Dental health is an important part of our general well-being as poor oral hygiene can lead to infections in the mouth and elsewhere in the body. This is especially important in patients with diabetes and heart disease, or prior to receiving treatment for cancer. Regular 6-monthly check-ups are needed to ensure that decayed teeth are filled early and bacteria deposits around the gums removed
Home care is important from early childhood as soon as the milk teeth erupt and visits to the dentist should start at around age 3. Fissure sealants should be applied on permanent teeth which erupt around age 6 to prevent decay. Fluoride application is also important in countries without fluoridation of water supply.
Jaw growth and teeth development should be assessed around age 9 and braces, if required are used to straighten teeth. For most children, braces are started around age 12, though if there are problems with jaw development, it should be started earlier. It usually takes around 2 years.
Decayed teeth in a child
Decayed teeth should be filled using tooth coloured fillings made from composites or porcelain instead of metal. You will need regular checks to ensure they remain intact. The last permanent teeth, termed “wisdom teeth” erupt between ages 18-21. If there is insufficient space, they will need to be surgically removed under sedation or general anesthesia to avoid having infection or decay.
Old Fillings & impacted wisdom tooth in an adult
Gum disease is common when we grow older but can be prevented through good oral hygiene including brushing and flossing between teeth after meals and regular check-ups and cleaning at the dentist. In addition, teeth tend to chip and wear down with age due to tooth grinding. This can be controlled using mouth guards and protected or repaired using crowns.
However, in spite of best efforts, teeth may sometimes still need to be extracted as a result of severe dental disease or accidents. But rest assured as dentures, bridges or implants can be used to replace missing teeth to allow proper chewing, speech and a pleasing smile. The procedures are fairly painless and the discomfort controlled using local anesthesia. For patients who are fearful, intra-venous sedation administered by a specialist anesthetist allows for comfortable and pain-free treatment.
Gums are the pink tissues which surround our teeth. Healthy gums are uniformly pale pink, and do not bleed easily. The lack of proper oral hygiene results in the accumulation of debris and deposits on tooth (and implant) surfaces and leads to gum disease.
Mild gum disease in its initial stages can be treated with thorough cleaning, which removes accumulated plaque and calculus. Moderate and severe gum diseases require more aggressive cleaning. In some cases gum regeneration is possible.
Gums also affect the appearance of our smile. Some are born with too much gums showing and these can often be recontoured to look more symmetrical and aesthetically pleasing. For those affected by gum disease, gaps often appear between teeth due to gum loss. These can be masked using fillings, veneers or crowns.
Gum disease affects more than just our breath or smile. There is some evidence to suggest that poor oral hygiene is associated with an increased risk of developing heart diseases. It also worsens sugar level control especially in patients with diabetes. An adequate home care programme and regular visits for check ups and cleaning is thus an important part of our overall health maintenance programme.
Common Gum Problems
Bleeding gums due to accumulate of dental plaque
Gaps between teeth as a result of severe gum disease
Receding gum due to strong bite forces
Gummy smile as a result of prominent upper jaw
Fillings, Crowns & Bridges Fillings are materials used to replace parts of decayed or broken teeth. They were traditionally made of metal but today, tooth coloured fillings using high quality composites are preferred. If the damage to the tooth is significant, there is an added need to protect the weakened tooth and a crown may be required.
Crowns are pieces of porcelain made to cover the remaining tooth structure and replace the portion of the tooth that was damaged. The teeth are first trimmed slightly & a mould made. The work is then continued in a laboratory where the restoration is made before cementing it to the tooth. Temporary plastic teeth are given in the interim period health.
If the damage to the tooth is extensive, requiring extraction, an artificial tooth is required. Bridges are artificial tooth replacements which can be fixed to the adjacent teeth to replace missing or extracted teeth and are in general preferred to removable dentures.
Conventional crowns and bridges are built on a metal base using porcelain powder and fused together in a furnace at high temperatures, a process which takes several days. New generation all-porcelain crowns and bridges are designed and manufactured using a computer (“CADCAM”). This results in a more accurate and better fit.
Using the latest computer technology and strong in-house laboratory support, we can now produce custom designed porcelain teeth in a range of shades to match your natural skin tone within 3 hours and a complete makeover within 2 days.