+ Is it important to get a child’s milk teeth filled?

Yes, it is important for teeth of the primary, as well as the secondary, dentition to be filled when a cavity is present. The presence of a deep cavity, particularly one that causes pain to a child, will prevent him/her from eating or concentrating. Therefore, it is vital for you to get even the smallest of your child’s cavities filled immediately before they progress into larger lesions.

+ What are root canals? Are they painful?

A root canal is the ideal treatment in the case where a cavity has extended beyond the levels of enamel and dentin and has penetrated into the pulp of the tooth. During this procedure, the pulp chambers of the tooth are opened, and the canals are cleaned, removing all infected pulp and caries (tooth decay). The canals are then filled with a special dental filling material called GP, and the tooth is covered with a crown to prevent further damage. Local anesthesia is given to the patient to prevent any discomfort during the procedure, which may take 2-3 sittings. This means that the entire procedure can be done without the patient feeling any pain whatsoever.

+ How can spacing or crowding of teeth be treated?

The ideal treatment of tooth spacing and crowding is through orthodontic intervention, also known as braces. Braces can effectively close spaces between teeth, as well as relieve crowding through proper treatment planning. Invisalign is a great alternative to braces, as they are clear trays and are aesthetically pleasing. Both traditional braces and Invisalign can treat any case of tooth spacing or tooth crowding.

+ What is the safest, most effective method for whitening teeth?

Teeth whitening and teeth bleaching can be performed either at home, using DIY take-home whitening kits, or at the clinic by dental professionals. The process involves the application of specialized peroxide gels on the exposed surfaces of the teeth. The gel is applied through the means of custom-made trays designed to fit over the patient’s teeth. Both methods have been tested for excellent results and long-lasting whitening.

+ Is scaling harmful for the gums and teeth? Does it cause sensitivity?

Scaling and root planing are essential for keeping gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis at bay. It is advisable to get gum scaling done once every 3 months. It does not damage the teeth or gums in any way. Scaling removes food debris, tartar, tooth stains, and plaque from all exposed surfaces of the teeth. This is a great method of removal, which may otherwise be difficult to achieve with brushing alone.

+ What are the replacement options for missing teeth?

Depending upon the nature of the case, there are several means of replacing missing teeth in dentistry. These include:

  1. Dental Implants: Dental Implants are permanent replacements for missing teeth and are fixed into the jaw bone surgically. They offer excellent aesthetics and restore masticatory function. Unlike several other tooth replacement options, they also prevent bone recession.
  2. Fixed Prostheses / Bridges: The term ‘bridge’ in dentistry refers to a fixed prosthesis including an artificial tooth. It is meant to replace a missing tooth by bridging the gap supported by the surrounding natural teeth.
  3. Removable Prostheses: Removable partial and complete dentures restore speech, aesthetics, and mastication functions of the teeth. They are fully removable and comparatively cheaper than all other means of missing tooth replacement methods.

+ Why is it important to get cavities filled?

A white spot on a tooth marks the initiation of caries, also known as tooth decay. This gas the potential to involve all three layers of the teeth, often penetrating into the pulp if it is not restored at the right time. By removing the caries and damaged tooth structure, the dentist will be able to replace it with a filling material which halts the progression of the tooth decay and also prevents the loss of more tooth structure. It is for this reason that all dentists encourage patients to get their cavities filled as soon as they notice them.

+ Is there any way to prevent cavities in children?

Educating kids about the correct brushing techniques can work wonders in preventing cavities. However, in the case where they are unable to maintain a regular oral hygiene routine, the application of fissure sealants (fillings) can keep cavities at bay. These are usually applied to teeth that are most prone to bacterial attack. The fillings do not involve any drilling or additional tooth preparation. Instead, they can be directly applied on the teeth right at the dental clinic.