Why do I need regular oral check-up?

Having regular oral check-up allows the dentist to spot dental health problems at an early stage, when treatments tend to be simpler and more affordable. Regular check-up can help to prevent severe dental problems from developing in the first place.

How often should I get an oral check-up?

It varies for different people. In general, it is recommended to have a regular oral check-up every 6 months. But if you are more prone to dental problems, your dentist may suggest more frequent visit to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Is scaling necessary if I already brush my teeth twice a day?

Bacteria grow inside the mouth as we eat everyday. Dental plaque, calculus and stains are accumulated on the teeth surface and they cannot be removed only by brushing. Scaling is required to thoroughly clean the teeth, making them clean and smooth again.

Does scaling cause damage to teeth?

Ultrasonic high frequency vibration is used to remove plaque, calculus or stain from teeth surfaces, without causing damage to the teeth.

Does scaling widen the gaps between teeth?

Scaling does not widen the gaps between teeth. As the teeth gaps were initially blocked by calculus, the gaps would appear widened after the calculus is removed by scaling, exposing the original teeth gaps.

Does scaling make teeth sensitive?

You may feel sore and sensitive after the calculus is removed by scaling. The discomfort usually fades in a few days. If the discomfort persists, please consult a dentist for detailed check-up as it may be caused by periodontal disease.

What are the types of dental extraction?

Dental extractions come in two types – simple and surgical extraction. Simple extraction is performed by extracting a tooth with dental tools under local anesthesia. If the tooth cannot be extracted only by tools, surgical extraction will be done. The dentist will numb the treatment area with a local anesthesia, then make a small incision into your gum and remove some alveolar bone that covers the tooth, in order to access the affected tooth. The dentist will extract the tooth by loosening it up or separating it to multiple pieces.

When does a tooth need to be extracted?

  • Severe tooth decay

When the tooth decay is severe and reaches the pulp, resulting in irreparable damage to the tooth, extraction may be performed.

  • Periodontal disease

When periodontal disease causes a tooth to loosen, tooth extraction may be necessary.

  • Impacted wisdom teeth

There is a chance that wisdom teeth will not have enough space to erupt and needs to be extracted.

  • Teeth overcrowding

During an orthodontic treatment, tooth extraction may be required to ease the overcrowding of teeth

  • Dental trauma

Tooth extraction may be required when an accident results in serious tooth fracture or damage.

Why do I need oral X-ray?

Physical oral check-up and dental scaling can only examine and clean the exposed portions of your mouth. There are parts beneath the gums or inside the teeth that cannot be checked physically. X-ray can show these details and allow the dentist to get a complete picture of your oral health condition. Potential dental issues like small cavities can be detected at an early stage, so the dentist can provide relevant treatment before the problem worsen.

What are the main types of X-Ray?

There are two main types of oral X-rays: intraoral and extraoral. Each type has different features and functions for individual with specific needs. Intraoral X-ray provides detail on teeth, bone and oral structure. It allows the dentist to detect cavities, check the health of the tooth root and bone surrounding the tooth, diagnose periodontal disease and check the status of developing teeth.

Extraoral X-ray shows the overall picture of upper and lower jaw, temporomandibular joints, every tooth, nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses. Although Extraoral X-ray cannot show tooth detail for detecting cavities, it can display image of the whole oral cavity and show problems like abnormal bone, bone fracture, cyst, impacted tooth, infection or tumor. Dentists may suggest an Extraoral X-ray if the patient is suspected to have these problems, or before orthodontic, implant and denture treatments.

Is the radiation from oral X-ray harmful?

The exposed level of radiation is minimal in oral X-ray. Moreover, protection is provided for patients undergoing oral X-ray, such as a lead apron to cover the portions of the body that are not involved in the X-ray image.

What is fluoride treatment?

In a fluoride treatment, highly concentrated topical fluoride is applied on teeth surface, to prevent dental cavities and teeth sensitivity.

