Category Archives: Dental Care

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Dental Emergencies for kids 3-10 yrs

First Aid for children with minor mouth injuries

Minor mouth injuries in young children – such as small cuts and splits – are quite common because most kids just end up tripping over or running into something sooner or later! That’s when they’ll split their lip in a collision or accidently bite their tongue hard enough to induce significant bleeding – well enough to make you feel faint anyway!

However, parents shouldn’t be daunted or distracted by the sight of blood – kids do tend to bleed very easily from the tiniest of cuts. What’s more important is to look past the blood to work out where the bleeding is actually coming from – and then stopping it.

Most of the time, children experience only minor mouth injuries that can be easily treated with some basic First Aid steps – and a little recovery time.

Step 1 – Reduce or stop the bleeding

The first step and main priority of basic First Aid in this type of injury is to reduce or stop the bleeding. To do so, locate the source of the bleeding, such as an external cut, and apply gentle pressure on the wound with a clean cloth for at least 10 min if possible. Clean the injury site with cool water, apply an antiseptic and place a bandage over the cut.

If the cut is inside the mouth, on an inner lip for example, then apply pressure on it externally against your child’s teeth or gums. Don’t start probing the injury site with your finger because that may cause further bleeding.

Normal bleeding usually stops within 15 minutes – any longer means its heavy bleeding, so you should take your child straight to the Emergency Department at your nearest hospital.

Step 2 – Distract your child to keep them still

If your child can’t stay still while you are trying to stop the bleeding, take out their favourite toy or put on a Netflix cartoon for them to watch. It’s better if they don’t move at all while you’re applying pressure to the wound.

Step 3 – Reduce the swelling

Place an ice or cold gel pack over the injury site to numb and reduce any pain and/or swelling your child may be experiencing. Wrap an ice pack with a table cloth to prevent skin irritation. Giving your child an ice block treat to suck on is another novel option to help cool and numb the affected area.

Step 4 – Administer pain medication only if necessary

If your child experiences pain that doesn’t go away, it may be necessary to administer a dose of non-prescription pain medication, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, to help relieve pain.

Step 5 – Make sure your child eats carefully

For, internal cuts to the mouth, avoid feeding your child salty and acidic foods or beverages which may cause irritation to the wound. Stick to soft, easy-to-digest plain and healthy foods to minimise discomfort while eating. After eating, make sure your child rinses with warm water to wash away food residue, and keep the mouth clean.

Step 6 – Monitor your child’s recovery

It usually takes about 3 or 4 days for a minor cut or split to heal. After that, your child should be in the all-clear. Keep a lookout for symptoms, such as persistent pain, increased redness and swelling, an abscess and/or fever – for these may indicate infection.

Don’t forget to educate your child about the reasons why the injury happened, and what safety precautions they should take to prevent or avoid a similar injury again in the future!

Go straight to the Emergency Department for major mouth injuries

Some mouth injuries need to treated as soon as possible at an Emergency Department of a hospital.

These include mouth injuries that:

  • don’t stop bleeding,
  • are very deep or punctured,
  • contain an embedded foreign object,
  • are a result of a bite or sting, or
  • involve bone injury.

Call your nearest dentist for advice if your child’s mouth injury results in a knocked out, broken or fractured tooth. Most dentists keep emergency slots open on their daily schedules to accommodate dental emergencies.

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The oral bacteria that can crawl into your brain

It might sound like a horror movie but the fact is, if you have certain species of pathogenic oral bacteria in your gums, they could be slowly making their way into your brain as you read this. These bacteria among 100s of others responsible for oral health issues, including tooth decay, cavities and periodontal disease (or gum disease).

The bacterial invaders identified so far

UK researchers have identified three bacterial species (see below) capable of entering the brain:

  • Porphyromonas gingivalis (left),
  • Treponema denticola (centre), and
  • Tannerella forsythia (right).

How do they get there?

First off, all of these bugs need to establish colonies in plaque and calculus. That’s easy for them if you fail to maintain a proper oral hygiene routine that includes brushing your teeth twice daily and visiting your dentist every 6 months.

