Treatments

Our patients are at the centre of everything we do at Belvedere Dental Care where our expert team of Dental Surgeons and Hygienist offer the experience, skill and latest treatments to exceed your expectations. We want your visits here to be positive and relaxed and we will work with you at every stage to make sure you're as comfortable and satisfied as possible. We are aware that everyone is different, so we'll spend as much time as you need talking through your concerns, explaining our procedures and putting you at ease.

 
  • General Examination
  • Gum Treatments
  • Hygienist
  • Fillings
  • Children
  • Mouthguards
  • Tooth Grinding
  • Oral Sedation
  • Cosmetic
  • Endodontics or Root Canal Treatment

General Dental Examination

Belvedere Dental Clinic A comprehensive dental exam not only checks for tooth decay and gum health but also examines your entire mouth, head, and neck area. It involves:

  • Clinical examination of teeth — Your dentist will check for signs of tooth decay by examining the surface of every tooth. They will also check for any problems with fillings, braces, bridges, dentures, crowns, or other restorations.
  • Gum tissue - Your dentist will examine your gums and supporting structures of the teeth. Your dentist will look for signs of gum disease, which include red or puffy gum tissue and tissue that easily bleeds when gently poked.
  • Soft tissue — The soft tissues of your mouth include the tongue, inside of the lips and cheeks, and the floor and roof of the mouth. Your dentist will examine these areas for spots, lesions, cuts, swellings, or growths that could indicate an oral health problem. Your dentist will also inspect the back of your throat and tonsil area.
  • Head and neck — Your dentist will look for any problems on the exterior surface of your head and neck, as well as feel for any swelling or tenderness (which are signs of an infection or disease) in your lymph nodes and salivary glands in your neck area. Your dentist will also examine your temporomandibular joint to determine if it is working properly.
  • Occlusion — Your dentist will check how well your upper and lower teeth come together. Your dentist might simply look at how your teeth meet, or he or she might take wax impressions of your teeth if a more careful exam of "your bite" is necessary.
  • X-rays — Your dentist will take X-rays (Bite Wings) to look for signs of tooth decay, as well as for gum disease and other oral health problems.

Types of Gum Disease

Gingivitis

Belvedere Dental Clinic Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease. It causes the gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily. There is usually little or no discomfort at this stage. Gingivitis is often caused by inadequate oral hygiene. Gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment and good oral home care.

 

Factors that may contribute to gingivitis include, diabetes, smoking, aging, genetic predisposition, systemic diseases and conditions, stress, inadequate nutrition, puberty, hormonal fluctuations, pregnancy, substance abuse, HIV infection, and certain medication use.

Periodontitis

Belvedere Dental ClinicUntreated gingivitis can advance to periodontitis. With time, plaque can spread and grow below the gum line. Toxins produced by the bacteria in plaque irritate the gums. The toxins stimulate a chronic inflammatory response in which the body in essence turns on itself, and the tissues and bone that support the teeth are broken down and destroyed. Gums separate from the teeth, forming pockets (spaces between the teeth and gums) that become infected. As the disease progresses, the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed. Often, this destructive process has very mild symptoms. Eventually, teeth can become loose and may have to be removed.

Gum Disease Symptoms

Gum disease is often silent, meaning symptoms may not appear until an advanced stage of the disease. However, warning signs of gum disease include the following:

  • Red, swollen or tender gums or other pain in your mouth
  • Bleeding while brushing, flossing, or eating hard food
  • Gums that are receding or pulling away from the teeth, causing the teeth to look longer than before
  • Loose or separating teeth
  • Pus between your gums and teeth
  • Sores in your mouth
  • Persistent bad breath
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • A change in the fit of partial dentures

Treatments

The main goal of treatment is to control the infection. The number and types of treatment will vary, depending on the extent of the gum disease. Any type of treatment requires that the patient keep up good daily care at home. The dentist may also suggest changing certain behaviours, such as quitting smoking, as a way to improve treatment outcome.

 

Professional dental cleaning. This is where your dentist or dental hygienist will remove the plaque and tartar (plaque that builds up and hardens on the tooth surface and can only be removed with professional cleaning) from above and below the gum line of all teeth. If you have some signs of gum disease, your dentist may recommend professional dental cleaning more than twice-a-year.

