What is plaque?
Saliva contains millions of bacteria, these bacteria stick to the surfaces of our teeth. If this bacteria is not removed regularly by brushing teeth, it causes tooth decay and gum disease. What does plaque look like?
Plaque is a colourless soft film, which is difficult to see until the coating of the film gets quite thick. It collects on the surfaces of teeth mainly around the base of the gums and between the teeth.
How can I prevent plaque from forming?
Brush your front and back teeth carefully to prevent build up of plaque. Use dental floss to clean between your teeth where toothbrush bristles do not reach.
What is tartar?
Tartar (calculus) is formed by substances in the saliva such as calcium together with plaque. Tartar is settles commonly behind the lower front teeth. Once tartar is formed, only the dentist or the dental hygienist will be able to remove it.
What is peridontal disease?
Peridontitis is the result of long standing gingivitis. As the disease gets worse the bone anchoring the teeth in the jaw is lost, making the teeth loose. If this is not treated, the teeth may eventually fall out.
Place the bristles of the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, where the teeth and gums meet. Then move the toothbrush back and forth using small, gentle movements to remove plaque from the gum region where it collects. Hold the toothbrush with a light touch, so that you do not brush too hard. Use a finger grip. Do not rush. Make time to clean every tooth surface and make sure you do not miss anywhere.
You should always use a fluoride toothpaste as fluoride makes teeth stronger and more resistant to acid attacks. This in turn helps to prevent tooth decay. Brushing your teeth combats plaque which builds up daily on the teeth. Removing plaque not only makes your teeth feel clean, but also helps to prevent bleeding gums and makes your breath fresher too!
Try to brush in the morning and last thing at night. In the morning, this will make your mouth feel clean and fresh. At night, brushing is especially important as it protects teeth against acid attack while you are asleep.
What is Root Canal Treatment?
Root Canal Treatment, (also called Endodontics) is needed when the blood or nerve supply of the tooth (known as the pulp) is infected through decay or injury.
Why is root canal treatment needed?
If the pulp becomes infected, the infection may spread through the root canal system of the tooth, which may eventually lead to an abscess. If Root Canal Treatment (RCT) is not carried out, the infection will spread and the tooth may need to be taken out.
Does it hurt?
No. A local anesthetic is used and the whole procedure should feel no different to that of having an ordinary filling done.
What does it involve?
The aim of the treatment is to remove all infection from the root canal. The root is then cleaned and filled to prevent any further infection.
Root Canal treatment is a skilled and time-consuming procedure. Most courses of treatment will involve two or more visits to your dentist.
At the first appointment, the infected pulp is removed. Any abscesses, which may be present, can also be drained at this time. The root canal is then cleaned and shaped ready for the filling. A temporary filling is inserted and the tooth is left to settle.
The tooth is checked at a later visit and when all the infection has cleared, the tooth is permanently filled.
What will my tooth look like after treatment?
In the past, a root filled tooth would often darken after treatment. However with modern techniques, this does not usually happen. If any discolouration should take place, there are several treatments available to restore the natural appearance.
What if it happens again?
Root canal treatment is usually very successful, however if there should be a recurrence of infection, the treatment can be repeated.