There’s a time and a place for surprises…and the dentist’s chair isn’t one of them. So let us break down what you can expect from your appointment at Clarity.
…or you may know it as a check-up. This is pretty straightforward and takes part in 2 stages – we listen and then we look. Firstly, we’ll have a chat about why you’re here (whether it’s a routine check-up or if something is bothering you). Then we’ll run through your medical history and throw in a few lifestyle questions so we get the whole picture. Stage one done.
Then we take a look inside your mouth – not just at your teeth but also your jaw and the soft tissue (gums, tongue, palate and cheeks). Our Dental Assistant will record what we see so we have a snapshot of your teeth on that day. If needed, we’ll recommend an X-ray. An appointment can take anywhere between 15 – 30 minutes. Don’t be alarmed if it’s quick, our experienced dentists know exactly what to look for.
If everything looks as it should then we’ll see you in 6 months. If you need some further work, we’ll take you through a recommended treatment plan including prices upfront. Any additional work will be booked on your terms, when you’re ready.
Scale & Clean
We find many patients love coming in for a regular clean. It’s a simple process to remove food debris, calculus and built up plaque from your teeth, which can be challenging to remove even with the best home brushing and flossing. We use two instruments – a scaler to remove the debris (this one makes the buzzing noise) and then a polishing tool to make them look and feel amazing! A quick rinse and you’re done.
A filling is a method of restoring a damaged tooth back to its biting best. We don’t use amalgam (the silver material of day’s gone by) but instead a white composite material…so the untrained eye wouldn’t even know you had any fillings! Depending on the tooth and the patient, we may or may not need to use a local anesthetic. The first step is to remove the decay. We then place a band around the tooth to ensure its natural shape is mimicked perfectly by the composite material. We then apply the filling and set it in seconds using a light curing gun. All that’s left to do is ensure there are no sharp edges and that your bite is as it should be. A polish and a rinse and your tooth will be happily restored.
We appreciate that root canals can sound scary. The reality is every tooth has a root canal – it’s a tube within the tooth that contains the nerve and the blood supply. A root canal procedure is simply removing the nerve from the tooth. Why? Because the nerve is causing pain. The nerve does this when it’s dead or dying (it becomes hyper-sensitive in this state). In order to save the tooth, we need to remove all the dead tissue.
A root canal procedure takes part in three stages. At the first appointment, we clean out and disinfect the root canal system. We then put a temporary filling in. At the second appointment, we remove the temporary filling, clean out and disinfect the root canal again and put the permanent filling in place. Once the tooth is symptom free, we have the third appointment where we put on a crown onto protect the tooth and protect against fracture.
Think of a crown as a hat for your tooth. They’re ideal for cracked teeth or root-canal treated teeth which are weaker and therefore prone to fracture. We’ll fit a crown over two appointments. Firstly, we measure up. This entails trimming the tooth back slightly to ensure there’s enough room around it for the crown. We then use putty to take an impression. A temporary crown is fitted to safeguard against sensitivity whilst the lab makes your real crown (which takes around 7 – 10 days). At the second appointment, we’ll replace the temporary crown with the permanent one. We finally make any necessary adjustments and ensure your bite is back as it should be.
Teeth are taken out for many reasons – infection being one of the main culprits. Other reasons can be if the tooth is simply not salvageable or to make space to support orthodontic work. There are three ways to remove a tooth but we will only decide the best method for you once we’ve seen an X-ray of the root.
The first method is a simple extraction, mostly used for front teeth. The second method is a sectional extraction favored for molars as it’s a lot gentler for this type of tooth. The third method is a surgical extraction which is used when there simply isn’t enough tooth remaining to use the first two methods. Following an extraction, we’ll pack the area, take you through your post-extraction management plan and prescribe antibiotics if necessary.
Wisdom teeth are extracted if there is recurrent infection around them, extensive decay or they’re impacted and causing problems. We’ll take an X-ray to assess the condition of the wisdom teeth and make a recommendation on extractions either here at Clarity Dental Care or with a specialist Oral Surgeon if required.
Before we whiten, we look at the rest of your teeth first. We want to ensure there’s no need for other important dental work before we get into the aesthetics. If there’s not, then we’ll start the whitening process. At Clarity Dental Care, we don’t do any whitening in the chair for the simple reason that you have no control over the final colour of the teeth. Instead we advocate ‘at home’ whitening which gives more gradual results and allows you to stop when your desired colour is achieved. It’s a simple process, we take an impression of your teeth using putty. Around 10 days later we’ll present you with your whitening trays and your home treatment plan. Then it’s over to you!
Veneers are a great way to improve a smile, without using braces. If you’ve got crooked, twisted, chipped or gappy teeth which you’d like to change, then veneers are a great solution. Veneers are like thin, custom-made masks for your teeth. They come in different materials – either composite (which is like the material used for fillings) or porcelain. There are pros and cons to each. Composite veneers are very easy to maintain, can last for many years and are the more affordable of the two. Porcelain veneers resist stains well, give a more natural appearance but often require more of the tooth to be trimmed before applying them. We recommend a consultation to determine if your teeth are suitable for veneers. If so, we’ll happily chat through the options so you can decide what’s best for you.
For a discoloured tooth, we often recommend a crown to improve its appearance but only if the tooth is no longer live. Crowns can give better coverage than veneers but we’re happy to advise what we think will give you the best results at an initial consultation.
If you’ve had a tooth removed and would like to fill the gap, so to speak, then implants can help. A dental implant looks and functions like a normal tooth complete with a root, albeit artificial! At Clarity, we work alongside a specialist periodontist to fit an implant. The periodontist will perform the first stage of the implant, which is putting it in place and torque testing it to ensure it has taken to the bone sufficiently. From initial fitting to testing takes around 3 months. Once the implant is firmly in place, you’ll come back to Clarity for the ‘tooth’ part to be measured for and then secured in place. Firstly, we’ll take an impression of the implant, then an impression for the crown and insert. We’ll then get you back in to fit the new ‘tooth’. Then you simply look after your new implant as you would a normal tooth.
If you’re playing sports like football, soccer, netball, basketball and cricket, then your teeth can be in the firing line! And no goal or score is ever worth that dental injury – no matter how good it feels at the time! A custom-fitted mouthguard is designed to fit the contours of your mouth, balance your bite and allow normal speech and breathing but most importantly it spreads and absorbs impact reducing the risk of dental injuries whilst you’re out on the field / court / pitch.
An anti-snoring device is similar to a retainer. It works by repositioning the jaw when you’re sleeping which helps to reduce the likelihood of snoring. Popular with partners!
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