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Why is visiting the dentist so important?

Visiting the dentist regularly will not only help keep your teeth and mouth healthy, but will also help keep the rest of your body healthy. Dental care is important because it:

  • Helps prevent tooth decay
  • Protects against periodontal (gum) disease, which can lead to bone and tooth loss
  • Prevents bad breath – brushing, flossing, and seeing the dentist regularly will help reduce the amount of bad-breath causing bacteria in your mouth
  • Gives you a more attractive smile and increases your self-confidence
  • Helps keep teeth looking bright by preventing them from becoming stained by food, drinks, and tobacco
  • Strengthens your teeth so that you can enjoy healthy, beautiful smiles for the rest of your life!

How often should I see the dentist?

Children, teens, and adults should all see the dentist for a regular checkup at least once every six months. Patients who are at a greater risk for oral cancer or gum disease may be required to see the dentist more than just twice a year. You doctor will help determine how often you should visit the dentist for regular checkups.

What causes bad breath?

You may occasionally experience bad breath. It can be caused by certain foods, poor oral hygiene, gum disease, dry mouth, tobacco products or a medical disorder. Sometimes a sinus infection, postnasal drip or other respiratory tract infections can cause bad breath. If bad breath persists, your dentist may determine whether it’s caused by a dental condition.

How often do I need to brush/floss?

Generally it is recommended to brush and floss after each meal or twice a day

When should I change my toothbrush?

Your toothbrush will eventually wear out, especially if you are brushing your teeth twice times a day for 2-3 minutes each time. Your dentist recommends that adults and children should change their toothbrush every three months. If you are using an electric toothbrush, be sure to read the directions as you may not need to change toothbrush heads as frequently. Patients with gum disease are encouraged to change their toothbrush every four to six weeks. After brushing, rinse your toothbrush with hot water to kill germs and keep the bristles clean. If you’ve been sick, be sure to change your toothbrush as soon as possible.

At what age should I start taking my child to see the dentist?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that children first see a dentist as early as six-months-old and no later than one-year-old. During this time, your child’s baby teeth will be coming in and your dentist can examine the health of your child’s first few teeth. After the first visit, be sure and schedule regular checkups every six months.

What is a dental implant?

Dental implant is an “anchor” that is inserted into the jawbone to take the place of the missing tooth root. Once the surrounding bone gets attached to the implant, a replacement tooth is attached to the top of the implant. The implant is permanent, stable and even looks like natural teeth, making them an ideal solution to tooth loss.

Who should consider dental implants?

Anyone missing tooth/teeth can look at implants as an option. Implants in conjunction with a crown or bridge can fill for one or a few of the teeth that are missing. In case all teeth are missing, then implants may also be placed to anchor a loose denture.

How is dental implant done in cases with bone loss?

In case of existing bone loss, bone expansion can be done to create a more ideal situation for the implant(s). A proper consultation with your dentist can help you plan a procedure as per your individual needs.

How long is the dental implant process?

There are three phases of implant.

  1. The first phase involves the placement of implant and most implants will remain covered under the gums.
  2. After 3-6 months, in the second phase, metal post/extension is attached to the implants.
  3. Then in the third phase replacement teeth are created and fitted. This requires a few appointments for try-ins and corrections to achieve the desired results. The total implant process usually takes 5-8 months, which can vary from patient to patient.

Will I be without teeth or unable to eat for a long time?

During the first phase of implant, the patient needs to follow a soft diet for the first couple of weeks so as to not put any stress on the jawbone.

Which are the advantages of using dental implants?

Implants are stronger and easy to install without damaging the neighbouring teeth. They are easy to maintain i.e. clean and floss just like natural teeth. The best thing about them is that implants are more durable and not prone to decay. With implants, one can eat better, enjoy more foods, get better nutrition. Additionally, there is improved comfort, improved speech, convenience and improved self-esteem

What is tooth decay?

When a tooth breaks down, forming a cavity, it’s called tooth decay. It begins with the damage of enamel which progresses, if not treated, and reaches the inner layers of the tooth to the pulp and nerves. This makes the tooth sensitive and gives rise to problems such as inflammation and swelling, pain, and ultimately falling of the tooth.

What are the causes of tooth decay?