Next, once firmly established in the periodontal tissues (below your gum line), they can infect surrounding soft tissue and bone. That’s when you start to develop periodontal pockets and gum disease. Along with these oral conditions, you may start experiencing symptoms such as bleeding gums – their first point of exit to the rest of the body.

All they have to do then is to wait until the next bleeding event – triggered by brushing your teeth or eating food – when they hitch a ride on your red blood cells along the blood stream super highway straight into your brain. And it’s a fairly easy entry for them since your brain lacks immune checkpoints.

The other way two of the mentioned bacteria can access your brain tissue is quite unique. Since they are motile (the ability to move), they can creep along the nerve fibres that connect your tooth roots to your brain.

What happens once they get there?

In short, they can settle in biofilms (similar to the plaque on your teeth) in the areas of your brain related to memory. When your immune system eventually cottons on to what is happening, it will respond and attack the bacteria.

Now that’s okay as a one off, but repeated daily exposure to these oral bacteria and their by-products, can result in neuron and nerve cell death in your brain according to UK researchers in a 2014 study. As such, the presence of oral bacteria in the brain and the associated side-effects has been linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

Browns Plains Alzheimer’s disease

Stop them at the gates!

Once P. Gingivalis and company are in your system, it can be rather difficult to get them out completely. That’s why proper oral care and regular visits to a dental hygienist throughout your life are so important – to prevent these bugs from entering your body in the first place.

References:

Poole, S., Singhrao, S. K., & Crean, S. J. (2014). Emerging evidence for associations between periodontitis and the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Faculty Dental Journal, 5(1), 38-42. doi:10.1308/204268514×13859766312719

Singhrao, S. K., Harding, A., Poole, S., Kesavalu, L., & Crean, S. (2015). Porphyromonas gingivalis Periodontal Infection and Its Putative Links with Alzheimer’s Disease. Mediators of inflammation, 2015, 137357.


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Dental Insurance cover

Choosing the right dental insurance cover

It is important to take out dental insurance extras cover to avoid expensive treatment fees for unexpected dental work, such as emergency dental, wisdom tooth removal and braces. Even though the monthly fees for major dental cover may be expensive in themselves, you can save a lot more money in the long term when the need arises.

Types of dental cover

There are two basic types of dental cover to choose from:

  • General dental cover – Covers you for a range of basic preventative treatments that can safeguard your oral health, and help prevent future oral health complications, including: oral checkups and examinations; clean, scale and polish; fissure treatments; fluoride treatment; tartar/plaque removal; small fillings and dental X-rays.
  • Major dental cover – Covers you for a range of more complex dental treatments to repair, restore and treat a number of oral health conditions, including bridges; crowns; orthodontics (e.g. braces); endodontic treatment for tooth decay and gum disease; root canal therapy; full and partial dentures; and dental surgery (e.g. tooth extractions).

Dental treatment that isn’t covered by health funds

Elective dental treatment such as cosmetic dental is usually not covered by health funds. That means you won’t be able to insure for dental work you need to enhance your appearance, such as veneers, bonding, teeth straightening and teeth whitening.

However, if cosmetic dental is necessary to improve your oral health and restore oral function, then cosmetic dental insurance coverage may be applied by a health fund.

Do I need dental cover at the moment?

There’s no point in getting the highest premium dental cover, if you are a young adult with healthy teeth and gums – unless you engage in a risky sports activity. When choosing a dental cover option, you have to consider your life stage and oral health needs.

Younger adults, who are aged 20 to 40, single or partnered, and in good oral health, are best suited for general or basics dental cover. This cover option provides basic preventative treatment that can help maintain oral health, and prevent future oral health complications.

Families, and older adults aged over 40, should consider major dental cover options, especially when more expensive, complex dental treatments may be required in the near future. Despite the higher premiums, you can avoid costly dental fees in the long run.

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Find the best deal!

There are a lot of health funds out there, and each one is different. Most health funds are similar when it comes to general or basics dental cover. However, at each higher level of cover, access to more expensive dental treatment may differ between health funds.

