What is a dental implant? A dental implant is an artificial tooth root placed in the position where the missing tooth used to be. Some months after placement, the implant is used as an anchor to support the replacement tooth.The presence of an implant helps to give a natural appearance. It is the surrounding bone that gives a tooth support – but when a tooth is lost, that all important bone is gradually lost too. Therefore the earlier an implant is placed the more bone can be saved -all which is crucial in maintaining a youthful appearance.
What causes bad breath? Almost all cases of the dreaded ‘halitosis’ is the result of small food particles trapped in between teeth or just under the gum line. These decompose, form bacteria and cause bad breath. Regular visits to your hygienist, more frequent, meticulous brushing and flossing will usually eliminate the problem unless there is an infection in the gums or a particular tooth.
Why do my gums bleed sometimes? This is most likely to be a sign of developing gum disease or gingivitis. This is initially caused by plaque build up around the gums which make them become inflamed and recede slightly from the tooth surface allowing bacteria to flourish in the tiny gaps. If not treated the condition becomes irreversible and can result in tooth extraction. Sometimes bleeding gums are simply caused by abrasion by a toothbrush applied too vigorously. Remember to replace your toothbrush or electric head every 10 – 12 weeks!
Do wisdom teeth have to be removed? Your four wisdom teeth usually appear after your jaw is fully developed (17 – 21 years), and overcrowding occurs causing damage to the adjacent teeth. They become impacted and painful. Early symptoms may include frequent headaches, sore throats, earache or swollen glands. We recommend a panoramic x-ray at about 18-20 years so your dentist can pre-evaluate your situation.
What do hygienists do? Hygienists are fully trained dental health professionals. They are essentially ancillaries to your dentist in a mainly preventative-care role. Their three main functions are:
Evaluation of gum health
Scaling and polishing
Teaching one-on-one cleaning techniques for maximum oral hygiene
Should I have my amalgam fillings replaced? Only if they are unsightly when you smile and you want to look good. The composite filling material can be colour matched to provide an almost invisible filling. Unlike amalgam they actually bond onto the surrounding tooth enamel giving a much better seal and achieve a load-bearing strength comparable to your original healthy tooth.
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