Restorative Dental Treatments
Getting oral health back on track as dentists re-open
With the ongoing easing of lockdown restrictions, and a seemingly gradual reduction in the number of new cases of Covid-19, this is probably a time to be cautiously optimistic about the future. For sure, things won’t go back to the where they were immediately, but finally, we do seem to be returning to some sort of relative ‘normality’ in the UK.
As part of the easing of lockdown restrictions, patients are once again able to visit the Clock Tower Dental Practice. You will notice quite a few changes regarding your appointments and the protections that we have put into place for the safety of both our patients and staff and you can read about these here.
Understandably, a number of you will not have been able to receive treatment for a troublesome dental problem while we were closed. Our first priority then is to do what we can to restore any teeth that have become damaged or suffered from tooth decay during lockdown, starting with the most urgent cases. In today’s blog, we will take a look at some of the more common treatments that are used to achieve this.
Where tooth decay is present or where a small part of the tooth has broken away, a dental filling is probable unless the damage is more extensive. Although amalgam has long been the traditional material used for this, more and more people are opting for tooth coloured fillings, sometimes also used as part of a general smile makeover, instead. In addition to the obvious benefit that white fillings are less noticeable, they are also long lasting and bond well to the natural part of the tooth; often meaning less preparation of the tooth is required. Unlike amalgam, this material does not shrink which helps to prevent the problem of decay that can form around the edges of the filling.
Because of the length of time that dentists have been closed, it is possible that some of you will have had tooth decay which has worsened and left a larger cavity than would normally have been the case. A tooth that has broken away may also be weakened and lead to further breakages. Where damage to the tooth has reached a certain stage, a straightforward filling may not be enough to give it the strength required for everyday use and in cases like this, a crown will be considered.
Crowns traditionally take two visits to be fitted, the first for taking impressions that are then sent to a dental laboratory for the crown to be produced, and the second for the fitting of the crown. At the Clock Tower Dental Clinic this can be done in just one single visit using CEREC technology. This allows us to take computer generated impressions of the tooth which are used by a computer controlled milling system to create the crown on the premises. This process takes just an hour or two, after which the new restoration can be attached to the prepared tooth, allowing you to leave the practice with a newly restored tooth in a single visit!
Scale and polish
We encourage all of of our patients to see a dental hygienist every six months so that gum health can be monitored and treated. This usually involves a conversation about ways to improve your mouth health, followed by a scale and polish procedure which cleans hardened bacteria (tartar) and mineral deposits from the teeth and gum line.
As many of you will have had appointments cancelled due to the pandemic, we recognise that it might take a little time to catch up and we encourage you to make sure that you brush and floss your teeth well at home in the meantime. We do encourage you to see our hygienist as soon as possible but again noting that there may be some delays as we re-establish our full operations gradually and safely.
These are just three of the most common methods that can be used to help restore your teeth and gum health. To complement this, we offer a wide range of other treatments, both general and cosmetic which can be used to provide you with a healthy and attractive smile. You may wish to discuss some of these with our team as the “new” normality is progressively introduced.
If you would like to talk to us about a tooth or gum problem that occurred during lockdown, please call our Epsom dental practice on 01372 720136.