Crowns and bridges

What can I expect from a crown or bridge treatment?

If Dr Holmes recommends fitting a crown or bridge, you will need to sit for dental impressions, which are then sent to a laboratory. A technician will then create your bespoke crown or bridge, during which time you will be given a temporary fitting. Bridges and crowns require teeth to be filed into a shape onto which the new fitting will comfortably sit. When your fitting is ready, Dr Holmes will secure it permanently in place.

How long does a bridge or crown last for?

With good oral hygiene, bridges and crowns can last for a decade or more.

Does the procedure hurt?

No, the procedure is usually carried out under local anaesthetic, though conscious sedation is an option for especially nervous patients.

Gum Sculpting

How can gum sculpting fix a gummy smile?

If your gums rest too low on your teeth, gum contouring is a relatively quick and minor procedure that can be carried out under local anaesthetic. It is ideal if you want to uncover a small section of your teeth. Patients requiring more than 2mm of gum removal would need a more invasive surgical gum lift, which has a much longer recovery time – around three to four months.

Will my gums grow back?

Gum sculpting is usually carried out in tandem with veneers, which, once in place, prevent new gum from growing.

My teeth are too long – how can the gum be restored?

Gum restoration, or grafting, is entirely possible. In removing a tiny amount of connective tissue from the roof of the mouth and stitching it to the gum, the process effectively restores the natural look of both gums and teeth.

Oral surgery

Why do I need my wisdom teeth out?

You won’t need your wisdom teeth out unless they are causing problems that leave you vulnerable to tooth decay. But because wisdom teeth (the four teeth – two top, two bottom – at the very back of the mouth that only appear when we are in our late teens or twenties) come through at such a late stage in life, when all other adult teeth have long since formed, impaction is a really common problem. This is when the wisdom teeth press against existing teeth, grow in at an angle and get stuck. In cases where this causes pain, swelling and infection, it is likely you’ll need your dentist to remove your wisdom teeth.

Simple and complex extractions – what’s the difference?

If a wisdom tooth has erupted above the gum line, you’ll require a simple extraction – a straightforward procedure carried out under local anaesthetic, which usually takes a few minutes to complete. Wisdom teeth that are stuck, broken, or which haven’t emerged above the gum line will require a complex extraction by an oral surgeon. This procedure involves cutting into the gum to access the tooth.

Should I be nervous about having a complex extraction?

No! Dr Holmes is an experienced oral surgeon who has dealt with many complex cases in the past. Extractions are always carried out under local anaesthetic, with conscious sedation also an excellent option for pain and anxiety relief.

What can I expect post-extraction?

Once the effects of your anaesthetic have worn off following an extraction, you should be well enough to return to work, though do allow time to get used to managing the inevitable swelling and low-level pain that occurs after surgery, as well as cleaning the tooth socket. For difficult wisdom tooth extractions, 1-2 days off work might be necessary. Dr Holmes will provide you with a comprehensive after-care plan, and you can expect a full recovery within two weeks of surgery.

Root canal treatments

Why do I need root canal surgery?

If a previous root canal treatment hasn’t worked and needs further investigation, surgery enables the dentist to look closely at parts of the tooth that might not have shown up on your X-rays. Other reasons include calcification – when calcium deposits make the canal too narrow for the dentist to reach the end of the root; persistent inflammation; and damage to the root surfaces or surrounding bone.

What does an apicectomy involve?

After the dentist has opened up the gum and removed any inflamed tissue, he will remove the root tip and seal the root canal. Over time, the bone will heal around the root, in most cases creating a permanent solution to the problem.

Will it hurt?

The procedure is carried out under local anaesthetic, so you shouldn’t feel any pain during treatment. As with any surgery, you can expect swelling and low-level pain after treatment, and you will need to follow Dr Holmes’ after-care advice. Recovery time is generally swift and you can expect to return to work the following day.

Fillings, inlays & onlays

What is the difference between fillings, inlays and onlays?

Fillings, inlays and onlays are all used to combat early signs of tooth decay. Whereas a white filling is made from a composite resin material that can be moulded to fill a cavity, inlays and onlays are custom-made restorations that are bonded over the top of the existing tooth. An inlay is placed inside the edges of the tooth, while an onlay is used for more heavily restored teeth in which the existing restorations or cusps have failed.

What is the difference between inlays/onlays and crowns?

Because inlays and onlays are designed to treat the earlier stages of tooth decay, you don’t have to undergo the preparation treatment required with a crown.

Does it hurt to get a filling, inlay or onlay?

No – the procedure is always carried out under a local anaesthetic and is quick and painless.