Frequently Asked Questions
What should I do if...
1. An adult tooth is knocked out?
Knocking out, or "avulsing" a tooth can be one of the most serious dental injuries. Teeth can be saved if care is taken and dental help is sought immediately. By following some simple steps the damage may not be permanent.
Handle the tooth carefully. Avoid touching the root of the tooth (the part of the tooth that was embedded in the gum) because it can be damaged easily. There are special cells on the root that will help it rejoin inside the mouth.
Replace the tooth to where it came from if possible.
If the tooth is dirty, hold it by the upper part (the crown) and rinse it off with saline solution or milk until most of the dirt is washed away. If you don't have any milk available, then it is best to leave the tooth alone. Wiping it off with a handkerchief or a piece of cloth may cause additional damage.
It is important to keep the tooth moist. If possible, drop it into a glass of milk. If no milk is available, then place the tooth in the mouth between the cheek and gum. Some saliva in a cup can be used also. Avoid water as this can damage the cells that help hold the tooth in the mouth.
See your dentist immediately.
2. My child's baby tooth is knocked out?
Replacing baby teeth can lead to further problems with the development of your child's permanent teeth. As a result baby teeth should not be put back into the mouth. Place the tooth in milk and transport it and the child to a dental professional as soon as possible
3. My child's baby tooth chips?
It is not uncommon for small children to fall, particularly when learning to walk. If a chip occurs you should have it assessed by your dentist at BOH as soon as possible. This is particularly important if it is a large chip as it may require further treatment.
4. My temporary crown comes off?
Temporary crowns provide protection for the underlying tooth that your BOH dentist has prepared. If your temporary crown comes off it is best if it is recemented as soon as possible. Store the temporary crown in a hard container to prevent further damage.
5. My tooth breaks?
Try to clean any debris from the tooth with warm water. If caused by a blow, place a cold compress on the face next to the injured tooth to minimize swelling. Try to find all the bits that are missing and bring them to your dentist, keeping them moist preferably in saline or milk. Some broken bits can be bonded back onto the teeth almost invisibly. Go to the dentist as soon as possible.
6. My implant seems slightly loose?
An implant can feel loose for numerous reasons, some requiring a simple solution. It is best for your dentist at BOH to assess this and deliver a prompt and effective solution to rectify the loose feeling.
1. Are my teeth discolouring?
There are numerous reasons why teeth can discolour. This often involves something that has changed in your diet or the use of a new mouth rinse. These stains can be easily cleaned by your dentist or a hygienist at BOH. If other causes are suspected, such as concerns with the enamel on your teeth or the discolouration of old fillings, the treatment of these concerns can be discussed with your dentist.
2. Is my tooth responding to hot and cold like this?
Teeth get sensitive to temperature for many reasons. This can include nerve pain, cracked teeth, root sensitivity, clenching of the jaws and tooth grinding. Your BOH dentist needs to assess your concerns and make an accurate diagnosis to ensure proper management of your tooth.
If the tooth is very painful after hot or cold and the pain lasts for some time then the nerve in the tooth may be starting to give problems. This requires prompt treatment to resolve the discomfort you may be having.
3. Have my child's adult teeth come through discoloured and with marks on them?
Marks on erupting teeth are often from trauma whilst the tooth is developing. This can be direct physical trauma such as a bump on the baby tooth that then injures the developing adult tooth.
The other more common cause is an elevated temperature whilst the adult tooth is developing. A change in a child's temperature of only two degrees can lead to poor formation of the enamel on the developing adult tooth.
These marks can be bleached or covered over with an aesthetic filling when the tooth matures a little.
4. Are my teeth so sensitive and is there anything I can do about this?
Teeth can be sensitive for many reasons. Often this sensitivity is from the root surface on the tooth. If your dentist determines that this is the reason for the sensitivity then a coating can be placed over the area to help reduce this. The use of a tooth paste for sensitive teeth can also help reduce the discomfort.
5. Might I need a root canal instead of a filling?
If decay or a crack in a tooth has travelled very deeply the nerve may become involved. If this is the case then the only method to save the tooth is root canal treatment. This procedure requires special preparation of the tooth and often takes more than one appointment. It does allow the dentist to preserve your tooth and allow you all of the benefits associated with that.
1. Have the gaps between my teeth corrected?
It is possible to have the gaps between your teeth corrected. The size of the gap is what often determines how the gap is corrected. Small gaps can usually be filled with an aesthetic filling material. Larger gaps may need porcelain veneers. Some spaces require braces to close them as they are too wide to close by other methods. Your dentist at BOH can advise you on the best method for your individual case.
2. Have my teeth whitened easily?
Tooth whitening is an easy safe and effective way of changing the appearance of teeth without causing any harm to your tooth structure. Most evidence shows the best way of achieving this is to wear custom fitted trays with whitening solution for between two and eight hours each day, for a few days to a week. This is referred to as home bleaching. This gently whitens your teeth and allows you to control the level of whitening achieved. Home bleaching is approximately half the cost of "laser" bleaching and just as effective.
3. Have my amalgam fillings changed to look more attractive?
Silver amalgam is a filling material that has been used in different forms for 100 years. It is strong, durable, economical and safe and is still the material of choice for many circumstances. Amalgams' only drawback is that it is not tooth coloured. If a more aesthetic filling is required then BOH offers alternatives using composite resin, or, where stronger fillings are required, an onsite computer designed and milled porcelain inlay filling. This incorporates the latest design technology to deliver a beautiful strong restoration in the same day.
4. Have my misaligned teeth made to look straight without having braces?
Misaligned teeth can often be given a straighter appearance by using veneer technology in either porcelain or composite resin. This "instant orthodontic" technique gives a natural smile without the time commitment for orthodontics.
Your dentist can assess your smile to see if this technique is suitable for your teeth. Not all cases can be done this way, so BOH works closely with orthodontists who can offer clear braces or the clear "Invisalign" technique.
5. Have several teeth replaced with implants?
The techniques to replace missing teeth have changed greatly in the last decade. The traditional methods of either a fixed bridge or a removable denture have been augmented by the use of titanium implant technology. This allows the permanent replacement of missing teeth without having to change the remaining teeth around your missing tooth site.
BOH Dental has been involved with titanium implant technology for over 20 years and has all implant services available, including the latest computer design software for precision implant placement.
6. Have the veneers that I had placed on my teeth years ago replaced?
Veneers have a lifespan ranging from five to fifteen years depending on the material the veneers were made from. Because veneers are such a conservative way of changing the tooth appearance there is always the ability to have veneers redone.