Glossary

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Prosthodontic Procedures

 

Dental Filling

A filling is a basic dental procedure in which decayed or carious tooth material is removed from the affected part of the tooth. This “cavity” is then filled in with an appropriate dental filling material such as white composite resin, silver amalgam or some other material.

Dental Veneer

A veneer is a thin shell of either porcelain or composite resin which is bonded to the front surface of the tooth to improve the overall colour, shape, alignment and surface texture of the tooth.  Veneers may be fabricated directly onto your tooth using tooth-coloured composite resin (usually 1 visit) or be indirectly fabricated in the laboratory based on an impression of your tooth (usually two visits).

Crowns on Teeth and Crowns on Implants

A crown is a type of dental restoration which completely covers the tooth or dental implant. A crown or “cap” is usually constructed of porcelain, zirconium, gold, acrylic or other metal alloys. Crowns are cemented over badly damaged or broken- down teeth or root-treated teeth in order restore the shape, colour, alignment and bite of the tooth.

A crown may also be screwed or cemented onto an implant.

Bridges on Teeth and Bridge on Implants

A bridge is a dental prosthesis which is fitted to replace one or more missing teeth. The bridge is fitted over the supporting teeth (the abutments) adjacent to the gap. In order to fit the bridge, the abutment teeth have to be trimmed down to “stumps” so that the bridge may be cemented over them. The missing teeth which the bridge replaces are called the “pontics”. A bridge may also be fitted to one or more dental implants with cement or screws.

Direct composite onlays, inlays and onlays

In dentistryan inlay is an indirect restoration (filling) consisting of a solid substance (such as gold or porcelain or composite resin) fitted to a cavity in a tooth and cemented into place.

An onlay is the same as an inlay, except that it extends to replace one or more weak, fractured or missing cusps. Inlays or onlays are either fabricated indirectly based on an impression of your tooth or may be built directly onto your tooth using composite resin. Inlays and onlays can provide certain advantages over regular fillings.

Composite Bonding is the application of composite resin material to the existing tooth. Bonding is used for filling cavities, masking discolored teeth, repairing fractures, and making cosmetic improvements to the natural tooth usually in one appointment. Very little natural tooth reduction is necessary and usually no anesthesia is needed.

Full dentures and partial dentures and dentures on implants

Dentures are removable prosthetic devices which aim to replace some or all of the patient’s missing teeth. A denture will achieve its retention either by “suction” against the gums or may gain some retention by “clipping” onto adjacent teeth in the case of a partial denture. Dentures may also be retained and supported on dental implants and they may be fixed or removable.

Bite plates and mouthguards

Mouthguards are protective devices for the mouth that cover the teeth and gums to prevent and reduce injury to the teeth, dental arches, lips and gums. A mouthguard is most often used to prevent injury in contact sports,

Bite plates are removable hard or soft acrylic devices used as a treatment for bruxism or tooth grinding and for the conservative management of jaw joint problems or TMD, or as part of certain dental procedures. They may cover some or all of the upper or lower teeth depending on the clinical situation.

Both mouthguards and bite plates are made from impressions of your mouth.

Periodontal treatments

 

Scale and polish (Dental cleanings)

Dental cleanings or “scale-and–polishes” involve removing plaque (soft, sticky, bacteria infested film) and tartar (calculus) deposits that have built up on the teeth over time. The purpose of the cleaning and polishing is to leave the surfaces of the teeth clean and smooth so that bacteria are unable to adhere to them and you have a better chance of keeping the teeth clean during your regular home care. Dental cleanings are professional cleanings by an oral hygienist or dentist using ultrasonic instruments, fine hand tools and polishers.

Root planing/Deep cleaning

Root-planing, or deep-cleaning, is the process of removing or eliminating the dental plaque and calculus which cause gum inflammation from deep around the roots of the teeth. The periodontist may or may not reflect the gums to gain better access to the roots of the teeth. This helps to establish a periodontium –the gums, bones and fibers that support your teeth -that is free of disease.

Periodontal gum surgery

Gum surgery is an overarching term used to describe a number of procedures whose aim is to promote easy access for cleaning of the root surfaces, to facilitate restoration of a tooth or to enhance the bone and gum conditions around a tooth for an improved aesthetic appearance.

In cases where a conventional cleaning does not provide not sufficient access to the root surfaces, the gums may be surgically reflected to provide easier access to the root surfaces for cleaning or curettage in order to treat more severe forms of gum disease.

Extractions

A dental extraction (also referred to as exodontia) is the removal of a tooth from the mouth. Extractions are performed for a wide variety of reasons, including severe tooth decay or caries, untreatable gum disease, dental infections and abscesses and advanced gum disease causing tooth mobility.

Apicoectomies

A root-end surgery, also known as an apicoectomy, is an endodontic surgical procedure whereby a tooth‘s root tip is removed and a root end cavity is prepared and filled with a biocompatible material. This procedure is carried out when a conventional root canal therapy has failed and a re-treatment was already unsuccessful or is not advised.

