Many adults have lost one of their permanent teeth, or in some cases, they may have lost many. And while the traditional way to resolve this issue was to fit a denture or fitted bridge, times have changed and now, patients are looking for more from their dental restorations.
So how would you feel if you learned that you could restore missing teeth with a natural-looking prosthetic, which also improved your bite strength but didn’t require any adhesives? This is exactly what dental implants can offer.
At Walkerston Dental, our dentist Walkerston is always happy to meet patients who are looking to restore their smiles with dental implants. We can advise you on everything, your suitability to have the fitting, the aftercare and how to promote the longevity of this restorative procedure.
But before you rush to contact our team, you may have some questions, and here, our dentist Walkerston answers 5 of the most common queries that we receive from our patients about dental implants.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is, in essence, a titanium metal screw which is affixed to your jaw with surgery. Once it has fused with the surrounding bone, our team can then fit a prosthetic tooth, or teeth to it, which can then be held firmly in place.
The most commonly used kind of dental implant is an endosteal implant, but there are other alternatives, such as a subperiosteal, zygomatic and mini implant as well. But our dentist Walkerston will always aim to provide you with the most suitable implant for your clinical case.
Can anyone have them fitted?
Unfortunately, not everybody is suitable to have dental implants.
For an endosteal implant, you have to have a set amount of healthy jawbone which is also not degenerating due to illness, such as osteoporosis. You also have to have good overall oral health, as we cannot fit implants in a mouth that has gum disease or active tooth decay. You also have to be over the age of 18 to have oral implants.
How long does it take for the implants to fuse?
As mentioned before, an oral implant is fitted to your jaw via surgery and it fuses with the surrounding bone because the implant is made from titanium. This is a biologically inert material which encourages the growth of bone around it. The timeline may vary depending on your age and general health, but for most of our patients, the process of fusing takes between 3 to 6 months. If after 12 months there is no sign of the implant fusing, our team will remove it and will discuss other options for restoration with you.
Will they look fake?
The teeth that are attached to the oral implant will not look fake, as the cosmetic aspects are often heavy on our patients’ priority lists. Therefore, the fake tooth or teeth can be colour matched, shape matched and even translucency matched to blend in with any natural teeth you have in your mouth. So, the overall result will look natural.
How long will they last?
With good aftercare, oral implants can easily last over 15 years.
The aftercare is not too strenuous; you will need to floss and brush them every day, as you would with natural teeth and attend biannual check-ups with our team. So we can ensure that there are no ongoing problems which could cause you to lose them prematurely.
All treatments carry risks. Individual consultation is required with one of our practitioners to ensure that the treatment is right for you.
If you wake up at 4 am with a throbbing discomfort under one of your teeth, this is not likely to be postponed until your next dental checkup. It is an emergency that requires urgent treatment, so you will need to attend a 24-hour or emergency dental clinic.
But this can be an intimidating prospect, especially if you have an aversion to dental teams. Many patients who need to attend an emergency appointment have concerns about what this will entail, but don’t worry! The appointment itself is relatively straightforward but has a slightly different basis to regular dental appointments revolving around assessment and treatment.
At Walkerston Dental, we are very proud to offer an emergency dentist Walkerston and are always happy to offer our patients a same-day appointment. Via triage, if it is evident that you are suffering from a dental emergency, an emergency dental appointment will aim to resolve any discomfort that you are in and get you back on track as soon as possible. So they are well worth attending if you need to.
But what exactly is involved in an emergency trip to see our dentist Walkerston? Read on to find out!
Assessment and diagnosis
The first step is assessment and diagnosis.
In the majority of cases that require a same-day appointment to see our dentist Walkerston, the underlying issue is an oral abscess; these are fairly straightforward to assess and diagnose, but this stage is important as the treatment depends on an accurate assessment.
Following the example of a dental abscess, the treatment is usually based around controlling the discomfort and reducing the swelling. In an emergency setting, this can be done by lancing if the abscess is particularly large or aggressive or by prescribing medications. In very rare instances, an oral abscess may require an emergency extraction, but this all depends on the condition of the tooth that the abscess is under. For almost all abscesses, our team will aim to save the tooth using a root canal.