What are the benefits of fluoride treatment?

Fluorine treatment can protect and strengthen teeth, prevent tooth decay, and reduce teeth sensitivity. Fluoride can strengthen the enamel and dentin layer and the teeth resistance against acid, inhibiting bacterial growth and also heal an early tooth decay.

In what conditions would dental amalgam be used as dental filling?

The main ingredients in dental amalgam are silver, tin, copper and mercury. Dental amalgam has been widely used as the choice of restorative material for dental filling for over a decade. It is usually used in restoring dental caries of premolars and molars. Although it is silver in color that is not aesthetically pleasing, it has very good strength. It is also durable, cost-effective and wear resistance with satisfactory clinical performances.

Is it safe to use dental amalgam? Is there any harmful effect to human body?

Federal Dental International (FDI) and World Health Organization (WHO) in 1997 offer a consensus statement on safety of dental amalgam. Dental amalgam restorations are considered to be safe, durable and cost-effective. In very rare condition, there may be some local allergic reaction related to the used of dental amalgam. At present, there is no scientific evidence showing that dental amalgam is hazard to general body health. The safety margin for absorption of mercury vapor each day is 300-500£gg. According to some scientific measurement, the absorption of mercury vapor each day from amalgam fillings is only 1.7£gg. that is well below the safety margin. In fact, the amount of mercury absorbed from seafood is much higher than that from amalgam filings in our teeth.

In what conditions would composite resin be used as dental filling?

Composite fillings are tooth-colored restorative materials. They are usually used on the restoration of a decayed front tooth where a natural appearance is important. The properties of the composite resin nowadays has been improved with better strength, they may be used on restoring posterior teeth or in cases where it may be visible. Besides, in some oral conditions, composite resin can be used to improve the color and shape of teeth to improve appearance.

The procedures for placing a composite filling involve more clinical steps. After the decayed is removed, the dentist can use a very mild acid solution to ‘etch’ the tooth surface. A bonding agent is applied and several thin layer of composite resin is placed and chemically hardened or cured with a special light and then polished. The strength of composite resin is inferior to dental amalgam, it is less wear resistance and may be stained and become discolored after years of placement.

In what conditions would glass ionomer cement be used as dental filling?

Glass ionomer cement is another kind of tooth-colored restorative material. It is usually used in restoring decayed primary teeth or decay near to the gum area and on root surfaces. Glass ionomer cement restoration can adhere to natural tooth structures. It can release fluoride to strength tooth structure and prevent dental decay.

The strength of glass ionomer cement is low, it is more prone to be worn away than dental amalgam and composite resin. The color and aesthetic of glass ionomer cement is also inferior to composite resin.

Why is root canal treatment needed?

Dental pulp is the soft tissue that contains blood vessels, nerve and connective tissue of a tooth. When the pulp is diseased or injured and unable to repair itself, it loses its vitality. An abscess can form at the end of the root and resulted in pain and swelling. Years ago, diseased or injured teeth were often extracted. Today it often can be saved through root canal treatment. The most common causes of pulp death are deep dental decay, traumatic injury to the tooth, a cracked tooth or periodontal disease. .

What are the procedures of root canal treatment for deciduous teeth?

  • Radiographic examination: for diagnosis of the dental problems and determine the number and shape of roots.

Determine the length of root canal: an opening is made through the crown of the tooth into the pulp chamber. Dental file(s) with an estimated length would be inserted into the root canal(s). Radiograph or electrical devices would be used to determine the exact length for root canal(s) cleansing.

  • Instrumentation: the disease pulp is removed, the root canal(s) is cleaned, enlarged and shaped to a form that can be filled. Medication may be put in the pulp chamber and the root canal(s) to eliminate bacteria. A temporary filling will be placed in the crown opening to prevent saliva from getting into the chamber and root canal(s).
  • Obturation: the root canal(s) is then filled and permanently sealed with a natural, bio-compatible material, usually gutta-percha.
  • Regular review: the success of root canal treatment is not 100%, regular radiographic examinations are necessary to check for the condition of the treated tooth.

