A filling replaces part of a tooth that has either been lost to decay or as a result of accidental damage. Fillings have traditionally been made of a silver material called amalgam. Amalgam fillings have been largely replaced in recent years by so called ‘white fillings’ which can better match the natural colour of the lost tooth. Amalgam is still in use and can provide an effective solution in certain situations.

Composite or ‘white fillings’ can be colour matched with the tooth next to the restoration, the reason being is to make it impossible to tell that a filling has been placed. The composition of white fillings has improved greatly over recent years and their strength and durability are now on a par with amalgam fillings. All fillings will last longer where
good oral hygiene is maintained.


A crown is a strong and long lasting way of restoring a damaged tooth. A crown or dental cap is made to cover a weakened or broken tooth in order to restore the bite and smile.

A crown may be a suitable treatment where;
  • A tooth has been root filled and needs a crown to protect it.
  • A tooth has sustained damage as a result of an accident.
  • A tooth has become discoloured and you wish to improve the appearance of your smile.

What are crowns made of?

Crowns can be made of a variety of precious and non precious metals as well as ceramics. A non precious metal alloy is quite often fused with porcelain to give a natural appearance. The dentist will assess what solution would be the best for the patient and work with the laboratory to achieve the most natural look. Crowns can provide a long lasting solution for a damaged tooth, good oral hygiene and a reduced sugar intake will assist with this.

Root Canal Therapy;

Root canal treatment is needed when the nerve of your tooth has become infected through decay or injury. An infected tooth may result in the patient presenting with an abscess. The patient may complain of swelling as well as pain which may be severe. The tooth will require root canal therapy and if this is not done the infection will more than likely spread to other teeth.

Root canal therapy will require at least two visits to the practice. On the first visit the nerve of the tooth will be removed together with the tissue associated with its blood supply, the pulp. Once the dentist is happy that the source of the infection has been removed and any abscesses are drained, a
temporary filling will be installed. On the second visit the dentist will complete the root canal treatment before permanently filling the tooth.


A dental bridge is a structure that replaces the gaps between lost or missing teeth, literally bridging the gap. The bridge is anchored to the patient’s teeth on either side or sometimes just on one side.

A bridge may be the appropriate solution when;
  • The patient has a visible space or gap and does not wish to have a denture.
  • The gap in your smile has started to affect the adjacent teeth and alter how your teeth bite together. Teeth on either side of a gap can lean into the gap affecting the bite and potentially causing problems with the jaw.
  • The gap repeatedly becomes clogged up with food which could result in both tooth decay and gum disease.
  • The gap is at the back of the mouth and is compromising the patient’s ability to chew properly.
  • The patient has already had a denture but would like to attempt a different dental solution.

Bridges just like crowns can be constructed from a variety of precious and non-precious metals as well as porcelain and ceramics. A popular solution is a bridge initially constructed from a non precious metal alloy which can be fixed with porcelain so that it matches the colour of the surrounding teeth. Each bridge is made specifically for each location in the mouth by combining the skills of the dentist and the dental technician in the laboratory.

A factor in the longevity of a bridge will be the strength of the surrounding teeth, bridges can provide many years service for the patient. The patient can of course have an impact on the durability of the bridge by adopting
good oral health practices and reducing their intake of sugar.

The patient will normally be required to visit the practice on two occasions to obtain a bridge. • During the first visit the dentist will prepare the adjourning teeth on either side, in order that the crowns fit over them. An impression will be taken and the colour of the bridge carefully chosen to match that of the surrounding teeth. The dentist may provide the patient with temporary crowns and bridge to last until the second appointment.
  • On the second appointment the temporary bridge will be replaced with the permanent one. The dentist will ensure the fit and appearance are optimal by making any necessary adjustments before cementing the bridge in place. The dental team will advise you on how best to care for your bridge. You may need to floss more frequently or employ other oral hygiene methods to maintain its functionality.


Dentures are the choice of many patients in order to replace some or all missing teeth. They can be made to fit around existing natural teeth and provide a removable solution to maintaining a natural smile. Modern dentures are a simple and effective way of solving the problem of missing teeth and with careful manufacture will stay comfortably in place.

What are dentures made of:-

Dentures are made from acrylic or a metal alloy (cobalt – chromium). Denture materials and design have continued to evolve and they have developed a long way when compared with their some what stayed image of the past. The usage of flexible plastic materials in preference to alloys in manufacturing the bridge gives the patient increased choice. Like other restorative procedures dentures require the patient to sit down with the dentist to arrive at the correct type of denture for them.

How long will it take to make my denture?

The patient will normally require four to five visits to the dentist in order to achieve the desired result.
  1. At the first appointment the dentist will take impressions of the patient’s mouth and record all the appropriate details such as the materials to be used.
  2. Here the dentist will pay attention to the bite and the positioning of individual teeth in the upper and lower jaw to ensure a good fit. Models of wax are used for this process and the technician will construct a wax denture. The specific shape, size and colour of the teeth will also be chosen at this appointment.
  3. The dentist will now ‘try-in’ the wax denture created at the lab to ensure that it is comfortable and the teeth are in the best position to ensure a good bite between the upper and lower jaw. The wax denture will then be returned to the laboratory and the wax replaced with the permanent materials which have been chosen by the patient.
  4. At the final appointment the dentist will check that the denture fits comfortably and that a good bite has been achieved. He will make any final adjustments and give the patient the opportunity to return after using the denture and fine tune it if necessary.

Denture use;

Modern dentures are relatively easy to use and with appropriate care should last several years. To clean the dentures first remove it and place it in a bowl of water. The denture should then be lightly brushed, allowed to soak for a while and then brushed again before been rinsed. Denture cleaning products can then be used to remove any staining that may remain and further clean the denture.

Dentures can also be cleaned in situ alongside your other teeth though it may be difficult to reach the spaces where the gum and denture meet. The dentist will advise you on your cleaning routine with regard to the existing pattern of your
oral hygiene routine. Your gums will need to get used to the denture and this may involve wearing the denture both in the day and night time. As the gums settle down you will be able to remove the denture at night which will help rest the gums and give another opportunity to clean the denture.

Over a prolonged period the shape of the gum may change, the denture will then not fit properly. Should you experience problems with the fit your dentist may need to have the laboratory reline or remake the denture.
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