It is usually not the case that an oral abscess that occurs in an emergency setting can be treated straight away. So our team can prescribe antibiotics to our patients to get the infection under control between the emergency appointment and the follow-up. You must take the full course of antibiotics as dental infections are notoriously hard to treat and can be persistent if they are not dealt with correctly. And nobody wants that kind of experience twice in their life!
A root canal to treat an oral infection will likely occur during a follow-up appointment once the infection is controlled. This will usually happen within a week of your emergency appointment, and you need to attend it, even if you are no longer in discomfort as this will prevent the infection from recurring and restore the tooth.
Preventing emergency oral issues is tricky. Some instances, such as when there has been damage to the enamel or loose restoratives, cannot be prevented. But for the majority of patients, they can be minimised by attending biannual check-ups and maintaining good oral health at home.
All treatment carries risks. Individual consultation is required with one of our practitioners to ensure that the treatment is right for you.
When you need to have a tooth removed, you can rest assured that you aren’t the only person who pictures the piece-of-string-tied-to-a-doorknob technique!
Luckily, there are many ways to extract teeth, along with many different reasons as to why this option may be considered, so it should be a comfortable experience.
At Walkerston Dental, our dentist Walkerston will always aim to answer any questions or concerns that you may have about dental extraction, so if you have any, simply ask us!
In this introductory guide, our dentist Walkerston explores dental extractions in a bit more depth, so you will know what to expect.
Reasons for dental extractions
There are a few common reasons why our dentist Walkerston may decide to remove a tooth.
Perhaps you have been in an accident, and the tooth is too badly damaged to be repaired with a crown or filling. You may be suffering from extensive decay or a dental infection, and the tooth is too deteriorated by decay to save.
Or, you may be about to undertake a brace or aligner, and our team needs to make some room in your mouth.
A simple extraction occurs when a completely healthy tooth is removed from the jaw. This is often required when you are about to undertake orthodontic work, and our team needs to make room for the tooth movement.
We will numb the area and simply remove the tooth from your mouth with dental forceps. Unless multiple teeth need to be removed next to each other, we will usually leave a simple extraction site open to heal on its own.
As the name suggests, surgical extractions require a bit of a surgical approach to removing the tooth.
This can be due to several reasons; the tooth may be broken at the gum line, it may be shattered under the gums due to trauma, or it may be impacted. In any case, we will usually begin by numbing the area and then using incisions to gain access underneath the gum.
We will use the same basic tools as used in a simple extraction, but there may be an x-ray post-extraction, so we can ensure that all of the tooth fragments have been removed.
In most cases relating to surgical extractions, we will also stitch the gum to promote faster healing.
When it comes to wisdom teeth, they can be pesky! And when it comes to removing them, it is rarely straightforward; they often erupt at odd angles, pushing against the underside of neighbouring teeth or they have tangled roots, which can make them harder to extract.
We will perform x-rays to determine the best way to remove your wisdom teeth, but in most cases, the removal will likely need to be surgical and have stitches.
Whether you have had a tooth removed to make room for orthodontic treatment or extract a wisdom tooth, for the next few days, you will need to be careful.
Even if you have had stitches, you will need to keep the site of the extraction clean, so we advise rinsing the area with saltwater. Do not brush the area directly for a few days, as you may prevent a necessary clot from forming in the socket, which can lead to a dry socket.
All treatment carries risks. Individual consultation is required with one of our practitioners to ensure that the treatment is right for you.
When many people picture dental extractions, they instantly envision a person having bad teeth which have succumbed to decay and they may even picture somebody who has a dental abscess.
And while these are common reasons for patients to have a dental extraction, they are far from the only ones. Many patients who are undertaking orthodontic treatment require the extraction of teeth to make room for the movement that their braces will encourage and in some cases, such as wisdom teeth, they simply need to be removed due to impaction or issues and pressures that they are causing within the jaw.
Either way, if you need a tooth extracted, come to us!