How to take care of my tooth after root canal treatment?

After root canal treatment, considerable tooth structure would be lost. A metal or plastic rod or post may be placed in the root canal for structure support and a dental crown made of porcelain or metal alloy is usually placed over the tooth to restore structure, function and appearance. Good oral hygiene at home and regular dental visits are necessary to prevent tooth decay and periodontal disease.

What are the detrimental effects of an impacted wisdom tooth?

Difficulty in cleansing that may result in dental decay – wisdom tooth is the last tooth in the dental arch. This is the position difficult to gain access and brush properly. Dental decay and periodontal disease would be more easily developed in that area especially around the wisdom tooth and the 2nd molar which is positioned next to it.

Pericoronitis – For an impacted wisdom tooth, there is usually not enough space for its eruption. The gum tissue (operculum) which covers the wisdom tooth will become a shelter for plaque. Food can be accumulated easily. As a result, pericoronitis (inflammation) may be developed around the wisdom tooth. The signs and symptoms of pericoronitis include swollen and redness of gum, sometimes, there may have pus exudation or bleeding from the gum tissue. In more severe case of wisdom tooth infection, there may be swollen lymph nodes in the head and neck region or even a system fever. The infection may also spread to other muscle plane of the head and neck region. Finally, it leads to facial swelling, difficulty in mouth opening, swallowing and breathing.

Causing resorption of the root surface of the second molar – when the impacted wisdom tooth is positioned very near to the root surface of the second molar, it may cause root resorption of the second molar and resulted in pain, pulpal inflammation or pulpal death.

Formation of dental cyst – the deeply impacted wisdom tooth may form an odontogenic cyst. The cystic lesion may enlarge causing damage to the alveolar bone, jaw bone or even the nerve tissues.

How to treat wisdom tooth?

When there is pericoronitis on the wisdom tooth area, an early treatment should be arranged with your dentist. Dentist would perform treatment such as irrigation and drainage of pus from the infected area. Sometimes, antibiotics would also be prescribed to relieve the infection. A warm saline should be used everyday to help healing the infection.

When there is an over-eruption of the upper wisdom tooth, it may bit on the operculum of the lower impacted wisdom tooth. In this situation, the upper wisdom tooth should be extracted first to eliminate the traumatic bite and further treatment procedures would then be performed to relieve the infection of the lower wisdom tooth. Extraction of a fully erupted wisdom tooth is as simple as other tooth extraction.

When the impacted wisdom tooth causes dental decay, pericoronitis or root resorption of the 2nd molar, the wisdom tooth should then be extracted. In general, the dentist would perform a minor oral surgery to extract the impacted wisdom tooth under local anesthesia in dental clinic. After the surgical extraction, there may be pain and swelling around the wound area but it will usually recover initially after one week. Stitches are usually placed after the surgery and should be removed one week after the review appointment. When there is a cystic formation of the impacted wisdom tooth, the cyst should be enucleated and remove totally. Extraction of the deeply impacted wisdom teeth sometimes may also be arranged to perform in hospital under general anesthesia according to individual’s needs and oral conditions.

Why teeth sensitivity happens?

The occurrence of teeth sensitivity is due to the loss of enamel substance of teeth surfaces and its protective functions that result in exposure of the dentine layer. The dentine layer is covering with many dentinal tubules that have a direct connection with the nerve tissues of a tooth. When there is external stimulus such as cold, hot, sweet, sour or touch, it will result in stimulation sending to the nerve tissues of a tooth and causing pain sensation. The causes of the loss of enamel layer of teeth are as follows:

– Periodontal disease may result in gum recession and the exposure of root surface with sensitivity.

– Using toothbrush with hard bristles or using too heavy force during teeth brushing may result in loss of enamel substance and causing damage of gum that result in an exposure of the cementum or dentine layer of teeth.

