The Second Step: Treatment


To treat a cavity your dentist will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and then "fill" the area on the tooth from where the decayed material was removed.
Fillings are also used to repair cracked or broken teeth and teeth that have been worn down from misuse (such as from tooth grinding).
Permanent composite restorations are available in a range of shades to match the colour of your teeth. Sometimes depending on the location and extent of the decay a gold filling may be suggested.


Although we do not encourage extractions as an easy treatment option, there remain situations where a tooth extraction is the only remaining solution.  
Most decayed or infected teeth can be removed trouble free; however, when complications do arise a tooth may need to be surgically removed. This procedure can usually be performed safely within the practice and may involve sectioning of the tooth and or bone removal. The Dentist may then need to suture the site afterwards.
If a root of the tooth is too close to the nerve or impacted then a patient may need to be referred to the oral surgeon.

Root Fillings

A root canal is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or becomes infected. During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. Without treatment, the tissue surrounding the tooth will become infected and abscesses may form.


A dental crown is a tooth-shaped "cap" that is placed over a tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and improve its appearance. These can be made from gold, porcelain or ceramic materials. A dental crown may be needed in the following situations:
1.    To protect a weak tooth (for instance, from decay) from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth
2.    To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
3.    To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn't a lot of tooth left
4.    To hold a dental bridge in place
5.    To cover misshapen or severely discoloured teeth
6.    To cover a dental implant
7.    To make a cosmetic modification


Dental implants are replacement tooth roots that provide a strong foundation for fixed (permanent) or removable replacement teeth that are made to match your natural teeth. Patients should have healthy gums and enough bone to hold the implant. They also must be committed to good oral hygiene and regular dental visits. If you are considering implants, talk to Gareth to see if they are right for you.


Dental veneers are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-coloured materials designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve your appearance. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth changing their colour, shape, size, or length. These can be made of porcelain or composite material.  Veneers are used to repairs teeth that are mottled in colour, worn down, chipped or broken, misaligned or uneven, or to close a space between teeth.


Dental bridges “bridge” the gap caused by one or more missing teeth.
Bridges can:
•    Restore your smile
•    Restore the ability to properly chew and speak
•    Maintain the shape of your face
•    Distribute the forces in your bite properly by replacing missing teeth
•    Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position

There are three main types of dental bridges:
•    Traditional bridges involve creating a crown for the tooth or implant on either side of the missing tooth, with a pontic (false tooth) in between. Traditional bridges are made of either porcelain fused to metal or ceramics.
•    Cantilever bridges use only the tooth/teeth on one side of the gap as support for the pontic.
•    Maryland bonded bridges (also called a resin-bonded bridge) uses metal wings to attach to the enamel of the adjacent teeth. This means far less drilling on the teeth thus preserving healthy tooth tissue.