Our team at Walkerston Dental always try to make dental extractions as straightforward and as comfortable as possible. This is helped by our dentist Walkerston having access to the most up-to-date technology and being trained in the most recent methods surrounding comfortable dental extraction.
So before you panic about having to have a tooth removed, it may be wise to learn a bit more about the different types of extraction that our dentist Walkerston can offer and how to care for your mouth after you have had an extraction performed. So read on to learn more!
A simple dental extraction is, well, simple!
Our dentist Walkerston typically performs simple extractions if a patient requires a tooth to be removed due to orthodontic treatment. It presumes that the tooth being removed is healthy and will not crumble or crack when pressure is applied to it.
For a simple dental extraction, all that is required is a general anaesthetic around the area of the tooth and the gum and then the use of some specialised tools to remove the tooth from the jaw. Once the extraction is complete, our team may use stitches to conceal the hole and promote healing, or, we may decide to leave it open.
Surgical dental extractions can be a bit more complex.
It is typical if a patient has a tooth that is decayed below the gum line, if they have a severely decayed tooth in general, or if they require a surgical technique to remove the tooth that is in a bad position, which is common with certain teeth.
Much as before, you will have a general anaesthetic but some surgical incisions will need to be made into the gums to get access to the tooth, alongside some X-rays to ensure that we removed all of the tooth so that none is retained.
After a surgical extraction, our team will always apply stitches.
If you have problematic wisdom teeth that are causing tightness, discomfort, or are infected (depending on if they are impacted or not), our team will usually use a surgical extraction to remove them. This may cause swelling to the face and underneath the jaw but we will aim to make any wisdom tooth removal as comfortable as possible and reduce trauma to the jaw.
When you’ve had a tooth extracted, you will want to keep the site clean using saltwater and avoid putting pressure on it until the site has healed over.
If you spot the signs of infection, such as bad breath, discomfort, swelling or the presence of pus, please contact our team urgently for a same-day appointment.
All treatment carries risks. Individual consultation is required with one of our practitioners to ensure that the treatment is right for you.
Do you need a tooth extracted?
Don’t worry! Gone are the days of tying a string around your tooth and slamming a door!
There are many reasons why you may need to have a tooth extracted and when you come to our team, irrespective of those reasons, we will always endeavour to ensure that your visit is comfortable.
At Walkerston Dental, our dentist Walkerston will always aim to preserve teeth when possible and, should you need an extraction or other oral surgery, we will be sure to answer any queries you may have. Great!
But did you know that there are different extraction types? And were you aware that they may be able to be paired with restorative procedures like dental implants? Our dentist Walkerston explains below.
Why may an extraction be needed?
Many people assume that if someone needs to have a tooth removed it is due to decay or the tooth is too badly broken to be restored. And while this may be the case for many people, there are other reasons why our dentist Walkerston may need to extract a tooth.
Firstly, the most common reason for extraction is decay; the tooth has broken down, is causing pain and cannot be repaired with a crown or filling.
But teeth may also need to be removed if the person has overcrowded teeth and is preparing for a brace or aligner. You may also need an extraction if the tooth is impacted (common with wisdom teeth) or if the tooth has broken and cannot be repaired.
Types of extraction
There are 2 types of extraction that we use to extract teeth; simple and surgical.
A simple extraction is just that; the area is numbed and the tooth is removed. This type presupposes that the tooth is not too badly damaged or decayed to be removed and needs most or all of the crown of the tooth to be visible and for the roots to be healthy. You will likely have a simple extraction if the tooth is being removed for orthodontic work.
A surgical extraction is more common in cases of bad decay or severely broken teeth, where the crown has disintegrated or vanished. The area is numbed and incisions are made into the gum, where our dental team will then remove the tooth. Surgical extractions are also common with the removal of many different types of wisdom teeth.
Most extraction sites will be sewn together by our team, so there is no open wound and the chance of dry socket is reduced. You should clean it with saltwater. Take pain relief as and when needed and of course, keep an eye out for signs of infection. If you feel unwell, are sick, or have a fever, then please see our team promptly as you may have an infection.