Visit a comparison website to find a policy that best suits your dental needs and budget. You should consider the following when gathering policy information and comparing health funds:

  • Your budget and finances
  • Your life stage and oral health needs
  • Waiting periods
  • Annual limits
  • Benefit limits
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Preferred providers in your local area

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How to brush your teeth effectively

The best way to maintain your oral health is to keep good oral care and hygiene habits. And the foundation of all good oral habits is brushing your teeth. Dentists recommend that you should brush your teeth for 3 min twice daily with fortified toothpaste – once in the morning when you wake up, and once in the evening before bed.

The benefits of brushing your teeth

By brushing your teeth twice a day, you can receive a number of benefits including whiter teeth, fresher breath, and the prevention of plaque, tooth decay and gum disease. You’ll also save money by avoiding potentially expensive dental treatment for oral conditions that are entirely preventable.

Do you use good tooth brushing technique?

The way you hold and brush with your toothbrush can affect your brushing effectiveness.

For best results on the front and back of your teeth, hold your toothbrush at a 45˚ angle against the gumline, and use a combination of gentle circular or back & forth motions to brush and sweep away food debris & plaque, especially along the gumline. When brushing your chewing surfaces, use a short back & forth brushing motion.

It is also important that your brush strokes are short and precise in order to avoid damaging your delicate gum tissue, and exposing your vulnerable tooth root surfaces to oral bacteria.

How to clean teeth surfaces of human mouth using brush and tooth

Are you brushing each & every tooth in your mouth thoroughly?

Don’t rush it. Take your time. Since brushing your teeth is one of those daily routines that we tend to perform automatically, you may be missing those hard-to-reach areas behind your teeth – the ones you can’t see in the mirror! Yet it’s these same areas that are often hot spots for bacterial and plaque formation.

The key to a complete clean is to methodically target the exposed tooth surfaces of every tooth in your mouth, including the gumline, and the outer, inner and chewing surfaces of your teeth. To clean between your teeth use floss or an interdental brush.

Don’t forget to brush or scrape your tongue also!

Choose the right toothbrush, keep it clean, and replace every 3 mths

A soft-bristled toothbrush used gently is the recommended way to clean and remove plaque without wearing out your protective tooth enamel. If the back of your mouth has narrow spaces that are too difficult for a normal-sized brush head to reach, then try a toothbrush with a smaller head. Don’t simply skip those areas!

Replace your toothbrush once it begins to show signs of wear, or every 3 months. Waiting 6 months is way too long. Worn and frayed brushes can harbour tens of millions of oral bacteria, including Staph, E. coli and even fecal germs, if you have a toilet in your bathroom.

Disinfect your toothbrush between brushes by soaking the head in some antiseptic mouthwash. Store your brush out of contact with other toothbrushes; otherwise your brush may get infected with someone else’s oral bacteria.

Assess your brushing effectiveness

As good as you may think that your brushing is, you can’t really tell at a glance if you’ve missed cleaning all the plaque off your teeth. That’s because plaque is barely visible at a glance, and it’s difficult to see it in the dark recesses at the back of your mouth.

Brushing, on average, only removes 40% of existing plaque. So if your next dental visit is months away, your back teeth may be slowly decaying and eroding despite brushing twice a day.

The solution? Try plaque disclosing tablets which stain tooth plaque blue or purple so you can spot and target plaque more easily, instead of brushing blindly and hoping for the best! Use a small dental mirror to check out stained plaque at the back of your teeth.


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Ensuring your child develops healthy teeth for life

Good oral care & hygiene habits and good nutrition are essential for the health, growth and development of your child’s teeth between the ages of 3 and 12. These factors also contribute to better oral health outcomes in your child’s adult life.

If your child’s teeth, gums and jaw don’t grow and develop as nature intended, your child may experience oral complications and poorer oral health outcomes later in life. So it’s important to ensure that you teach them healthy oral habits, and support their oral development at this stage of their life.

The following steps can help put your child on the right track towards normal teeth development:

  1. Keep baby teeth clean and hygienic to prevent early tooth loss

    If a child keeps their baby teeth clean and hygienic, then they can prevent plaque, tooth decay and cavities, which can lead to early loss of baby teeth.

