General Dentistry – Central Coast
General dentistry aims to maintain lifelong oral health through prevention, proper diagnosis and treatment of tooth decay and gum disease.
We pride ourselves on delivering the highest level of patient care through appropriate treatments, patient education, personalised dental maintenance and preventative programs.
At Terrigal Beach Dental we do not use amalgam ‘silver’ fillings, we only use tooth coloured fillings which not only look like your natural tooth but are strong and durable.
There are different types of tooth coloured fillings, these include:
Composite resin is a pliable tooth coloured material that comes in many different shades and can be matched to your specific tooth colour.
Composite is a durable and safe material that is bonded to the prepared tooth surface to fill the holes caused by decay, repair chipped teeth, close gaps and for composite resin veneers.
Porcelain fillings or Inlays and Onlays
Full porcelain dental restorations refer to ceramic material, which after being computer designed and machine sculptured to fit your prepared tooth are fired under high temperatures to produce a very strong, durable and aesthetic restoration.
Ceramic fillings are excellent for large fillings, amalgam replacement, and broken and cracked teeth.
Types of ceramic restorations include inlays, onlays and crowns.
- INLAYS – are fitted to a cavity within a tooth and are cemented in place
- ONLAYS – are similar to inlays however they extend to replace one or more cusps.
- CROWNS – are onlays which completely cover all surfaces of a tooth
ORAL HYGIENE AND PREVENATIVE CARE
At Terrigal beach Dental we believe prevention is better than cure and our primary goal is to stop dental decay and disease before it starts.
Our dentists and team members will work with you and your family to determine the best oral hygiene routine to ensure excellent oral health for your lifetime.
We will recommend a preventative program to suit your needs. This will ensure your oral health is maintained at a healthy level and that problems can be discovered early and treated easily.
- It is important to brush twice a day with a soft bristle toothbrush for approximately 2 minutes.
- Place the brush at a 45 degree angle to the gum to brush both the tooth and the gum gently in circular motions.
- Brush the outside, inside and biting surfaces of all teeth. Don’t apply too much pressure and let your brush do the work.
- Flossing is just as important as brushing.
- Break off about 40cm of dental floss, ribbon or tape.
- Wrap the ends around your middle fingers of each hand leaving about 5cm of string between them.
- Use your thumb and index finger to gently guide the floss between each of your teeth in a ‘sawing’ motion.
- Slide up and down each tooth to clean off plaque and food debris.
- Your gums may bleed for the first 1-2 weeks of flossing until they become healthy.
- If you find flossing too difficult ask of one our dentists for help or alternatives to flossing.
ALTERNATIVES TO FLOSSING:
- PIXTERS: Pixters are interdental brushes that effectively clean the gaps between teeth and remove decaying food particles which may cause tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath
- WATER FLOSSERS AND AIR FLOSSERS: These are power products designed to clean between your teeth with a jet stream of water and/or air.
GUM DISEASE TREATMENT
Gum disease or periodontal disease refers to conditions that affect the supporting tissue of the teeth such as the gums and also the deeper tissues of the bone, root surface and the ligament that connects the teeth to the bone.
Gum disease is caused by the bacteria in plaque. Plaque is a sticky, colourless film that forms on your teeth.
Gingivitis is infection of the surface tissue only. The effects of gingivitis are reversible with appropriate care.
Gingivitis may progress to affect the deeper supporting tissue, this is called Periodontitis.
Periodontitits or periodontal disease results in the destruction of the deeper supporting tissue – the bone and the ligament that connects the tooth to the bone. This destruction results in a space between the gum and the tooth called a pocket. The pocket forms a protective environment for bacteria and the disease progresses resulting in further destruction of bone and ligament until the tooth is lost due to the lack of support to hold it into the bone.
RISKS FACTOR FOR GUM DISEASE
Some people are more at risk of developing periodontal disease due to their family history of the disease. Smoking is also a major risk factor along with other conditions such as diabetes, stress, pregnancy and various medications.
SIGNS OF GUM DISEASE
The most easily recognisable symptom of gum disease is bleeding gums while brushing and flossing. Patients may also experience pain when chewing or be extra sensitive to hot and cold foods if the gums have started to recede. The gums may appear red and inflamed and patients suffering from the condition may suffer from chronic bad breath.
TREATMENT OF GUM DISEASE
In the vast majority of cases the progression of gum disease can be arrested with appropriate care, however management becomes more difficult the more the disease progresses. It is therefore important to diagnose and treat gum disease as early as possible.
