between the teeth)
• To bring about a more harmonious smile
• They are a short and painless intervention
Composite veneers are fabricated on the spot right by the dentist and applied directly to the teeth. A single appointment is all that’s needed for this procedure that can restore your smile’s brilliance and hide imperfections.
Porcelain veneers serve the same purpose as composite veneers. However, they are made in the laboratory. Porcelain veneers are a little like false nails in that they are made to measure and cemented onto the tooth surface. The full procedure requires two appointments: one to prepare the tooth and take the impression that will serve to make the veneer in the lab; and the second to cement the veneer onto the tooth.
Extremely natural looking, porcelain veneers are tough, resist staining better than composite veneers and are more durable.
A bright smile looks great and projects self-confidence. But certain substances or foods like tobacco, red wine, blackberries or coffee can stain the teeth, causing them to lose their lustre. Teeth also tend to darken with age.
While natural tooth colour varies from pale grey to dark yellow, there’s a treatment that can brighten up your smile: tooth whitening!
Note that teeth whitening can only be performed on the enamel of natural and healthy teeth. Whitening has no effect on veneers, composite fillings, crowns or bridges.
Bleaching is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Tobacco use is not recommended during bleaching, since the peroxide contained in the whitening agent increases the risk of cancer due to smoking.
Some patients may experience temporary tooth sensitivity. These effects disappear a few days after the treatment.
Treatment and maintenance of gum disease