– Habit of frequent intake of highly acidic or sour food and drink may cause tooth erosion and damaging the tooth surfaces.

– Bruxism or grinding of teeth unconsciously at day-time or during sleep will result in wear of enamel layer of teeth and thus the exposure of the dentine layer.

– In severe case of enamel or dentine hypoplasia, the integrity of enamel layer is not complete and result in partial exposure of the inner dentine layer of teeth.

How to take care of sensitive teeth?

– After an accurate diagnosis of the condition of teeth sensitivity, dentist would apply suitable kinds of topical agent on the surface of teeth to aid the improvement of teeth sensitivity.

– Dentist would also restore the damaged or eroded tooth surfaces to prevent the exposure of dentine layer and further damages of tooth tissue.

– For people who have teeth grinding problems when sleeping at night, a night guard could be constructed as a cover that places on top of the teeth to protect them from physical damages.

– Using toothbrush, mouthwashes and toothpaste specially designed for teeth with sensitivity could help to relieve the symptom. You can consult your dentist for more information.

– Other dental diseases such as dental decay or periodontal disease can also cause dental pain. Therefore, to find out the underlying cause of dental pain, please consult your dentist for a detailed oral examination.

How to prevent teeth sensitivity?

– Using toothbrush of soft bristles and a correct technique of teeth brushing in order to prevent damage to the teeth and gum tissue.

– Maintain a good dietary habit and avoidance of frequent intake of high acidic food and drinks (i.e. lemon juice, yogurt, fruit juice, sports drinks, red wine or white wine etc.) to prevent erosion of tooth tissue.

– Avoid chewing hard food such as bones or shells of nuts.

– Maintain a good life habit with adequate resting time, suitable amount of exercise and recreations to relief stress and pressure form our daily life. These also help to minimize the occurrence of teeth grinding at day or night times.

– Annual oral and dental check up is necessary to prevent dental diseases and provide early and proper treatment when necessary.

What are the symptoms of periodontal disease?

– Red, swollen or tender gum margins.

– Gums that bleed easily with teeth brushing.

– Persistent halitosis (bad breath) and accumulation of calculus.

– Recessing gums result in exposure of root surfaces and teeth sensitivity.

– Severe periodontal disease may result in pulpal damage, dental pain and the formation of dental abscesses with pus exudation.

– Teeth become loose or separating.

What are the stages of periodontal disease?

Gingivitis – this is the earliest stage of the disease. The gums become red, swollen and may bleed easily. The disease at this stage is still reversible. It may lead to a more severe stage called periodontitis if not treated.

Early periodontitis – when there is persistent gingivitis for more than 6 months without proper treatment, it may lead to early periodontitis. Calculus and dental plaque around gumline would be seen with persistent swollen, red and tender gum. At this stage, gums would bleed easily even without any external stimulus. The gums, bone and other structures that support teeth are damaged. Gum may recess and result in ‘dental pocket’ below 5mm.

Advanced periodontitis – at this stage of periodontitis, there is severe damage to the gum, bone and supporting tissue of teeth. There is also persistent gum recession resulting in more exposure of root surfaces of teeth. Gums are severely swollen and may lead to the formation of periodontal abscess with pus exuduation. Gums continue to bleed spontaneously. There is also persistent bad breath. ‘Dental pockets’ of more than 6mm would be detected at this stage. Teeth continue to lose their attachment and the affected teeth frequently become loose and may fall out or require removal by a dentist.

How can periodontal disease be treated?

A good oral hygiene habit with teeth brushing twice a day and cleansing between teeth once a day with dental floss to remove plaque and help prevent plaque from accumulating.

For early or advanced stages of periodontitis, appointment with dentist to perform scaling and root planing are necessary to remove plaque and calculus beneath the gumline in order to control the disease and promote the healing of the periodontal tissues.