 

Endodontic Procedures

 

Root-canal treatment

Root canal treatment involves the removal of the inflamed and infected pulp from within the root canal system of a tooth. Disinfection, cleaning and shaping of the individual roots is achieved through the use of chemical disinfectants while the canal shaping is accomplished by means of special rotary or hand files. Once the canals have been disinfected and shaped they are then filled with a root filling called gutta percha.

 

Aesthetics

 

Smile design/trial smile

These are procedures that are designed to create a visual mockup of what proposed changes to the smile may look like. Smile design can be achieved using computer software, with dental study models and also with actual tooth-coloured resin or acrylic “clip-on” temporary veneers. These may be worn to assess the changes to the smile as well as provide a realistic visual assessment before any treatment is undertaken.

Scale and polish (Dental cleanings)

Dental cleanings or “scale-and–polishes” involve removing plaque (soft, sticky, bacteria infested film) and tartar (calculus) deposits that have built up on the teeth over time. The purpose of the cleaning and polishing is to leave the surfaces of the teeth clean and smooth so that bacteria are unable to adhere to them and you have a better chance of keeping the teeth clean during your regular home care. Dental cleanings are professional cleanings by an oral hygienist or dentist using ultrasonic instruments, fine hand tools and polishers.

Root planing / Deep cleaning

Gum surgery is an overarching term used to describe a number of procedures whose aim is to promote easy access for cleaning of the root surfaces, to facilitate restoration of a tooth or to enhance the bone and gum conditions around a tooth for an improved aesthetic appearance.

In cases where a conventional cleaning does not provide not sufficient access to the root surfaces, the gums may be surgically reflected to provide easier access to the root surfaces for cleaning or curettage in order to treat more severe forms of gum disease.

Periodontal gum surgery

Gum surgery is an overarching term used to describe a number of procedures whose aim is to promote easy access for cleaning of the root surfaces, to facilitate restoration of a tooth or to enhance the bone and gum conditions around a tooth for an improved aesthetic appearance.

In cases where a conventional cleaning does not provide not sufficient access to the root surfaces, the gums may be surgically reflected to provide easier access to the root surfaces for cleaning or curettage in order to treat more severe forms of gum disease.

Crown lengthening

Crown lengthening is a surgical procedure performed by a dentist to expose a greater amount of tooth structure for the purpose of subsequently restoring the tooth. This is done by incising the gingival tissue around a tooth and, after temporarily displacing the soft tissue, predictably removing a given height of alveolar bone from the circumference of the tooth or teeth being operated on. While some general dentists perform this procedure, others frequently refer such cases to a periodontist.

Gummy Smile Treatment

A gum lift is a cosmetic dental procedure that raises and sculpts the gum line. This procedure involves reshaping the gum tissue and/or underlying bones to create the appearance of longer or symmetrical teeth, thereby making the smile more aesthetically pleasing. This procedure is typically done to reduce excessively gummy smiles or to balance out an asymmetrical gum line. The procedure, also known as crown-lengthening, has historically been used to treat gum disease. It is only within the past three to five years that dentists have used this procedure for aesthetic purposes.

Extractions

A dental extraction (also referred to as exodontia) is the removal of a tooth from the mouth. Extractions are performed for a wide variety of reasons, including severe tooth decay or caries, untreatable gum disease, dental infections and abscesses and advanced gum disease causing tooth mobility.

Apicoectomies

A root-end surgery, also known as an apicoectomy, is an endodontic surgical procedure whereby a tooth‘s root tip is removed and a root end cavity is prepared and filled with a biocompatible material. This procedure is carried out when a conventional root canal therapy has failed and a re-treatment was already unsuccessful or is not advised.

 

 

 

Implantology

Implants and implant surgery

A dental implant is special surgical “screw-device”, usually made of titanium, which takes the place of a missing tooth root and is used to support a variety of dental prostheses, including crownsimplant-supported bridges or dentures or other oral appliances. They can also be used as anchorage for orthodontic tooth movement. Most dental implants placed today are root-form endosseous implants, i.e., they appear similar to an actual tooth root and are placed within the bone. The bone of the jaw accepts and osseointegrates with the titanium post. Osseointegration refers to the fusion of the implant surface with the surrounding bone. Periodontists are specially trained in implant surgery.

Grafting procedures

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Bone grafting: Implants require a sufficient volume of bone around them for support. People who have been edentulous (without teeth) for a prolonged period may not have enough bone left in the necessary locations where implants may be required. Bone loss can be a result of dental infections or abscessesperiodontal disease, or trauma. Dental bone grafting is a specialized periodontal procedure that has been developed to reestablish deficient jawbone. Bone grafting is used to augment or restore the bone where dental implants are needed. In this case, bone can be taken from the chin, from the pilot holes for the implants, or even from the iliac crest of the pelvis and inserted into the mouth around the new implant.

Bone grafts are either used in block form (such as from the chin or the ascending ramus area of the lower jaw) or particulated, in order to be able to adapt it better to a defect.

Gum grafting is a series of specialized procedures in which gum tissue is harvested from within your mouth and transplanted to an adjacent site in order to cover exposed tooth roots and to enhance the contours of the gum around teeth and implants to create a healthier and more aesthetically pleasing result.