  2. Besides chewing food, baby teeth act as “placeholders” for permanent (or adult) teeth during oral development. If one is lost too early as a result of tooth decay, the surrounding teeth can move forward or grow into the gap before the permanent tooth has a chance to emerge. When this happens, there is less space for tooth growth, which may result in a crooked tooth, overcrowding, and/or the need for orthodontic treatment, such as braces.

    Always provide low-fluoride strength toothpaste for younger children, and replace their toothbrush every 3 months.

  3. Teach healthy oral health habits and behaviour

    Promote good oral health to your child by encouraging meal time conversations about food and the links to oral health (e.g. how sweetened drinks can harm teeth). Discourage thumb and finger sucking which can push emerging teeth out of position.

    Most importantly, supervise their tooth brushing until they are 8 years old or until they are skilled and motivated enough to do so on their own. Don’t forget to join in, and make it both a fun and thorough twice-daily family routine!

  4. Provide tooth-friendly nutrition for growing teeth

    Feed your child a healthy diet that provides all the vital vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that a growing child’s body needs. Children need to grow strong, healthy teeth that can last a lifetime, as well as well-developed dental arches that can easily accommodate all 32 of them. An underdeveloped jaw may be at risk of oral complications, such as impacted wisdom teeth and over-crowding.

    Always have healthy snacks on hand, and discourage regular consumption of soft, processed, sweetened foods, as well as sweetened drinks. Children that chew a lot of fruit, vegetables, meat and nuts develop stronger jawlines, and can avoid underdeveloped dental arches.

  5. Regular dental checkups from an early age

    Regular preventative checkups (every 6 or 12 months) are important so that a dentist can treat plaque and other oral problems at an early stage – before they get worse. Early intervention can help prevent oral complications and further treatment. Your dentist can apply dental sealants for added protection. Additionally, children can learn great tips about how to keep their teeth clean and healthy from dentists.

    With regular visits, children also become more familiar with a dental environment, and develop a more positive attitude towards visiting

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Inlays & onlays – the conservative tooth restoration

If you have a tooth that is moderately decayed, chipped, cracked or fractured, a porcelain inlay or onlay may be all you need to repair and restore your affected tooth.

Inlays & onlays are ideally suited for teeth that are too decayed or damaged to receive a filling treatment, yet still have sufficient healthy tooth structure to avoid the need for a full crown treatment. This means that your dentist removes a minimum of your remaining natural tooth. As part of this conservative approach, your dentist is also limiting the use of more invasive dentistry techniques to solve your tooth’s problems.

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The benefits of inlays & onlays:

  • Tough, stable and durable – Inlays and onlays are bonded permanently to your teeth, and can last for up to 30 years.
  • Strengthens your tooth – Protects weak areas, and strengthens your remaining tooth structure by up to 75%.
  • Conservative approach – A minimally invasive tooth restoration treatment.
  • Perfectly colour-matched – You won’t be able to tell the difference between the inlay or onlay and your natural tooth.
  • Two visit treatment – At your first visit, your tooth is prepped and an impression is taken. When you return, the prosthetic is fitted, verified and then permanently bonded.
  • Customised precise fit – Inlays & onlays are made and fitted so precisely, that no harmful oral bacteria can enter between the prosthetic and your natural tooth at the time of insert.
  • Easy to clean – Since inlays & onlays are fitted so precisely, and follow the contours or your natural tooth, cleaning and maintaining oral hygiene are a breeze.
  • Longer tooth life – Your restored tooth will last much longer, and with proper oral care you can avoid further dental treatment.

At Choice Dental, we provide inlay and onlays as a conservative dental tooth restoration option – without the costs of a full crown treatment. For more information or to book a consultation, contact our friendly reception on (07) 3809 3320.


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How oral bacteria can affect the rest of your body

On 20 March 2018, World Oral Health Day focused on the theme “Healthy mouth, healthy body”. Why? Because having a healthy mouth is a crucial part of maintaining good overall health and well-being. If you have healthy teeth and gums, you can chew and digest your food well, and your body is able to absorb the maximum nutritional benefits.