Depending on the extent of the disease, your dentist may recommend more advanced type of periodontal treatment such as root planing or periodontal surgery to eliminate dental pockets and inflamed tissue. Treatment usually may require one or more dental visits. Regular dental checkups and good oral hygiene habit are important to reduce the risk of recurring periodontal disease.

How to prevent periodontal disease?

A good oral hygiene routine with proper brushing and cleansing habit is important. Using dental floss to remove plaque between teeth can prevent periodontal disease.

Regular dental checkups and cleansings are important in preventing periodontal diseases. Your dentist can diagnose dental diseases and provide proper treatment at an early stage and give instructions on oral health.

Maintain a general body health can help increasing the body’s defense to periodontal disease.

Give up smoking can help preventing periodontal disease. Smokers can have higher chance in having periodontal disease compared to non-smokers because smoking can lower down the body defense and the healing response of periodontal tissues.

What is removable prosthesis?

Denture is a removable prosthesis that can be put in or take out from mouth. Dentures could be divided into two main types: full denture (complete denture) and partial denture. The framework of the full denture, called the base is generally made of flesh-colored acrylic plastic, while for partial denture, it is usually made of cobalt chromium metal or acrylic. And the denture teeth are usually made of acrylic. Dentist would use different ways or techniques for the construction of dentures according to the oral conditions and needs of patient such as making conventional denture, traditional denture, immediate denture or overdenture.

How is removable prosthesis constructed?

Denture construction usually involves several dental visits. Dentist will carry out an oral examination to assess the patient’s oral conditions prior to the construction of denture. Dental radiographs would be taken as pretreatment evaluation. Other dental problems have to be treated prior to denture construction such as filling of cavities, extraction of retained roots, teeth cleansing and polishing. After that, impressions of teeth and alveolar ridges would be taken and sent to dental laboratory for denture framework construction and attachment of the artificial teeth. When the denture is delivered to the patient, some minor adjustments are sometimes necessary until the patient get accustomed to the new denture.

What should I be aware of when using removable prosthesis?

Proper cleansing of the dental prosthesis and remaining natural teeth is important to maintain the general health of teeth and for the support of the existing prosthesis. Besides, regular dental visits are necessary to check for the fitting of dental prosthesis and determine if any adjustment is needed. Furthermore, there are usually natural changes of the oral tissues with bone and gum ridges recede or shrink with age. Shrinkage ridges may result in loose dentures that do not fit securely and causing problems. In this situation, a denture has to be relined or replaced with a new one that fit and conform to the existing oral conditions.

How to relieve the discomfort on the gums and alveolar ridges when the baby teeth erupt?

During the infancy life when teeth start to erupt, baby usually has discomfort on the gums and alveolar ridges with drooling. A they like biting everywhere, parents can buy a soft PVC biting plastic that contains liquid inside it.  Baby can use it after the process of cleaning and refrigerating. It helps to reduce the distress and relieve the discomfort of the baby.

Will there be any adverse effects on teeth development if my child has finger-sucking habit?

Parents do not need to worry if their children have finger-sucking habit. Children will usually get rid of the habit automatically by themselves when they go to school.  However, if the finger-sucking habit continues after 4 years old, the growth and development of the jaws and the position of permanent teeth may be affected. In this case, parents can consult a dentist for professional advice.

When will the permanent teeth be erupted?

The first permanent tooth to erupt is the first permanent molar, which is erupted behind the second primary molar, and will usually be erupted at around 5 to 6 years old. Sometimes, the lower central incisors would erupt ahead of the first permanent molars. When children get into the age of teeth exfoliation (around 6 years old), baby teeth will become loose and exfoliate, with permanent teeth erupted in a particular sequence. Except for the wisdom teeth, all the permanent teeth will be erupted at around 12 to 13 years of age.

Is it abnormal if the newly erupted incisors have an irregular edge?

The irregular edges on the newly erupted incisors are normal anatomical features. After years of chewing, the edges will gradually be ground flat.

Does my child need orthodontic treatment if his upper front teeth tilted sideways?  How about if there is a gap between them after their eruption?

