Diagnosis and Treatment Planning
We use diagnostic aids including intra-oral camera, intra-oral & extra-oral photographs and digital Xrays to enhance your understanding of the condition of your mouth.
We will present you with all reasonable options, from the “ideal” treatment plan, perhaps involving comprehensive dentistry, to the simplest and least involved, and help you to decide what is the most suitable treatment for your circumstances.
“Prevention is better than cure”
- We would generally consider that having a filling is better than having a cavity which may cause discomfort or ultimately require an extraction.
- Having a tooth filled when the cavity is still small can prevent the cavity becoming large and troublesome, and also makes financial sense.
- Most decay and gum disease is preventable, so better still is to prevent having that cavity/needing a filling in the first place.
- Brushing and flossing (or other interdental cleaning), using a fluoride toothpaste, avoiding frequent sugary snacks and drinks, plus regular dental check-ups are the foundations of preventing cavities and maintaining healthy gums. We can advise and provide you with further preventive strategies and treatments that may be particularly relevant to your situation.
- Some cavities cannot be prevented with brushing and flossing, such as those that begin in the deep grooves (“fissures”) of the teeth – mainly on the biting surfaces of the back teeth. When susceptible deep fissures are detected early enough the entrance to the grooves may be cleaned out and sealed up (using a plastic tooth-coloured resin) preventing a full-on filling having to be done later. This “fissure sealant” process is like an extremely shallow filling but without involving a needle (“local anaesthetic”) or discomfort.
- Sometimes decay may have already begun deep within the groove, but not be visible from the surface, or even show on Xrays. Cleaning out the entrance of a deep groove will allow us to either just seal the groove, or if decay is then detected to do the smallest possible filling.
Extractions (including wisdom teeth)
Sometimes teeth are too badly affected by decay, gum (“periodontal”) or other disease, or are so badly positioned, that removal is the only reasonable option. We can provide painless removal of teeth, either under local anaesthetic in the surgery, or under general anaesthetic in a hospital setting if required. Even if the tooth is very badly broken down.
Many wisdom teeth (“third molars”) are just a simple extraction, but others which are “impacted” (literally “run into something” which stops them coming up straight or fully) may require surgery which we can also perform, or refer to a specialist Oral Surgeon where necessary.