You should refrain from applying pressure to the area too.
Dry socket occurs when an extraction site is left open and a necessary blood clot fails to form. This is uncomfortable at best and should be brought to the attention of our team promptly!
Want to have dental implants fitted but are worried they will fall out?
Our dentist Walkerston knows all there is to know about the fitting, care and maintenance of dental implants. They aim to ensure that any implant fitted by us will last a long time.
Here, we look at some of the most common myths that our dentist Walkesrton has heard about dental implants.
Dental implants will become infected
It is exceedingly rare that a dental implant will become infected.
If our dentist Walkerston suspects that you have an infected dental implant, we will need to remove it to ascertain the reason for the infection and to treat it accordingly.
Dental implants will fall out
If fitted correctly, and providing that you do not have any underlying health conditions that could prompt them to fall out, your oral implants should stay in place.
The fitting itself requires us to take x-rays of your jaw, to check for signs that you will not be able to support a standard implant. If we determine that you are suitable (subject to medical questions too) then there is no reason why your implants should just spontaneously fall out.
Please note that implants can become loose initially after the fitting if you apply pressure on them via a toothbrush or by consuming hard food. If you have worries that your implant is not fusing promptly, call us for a check-up.
Dental implants prevent you from travelling via aeroplanes
Many patients have concerns that once they have oral implants fitted, they will not be able to travel abroad due to the metal detector used at airports.
The good news is that, no, oral implants do not prevent you from travelling on aeroplanes.
Dental implants are made from titanium, which means they are non-magnetic and will not set off a metal detector. Titanium is also used to create other surgical implants such as hip replacements and knee replacements, both of which do not prevent you from flying due to detection using a metal detector.
So, you can still go on holiday, don’t worry about it!
Dental implants are too expensive to afford
This is one of the most common myths that we experience at Walkerston Dental. Dental implants are not too expensive for the average person to afford.
Our team is proud to be able to offer our suitable patients 0% financing offers which can help you break down the cost into affordable monthly repayments.
If you would like more information about this, then please contact our team today.
Dental implants don’t last long
With correct maintenance and aftercare, dental implants can easily last for up to and over 15 years.
This does mean that, even though they are prosthetic teeth, you need to treat them as you treat(ed) your natural teeth. You will need to brush them twice a day, floss, rinse with mouthwash and of course, attend dental check-ups with our team twice a year. This is so we can keep an eye open for signs of gum disease and other issues that could cause your implants to come loose, such as rejection from your body.
You can also promote the longevity of your implants by refraining from smoking and drinking alcohol excessively.
At our dentist Walkerston we want your dental experience to be calming and friendly whilst using the latest in dental technologies. The dental industry’s technology has moved rapidly into the twenty-first century, with an amazing array of dental equipment now available. But none of this is of any value unless the service received is of the same quality. Our service is designed around you and that is why we make a concerted effort to build a relationship and trust with you. We know and understand that some patients are nervous and anxious when visiting the dentist and we work hard to make you feel relaxed. From the warm welcoming reception you will receive to the caring, understanding dentist, we are all trained to make your dental experience a pleasantly memorable one.
Keeping you in the picture
Our dentist Walkerston has a dental chair that has its own built-in entertainment centre, allowing you to listen to your favourite music while we treat you. We keep you in the picture as to what condition we have identified and the treatment we will administer by providing a screen on the ceiling, so that you can watch us at work in real time. If you don’t want to watch the screen this can obviously be turned off.
All members of the team at our dentist Walkerston are big on preventive dentistry for all ages, but especially children because we believe that you as a parent can give your child the perfect gift of lifetime dental health. We ask you to bring your children in with you when you come for your dental visits, not necessarily for them to be examined in the beginning, but to get comfortable with the dental surroundings. That way by the time their first dental appointment comes around, going to the dentist will be just another routine visit to them.