This is called the ‘ugly ducking stage’ of the developing dentition. In general, the gap between the upper front teeth will close up by itself after the eruption of the permanent canine teeth, and the upper incisors will align in a better position.

What can be done if my child’s teeth are mal-aligned and without space for the eruption of permanent teeth?

When the jaws are still under the development process, it is common to find inadequate space for permanent teeth eruption. The reason is that the size of the permanent teeth is mostly bigger than the baby teeth.  As the size of the jaws is genetically determined, a more accurate measurement about the spaces for teeth eruption can be made after the complete eruption of all permanent premolars.  Please consult your dentist or an orthodontist for further advice.

What are the methods of teeth whitening?

Home bleaching – dentist would take upper and lower impressions of patient’s teeth who would receive bleaching treatment. Vacuum mould and custom mase plastic bleaching trays would then be constructed. Patients have to follow dentist’s instructions to wear the bleaching trays with the bleaching gel applied on it at home. The effect of teeth whitening will be seen usually after 2 weeks. For teeth with tetracycline stains, it takes around 3 to 6 months to achieve the whitening effect.

In-office bleaching – dentist performs the bleaching procedure in dental office using the dental curing light to shine on teeth surfaces to activate the active ingredients of the bleaching gel on top of it for l hour or more to whiten teeth.

The result of bleaching can last for around 2-3 years, but the long-term result of teeth whitening depends primarily on individual lifestyle. Habits such as the use of tobacco products, drinking of coffee, tea, dark soft drinks can shorten the time for maintaining the teeth whiteness after the procedure.

Recently, there are a variety of over the counter teeth whitening products, are they safe and effective?

There are a great variety of teeth whitening products available in the market, among them, whitening toothpaste can only clean up some of the stains on teeth surfaces. Since the bleaching tray inside the over-the-counter teeth bleaching gel package is not custom made and not closely fitted, the bleaching gel will leak out easily. It causes damage to gums and oral soft tissues during the process of tooth whitening at home. The Hong Kong Dental Association does not recommend customers buying those over-the-counter bleaching gel products to perform bleaching at home since there are too many potential risks. Teeth bleaching shall be performed under dentists’ supervisions.

What types of teeth react better to teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening can whiten teeth to a certain level of whiteness. Yellow teeth usually react faster and better. In the cases of teeth with tetracycline stain or dental fluorosis, the result of whitening will be less effective. It is better to have a dental examination and teeth scaling and cleaning before bleaching. For more information, customers can consult their own dentists and ask for the most suitable treatment according to individual’s condition.

Who are not suitable to receive teeth whitening?

– People who are suffering from gum inflammation, periodontal diseases, dental caries, teeth sensitivity, oral infections or other oral diseases.

– Adolescence under the age of 16.

– Pregnant or lactating women.

– People allergic to the active ingredients of bleaching agents.

How long do the results last?

The whitening treatment could last approximately up to 3 years if the whitened teeth are well cared. The improper use of teeth products, heavy consumption of coffee, tea, soft drinks, and infrequent visits to the dentist etc. will affect the results.

Is teeth whitening safe?

Yes. Extensive research and clinical studies indicate that whitening teeth under the supervision of a dentist is safe. In fact, many dentists consider whitening the safest cosmetic dental procedure available. As with any tooth whitening product, Zoom 4 is not recommended for children under 16 years of age, pregnant or lactating women and those currently treated for a serious illness or disorder i.e. immune compromised, AIDS.

How to maintain the whitening effect?

To keep your teeth looking their best, we recommend flossing, brushing twice daily, and occasional touch-ups with professional formula products. The products are designed specifically to keep your teeth their brightest.

What is the most suitable age for orthodontic treatment?

For a growing adolescent, the treatment time is shorter and more effective than an adult. Moreover, adults can also receive orthodontic treatment when they have good oral health.

Will it hurt during orthodontic treatment?