 

Scaling and root planing. This is a deep-cleaning, nonsurgical procedure, done under a local anesthetic, whereby plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line are scraped away (scaling) and rough spots on the tooth root are made smooth (planing). Smoothing the rough spots removes bacteria and provides a clean surface for the gums to reattach to the teeth. Scaling and root planing is done if your dentist determines that you have plaque and calculus (hardened plaque, also called tartar) under the gums that needs to be removed.

 

Hygienist

Dental hygiene treatment, sometimes called scaling and polishing, is where the teeth are professionally cleaned together with advice and techniques for effective home cleaning, therefore keeping teeth and gums free of plaque deposits. Our dental hygienist, Margaret O’Brien, provides a comprehensive pain free 30 minute appointment to ensure your teeth and gums are kept in the best possible health. She will then discuss with you the best possible ways for you to maintain your oral hygiene and she will show you how to brush, floss and use any other interdental device which might be of benefit to you.

 

Brushing

Fight tooth decay and gum disease by brushing teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Brush every day, morning and night, for two minutes. Nighttime is the most important time to brush.

 

Selecting a Toothbrush
Belvedere Dental ClinicSelect a toothbrush with a small head. This will help you reach the back teeth and especially the areas between the tongue and lower back molars. Hard and stiff bristles can damage your teeth and gums. Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles. Change your toothbrush every three months or soon after the bristles start to wear out to ensure you always get a proper clean and help avoid harmful bacteria building up on the bristles.

 

Positioning the Brush
Toothbrush should be placed at a 450 brush back and forth in short, tooth-wide strokes. Be systematic and make sure that all areas of the teeth and gums are covered.

 

Belvedere Dental ClinicAn easy way to cover all teeth is by dividing upper and lower teeth separately into front, left and right areas. Brush each area with short, tooth-wide strokes. Brush all the surfaces of all your teeth including the inner tooth surfaces and the chewing surfaces. Use the "toe" of the brush for the inner front tooth surfaces. And don't forget to brush the top surface of your tongue.

Flossing

Brushing your teeth twice a day helps maintain a healthy smile by removing a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. However, bacteria can also be found between teeth, where your toothbrush can't reach. Flossing helps remove plaque from between your teeth and around the gumline.

 

Belvedere Dental ClinicUse enough floss so you can hold the ends comfortably in your hands (about 45 cm). Wind the floss around both middle fingers and support it across your thumbs and index fingers. Floss at least once a day and remember to insert the floss gently with a side-to-side motion - don't snap it into place. Hold your thumbs and index fingers closely together to guide the floss between your teeth using a gentle rubbing motion.

 
  • Curve the floss into a C shape around the tooth at the gumline in order to clean the neck of the tooth.
  • Scrape the floss up and down moving the floss away from the gumline. Use a clean segment of floss to repeat on the rest of your teeth. And remember to floss the back side of the last tooth.
  • If you find it difficult handling floss you should get your dentist or hygienist to show you again. Alternatively, you may want to use a commercial floss holder or tie the floss in a loop.

Dental Fillings

To treat a cavity your dentist will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and then "fill" the area on the tooth where the decayed material once lived.

Fillings are also used to repair cracked or broken teeth and teeth that have been worn down from misuse (such as from nail-biting or tooth grinding).

What Steps Are Involved in Filling a Tooth?

Belvedere Dental ClinicFirst, the dentist will numb the area around the tooth to be worked on with a local anesthetic. Then a drill will be used to remove the decay from the tooth.

 

Next, your dentist will probe or test the area during the decay removal process to determine if all the decay has been removed. Once the decay has been removed, your dentist will prepare the space for the filling by cleaning the cavity of bacteria and debris. If the decay is near the root, your dentist may first put in a liner made of glass ionomer, composite resin, or other material to protect the nerve. Generally, after the filling is in, your dentist will finish and polish it.

 

Several additional steps are required for tooth-coloured fillings and are as follows. After your dentist has removed the decay and cleaned the area, the tooth-coloured material is applied in layers. Next, a special light that "cures" or hardens each layer is applied. When the multilayering process is completed, your dentist will shape the composite material to the desired result, trim off any excess material and polish the final restoration.