Gum disease is managed by reducing the bacteria to a level the body’s defence mechanism can handle. This is done by:
- Excellent home care – brushing and flossing (and if advised a medicated mouth rinse)
- Regular professional cleaning of the teeth to remove the plaque and the hard calcified plaque deposits (calculus/tartar)
- Regular reviews
- Reducing risk factors such as smoking
For treatment of periodontitis and gingivitis on the Central Coast see our dentists at Terrigal Beach Dental. We combine the latest techniques with friendly instruction on good oral hygiene that can help you stop the progression of gum disease.
Teeth grinding or bruxism is involuntary clenching, grinding or gnashing of the teeth that generally happens during sleep.
SYMPTOMS OF GRINDING
- Audible grounding sounds while the person is asleep
- Aching and/or stiffness of the face and temples upon wakening
- Aching or stiffness in the jaws while chewing (particularly in the morning)
- Clenching of the jaw throughout the day
- Cracked or chipped tooth enamel
COMPLICATIONS OF GRINDING
- Cracked tooth enamel
- Excessive wear and tear on the teeth
- Broken teeth or restorations
- Strain on the joints and soft tissue of the jaw joint (tempero-mandibular joint – TMJ) leading to TMJ disorder
TREATMENT OF GRINDING
Our dentists at Terrigal Beach Dental are trained to recognize the symptoms and diagnose teeth grinding and TMJ disorder. We use the latest treatment technologies to treat this condition.
If you are suffering from any of the symptoms associated with grinding, please call our friendly team.
SNORING AND SLEEP APNOEA
Snoring is a noise produced when an individual breathes during sleep, which in turn causes vibration of the soft palate and the uvula.
The term apnea refers to the absence of breathing.
Most cases of snoring refer to primary snoring or simple snoring. This form of snoring is ‘noisy’ breathing during sleep and is characterized by loud upper airway breathing sounds in sleep without episodes of apnea (cessation of breathing). Primary snoring although not harmful can be very distressing for the snorer and their sleeping partner.
At Terrigal Beach Dental we have access to the latest technology in the treatment of primary snoring. We use an innovative 3-step anti-snoring system created by Somnomed designed to advance your lower jaw forward thus tightening the muscles in your airway to reduce the vibration and alleviate the snoring noises.
This custom fit device can alleviate snoring to allow you to have a peaceful night’s rest without disturbing your partner.
Sleep apnoea, also known as Obstructive Sleep Apnoea occurs during sleep. It is due to the narrowing or closure of the airways causing breathing to stop. The brain detects the lack of oxygen and prompts the person to awake slightly to allow for them to draw breath. Although these episodes may occur hundreds of times throughout the night, the person is unlikely to remember them. The sufferer may not even be aware of their condition.
SYMTPOMS OF SLEEP APNOEA
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Frequent episodes of obstructed breathing during sleep
ASSOCIATED FEATURES OF SLEEP APNOEA
- Loud snoring
- Morning headaches
- Unrefreshing sleep
- Dry mouth upon waking
- High blood pressure
- Cannot concentrate or retain information
TREATMENT OF SLEEP APNOEA
If you feel that you may be suffering from sleep apnoea then discuss this with our dentists at your next consultation. They may refer you for a sleep test to confirm this.
If you are diagnosed with Sleep Apnoea our specially trained dentists can assess your suitability for a custom Oral Sleep Apnoea Device. This form of treatment is painless and non-invasive and can be used in conjunction with other forms of treatment.
CUSTOM MADE MOUTHGUARDS
A mouthguard is used to protect the teeth and jaws from traumatic injury during sports.
There are 2 different types of mouthguards available:
Custom Fit Dental Mouthguard
These mouthguards are constructed directly from a mould taken from your teeth by one of our dentists and sent to a specialised lab. These mouthguards fit tightly over your teeth and are the most effective in preventing injuries to your teeth and jaw.
The “Do It Yourself” Mouthguard
These mouthguards are available from pharmacies and are usually poor fitting. They often are dislodged upon impact and offer little protection. Dentists do not recommend these type of mouthguards.
If you or someone you know needs a mouthguard speak with our team at Terrigal Beach Dental to make an appointment for moulds to be taken.
REMOVAL OF TEETH
There are a number of reasons a tooth may require removal, also known as extraction.
REASON FOR TOOTH REMOVAL
- Severe tooth decay and/or infection
- Insufficient space for wisdom teeth (impacted third molars)
- Retained baby (deciduous) teeth
- Orthodontic reasons (not enough room in the mouth for all of the teeth)
- Fractured teeth
- Severe gum disease
Our dentists are very experienced in tooth removal and will ensure that the procedure is carried out in a calm, careful and pain-free manner to make it as comfortable as possible for you.
If you have concerns about any tooth infections on the Central Coast please make and appointment with one of our excellent dentists to examine and come up with a tailored plan for you.
If you are at all anxious about having your tooth removed speak with one of our dentists about the sedation options we can arrange for you.