The force uses in movement of teeth during orthodontic treatment is small in magnitude. Therefore, there will only be mild and temporary discomfort of teeth and would not cause any damage to teeth and alveolar bone during treatment.

Would my daily life be affected if I receive orthodontic treatment?

During the time of orthodontic treatment, patients should follow orthodontist’s instructions to wear the accessory components such as elastics, facebow or headgear and maintain a very good oral hygiene habit to prevent dental decay and periodontal diseases. During treatment, you can still enjoy sports and play musical instruments. Orthodontic treatment would not increase unnecessary trouble to your daily life.

Is it possible to maintain the position of my teeth after orthodontic treatment?

After orthodontic treatment, patients should follow orthodontist’s instructions to wear retainers in order to maintain the position of teeth. Moreover, the duration of maintenance depends on individual conditions.

What is the difference between an orthodontist and a general dentist?

A registered orthodontist has received 2-3 years of special training in the field of orthodontic (a master degree of orthodontic of a university or an equivalent degree or diploma) after they acquire their basic degree on dental surgery. After registration as an orthodontist, they are limited to practice orthodontic treatment only, which is different from a general dentist.

Is orthodontic treatment expensive?

Before you receive orthodontic treatment, your orthodontist would explain the detail treatment procedures and payment methods of the orthodontic treatment fee. At present, the payment could be arranged to pay by installment. Treatment fee is thus not a big burden.

How to start orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontist would arrange suitable treatment plan and perform orthodontic treatment according to individual needs and conditions. You can also contact your dentist to make a referral to an orthodontist for treatment.













In what conditions would crowns and bridges be used?

Dental crown is used to restore grossly broken down teeth, and strengthen remaining structure of teeth after root canal treatment. Dental bridge is used to replace missing teeth due to periodontal disease, grossly broken down and non-restorable teeth, teeth lost due to dental trauma or people with congenitally missing teeth. Replacing missing teeth will benefit not only the appearance but also the general body health.

Why do we need to restore the broken or missing teeth? What are the consequences of not replacing missing teeth?

– Tooth loss will result in resorption of dental alveolar bone. Opposite tooth may over-erupt into the space which may result in bite interferences and increasing the chance of food packing between teeth. This increases the chance in having dental decay or periodontal disease.

– Chewing function will be affected due to the reduced number of teeth and increase the loading of the remaining teeth. If large number of teeth are missing, it will greatly affect chewing ability, food digestion and absorption processes. Thus, the general body health may also be affected.

– General appearance and pronunciation may be affected if a front tooth is lost.

How to take care of the dental crown or bridge?

After the construction and cementation of a dental crown or bridge, proper cleansing is important to prevent dental caries and periodontal disease. Special care in cleansing is necessary especially on the area of connection between the teeth and crown, bridge and gum which is underneath the dental bridge. Besides, regular dental visits are also crucial. The dentist is able to examine the function of dental crown or bridge and perform treatment if necessary.

What are the procedures for the construction of a dental crown?

The dentist will carry out an oral examination to assess the patient’s oral condition prior to the construction of a dental crown. Dental radiographs would be taken as pretreatment evaluation. During the process of dental crown construction, tooth preparation has to be performed. Tooth has to be ground to a smaller size and an accurate impression would be taken and sent to dental technician for the construction of the dental prosthesis. Dentist will then cement the dental crown on the prepared tooth and the whole procedure will then be completed.

How to take care of the dental crown?

After the construction of a dental crown, proper cleansing of the dental crown is important. This helps to prevent dental caries and periodontal diseases. Special care in cleansing has to be taken around the area of connection between the teeth and the crown. Besides, regular dental visits are crucial too. The dentist is able to examine the existing oral conditions and the functions of the dental crown. Adjustment can be performed at the same time if necessary.

What are the procedures for the construction of a dental bridge?