 

What Types of Filling Materials are Available?

Several dental filling materials are available. Teeth can be filled with silver amalgam (which consists of mercury mixed with silver, tin, zinc, and copper) or tooth-coloured, plastic and glass materials called composite resin fillings.

Silver-fillings (Amalgams)

Advantages:

  1. 1. Durability - lasts at least 10 to 15 years and usually outlasts composite fillings
    2. Strength - can withstand chewing forces
    3. Expense - is less expensive than composite fillings
 

Disadvantages:

  1. 1. Poor aesthetics - fillings don't match the colour of your natural teeth
    2. Destruction of more tooth structure - healthy parts of the tooth must often be removed to make a space large enough to hold the amalgam filling
    3. Discoloration - amalgam fillings can create a greyish hue to the surrounding tooth structure
    4. Cracks and fractures - although all teeth expand and contract in the presence of hot and cold liquids, which ultimately can cause the tooth to crack or fracture, amalgam material - in comparison with other filling materials-may experience a wider degree of expansion and contraction and lead to a higher incidence of cracks and fractures
    5. Allergic reactions - a small percentage of people, approximately 1%, are allergic to the mercury present in amalgam restorations.
 

Tooth-coloured Composite Fillings

Advantages:

  1. Belvedere Dental Clinic1. Aesthetics - the shade/colour of the composites can be closely matched to the colour of existing teeth; is particularly well suited for use in front teeth or visible parts of teet
    2. Bonding to tooth structure - composite fillings actually chemically bond to tooth structure, providing further support to the tooth
    3. Versatility in uses - in addition to use as a filling material for decay, composite fillings can also be used to repair chipped, broken   or worn teeth
    4. Tooth-sparing preparation - sometimes less tooth structure needs to be removed compared with amalgams when removing decay and preparing for the filling

 

 

Disadvantages:

  1. 1. Lack of durability - composite fillings wear out sooner than amalgams (lasting at least 5 years compared with at least 10 to 15 for amalgams); in addition, they may not last as long as amalgams under the pressure of chewing and particularly if used as the filling material for large cavities
    2. Increased chair time - because of the process to apply the composite material, these fillings can take up to 20 minutes longer than amalgams to place
    3. Additional visits - if composites are used for inlays or onlays, more than one office visit may be required
    4. Chipping - depending on location, composite materials can chip off the tooth
    5. Expense - composite fillings more expensive than silver fillings

Children

At Belvedere Dental Care we welcome the opportunity to introduce your child to a life time of positive dental experiences. We would normally suggest that you bring your child to the dentist for the first time at around the age of 2 so that from an early age they can get used to the environment. We will encourage your child to learn good oral hygiene and the importance of healthy eating. We frequently hear from patients that they have had a bad dental experience as a child which has consequently made them nervous of visiting. We therefore try to make it a fun and positive experience where your child can play and chat to the dentist and of course get a sticker for their visit!

 

We spend a great deal of time discussing preventative measures with you and your child. Brushing technique, use of fluoride toothpastes, dietary analysis specifically frequency of food/drink consumption and the need for topical applications of fluoride to at risk teeth and/or fissure sealants are all discussed in detail. Fissure sealants are tooth coloured sealants which are applied to the biting surface of children’s teeth to strengthen them and prevent decay.

 

Belvedere Dental Clinic

Dental Sealants

What are dental sealants?
Dental sealants are plastic coatings that are usually placed on the chewing (occlusal) surface of the permanent back teeth — the molars and premolars — to help protect them from decay.

 

Why are dental sealants placed on teeth?
The chewing surfaces of the molar and premolar teeth have grooves — "fissures" — that make them vulnerable to decay. These fissures can be deep, are difficult to clean, and can be narrower than even a single bristle of a toothbrush. Plaque accumulates in these areas, and the acid from bacteria in the plaque attacks the enamel and cavities can develop. Fluoride helps prevent decay and helps protect all the surfaces of the teeth, dental sealants provide extra protection for the grooved and pitted areas by providing a smooth surface covering over the fissured area.