The mouth-body connection is also important since poor oral health is associated with other general health disorders, such as osteoporosis, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. But one aspect of oral health that is often overlooked is the impact oral bacteria may have on the rest of your body.

Oral bacteria can invade other parts of your body

Your mouth houses a large community of about 600 bacterial species. Some are good, a lot are bad. That’s why we brush our teeth and tongue – to get rid of them. If there are too many bacterial microbes colonising your mouth then their by-products can cause tooth decay and gum disease.
But it doesn’t stop there. If your immune system has been compromised, due to age, poor nutrition, illness, disease or the side effects of medication, bacterial organisms can start invading other parts of your body.

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What parts of the body can oral bacteria affect?

  • Heart – Oral bacteria that enter the bloodstream can affect blood vessels or cause blood clots. This can increase general inflammation which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
  • Lungs – Oral bacteria aspirated from the mouth, as you breathe in, can cause an anaerobic infection of the lungs which can lead to a higher risk of pneumonia, especially in the elderly.
  • Joints – Oral bacteria that enter the bloodstream are a contributing factor in the cause and development of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Bones – The presence of both oral bacteria and oesteoporosis can accelerate the weakening, breakdown and loss of alveolar bone in the jaw.

The best ways to control oral bacteria

It is essential to control oral bacteria by taking good care of your teeth and gums. Brushing twice daily, flossing once a day and visiting your dentist for regular checkups are the best ways to control oral bacteria, and reduce your risk of developing other general health disorders.

References:

Brennan-Calanan, R., Genco, R., Wilding, G., Hovey, K., Trevisan, M., & Wactawski-Wende, J. (2008). Osteoporosis and Oral Infection: Independent Risk Factors for Oral Bone Loss. Journal of Dental Research, 87(4), 323-327. doi:10.1177/154405910808700403

Harvard Health Publishing. (2015, May 20). Heart disease and oral health: role of oral bacteria in heart plaque – Harvard Health. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/heart-disease-oral-health

Ogrendik, M. (2009). Rheumatoid arthritis is linked to oral bacteria: etiological association. Modern Rheumatology, 19(5), 453-456. doi:10.1007/s10165-009-0194-9
Terpenning, M. (2005). Geriatric Oral Health and Pneumonia Risk. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 40(12), 1807-1810. doi:10.1086/430603


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World Oral Health Day 2018 – Think mouth, think health!

It’s the 20th of March again, and we would like to wish all our patients a great World Oral Health Day! This week is a time to reflect on our oral care habits, and to renew our oral health goals.

For 2018, this year’s theme is about the health link between our mouth and bodies. The World Dental Federation wants everybody to understand how your oral health affects your general health, and vice-versa. It is important to safeguard and maintain our oral and general health at all times – because a healthy mouth and body go hand in hand.

The mouth and body link

While oral health problems and disease – including tooth decay, cavities and gum disease – are usually prevented and managed through good oral care and hygiene, they can also be negatively affected by other general health conditions.
If these other general health conditions are not treated and managed properly than oral health complications may result. By the same token, if you have poor oral health, it may impact on the health of the rest of your body.
General health conditions that have been linked to oral health include respiratory diseases, nutritional deficiencies, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and diabetes.

Shared risk factors

Oral health diseases also share common risk factors with other general health conditions and diseases. Some of these risk factors are biological and genetic and cannot be controlled. However, there are risk factors that are created by our behaviour and lifestyle choices. They include an unhealthy diet, excessive alcohol use, smoking, no exercise and poor oral care.

Take control

You can take control by making the correct choices in order to protect your mouth and body by:

  • having a healthier diet with loads of fruit and vegetables, and avoiding foods high in refined sugar and carbohydrates
  • limiting consumption of alcohol
  • practicing good oral care and hygiene, incl. brushing twice daily
  • not smoking
  • wearing a preventative mouthguard when playing contact sports
  • visiting your dentist (and doctor) for a check-up once or twice a year

Practicing good oral care and minimising your risk are important ways to avoid oral disease and associated general health conditions. Just as your eyes are a window to your soul, your mouth is a mirror to your general health and well-being. Happy World Oral Health Day!

