Modern Dentistry is a complex science with a healthy dose of art thrown in. The work of a dentist revolves around achieving optimal oral health for each patient. This requires the dentist to be skilled in delivering a wide range of diagnostic, preventative, restorative, surgical and cosmetic services. I strive to continually update my knowledge and deliver ‘best practice’ treatments to my patients.
While modern dental materials and methods can achieve wonderful restorative and cosmetic results, the fact remains that these mean little in the long term if the overall health and in particular, oral health, of the patient is not sound. This is why I place such emphasis on regular check-ups and dental hygienist visits.
All aspects of modern dentistry are covered supported by a full dental hygiene service to assist our patients in maintaining their oral health and wonderful smiles.
So what does the dentist actually look at in our mouths?
Firstly, a good dental examination starts with a detailed medical history to discover any systemic issues as these can have a significant impact on dental health. A thourough soft tissue (gums, cheeks, lips and tongue) examination is also essential. Many systemic and genetic diseases have oral manifestations, and oral cancers can often be painless and go undetected for quite a long time. Specific measurements of the gums to determine if periodontal disease is present are also done. Finally, a multitude of aspects of the teeth themselves are checked, including their individual health and the way they all fit together in the bite.
The sort of things that we would look for are crooked teeth, worn or chipped areas, dark patches in the tooth or around old filings that could indicate decay or bacterial invasion, cracks in fillings or the surrounding tooth, especially in teeth where the size of the filling is more than 50% of the width of the tooth or more than 60% of the size of the tooth. All these things can be hard for you to see in your own mouth, but fortunately we are able with modern technology to show you what we have found using digital X-ray images and digital colour photos.