 

When are dental sealants placed?
The first dental sealant to be placed is usually on the fissure of the first permanent molar tooth, once the chewing surface of the tooth has erupted completely beyond the gum. This tooth grows in behind the baby teeth. If the chewing (occlusal) surfaces of these teeth are sealed, the dental sealant will help protect the tooth. Except for thewisdom teeth, which come through much later, the molars and premolars continue to erupt until eleven-thirteen years of age and the chewing surfaces of these teeth can be sealed after they have erupted beyond the gum.

 

Can dental sealants be placed on the teeth of adults?
Yes — while less common, dental sealants are sometimes placed in adults at risk for caries, on deep grooves and fissures that do not already have fillings or dental sealants.

 

What do dental sealants look like?
Dental sealants can be clear, white or have a slight tint depending upon the dental sealant used.

 

How are dental sealants placed?
Belvedere Dental Clinic Firstly the tooth surface is thoroughly cleaned with a paste and rotating brush by your dentist. Next the tooth is washed with water and dried. Then a solution that is acidic is placed on the fissured area of the tooth’s chewing surface for a number of seconds before being rinsed off. This creates small microscopic areas and a fine rougher surface than the surrounding tooth enamel, that can be seen with a microscope. The rough surface and microscopic areas enable the dental sealant to attach to the tooth. After the tooth is dried again, the liquid dental sealant is placed on the tooth and hardened. Dental sealants are hardened by using a light that hardens the dental sealant. Once the dental sealant has hardened it becomes a hard plastic varnish coating, and you can chew on the tooth again.

 

How long does a dental sealant last?
Dental sealants have been used and have been proven to be effective since the 1970s. Many studies have shown that they are effective in helping to prevent decay on chewing (occlusal) surfaces. Dental sealants can last many years but must be examined regularly and added to or replaced if deficiencies occur.

Mouthguards

The Importance of Wearing a Mouthguard

A split lip will heal but broken teeth won't. Did you know that teeth are the least capable part of the human body to repair themselves after an injury? The dental treatment required to repair damaged teeth or replace missing teeth is both time consuming and expensive.

There are three types of mouthguard:
Stock mouthguards are preformed and come ready to wear. They are inexpensive and can generally be purchased in sports shops. However, little can be done to adjust their fit, they are bulky, can make breathing and talking difficult, and they provide limited protection. Dentists do not recommend their use.

 

Boil and bite mouthguards can also be bought over the counter at most sports shops and generally offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. The ‘boil and bite’ mouthguard is made from thermoplastic material. It is placed in hot water to soften, then placed in the mouth and shaped around the teeth using finger and tongue pressure. Dentists do not recommend their use in general as they tend to thin out in the very areas where protection is required and also be of a loose fit which causes them to be easily dislodged.

 

Belvedere Dental Clinic

 

Custom-fitted mouthguards are individually designed and made in a dental office or a professional laboratory based on your dentist's instructions. These will not just offer the best protection against dental and oral injury but they should not affect performance i.e. breathing and speech should be relatively unaffected particularly if these have been worn regularly. Firstly, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth and a mouthguard is then moulded over the model using a special material. Several layers of different plastics are laminated together so as to make a very impact absorbing mouthguard. Due to the use of the special material and because of the extra time and work involved, a custom made mouthguard is more expensive than the other types, but it provides the most comfort and protection and is the only type of mouthguard recommended by dentists.

 

Mouthguards are mandatory for players in all age grades, in all Gaelic football practice sessions and games. This rule has been mandatory for players in grades up to Minor since 2013 and applies to all age grades since January 1st 2014.

Key Points:

  • Gaelic footballers in all age grades must wear a mouthguard from January 1st 2014
  • It is the responsibility of each individual player to use a mouthguard
  • A properly fitted mouthguard is the best available protective device for reducing the incidence and severity of sports-related dental injuries
  • Players can be sent-off in a game for not wearing a mouthguard
  • Players will not be covered under the GAA player injury scheme if they don’t comply with the mouthguard rule
  • No Mouthguard? No Game!

Tooth Grinding

Bruxism: Signs and Symptoms

Belvedere Dental ClinicThe habit of grinding, gnashing, grating, or clenching the teeth is termed bruxism, and millions of adults and children are affected by this condition. While its exact cause is unknown, most experts believe that bruxism can occur as a response to increased psychological stress.