Dentist will carry out an oral examination to assess the patient’s oral condition prior to the construction of a dental bridge. Dental radiographs would be taken as pretreatment evaluation. Other dental problems have to be treated before bridgework construction such as filling of cavities, extraction of retained roots, teeth cleansing and polishing. During the process of dental bridge construction, teeth preparation has to be performed. Teeth adjacent to the area of teeth replacement have to be ground and an accurate impression would be taken and sent to dental technician for the fabrication and construction of the dental prosthesis. Dentist would then cement the dental bridge on the prepared teeth and the whole treatment procedure would be completed.

How to take care of the dental bridge?

After the construction and cementation of a dental bridge, proper cleansing of the dental bridge and the existing teeth are important to prevent dental caries and periodontal disease. Special care in cleansing is necessary especially on the area of connection between the teeth and the prosthesis and the gum which is underneath the dental bridge. Besides, regular dental visits are also crucial. The dentist is able to examine the existing oral conditions and the functions of the dental bridge. Adjustment can be performed at the same time if necessary.

How long can an oral implant last and how successful is the treatment?

An oral implant can be considered as a long lasting implant prosthesis that does not need to be changed. The success rate of an oral implant in general is over 95%. Despite the overall high success rate, there is still the possibility of failure that can be contributed by various factors and conditions. Factors such as the types of treatment techniques, an aseptic surgical condition, the surgical technique of the dental surgeon, the general health of the patient, the quality of bone, meticulous daily cleansing of the implant by the patient, regular professional maintenance, abstinence from smoking and avoidance of overloading can contribute to the long term durability and success of the oral implant.

Aren’t implants expensive compared to dentures?

Although the initial cost is high, implants are semi-permanent; thus, they are actually cheaper because no additional cost is incurred. Although the initial cost of dentures is lower than implant, additional cost will be incurred later.

Is the surgery safe?

The implant surgery will be performed under aseptic condition and in a dental clinic with proper facilities. Local anesthesia is given for pain control during the surgery. Intravenous sedation can be given if necessary. After the surgery, pain may occur and the condition can effectively be controlled with oral medications. As with other oral surgical procedures, dental implant treatment is associated with certain risks such as post-operative infection or neurosensory disturbance but the chance is very low. It can be considered to be a very safe treatment procedure. Patients are advised to consult their dentists for more information before receiving the dental implant treatment.

Is there any post-surgery effect?

After the surgery, your face or gums feel stiff and sore. Swelling may also cause the jaw of lips to be numb for several days. However, these symptoms will subside over time. If symptoms persist, please see a doctor immediately.

Are implants strong and durable as real teeth?

Studies have shown that many implants are actually more stable than real teeth.
As the implant is deeply implanted into the alveolar bone, it can endure the usual strength of chewing. Comparing with traditional ventures, implants can recover 100% chewing ability.

Can someone completely toothless get dental implants?

Yes. As long as there are sufficient well-healed implants, a full set of prostheses can be fixed to them. It usually takes 4-6 implants to support full mouth implants.

Is there an age limit for dental implants?

There is no age limit for implants as long as they have alveolar bone in good condition. Research has even shown an 80-year-old man successfully got dental implant.

How long can the dental implants be used?

The life span of dental implant is directly related to its material and technology. It is recommended to seek implant treatment in qualified professional dental clinics, so that its quality and life span are guaranteed. Take good care of oral hygiene and protect the gums are also the key to prolong the service time of dental implants.

How long can veneers last?

Just like your own teeth, the life of veneer depends on your personal hygiene and maintenance effort. For example, avoid chewing food that is too hard to avoid breaking the teeth. It is possible for the veneer to last a lifetime if maintained properly. If any damage is observed, contact your dentist for repair and change to a new veneer if necessary.

Do veneers require any special care?

No, just continue the proper oral hygiene practices, which includes brushing teeth, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash.

Although veneers can withstand stains, dentists still recommend avoiding food and drinks that can easily cause stains (e.g. coffee, tea, red wine) as it may cause color difference with other teeth.