The basic repair of the mouth is called restorative dentistry.
This includes teeth restoration with bonded tooth-coloured white fillings, porcelain dental crowns, and aesthetic inlays or onlays. Missing teeth can be replaced with fixed bridges, removable or complete dentures, or dental implants. Broken and infected teeth can also be treated with root canal therapy and crowned.
Prosthodontics refers to the branch of dentistry specializing in dental implants, crowns and bridges, porcelain veneers, inlays, onlays, complete and removable complete and partial dentures. It is used to replace or repair missing parts of teeth, bone, gums or facial structures to restore optimal function and aesthetics to your smile.
Traumatic injuries to the mouth’s structures and/or teeth, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, snoring and sleep disorders, oral cancer reconstruction and continuing care fall under this category.
Cerec 3 D CAD-CAM
Cerec 3 D CAD-CAM is the world’s most popular system for all ceramic dental restorations that can be done in one office visit. With CEREC, you can be in and out of the dental office in a single visit with permanent all-ceramic dental crowns, inlays, onlays or veneers. This means fewer injections, no temporary fillings, and less time taken out of your hectic schedule for dental care.
Missing a tooth? A dental implant is a conservative tooth replacement technique that provides you with a tooth that looks, feels, and functions like a natural tooth.
A dental implant consists of three components: a titanium screw, an abutment, and a crown. A high-grade titanium screw bonds to the jawbone and replaces the natural tooth’s root as an anchor. It is unlike a conventional bridge, where the supporting teeth need to be “shaved”.
Typically, a titanium screw is surgically placed in the bone by the oral surgeon and three months later restored by a prosthodontist with an abutment and a crown. A bone graft can be done prior to the placement of the implant if there is insufficient bone. When an implant is placed in the bone, the rate of bone resorption decreases. It is therefore advisable to replace missing teeth with implants within three months after extraction (depending on the location of extraction).
Dental crowns are tooth-like protective caps placed over badly decayed, damaged, or cracked teeth. They can also be used to support a bridge and cover discoloured or malformed teeth. Dental crowns can be made of different materials. They can be made of porcelain fused to metal or be all-metallic or all-ceramic, depending on the location as well as functional and aesthetic requirements of the tooth.
Read more about dental crowns here.
A dental bridge can replace or fill a gap created by a single or multiple missing teeth. A conventional bridge consists of two dental crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap and false tooth / teeth in between. A dental bridge can also be supported by two implants.
Dentures are removable appliances that replace missing teeth. They are the cheapest alternative to implants and bridges. They can be either plastic or metal and have hooks anchoring them to your natural teeth.
Some patients who have lost all their upper and lower teeth require full upper and lower dentures. They are not very retentive and stable compared to implants or bridges. Food often gets stuck under the dentures. Such dentures need to be removed every night before sleeping.
As our bones continues to resorb as we age, the dentures become more loose and unstable, rubbing against our gums and causing ulcers. It is advisable, therefore, to replace dentures every 3 years.
Night Guard / Mouth Guard
Night guards / mouth guards are plastic appliances worn during sleep by patients diagnosed with Bruxism. Bruxism refers to the grinding and clenching of teeth in the day or during sleep at night (sleep bruxism). It occurs in about 30% of the population, and 80% of bruxers are unaware of this habit.
Signs and Symptoms
- Diminished tooth enamel and increased tooth sensitivity.
- Jaw soreness or tight jaw muscles.
- Grinding of the teeth loud enough to wake up your partner.
- Flat, loose, or chipped teeth.
- A headache that begins at the temples, especially in the morning.
- Frequent dislodgement or breakage of dental fillings.
Bruxism has many causes, both physical and psychological. Sleep issues are some of the most common. Snoring, sleep talking, and even a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea can play a role in developing sleep bruxism. Sleep apnea is a unique condition that affects the breathing process. It can be confirmed with a sleep test.
Anger, anxiety, frustration, and stress are four major psychological reasons why a person may grind their teeth. Although professional counseling can help you deal with a stressor, you can do a lot yourself to manage it. Exercise, for example, releases endorphins that provide tremendous stress relief. Certain relaxation methods – such as listening to music, going for walks, and taking a warm bath – are similarly helpful. Work-related issues are frequently to blame, so be mindful of your workplace atmosphere and the way you approach the tough aspects of your career.
Bite and alignment issues with the upper or lower jaw are another common cause of teeth grinding. They are called malocclusions. Such issues can be fixed by something as simple as braces or as extreme as jaw reconstruction. It is advisable you seek consultation with an orthodontist to ensure you take the right course of action to correct any malocclusions.
Habits such as tobacco use, alcohol consumption, and even too much caffeine can increase your risk of bruxism. Your medical professional can recommend a friendly form of addiction treatment if need be. Keep in mind that age is also a factor as bruxism is more common in children before they reach their teen years.
Medications and Disorders
Bruxism causes have also been linked to side-effects from psychiatric medications (e.g., antidepressants), along with neurological conditions such as Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Consult your doctor in these cases.
Prevention and Treatment
If you suspect you suffer from bruxism, record your symptoms and share them with your dental professional at your next dental appointment. Our dentists will perform a full examination to confirm the diagnosis and then determine its causes. In the interim, we may prescribe a mouth guard to stop any further damage from grinding or perform a dental procedure to correct any problems related to tooth alignment. We may also discuss stress reduction methods if you haven’t implemented them already.
NTI-TSS and Migraine
NTI-TSS stands for Nociceptive Trigeminal Inhibition Tension Suppression System. It is a small transparent plastic device, which is, in its most widely used form, worn at night over the front four teeth of either arch. It is intended to prevent the contact between the canines and molars. It is normally fitted by a dentist trained in the technique and constructed chairside.
NTI-TSS is a type of occlusal splint that can prevent headaches and migraines without the side effects of drugs by reducing sleep bruxism (night-time tooth clenching and grinding). The objective of the NTI-TSS is to relax the muscles involved in clenching and bruxing, thus diminishing the chances of migraines and tension headaches. It is also sometimes used for the treatment of temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD).
Endodontics (root canal therapy)
Endodontics (root canal treatment) refers to the branch of dentistry specialising in saving teeth with infected pulp tissue caused by decay, gum disease, or trauma. In the old days, such tooth would have been extracted. Today, we use this treatment to remove infected nerves and tissues in the canal, which is then cleansed and disinfected. Next, the tooth is filled and sealed. A crown is recommended for protection and long term use of the tooth.
Read more about endodontics here.