Chipped and broken teeth can have a huge impact on your confidence and quality of life. Dr Holmes has a wealth of experience in dental treatments that will restore your tooth to its natural function – and enhance your smile aesthetically too.
Crowns & bridges
For teeth that are very worn down or broken, a crown could be the ideal solution. A prosthetic fitting that sits on the top of, or crowns, the existing tooth, it is custom created for you by a technician, using your dental impressions.
For missing teeth, a bridge provides an excellent way of masking the gap, with a prosthetic tooth or teeth attached at each end by crowns. Both bridges and crowns involve a similar treatment experience.
Root canal treatments
On the rare occasions regular root canal treatment fails to save a tooth, endodontic surgery may be the next option. The most common procedure is an apicoectomy, which involves opening the gum tissue near the tooth to investigate the underlying bone and remove any inflamed or infected tissue, along with the end of the root.
Fillings, inlays & onlays
Fillings are one of the most frequently used and straightforward methods of restorative dentistry. It’s very common for patients to feel nervous about fillings, thanks to painful past experiences – but rest assured that nowadays the procedure is fast and pain-free. And with modern, tooth-coloured composite fillings, the procedure creates aesthetically imperceptible results, too.
Inlays and onlays are used when the top of a tooth is damaged or worn down, but not badly enough to require a crown. The prosthetic fittings, created using your dental impressions, are laid over the top of the tooth – either inside its edges (inlays), or outside (onlays).
“I was absolutely delighted with the two new crowns that Barry carried out for me. My old crowns from many years ago looked large and ugly and a poor match to my other teeth. Barry took enormous care to ensure a perfect match, re-shaped the crowns by a series of impressions and fine-tuned the temporary crowns. The end result was amazing and I am thrilled to bits.”
Frequently asked questions
Crowns and bridges
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.
With good oral hygiene, bridges and crowns can last for a decade or more.
No, the procedure is usually carried out under local anaesthetic, though conscious sedation is an option for especially nervous patients.
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.
Gum sculpting is usually carried out in tandem with veneers, which, once in place, prevent new gum from growing.
Gum restoration, or grafting, is entirely possible and a procedure with which Dr Holmes has much experience. 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.
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.
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.
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.
You’ll need to take a day or two off work to get used to managing the inevitable swelling and low-level pain that occurs after surgery, as well as cleaning the tooth socket. 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
If you’ve been referred to Dr Holmes it’s likely that your regular 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 regular endodontics to reach the end of the root; persistent inflammation; and damage to the root surfaces or surrounding bone.
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.
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
Fillings, inlays and onlays are all used to combat early signs of tooth decay. While 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 sits over the top of the tooth.
Because inlays and onlays are designed to treat the earlier stages of tooth decay, you don’t have to udergo the preparation treatment required with a crown.
No – the procedure is always carried out under a local anaesthetic and is quick and painless.