Castle Street Dental Practice off a wide range of treatments available through the NHS.
A bridge is a fixed replacement for a missing tooth or teeth. It’s made by taking an impression of the surrounding teeth, which will eventually support the bridge. A bridge is usually created from precious metal and porcelain and will be fixed in your mouth (unlike dentures, which can be removed).
A crown is a type of cap that completely covers a real tooth. It’s made from either metal, or porcelain and metal, and is fixed in your mouth. Crowns can be fitted where a tooth has broken, decayed or been damaged, or just to make a tooth look better.
To fit a crown, the old tooth will need to be drilled down so it’s like a small peg the crown will be fixed onto. It can take some time for the lab to prepare a new crown, so you probably won’t have the crown fitted on the same day.
More commonly known as false teeth, dentures are fitted in place of natural teeth. A full set is used to replace all your teeth. A part set is used to replace one or more missing teeth. Dentures are custom-made using impressions (mouldings) from your gums. They’re usually made from metal or plastic.
They’re removable so you can clean them, although part dentures can be brushed at the same time as your other teeth. A full set needs to be removed and soaked in a cleaning solution.
Dentures are important if you lose your natural teeth, as losing your teeth makes it difficult to chew your food, which will adversely affect your diet and may cause your facial muscles to sag.
Fillings are used to repair a hole in a tooth caused by decay. The most common type of filling is an amalgam, made from a mixture of metals including mercury, silver, tin, copper and zinc. Your dentist will offer the most appropriate type of filling according to your clinical needs. This includes white fillings, if appropriate.
This is when your teeth are professionally cleaned by the hygienist. It involves carefully removing the deposits that build up on the teeth (tartar).
Root canal treatment (also called endodontics) tackles infection at the centre of a tooth (the root canal system).
When the blood or nerve supply of the tooth has become infected, if root canal treatment is not carried out, the infection will spread and the tooth may need to be taken out.
During treatment, all the infection is removed from inside the root canal system. The root canal is filled and the tooth is sealed with a filling or crown to stop it from becoming infected again. Root canal treatment usually requires two or three visits to your dentist.
Veneers provide a quick and effective way of hiding cracked, stained or misshaped teeth. They most often consist of a thin layer of porcelain specially made to match your existing teeth. This is then fixed or bonded to the front surface of the tooth.
Once you and your dentist have agreed a treatment plan for your veneer, your tooth will need to be prepared. This usually requires your dentist to shave a thin amount of enamel from the front surface of the tooth (0.5 – 1mm). As this is the same thickness as the veneer, your tooth returns to its original size once the veneer is attached.
A veneer can last for many years if the care and advice provided by your dentist is followed.
The wisdom teeth grow at the back of your gums and are the last teeth to come through, usually in your late teens or early twenties. Most people have four wisdom teeth, one in each corner.
Wisdom teeth can sometimes emerge at an angle or get stuck and only emerge partially. Wisdom teeth that grow through in this way are known as impacted.
Impacted wisdom teeth can be removed on the NHS. Your dentist may perform the procedure or may refer you to a dentist with a special interest or to a hospital’s oral and maxillofacial unit.
It’s common to break, chip or knock out a tooth.
If the tooth is just chipped, make a non-emergency dental appointment to have it smoothed down and filled, or to have a crown.
If the tooth has been knocked out or is badly broken, see a dentist immediately. Your dentist may fit a denture or bridge. If you need an implant, you’ll be referred to a dental hospital.
Treatment of whatever type can be provided by an NHS dentist and the cost covered on the NHS.
Click here for more information on what is covered on the NHS.
*NB – Please note that NHS England prices may vary to NHS Wales prices.
Tooth whitening is a treatment option to brighten teeth
It is not suitable for everyone. Your dentist is best placed to advise whether the treatment is right for you and the results you can expect. There are two procedures available to whiten or lighten your teeth.
This simple home procedure uses hydrogen peroxide to bleach or whiten the teeth. Your dentist or hygienist takes a mould of your teeth so a technician can prepare a gum shield or tray of exactly the right size and fit. Once the tray is ready, your dentist will provide you with the whitening gel and important advice on how to use it. Your teeth may achieve the desired colour within a couple of days, but it may take up to three weeks.
Off-the-shelf home whitening kits are not advisable as the trays are not custom made to exactly fit. This can allow the bleaching gel to come into contact with your gums and may cause irritation. There have also been reports that the bleaching gels in such kits may not achieve the desired results.