Tooth decay is generally a result of improper oral hygiene i.e. not brushing properly, flossing or rinsing after meals. Unregulated diet of sweet food and drinks like aerated drinks, jam, marmalade and even potato chips are also responsible for tooth decay.

What is a root canal?

Root canals are very small, thin layers that start from the top pulp chamber and go till the tip of the root. There are 1-4 root canals in a tooth. The pulp chamber is the area below the tooth’s outer enamel and within the dentin. Pulp is made up of soft tissue which carries the tooth’s nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue.

What is Root Canal Treatment?

Treating the root canal area problems generally related to tooth decay is called root canal treatment.

How is Root Canal Treatment done?

After anaesthetising the area, the dentist makes an opening into the pulp chamber. After removing the unhealthy pulp, the canals are cleaned, shaped and widened, if required. After the infection is gone, the tooth is filled using special materials for root canal filling and sealed with a temporary filling, adding a post and core for structural support, using metal or porcelain crown for further protection.

How many sittings does root canal treatment require?

It needs 3-4 sittings normally; but under special circumstances, it can be done in a single sitting taking approximately 45 minutes.

What are veneers?

A very thin layer of ceramic (porcelain) / composite resin material bonded to the front of teeth is called veneers. It helps hide discolorations and brighten the teeth. It is an ideal choice for good looking front teeth and can be done without anesthesia or a mild anesthesia.

When would I need a veneer?

If you have spaces between teeth, discoloured teeth, crooked teeth, cracked or chipped or fractured teeth with some tooth structure left, you can go for veneer to improve your teeth. You can also choose veneer to provide a “White Smile” for teeth with multiple fillings and teeth of unsatisfactory shape, size and form.

What is the procedure for veneer?

First, the teeth are lightly buffed to prepare them for veneers. Then for the fabrication of the veneers, a mould of the teeth is taken and sent to the laboratory. Once the ceramic veneers are ready, each veneer is placed on the teeth to check the size and colour fitment. And finally, veneer and tooth are bonded together, using special cement.

What is bleaching?

Bleaching, also known as tooth whitening, is a method of lightening the natural colour of your teeth without removing or damaging the tooth surface. Various concentrations of hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide are available for this use.

What are the different types of bleaching?

Bleaching is of 2 types. Dentist advises either one or a combination of both of them Depending on your type of dental staining and your time restriction.

  • Office Bleach: Done by a dentist at the clinic.
  • Home Bleach: This is done by you at home, using a special tray filling it with bleaching material. It’s done under the guidance of a dentist.

How long does bleaching take?

  • Office Bleach: Each sitting can take between 30-60 minutes and there are3-4 sittings usually, depending on the severity of the staining.
  • Home Bleach: Generally done during the nights for one to two weeks.

What is a composite filling?

A composite filling is a tooth-coloured plastic and glass mixture used to repair and restore decayed or damaged teeth. Composites are also used for changing the colour of the teeth or reshaping disfigured teeth and improve the smile.

Is it a painful process?

A little pain and discomfort will be there as the wisdom tooth is extracted from its roots. Dentists apply local anaesthesia to the area and the only pain you will feel is during the healing process for a day or two.

What is orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontic treatment is the straightening or moving of teeth to improve the looks or even the working of teeth in terms of spreading the biting pressure over all the teeth. Dentists who are specialised in this area are referred to as Orthodontists.

Who needs orthodontic treatment?

Anyone with irregular teeth, buck teeth, crowded teeth, overlapping teeth, rabbit teeth or ones with gaps in between may use orthodontic treatment.

What is the right age for orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontic treatment gives the best results on children, but adults can also go for it as age is not a restriction. In small children, on case to case basis, it may be required to wait for them to have enough teeth before starting orthodontic treatment.

How to clean my teeth with braces?

Use a soft bristled toothbrush or a special orthodontic toothbrush. Brush in gentle circular motions with focus to dislodge food between the teeth and the braces. Brush twice a day and use a mouthwash to rinse additionally.

How long is the treatment?

Depending on how severe the problem is, the treatment may take a few months to two-and-a-half years. Most cases can be treated within one to two years.

 

What is tooth jewellery?

Tooth jewellery is the latest fashion craze. The jewellery when placed on the tooth creates a distinctive expression of one’s individuality. Mainly, there are 2 types of tooth jewellery available:

  • Twinkles: The jewellery is a collection of 24-carat gold and white gold jewellery and is available in over 50 different designs. Some designs include diamonds, sapphires and rubies.
  • Dental Gems: Jewellery of glass crystals available in nine different colours, namely diamond, rainbow, ruby, sapphire, emerald, emerald green, aquamarine, pink, sapphire light.