Sinus lift procedures

When molar or premolar teeth are lost in the upper jaws the maxillary sinus – an anatomic airspace in the cheek bones- has a tendency to enlarge spontaneously. This enlargement of the sinus reduces the amount of bone in the area of the molars and premolars thereby reducing the amount of bone available to place dental implants.

Sinus augmentation (also known as sinus lift or sinus graft) is an oral surgery procedure in which bone is added to the upper jaw, or maxilla, in the area of premolar and molar teeth. The aim of the surgery is to graft enough bone material into the maxillary sinus to support a dental implant. The procedure is usually performed in the dentist’s office with local anesthesia, requiring up to six months of healing for the sinus augmentation to support dental implants. However, many surgeons perform both the augmentation and dental implant simultaneously, to avoid the necessity of two surgeries.

Apicoectomies

A root-end surgery, also known as an apicoectomy, is an endodontic surgical procedure whereby a tooth‘s root tip is removed and a root end cavity is prepared and filled with a biocompatible material. This procedure is carried out when a conventional root canal therapy has failed and a re-treatment was already unsuccessful or is not advised.

Perio-susceptibility tests

There are certain people who have a gene that makes them especially susceptible to getting aggressive and destructive gum disease. By finding out that you have this gene, appropriate action can be taken to greatly reduce your risk for getting gum disease.

Bacterial Assays

There are specific bacteria that are associated with destructive gum disease. We now have very specific tests to determine whether these bacteria are present in your mouth and how many are present. This enables us to introduce a more specific oral hygiene program to prevent bone loss.

 

Oral Medicine

 

Oral medicine procedures and biopsy

Various conditions both local and systemic can affect the soft and hard tissues of the mouth. These may manifest themselves as ulcers, rashes lumps or cysts to name a few. Some systemic conditions may also have oral manifestations and may be the first clue to broader systemic disease. The clinical evaluation and diagnosis of oral mucosal diseases are within the scope of practice of a periodontist and is considered to be a discipline of dentistry. To aid in a definitive diagnosis of an oral lesion a biopsy may be taken and microscopically observed by a pathologist.

Cancer screening

We have recently acquired the latest in Oral Cancer Detection – The Velscope Vx. Oral and Oesophageal Cancers are among are the 10 most common cancers worldwide. Early detection improves survival rates. Using the Velscope, in addition to routine clinical examinations increases our ability to detect abnormalities and dysplasia within the oral cavity. Not only can we detect oral cancers and pre-cancers but viral, fungal and bacterial infections; inflammation from a variety of causes; squamous papillomas and salivary gland tumours. This will be an additional aid for us in assessing your overall oral health

Perio susceptibility tests

There are certain people who have a gene that makes them especially susceptible to getting aggressive and destructive gum disease. By finding out that you have this gene, appropriate action can be taken to greatly reduce your risk for getting gum disease.

Bacterial Assays

There are specific bacteria that are associated with destructive gum disease. We now have very specific tests to determine whether these bacteria are present in your mouth and how many are present. This enables us to introduce a more specific oral hygiene program to prevent bone loss.

Diagnostic imaging

 

Digital dental x-rays

Dental radiographs are commonly called x-rays. Dentists use radiographs for many reasons: to find hidden cavities, fractures of teeth and bones, to assess bone levels in gum disease and implant cases, to identify tumours or cysts and in the performance of procedures such as root-canal treatment and implant surgery.

3-D scanning

Digital CT scans provide a fantastic new method of imaging the teeth and jaw bones and related structures in a virtual 3-D way. The additional information obtained by this technique has added immensely to the diagnosis capabilities when assessing a patient. It is considered to be the standard of care especially for implant patients.

Digital dental photography

Digital dental photography is used in order to assess a case, as a means of communication with you, the patient, and with our colleagues. It also allows us to conduct digital smile design in virtual reality.

 

Oral hygiene services

 

Oral hygiene instructions

The promotion of oral hygiene techniques based on information supplied to the patient usually by the hygienist so that the patient may understand the causes of dental diseases such as gum disease and dental decay and institute oral hygiene practices such as brushing, flossing and rinsing to reduce or prevent dental disease.

Scale and polish (Dental cleanings)

Dental cleanings or “scale-and–polishes” involve removing plaque (soft, sticky, bacteria infested film) and tartar (calculus) deposits that have built up on the teeth over time. The purpose of the cleaning and polishing is to leave the surfaces of the teeth clean and smooth so that bacteria are unable to adhere to them and you have a better chance of keeping the teeth clean during your regular home care. Dental cleanings are professional cleanings by an oral hygienist or dentist using ultrasonic instruments, fine hand tools and polishers.

 

Teeth Whitening

 

Bleaching

Bleaching or tooth whitening is an increasingly common procedure to brighten one’s smile by the application of a bleaching gel directly onto the tooth surface. Bleaching may be carried out as an at-home procedure or as an in-office procedure by the oral hygienist. In bleaching, peroxide –based gel is applied to the tooth which penetrates the fine microporosities in your enamel. This gel then oxidizes any stains or pigments in the tooth enamel creating brighter and whiter teeth.

 

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