Most people recognise dental amalgams as silver fillings. Dental amalgam is a mixture of mercury, silver, tin and copper. Mercury, which makes up about 50 percent of the compound, is used to bind the metals together and to provide a strong, hard, durable filling.
Root Canal Treatment
During root canal or endodontic treatment, the inflamed or infected nerve is removed and the inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned and disinfected, then filled and sealed with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. Afterwards, the tooth is restored with a crown or filling for protection.
Pulpitis (Inflammation of the pulp / nerve) can be caused by:
- Caries – decay
- Crown Fracture
- Impact Injury
Symptoms of Pulpitis
- Chronic low grade pain
- Acute severe throbbing pain, patient may not be able to identify the tooth.
The object of Root Canal Therapy
- To render the tooth free pain and infection
- To remove the pulp
- To clean, disinfect and shape the root canal
- To seal the canal with a root filling
- To maintain the tooth’s function in the dental arch
A dental extraction / tooth extraction is the removal of the tooth from the dental socket in the alveolar bone.
Indications for a tooth extraction
- Trauma – Fractures
- Advanced periodontal disease – Destruction of the supporting structure
- Prosthetics – To enable further treatment plan to be carried out
- Carious – To decayed to be saved
Tooth Aftercare instructions
- Do not rinse for the remaining of the day
- Do not drink hot liquids
- Do not drink alcohol for 24 hours
- Avoid physical activity – eg going on a bike ride / visiting the gym
Blood stained saliva is to be expected. More serious bleeding is often caused by too much rinsing or by disturbance of the clot with the tongue. This should be controlled by folding a warm moist handkerchief and placing this over the bleeding socket and biting with steady pressure for 10 minutes whilst sitting.
Oral Hygiene Instructions
- Use a medium sized bristled toothbrush
- Use fluoride containing toothpaste
- Do circular movements with your toothbrush
- Ensure you brush at the gum line
- Brush for two minutes each time
- Brush twice a day
- Pay attention to all the surfaces of the teeth
- Spit toothpaste, don’t rinse with anything after brushing
- Don’t brush to hard
- Change your toothbrush every three months
- Wrap floss around both middle fingers
- Use thumb and index finger to manoeuvre floss
- Gently, place floss between gaps of teeth, clearing the contact point of any plaque and food debris
- Wrap the floss around each tooth in a “C” shape, with a simple up and down movement
- No back and forth movement at the gum-line is necessary
- A new area of floss should be introduced into each gap
- Used when there are larger spaces between your teeth
- Place the brush between the teeth and gum line
- Make sure the brush feels fairly tight to ensure it is effective
- Take brush in and out to remove plaque and / or food debris
- There are a variety of sizes. Ask your dentist to size them for you today
You should clean between your teeth at least once a day
- Mouthwash is not a substitute for brushing and interdental cleaning
- Mouthwash is only temporary relief for bad breath. If you have bad breath, you should inform the dentist and they will investigate the cause.
- High alcohol content mouthwashes can be bad for oral health
Diet and Decay
- Avoid foods that are high in sugar content, sugar causes tooth decay
- Avoid sticky foods which stay on the tooth surface for long periods of time
- Fizzy drinks are a leading cause of tooth decay and acid erosion
- Some fruits are acidic, can also cause erosion
Do your gums bleed?
- Bleeding gums indicate inflammation of the gums, mainly due to a build up of plaque at the gum line
- Bleeding gums are also a sign of gum disease
- If your gums bleed, this indicates that your teeth are not as clean as they need to be
A good oral hygiene routine should decrease the amount of plaque and tartar on the teeth, it is a good idea to see a dental hygienist. A scale in polish is usually carried out once every 3-6 months to reduce chances of future gum disease and to monitor gum health.