How does the jewel sparkle?

Swarovski® is one of the finest precision-cut crystals in the world. They polish the crystals to the highest standards of quality and it sparkles like diamonds. Tooth crystals are made by genuine flat back surface Swarovski crystals that are stain resistant.

Will I feel the crystal on my tooth?

Swarovski crystals are very small in diameter (only 2mm). Although, initially you will feel something on your tooth, but within a few days you will get used to it.

 

How to remove a tooth jewellery?

Tooth jewellery can be taken off any time by a dental professional. The tooth will have to be polished and the bonding material, if any remaining, would be removed.

What is a crown?

A crown is a restoration that covers a tooth, restoring it to its normal shape and size. It also strengthens and improves the tooth’s appearance.

Why are crowns required?

Crowns are required for broken tooth. A crown also helps in holding a cracked tooth together to seal the cracks so that the damage doesn’t get worse. Crowns are also used to restore a barely existing tooth, attach a bridge, protect weak teeth from fracturing, restore fractured teeth and cover badly shaped or discolored teeth.

What is a crown made of?

Crowns can be made of a variety of different materials. Some of the most popular options are: Porcelain bonded to precious or non-precious metal, porcelain, all-ceramic (metal free), glass and silver & gold alloys. For crowns, new materials are being introduced all the time.

What is a bridge?

Attaching the tooth replacements to adjoining natural teeth to replace missing tooth/teeth is called a bridge. For a bridge, the adjoining supporting teeth are required to be healthy and have good gum and root support.

What is a denture?

A set of removable artificial teeth resting directly on the gums is called denture. It’s a removable replacement for missing teeth, gums and bone. Denture can be partial or complete. These can be combined with dental implants for a better fit and more natural bite.

What is a partial denture?

Partial denture fills in the spaces created by missing teeth and prevents other teeth from changing position. It’s best for people having several missing teeth and whose adjacent teeth are not strong enough to support a bridge.

What is a complete denture?

Complete dentures replace all the teeth. Complete dentures are either “conventional” or “immediate.” After all the teeth are removed, after giving it a month to allow proper healing, conventional dentures are placed in the mouth. An immediate denture is placed as soon as the teeth are removed. An immediate denture may require adjustments after the healing has taken place.

How do I look after my denture?

Brush, soak, brush. In case you drop them, always clean your dentures in a bowl of water or a folded towel. Before soaking, brush your dentures, including the surface which comes into contact with your gums to help remove any food debris.

Should I take my denture out at night?

Depending on the dentist recommendation, you may remove your dentures at night to rest your mouth. When you remove your dentures, leave them in water to prevent any warping or cracking

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal means “around the tooth”. Periodontal diseases are infections that affect the tissues and bone that support the teeth. Where the gum line meets the tooth, it forms a slight v-shaped crevice called a sulcus which is usually 3 mm less in healthy teeth. When sulcus develops into a pocket greater than 3 mm, it allows harmful bacteria to grow. Greater pocket depth leads to bone loss also. Left untreated, periodontal diseases may eventually lead to tooth loss.

What causes periodontal diseases?

Plaque is a film of bacteria which forms on the surface of the teeth every day. A certain bacteria in plaque produce toxins and enzymes that irritate the gums and cause inflammation and periodontal disease begins. Plaque that is not removed regularly can harden into rough porous deposits called calculus, or tartar, which is impossible to remove even with regular brushing.

How to find if I have periodontal diseases?

You can have periodontal diseases without noticeable symptoms but several warning signs can signal a problem like swollen or bleeding gums, loose gums, persistent bad breath, loose teeth, and change in the fit/pattern of teeth or dentures. Regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations help identify it sooner.

How can periodontal diseases be treated?

Periodontal treatments depend upon the type and severity of the disease. At the basic level of the disease, a special cleaning called scaling and root planning is done to remove the plaque and tartar deposits on the tooth and root surfaces. It helps gum tissues to heal and pockets to shrink. The dentist may also recommend medications for infection and pain.

What is the treatment for the advanced stages of this disease?

