General Dentistry

General Dentistry for all your dental needs at Reading Smiles
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What is General Dentistry?

General Dentistry covers all oral care, ranging from prevention through to treatment of any dental health concerns.

At Reading Smiles, our team are dedicated to long term preventative dental care for the whole family.

Dentistry today has evolved, using the latest, gentlest modern techniques we aim to provide outstanding private dental care at affordable prices.

Treatments include routine dental check ups, hygiene visits through to root canal treatments. Effectively, anything that contributes to your overall oral health.

Treatments such as crowns, veneers, implants count as cosmetic dentistry as they significantly impact the appearance of the tooth.

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What is tooth decay?

It is estimated that around 1 in 3 adults in the UK have tooth decay.

Tooth decay is when acids in you mouth dissolve the outer layers of your teeth.

The acids are formed by the bacteria in your mouth combining with small particles of food (particularly carbohydrates found in sugary food and drinks) and saliva to form a sticky film (plaque).

If the plaque is allowed to build up, the acid begins to break down the outer surface of the tooth. Eventually this can enter and cause damage to the soft matter at the centre of the tooth.

What are the symptoms of tooth decay?

Tooth decay may not show any visible symptoms until it has reached an advanced stage. The symptoms of tooth decay include:

– Tooth sensitivity
– Bad breath
– Brown, black or grey spots appearing on your teeth.
– An unpleasant taste in the mouth

Ignoring tooth decay and leaving it untreated can lead to further problems such as gum disease or cavities.

How is tooth decay treated?

In the early stages of tooth decay our dentist may apply a protective fluoride varnish to help stop further decay.

For later stages of tooth decay, depending on how advanced the issue is you may require a filling. If the decay has travelled into the soft matter of your tooth, you may need root canal treatment. In severe cases where the tooth cannot be restored it may need to be removed.

What is Root Canal Treatment?

Root canal treatment is used to treat infection at the centre of the tooth, treating this is also known as endodontics. The aim of the treatment is to avoid extracting the tooth, and in most cases is successful in preventing this.

The infection in the tooth is caused by bacteria that live in the mouth and then enter the tooth. The infection can be caused by damage to the tooth or trauma, such as after a fall or by advanced tooth decay.

What is the procedure for root canal treatment?

After numbing the area, the tooth needs to be cleaned by the endodontist and the infected soft tissue inside the tooth is gently removed. The tooth is then packed with a biocompatible material. Following the root canal treatment, a filling or crown is placed on the tooth to restore the functionality and protect the tooth.

When is a tooth extracted?

A tooth extraction is a fairly common procedure in dentistry. A tooth may need to be extracted for a variety of reasons. The most common reasons are:

– The tooth is unrestorable through tooth decay, trauma or periodontal disease.

– Wisdom teeth may need extracting if they are impacted (stuck and unable to grow normally into the mouth) and therefore may cause recurrent infections in the mouth.

– In orthodontics to help create space for the other teeth to be moved into straighter positions.

Tooth extractions can be done in a single appointment, with a follow up appointment for more complex cases.  Our dentist will be able to advise you on the best options for your situation.

What is a dental filling?

A dental filling is used to restore a tooth damaged by decay to a more normal function and shape.

The process involves removing the decayed tooth material, cleaning the affected area and then filling out the cavity with a dental filling material such as porcelain or a tooth coloured resin (composite). Amalgam (silver coloured) fillings can be offered however by nature they are visible and many people choose to replace these for a more natural looking filling.

The advantage of a dental filling is that it helps prevent further decay, and consequently more complex treatments.

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