You may also visit our dental clinics for other dental treatments such as:
- Root canal therapy
- Teeth whitening and other aesthetic services
- Wisdom tooth extractions
A crown is a dental restoration that entirely covers or "caps" a tooth. Crowns strengthen and protect the tooth structure and can improve the appearance of your smile. Your dentist may recommend a crown to:
- Replace a large filling when there isn't enough tooth remaining
- Protect a weak tooth from fracturing
- Restore a fractured tooth
- Attach a bridge
- Cover a dental implant
- Cover a poorly shaped tooth or Cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment
There are different types of crowns to choose from:
- Full porcelain crown
- Porcelain fused to metal crown
- All metal crown
Fitting a crown requires at least two visits to the dentist's office. Sometimes, you may need to make a third visit for adjustments.
During the first visit, your dentist shapes the outer portion of the tooth, then takes an impression to make and fit a temporary crown for you. In your second visit, the dentist will remove the temporary crown to fit a permanent crown, then make any adjustments needed. Once you and your dentist are satisfied with the positioning of the crown, it will be cemented permanently into place.
Dental bridges are used to replace missing teeth. There are several types of fixed dental bridges, including conventional fixed bridges, cantilever bridges and resin-bonded bridges. A resin-bonded bridge requires less preparation of adjacent teeth. It is often used to replace front teeth, provided your gums are healthy and the surrounding teeth do not have extensive dental fillings.
A denture is a removable artificial set of teeth used to replace missing teeth. Commonly referred to as "false teeth", it is usually made of acrylic or a combination of acrylic and metal.
If you have a few missing teeth, your dentist will fit a partial denture for you to replace them. If all your natural teeth are lost, you will need a complete denture. A good set of dentures helps you to eat, speak and function normally.
Like natural teeth, dentures can accumulate plaque and food debris, particularly in areas where the denture is in contact with your remaining teeth and gum. In addition to the usual oral hygiene measures like tooth brushing, dentures should be cleaned regularly. Poor denture hygiene can result in stains on the denture, bad odour, and sometimes infection of your gum areas.
Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy treats disorders or infection of the nerve (also called the pulp) inside the tooth. Root canal treatment involves the partial or total removal of the tooth's pulp, which is a small thread-like tissue that is important for tooth development. Once totally removed, it is replaced with materials that seal off the root canal from the bone supporting the tooth's root. A fully developed tooth can function normally without a pulp.
Tooth discoloration and staining are relatively common problems. Teeth are porous and are therefore not stain-resistant. Red wine, soda, coffee and tea, among other food and drink, can stain your teeth over time. Medications such as the antibiotic tetracycline can cause significant staining, resulting in yellowish or greyish teeth. Smokers' teeth can become permanently stained if the discoloration is not treated in a timely manner. Discoloration can also occur as a result of conditions such as fluorosis, abnormal development of the teeth and tooth decay or cavities.
If you want pearly-white teeth, you can consider two options for teeth whitening.
Dentist supervised at-home whitening is a daily bleaching process that can be continuously done until you are satisfied with the appearance of your teeth. Your dentist will prepare a custom-made mouth-guard bleaching tray for you. The whitening gel is added to the inside of the tray and applied to the teeth for several hours each day. You can expect good results in one to three weeks.
In-office light activated (laser) whitening is the latest teeth whitening treatment. A light source activates the bleaching gel which is applied to the teeth by the dentist. The whitening treatment takes one to two hours and can whiten up to eight shades in one treatment.
Discuss with your dentist to decide on the best method of teeth whitening for you.
These are thin, tooth-coloured porcelain or composite shells, which are carefully crafted to bond to and cover the front surface of unsightly teeth. A small amount of tooth must be removed during the preparation process.
Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Wisdom teeth or third molars are the final teeth to develop. Wisdom teeth that are healthy and properly positioned can be valuable assets to the mouth. Unfortunately, this is often not the case and problems develop that make it necessary to extract your wisdom teeth.
For example, if your jaw is not large enough to accommodate these teeth, they are unable to grow or move into their proper place. These wisdom teeth may cause crowding, displacement, decay, infection or gum disease. After examining your mouth and taking X-rays, your dentist will recommend whether your wisdom teeth should be removed.
Extractions of wisdom teeth may be performed by a general dentist. If your dentist expects any problems, he or she may refer you to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon — a dentist who specialises in surgery and the removal of wisdom teeth.
NUP Polyclinics offering this service
As not all dental services are available at each polyclinic, it is best to check with your dentist during your visits.