Oral Health

How often should you visit a dentist?

Ideally, you should go to a dentist for check up every six months. However, people who have a greater risk of dental diseases like smokers, uncontrolled diabetes should visit more often to get their teeth checked.

How safe are Dental X-rays?

Exposure to all sources of radiation – including the sun, minerals in the soil, appliances in your home, and dental x-rays – can damage the body’s tissue and cells and leads to the development of cancer. Fortunately, the dose of radiation you are exposed to during the taking x-ray is extremely small. In addition, government laws requires that X-ray machines be checked for accuracy and safety every two years.

I have a terrible fear of going to the dentist. What should I do?

If you fear going to the dentist, you are not alone. Between 10% and 25% of Indians state they avoid going to the dentist because of anxiety of fear. The first thing you should do is talk with your dentist. In fact, if your dentist doesn’t take your fear seriously, find another dentist. The key to coping with dental anxiety is to discuss your fears with your dentist. He or she will be better able to work with you to determine the best ways to make you less anxious & more comfortable.

What are the types of teeth?

There are 2 types of teeth. Primary & Permanent. The primary often called baby or milky teeth. There are 20 primary & 32 permanent teeth. In very few persons, one or more of these teeth may be absent, or there may be one or more extra, or supernumerary, teeth.

How should I brush my Teeth?

Brush your teeth completely twice a day with a soft-to-medium tufted brush and fluoride toothpaste. Replace the brush when the bristles get out of shape. Put the bristles-tufts at the join between teeth and gums, pointing towards the gums using short circular movements. Brush all round every teeth, carefully making sure you can feel the brush on your gums.

How do whitening toothpastes work and how effective are they?

All toothpastes help remove surface stains through the action of mild abrasives. Some whitening toothpastes contain gentle polishing or chemical agents that provide additional stain removal. Whitening toothpastes can lighten your tooth’s colour by about one shade. In contrast, light activated whitening conducted in your dentist’s office can make your teeth three to eight shades lighter.

How should I floss?

Dental floss helps you clean in between your teeth. Your dentist will tell you whether you need to floss. If you do, they will show how to do. You may need to practise in front of a mirror. Use about 18 inches of floss wrap the ends around the middle fingers of each hand, leaving two to three inches between the first finger and thumb. Gently slide the floss between two teeth and put it round one tooth, nest to the gum, using your fingers. Children do not need to use floss.

What causes bad breath?

There are local and systemic causes of bad breath. Local causes includes smoking, drinking, eating onion – garlic, dental decay, dental infections like abscess, food lodgement and some drugs which cause dry mouth. Systemic causes include pharyngitis, tonsillitis, bronchiectasis, liver disorders, renal disorders, diabetes, and peptic ulcers. The etiologic factor need to be diagnosed and treated accordingly.

How does tooth decay start?

When food particles are left on the teeth, particularly sugary food, bacteria turn them into acid which eats way into the Enamel, then turn into the Dentine and finally into the Pulp. This can be very painful. When decay reaches the roots of teeth, the teeth may have to be pulled out.

What is Gum disease?

Bacteria is plaque can release substance that irritate and inflame gum tissues. This condition is called Gingivitis. When plaque is not removed, it hardens around the gum line and forms Tartar. The infection then spreads to the bone supporting the tooth and eventually the tooth may fall out. This situation is called Periodontal Disease or Pyorrhoea.

How can tooth decay and gum disease be prevented?

For that follow these rules: Eat foods enriched with vitamins & minerals, avoid eating sticky foods & sweets between meals, use trusted dental aids recommended by dentists, brush your teeth after every meal, and visit the dentists once every six months to ensure good dental health.

What cause Tooth loss?

Common cause of tooth loss are dental caries, also known as tooth decay, and periodontal disease, which affects the gums and bone structure that supports the teeth. In children, dental caries is the major cause of tooth loss sand in adults, periodontal disease is the major cause of tooth lose. Somehow, it too can afflict youngsters.

Is Scaling or professional cleaning of the teeth necessary?

Yes, because even the most careful and conscientious can leave some plaque and tart deposits. Therefore, it is usually necessary to have your dentist give your teeth professional cleaning every 6 months. Scaling (Professional Cleaning) improves periodontal health.

What is the relation between nutrition and dental health?

Calcium and phosphorous are necessary for hardening of the tooth structures during the years of the teeth are being formed. A balanced diet throughout life is necessary for good dental health.

Should you give your child calcium tablets while teeth are forming?

Best source of calcium is the daily diet. If a child eats a balanced diet and drinks an adequate amount of milk, he will obtain all the calcium and phosphorous he needs. Ask your family dentist or doctor for any dietary supplement if required.

Why does teeth sensitivity occur?