No need to suffer with misaligned teeth
We all remember the ‘scaffolding’ that some children wore when we were at school and how uncomfortable it looked. The science of correcting misaligned teeth has led to some incredible developments. Crooked, ill-spaced teeth or overbites and underbites, etc. are now far more easily treatable at almost any age. The type of condition identified will dictate the best appliance to be used to correct it. Braces have also undergone a transformation and in some cases are fitted to the inside of the teeth so that they are barely visible. In addition dental aligners have become very popular, as they are made from a clear, high-grade plastic material and are almost invisible. They also work differently to braces, instead of being attached to your teeth by brackets they utilise a series of ‘trays’ which resemble gum shields. Each tray is orientated slightly differently so that your teeth are gently eased into their desired positions, resulting in them being straightened. The technology available even allows us to show you how your teeth will look after treatment, before the treatment has even begun.
Trained and ready to serve you
The technology we have at our disposal means that nobody needs to suffer with any dental condition today. We regularly attend training and seminars that allow us to keep up to date with equipment and the latest techniques. Your dental health is in our experienced hands when you come to us. We are waiting to attend to your particular dental needs.
Are you delaying attending a dental checkup? Do you believe that you should only see a dental team when you are in discomfort?
Aside from simply keeping your smile whiter and healthier, there are many other reasons why dental checkups are so important.
At Walkerston Dental, our dentist Walkerston always aims to encourage regular checkups with our patients to help keep their oral and overall health in top condition.
Here, our dentist Walkerston discusses the benefits of regular dental checkups, so enjoy!
Protect your gums
Gum disease is a big issue in modern society, and our dentist Walkerston knows that the best way to prevent gum disease is to attend regular checkups.
This will allow our team to remove any plaque on your teeth that could be hard to reach, thus preventing any secondary inflammation from occurring. We can also perform a scale and polish if needed, which will remove plaque, bacteria and tartar from above and below the gumline. If we feel you need a bit more of a deep clean, we can also refer you to our hygienist. Great!
Protect your teeth
Of course, one of the other key points surrounding dental checkups involves the protection of your teeth.
Cavities can be detected, fluoride sealants can be applied and any loose restoratives, such as fillings or crowns, can be reset. All of these can prevent discomfort, degeneration of the teeth and more serious issues from occurring, like abscesses and tooth loss.
Furthermore, during a dental checkup, our team can help restore any missing teeth using dentures, bridges or even dental implants.
Protect your general health
Have you ever heard that there is a link between the condition of your teeth and your overall health? It’s not a myth!
When you book yourself in for a dental checkup, you are allowing our team to assess the condition of your mouth and remove any excessive amounts of plaque that you may have. Similarly, we can also assess for other conditions such as oral cancer, which we will talk more about later.
If you delay having your teeth looked at, you run the risk of developing gum disease, which allows plaque and other bacteria access to your bloodstream. This in turn has been linked to cancer, strokes and other serious health conditions. So, protect your health and book that checkup today!
Oral cancer screening
Whenever you attend a dental checkup with us, our team will always check for signs of oral cancer and ask about any unusual symptoms you have had.
Whilst nobody enjoys the thought of having that suspicious lump in their mouth looked at, it is important to do so as soon as possible; with the correct diagnostics and treatment, oral cancer has one of the highest recovery rates. In our team’s experience, most cases of oral lumps are benign. Nevertheless, if you have a persistent sore throat, oral ulcers that keep recurring or lumps in your mouth, please book an appointment to see our team promptly!
When it comes to maintaining teeth, it is important to get the fundamentals right first.
And where is a better place to start than with dental hygiene?
Our team at Walkerston Dental believes that prevention is better, especially when it comes to dental care! Our dentist Walkerston is always eager to discuss ways to improve oral hygiene with our patients and their families, so if you are ever stuck for hygiene tips, call us!
Here, our dentist Walkerston provides 5 key tips to keep your dental hygiene and health in tip-top condition.
Two minutes each day!
Of course, the starting point for good dental hygiene is going to be at home.
And as such, our dentist Walkerston recommends to all of our patients that they should brush their teeth for 2 minutes, twice a day. This is pivotal to keeping your teeth and gums in good condition because it removes the daily accumulation of plaque, thus preventing it from turning into tartar.