If the disease is advanced and the periodontal pockets are deep and the supporting bone is lost, then a surgery may be necessary. Accordingly, you may be referred to a periodontist for this treatment.

Is the smile redesigning procedure expensive?

No, the procedure will cost only a few thousands, depending on the effect which a person wants to achieve and the existing condition of his/her tooth structure.

Can dental veneers improve a person’s smile?

In this procedure, a patient’s teeth are cleaned of stains or cavities if they exist and given a thin layer or veneer of porcelain over the teeth. This generally comprises of outlays, inlays and overlays to keep the teeth sparkling.

Does the application procedure hurt?

The procedure is similar to placing braces on a tooth so it is quick and easy. There is no drilling involved and the procedure is completely painless.

Will the procedure help in straightening uneven teeth?

The procedure also replaces broken or chipped teeth. If an adult’s teeth are twisted or uneven, that also is straightened by braces.

What is Pediatric Dentistry and when should I take my child for a dental check-up?

Dental treatment for children is commonly known as Pediatric Dentistry, also known as pedodontics. It involves a full spectrum of oral healthcare from birth till adolescence. A visit to a pediatric dentist is advisable within one year of the appearance of tooth in children. A timely oral examination by the dentist will lead to early detection of any dental anomalies including tooth decay.

What are tooth colored fillings?

These are tooth colored materials used for filling teeth cavities or broken teeth to give a more natural appearance to the treated denture. Historically, metals like gold and silver were used for fillings.

What are the different types of tooth colored fillings?

The most common and prevalent tooth colored fillings are made of composites, porcelain as well as glass ionomers. These are a mixture of resins and glass that are known for their hard and long lasting quality.

Why choose tooth colored fillings instead of silver/gold fillings?

Gold fillings are expensive and they do very little in terms of aesthetic appeal. Silver amalgam fillings are not ideal as they tend to alter under varying temperatures. Tooth colored fillings, on the other hand, not just blend with the rest of the denture, but also resist to the usual wear and tear of metal fillings.

Among all tooth colored fillings, which is the most durable?

Globally, porcelain fillings are the most popular. This is due to their hard and long lasting quality. They are the most natural looking fillings and worth every penny spent.

Do all wisdom teeth have to be removed?

No. Wisdom teeth need to be removed only under the following circumstances:

  • When teeth have not erupted naturally and have partly emerged, leading to discomfort.
  • Wisdom tooth has not erupted from the gum and is pushing against existing teeth, leading to pain.

Is wisdom tooth removal an expensive process?

Wisdom tooth removal costs a few thousands.

Will I feel the hole in my gums or will the hole be visible?

The hole will not be visible as the open area of gums will be sealed. You will not be able to feel any hole or sealant either as the procedure is done very expertly by our dentists.

Do I have to give up smoking after wisdom tooth removal?

Dentists will advise you to refrain from smoking for a few days or weeks until the gum completely heals. This is to reduce the chances of developing an infection or inflammation of the treated area from tobacco smoke.

Allow the dentist to check your mouth to see if the wound has healed completely before resuming smoking.

When are the primary teeth replaced by permanent teeth in children?

From age six to twelve, milk teeth or primary teeth in children are replaced with permanent teeth. The primary teeth are twenty in number which are eventually replaced by 32 permanent teeth. During this phase, parents should take particular care in monitoring the alignment of the new teeth.

Why do babies get cavities and what should I do to avoid my child getting them?

Tooth cavity or tooth decay is caused due to bacterial infection. Mothers with tooth decay issues may transmit the bacteria to their newborns. Avoid excessive sugary food products for kids and ensure they know how to clean their teeth and gums properly.

When does teething occur in babies? How do I manage the teething issues of my baby?

Teething is nothing but the appearance of the first set of teeth in a baby. The teeth start breaking through the gums when the baby is between 6 to 12 months of age. As the teeth break out, the baby’s gums will swell, causing soreness. Babies tend to get irritable during this period. Using a clean finger to gently massage the gums helps ease the pain. In the event of persistent irritation, it is advisable to visit a pediatric dentist.

What if gum disease goes untreated?

Gum disease develops painlessly so you would not notice its damage. Sometimes, more active bacteria make your gums sore. Gum infection can lead to gum abscesses (gumboil), and pus may ooze from around the teeth. You can lose the bone supporting the teeth if the disease is left untreated for long.