 

Bruxism involves any type of forceful contact between the teeth, whether silent and clenching, or loud and grating. Estimates vary regarding the number of people who suffer from this condition and range from 50%-95% of the adult population. Approximately 15% of all children also acquire this condition. Many people are not aware that they have this condition because they grind their teeth at night while asleep, although bruxism can occur during daytime hours as well.

 

Certain sleep disorders are accompanied by bruxism. Drinking alcohol and taking certain medications (for example, antidepressants) may worsen the bruxism. Malocclusion (improper alignment of the teeth) may also play a causative role or may determine the severity of symptoms related to bruxism. Children may develop bruxism as a response to a cold or other infection and are more likely to develop it when their parents are affected. Some studies show that persons whose personalities may be described as compulsive, controlling, precise, or aggressive have an increased incidence of bruxism ie habit of grinding, gnashing, grating, or clenching the teeth is termed bruxism, and millions of adults and children are affected by this condition. While its exact cause is unknown, most experts believe that bruxism can occur as a response to increased psychological stress.

 

How Do I Find Out if I Grind My Teeth?
Belvedere Dental ClinicBecause grinding often occurs during sleep, most people are unaware that they grind their teeth. However, a dull, constant headache or sore jaw is a telltale symptom of bruxism. Many times people learn that they grind their teeth by their loved one who hears the grinding at night. If you suspect you may be grinding your teeth, talk to your dentist. He or she can examine your mouth and jaw for signs of bruxism, such as jaw tenderness and abnormalities in your teeth.

 

Why Is Teeth Grinding Harmful?
In some cases, chronic teeth grinding can result in a fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth. The chronic grinding may wear their teeth down to stumps. When these events happen, bridges, crowns, root canals, implants, partial dentures, and even complete dentures may be needed. Not only can severe grinding damage teeth and result in tooth loss, it can also affect your jaws, result in hearing loss, cause or worsen TMD/TMJ, and even change the appearance of your face.

 

What Can I Do to Stop Grinding My Teeth?
Belvedere Dental ClinicYour dentist can fit you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth from grinding during sleep. Hard mouthguards are the only type now recommended by experts in this field. If stress is causing you to grind your teeth, ask your doctor or dentist about options to reduce your stress. Attending stress counseling, starting an exercise program, seeing a physical therapist, or obtaining a prescription for muscle relaxants are among some of the options that may be offered. Other tips to help you stop teeth grinding include:

  • Avoid or cut back on foods and drinks that contain caffeine, such as colas, chocolate, and coffee.
  • Avoid alcohol. Grinding tends to intensify after alcohol consumption.
  • Do not chew on pencils or pens or anything that is not food. Avoid chewing gum as it allows your jaw muscles to get more used to clenching and makes you more likely to grind your teeth.
  • Train yourself not to clench or grind your teeth. If you notice that you clench or grind during the day, position the tip of your tongue between your teeth. This practice trains your jaw muscles to relax.
  • Relax your jaw muscles at night by holding a warm washcloth against your cheek in front of your earlobe.

Oral Sedation

Sedation Dentistry

Making your dental visit more comfortable
We know that many people are fearful of dental procedures and experience anxiety before and during their dental visit. Oral Sedation can help to alleviate these concerns.

Oral Sedation

Advantages of oral sedation:

  • Easy to administer; just swallow a small pill
  • Works well for most people

Disadvantages of oral sedation:

  • The level of sedation is not easily changed
  • Someone must drive you to and from your dental appointment

How does oral sedation work?

Your dentist will prescribe a pill to take the night before your appointment and an hour before your scheduled dental visit. You must have someone drive you to and from your appointment. When you arrive at the dental office, you will be awake and feeling drowsy and relaxed.

 

Oral sedatives have no pain-relieving qualities, so local anesthetics are used to prevent pain. Because you are so relaxed, and because of the use of painless injection techniques, you will probably not remember when your mouth was actually being "numbed."

 

When your treatment is completed, your friend or relative will drive you home. When you are fully awake, you will feel comfortable, relaxed and free from stress. You will probably remember very little about your dental appointment. You should not operate a motor vehicle for 24 hours after receiving oral sedation.

 

 

 

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