Aggressive – wrong brushing can wear down the enamel causing sensitivity. After layers of calculus – tartar are removed off by dentist, teeth could become sensitive to cold air. Receding gums can expose roots of the teeth, causing pain. Sometimes, people having oral destructive habits like: teeth grinding, nail biting, etc. – in these cases sensitivity complains are commonly noticed.

What can happen if missing teeth are not replaced by artificial teeth?

If missing teeth are not replaced by artificial teeth, the adjacent teeth will, over a period of time, lean into the empty space. Food is likely to accumulate between the remaining teeth, providing a breeding ground for decay causing bacteria. Sometimes, chewing pattern and aesthetic appearance will get disturbed if missing teeth not timely treated-replaced by artificial teeth.

What causes tooth discolouration?

Teeth can discolour mainly due to these reasons: 1st is the commonest discolouration is due to smoking or tobacco. 2nd is – food beverages such as tea, coffee, coals and red wine can be the culprit. 3rd is – certain medicines such as tetracycline, etc... 4th is age can cause a natural darkening of teeth. And last is – increase exposure to fluoridated water.

What should be done if you accidently break or crack a tooth?

You should visit your dentist immediately. The dentist will probably take and x-ray examination and then place medicated cement over the sensitive part of the fractured tooth or Dentist may smoothen the rough edges of the break. If it is a serious fracture, he may place a band or a crown over the tooth to protect it. If the tooth is knocked out, try and rinse it in water and try and place it in the socket from where it has detached, in case that does not fit well, wrap it in a wet cotton / cloth or place it in a milk. Then visit the dentist as early as possible. In major cases it is possible to re-attach the tooth to the jaw so that it functions normally.

What is Dental Bleaching?

Dental bleaching is a teeth whitening procedure where by certain bleaching agents are applied to the teeth in order to remove external and internal stains. Ultimately, making teeth several shades lighter then actual.

What is Composite Resin?

A composite resin is a tooth coloured plastic mixture filled with glass (silicon oxide). Composites are not only used to restore decayed areas, but are also used for cosmetic improvements of the smile by changing the colour of teeth or reshaping disfigured teeth.

When a Root Canal Treatment is needed (R.C.T.)?

A Root canal treatment is needed when a tooth’s nerve and associated blood vessels are irreversibly damaged either by trauma to the tooth or because of the tooth cavity. This will turns in infection that may lead to an abscess at the base of the tooth.

What are the major symptoms that suggest for a RCT?

Following symptoms if present suggest for a root canal treatment: throbbing pain in the tooth, swelling in the jaw, the tooth may be painful to chew on, pain on consuming hot and / or cold foods, teeth are severely worn out.

How many appointments do I need for a Root Canal Treatment?

Root Canal Therapy can be completed in one visit. More severe or resistant infections require multiple visits. Following root canal treatment, two separate procedures, the post and the core and the crown can often be completed in the further visits, if there is enough time allotted for the entire procedure group to be done.

What is a Dental Crown & Bridge?

A Crown is a cap that covers the entire tooth to restore it to proper function and aesthetics. It can be made of acrylic, metal and / or ceramic. To fit a crown the tooth needs to be shaped. Crowns are either cemented or bonded onto the tooth.
A Bridge replaces one or more missing teeth. The teeth adjacent to the missing teeth are crowned and an artificial tooth bridges the gap. Depending on the position and number of missing teeth, the number of supporting teeth will vary.

How is a crown different from a Veneer?

A Crown, often called a “cap” covers the entire tooth, unlike a veneer which covers only the front surface of a tooth. A crown requires more shaping of a tooth structure and is often used to strengthen a weak or broken tooth. Crowns are extremely durable, aesthetic and we are commonly used in the front and the back of the mouth.

What are Dental Implants?

A Dental Implant is an artificial fixture, usually made of titanium, which is placed surgically into the jaw bone to substitute for a missing tooth and its root.

How successful are Dental Implant?

Success rates are vary, depending on where in the jaw the implants are placed but, in general implants have a success rate of up to 97-98%. With proper care, implant can last a lifetime.

What are Braces?

Braces are the most efficient and accurate way of moving irregular teeth into normal and required form and shape. Dental Braces (Bands, Brackets and Wires) are usually made of stainless steel although clear brackets are available, usually at extra cost. Fitting the braces usually involves two visits. Braces remain on the teeth for the entire duration of treatment.

How long does a Braces treatment take?

Orthodontic treatment usually takes 15 – 20 months. Some cases may be finished earlier and others may take longer to complete. The total treatment time depends on the severity of the original malocclusion, the type of treatment carried out, and the co-operation of the patient.

What are the major complications caused by wisdom tooth?

The major complications caused by the wisdom tooth may involve: pain over the angle of the jaw, infection in the wisdom tooth or the adjacent tooth, headache and other facial pains, inflamed or swollen gums over the affected area, inability to open mouth properly, Pressure on adjacent teeth leading to crowding.