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Category : Dental Care


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Brwons-plains-Choice-Dental-crows-dentist

When do you need a dental crown?

When your tooth has a minor cavity, the go-to treatment is usually a filling. But if your cavity has progressed to the point where there is too much damage or decay for a filling treatment to be successful – yet you still have sufficient healthy tooth structure – then an inlay or onlay treatment can be used to restore your tooth.

However, what if your entire tooth is severely damaged all the way to the gum line, and there isn’t too much of it left to support a filling, inlay or onlay? Well, a dental crown may be the solution.

What are dental crowns?

Dental crowns are actually prosthetic teeth. They look and function just like a real tooth, and are designed to fit over the remaining tooth’s root structure. Once fitted and bonded into place, crowns can last for up to 30 years, depending on the wear and tear that the crown is subjected to. For example, if you have tooth grinding issues or like to munch on hard foods like ice, you may reduce the life of your crown significantly.

Good oral care and hygiene is an important factor also, to prevent any decay around the gum line that may compromise the crown’s stability.

Clinical research supports their use, and test results show that crowns have a higher success rate than other tooth restoration treatments, in terms of appearance, durability and function.

Dental crowns are an effective dental solution for a range of severe tooth issues, including:

  • Teeth severely damaged by tooth decay
  • Worn or eroded teeth
  • Cracked or broken teeth
  • Strengthening and rebuilding teeth after root canal treatment
  • Modifying or enhancing the cosmetic appearance of teeth
  • Capping dental implants or bridges

 

What are dental crowns made of?

Brwons-plains-Choice-Dental-crows-materialsTypes of crowns are usually classified by what materials they are made of. These include all-porcelain, porcelain fused-to-metal, metal alloys, resin and stainless steel. When choosing which type of crown is best for you, you and your dentist need to consider factors such as durability, strength, cost-effectiveness, temporary vs permanent restorations and cosmetic enhancement.
 

Contact us

At Choice Dental, we can help restore your damaged and decayed teeth back to their original appearance, health and function with dental crowns. If you would like to find out more information about crowns, or to book a consultation with one of our dentists, call us on 07 3809 3320.

✔ READ MORE ABOUT OUR DENTAL CROWN TREATMENTS ON OUR “CROWNS AND BRIDGES” PAGE HERE: https://choice-dental.com.au/services/crowns-and-bridges/


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Does your smile have a missing tooth?

Having a tooth gap because of a missing tooth is problematic enough. But if you are missing a tooth at the front of your mouth, it may be quite obvious to others when you smile or talk.

For some, a gap in their smile has character, but for others, it may be an embarrassment to the point where they become self-conscious, and try to suppress their smile and other facial movements. If you are in the latter category, then it may be time to start smiling freely and confidently once again.

Fortunately, our dentists can help you with a range of tooth replacement solutions.

Depending on your suitability for treatment, you can choose from the following dental options:

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  • Dental implants* look, feel and function just like a natural tooth. Implants are a fixed, permanent solution for missing teeth. They are comprised of a titanium post which is surgically inserted into your upper or lower jaws where your missing tooth was, and a crown which is attached onto the post. Essentially, getting an implant is the equivalent of getting a brand new tooth.

  • Dental bridges are prosthetic porcelain dental appliances that are reinforced with metal and are used to replace missing teeth. A bridge is basically made up of a prosthetic tooth that matches the tooth you have lost. Hollow crowns are attached to each end (or side) of the prosthetic tooth. These crowns actually support the prosthetic tooth in your mouth, and are placed over the teeth on either side of the gap. These teeth once prepped act as abutments (or anchors) for the bridge appliance.

  • Partial dentures are a removable dental appliance that can replace one or more teeth in the upper or lower jaw. They can be made to fit precisely into the gap or may be attached to surrounding teeth via metal clasps. Partial dentures are usually soaked in a cleaning solution as you sleep at night, and are ready for you to wear when you wake in the morning. They take a little while to get used to, and may need checking and adjusting every six months by your dentist.

To find out more about how we can replace a missing tooth in your smile, call our friendly team on 07 3809 3320.

*AHPRA advises that any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.


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