The most important starting point of your dental treatment at South Morang Dental is a dental examination. The dentist will thoroughly assess the status of your teeth and gums, and will also assess your mouth for oral cancer or any other oral disease. The examination may involve X-rays, as some abnormalities of your teeth or gums can only be detected by X-rays. The dentist will listen to your concerns about your teeth, and will also ask you what your aims and goals of treatment are. They will then devise a treatment plan, outlining all the treatment options for you, in order of priority. This treatment plan will include an outline of costs, and is available for you to take home.
If your first visit is an emergency visit due to pain, toothache, trauma, etc, then the dentist may solely focus on that problem at that first visit, and may conduct a more thorough dental examination at a subsequent appointment.
Regular examinations are recommended, as this helps to detect problems early when they are easier to treat, and the damage is less likely to be extensive, which could result in tooth loss. X-rays are usually only taken every 2-3 years, and are not indicated for every patient. At South Morang Dental we use digital radiography, so the radiation levels are exceptionally low.
At South Morang Dental, we encourage children to start visiting the dentist from an early age. This way, the children become comfortable with the dental environment, and are more likely to co-operate if any future dental treatment needs to be carried out.
Some children will unfortunately have dental decay in their teeth. This needs to be treated as soon as possible, as dental decay in baby teeth can quickly reach the pulp (“nerve” ) of the tooth, causing pain and possible dental abscess. At South Morang Dental, we aim to avoid this situation by performing dental examinations on children every 6 months, and treating decay at an early stage if possible.
We also try to prevent decay by placing fissure sealants on molars which may erupt with a deep fissure pattern. This is an easy and non-invasive procedure, and involves placing a special coating on the primed tooth surface, and setting the sealant with an UV light.
Restorative dentistry involves routine fillings. These are usually done in a tooth-coloured material called composite resin, but stronger tooth-coloured materials like porcelain can also be used. The type of material used will be dependent on many factors unique to the individual situation, but the dentists at South Morang Dental will discuss with you the pros and cons of the various materials so that the patient can make an informed decision about what type of restoration they choose.
CROWNS, BRIDGES & VENEERS
South Morang Dental use the latest dental technology to provide long-lasting crowns, bridges and veneers for our patients.
Crowns are a strong shell of porcelain or gold alloy or porcelain-fused-to-metal, that cover and surround the existing natural tooth, to provide long-term strength to the tooth, and to prevent it from possible future fracture, which can lead to the loss of the tooth. Crowns can also be used on front teeth for similar reasons, as well as for cosmetic reasons to provide excellent smile aesthetics.
Bridges replace one or more missing teeth. They consist of 2 or more crowns joined together. They were very popular before the advent of dental implants, but still do have uses today in certain clinical situations.
Veneers are thin facings of porcelain bonded onto the front teeth, to hide such things as discoloration and enamel defects, and to give the patient a fabulous smile.
South Morang Dental is able to provide dental implants to patients with missing teeth. It is usually a two-stage process, with the first stage being the placement of a titanium fixture in the jaw bone under local anaesthetic, and the second stage is the attachment of the crown to the fixture three months later. A dental implant then acts like a natural tooth, providing function to chew with, and filling the space to prevent movement of adjacent teeth.
A lot of patients today want their teeth to look whiter and brighter. At South Morang Dental, we offer a teeth whitening process that is carried out by the patient in the comfort of their home. We have found that this is the most efficient and safest method of teeth whitening currently.
The whitening process starts with a consultation with the dentist to determine whether each individual patient is a suitable candidate for teeth whitening. If the dentist determines that you are suitable for teeth whitening, then an upper and lower impression of your teeth is taken. In this way, we are able to construct whitening trays specifically made to fit your teeth perfectly. We give you the trays and a whitening gel kit, that you use at home to our given instructions. These trays are yours to keep and can be used for further teeth whitening, if needed, in the future.
ROOT CANAL TREATMENT
Root canal treatment is carried out to save a tooth that has been badly damaged due to decay, disease or trauma. It allows the tooth to be retained, so that extraction can be avoided. It may take a number of appointments to complete the entire root canal treatment, but these appointments can often be spaced out, with weeks or months in between, as advised by the dentist.
EXTRACTIONS & WISDOM TEETH REMOVAL
The dentists at South Morang Dental perform most dental extractions at their practice under local anaesthetic. The more difficult extractions, such as impacted wisdom teeth, are referred to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to be performed in a hospital or day surgery setting, under general anaesthetic. Some wisdom teeth extractions are straightforward and can be managed at South Morang Dental.
The dentists at South Morang Dental will take all necessary precautions to ensure that the extractions are done as painlessly and gently as possible.
The dentists at South Morang Dental are able to offer timely advice as to whether a patient requires orthodontic treatment, and the appropriate time that this should commence. They will make early interventions, if indicated, such as extractions to relieve crowding, if this will aid in avoiding the need for future orthodontic treatment. Simple orthodontic treatment procedures can be carried out at South Morang Dental, but a lot of patients will be referred to specialist orthodontist for more comprehensive orthodontic treatment.
South Morang Dental offers denture construction, including both partial and full dentures. They work in close collaboration with a local dental laboratory to provide high quality dentures that fit well and look good. They are also able to coordinate denture repairs, including adding teeth to existing dentures when teeth need to be extracted.
Mouthguards are extremely important for both children and adults that engage in a variety of sports and hobbies that have the potential to cause injury to the mouth. Mouthguards that are custom-made at the dentist to perfectly fit the patient’s mouth are far superior and more protective than mouthguards than can be bought in a store, as these are usually ill-fitting and provide little or no protection. The cost of a well-fitting mouthguard made at the dentist is small compared to the potentially huge financial expense of treatment for dental trauma.
The dentists at South Morang Dental are able to determine if a patient has a grinding and/or clenching habit, which can cause excessive tooth wear, can lead to an increased risk of tooth fracture, and can cause jaw and muscular symptoms, leading sometimes to headaches and locked jaw. In some of these patients, a splint or nightguard will be recommended to prevent tooth wear and fracture, and to help alleviate the jaw and muscular symptoms. Impressions and other records are taken at the initial appointment, and these are sent to a local dental laboratory in Melbourne, and the custom-made splint or nightguard is fitted at the next appointment 1-2 weeks later.