Interdental is needed
You may have heard of interdental brushing; this is typically done with a small toothbrush that looks a bit like a mascara wand!
Using these to brush between your teeth before your standard brushing can loosen stuck debris from your teeth, which is then removed when you use your general toothbrush.
If you aren’t sure how to use an interdental brush or want some tips to show your children how to use them, talk to our team for advice.
After you have finished brushing your teeth, you may be tempted to rinse your mouth out with water.
But studies have shown that if you rinse your mouth out after brushing, you are removing fluoride. This is present in toothpaste and is an essential part of what makes it so beneficial to protecting the teeth.
By avoiding rising, you are ensuring that the fluoride stays on your teeth and continues to protect your teeth against bacteria in your mouth.
Fluoride, fluoride, fluoride!
Following on from the above point, if you have weakened enamel, have a history of tooth decay or simply want to prevent issues from occurring, it is worth investing in high fluoride toothpaste and mouthwashes.
Not only will using a high fluoride cleaning kit prevent the chances of you developing tooth decay, but it will also add protection to your teeth. If you aren’t sure which strength of fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash to use, ask our team for more advice. If you have children, you should not give them access to adult toothpaste, as the higher fluoride content can be damaging to their teeth.
Of course, a key factor in keeping your teeth and gums in good condition is to attend regular dental check-ups. We recommend seeing our general dental team once every 6 months and our hygienist at least once a year. If you have gum disease, a history of gum disease or even a family history of periodontal issues, then you may want to see our hygienist with the same regularity with which you see our regular dental team.
This will help us to remove plaque, apply fluoride sealants and prevent cavities for you and your entire family.
Diving into action rather than waiting for a miracle
When faced with dental pain or discomfort, it can, in some cases, be easy to push the irritation aside with the use of painkillers or mind over matter. But whilst this may give you an extra day or two, when noticeable discomfort within the mouth begins to impact your daily life it is important to contact our Dentist Walkerston promptly so as to eliminate the chances of further discomfort or damage.
Whilst in mild cases of discomfort the need for an emergency appointment may not be as severe, for cases where a tooth has been knocked out, whether through accidental injury or long term oral hygiene failures, the importance of getting the area checked over quickly could not be greater. After all, leaving gaps within the mouth can lead to further dental complications down the line such as further tooth loss, cause a wonky smile and in severe cases, an alteration to the facial bone structure. Whilst this all may sound a little far fetched for the loss of a couple of teeth, the impact when left untreated, can be severe but avoided with a quick call to action once the incident occurs.
Can the injury wait until my next check up appointment?
If your regular dental check-up is coming up and you damage a tooth just weeks beforehand, the thought of an emergency dental appointment may seem a lot of unnecessary fuss. Whilst the impact on your personal time may be positively impacted, the longer the wait for the issue to be sorted, the greater the chances for more extensive treatments and procedures to be needed. The impact of the pain may also increase creating further disruption to daily life. An emergency appointment with our Dentist Walkerston can often be arranged for the same day so as to relieve the discomfort immediately.
What to expect
Unlike a general dental appointment, the aim of an emergency appointment is to relieve any pain or discomfort promptly and discover the extent of the damage along with devising a sufficient and customised plan to tackle the problem. The treatment needed varies from patient to patient as it depends entirely on the individual circumstances, however, no matter what the damage it is important to know that each solution offered will be with the long-term in mind. In an emergency, your Dentist Walkerston aim is to provide a quick fix for your pain, but they will also help provide a long-term plan as required to fix the root cause of the issue.
Booking your emergency appointment
Whilst there are many ways to contact our team when facing a dental emergency the best form of action is to pick up the phone and give the dental practice a call. This ensures that a member of the team can be quick to deal with your problem and ensure that you are seen promptly. After all, no one wants to have you in pain so fast and targeted action is the best approach.
On occasions when all the emergency appointments have been filled for the day, the dental practice will work effortlessly to either fit your appointment in at the practice chosen or in some cases refer you to one of the other dental practices. Either way, it is important to know that you are in experienced hands and your treatment is the top priority.