1. At what age should children start coming to the dentist?
We encourage children of all ages, from as early as practical, to attend check ups with their parents. We like LOW KEY and “soft” intros for children, where, at no point, do they feel pressured into sitting in the chair and opening their mouths. Children are naturally inquisitive and want to be like their parents and we can make their first trip interactive and fun without them even realising that they have had a check up at all!! The “adult” teeth start arriving from as early as 4 years old and we would like your child to be familiar with us and our surgery well before then.
2. Why do I need to have my tooth taken out?
- It may be that your tooth is very loose, through gum disease
- It may be irreparably broken due to decay
- It may have been heavily filled and broken beyond repair, with only a small amount of root left that cannot be built upon.
- It may have had a root treatment (root canal) that has not been successful and is causing an infection (abscess) in the jaw
- The orthodontist has asked the dentist to remove the tooth to allow the other teeth to be straightened.
- It may be “impacted” or wedged behind the last tooth as the jaw is too small and is causing a localised infection
- It may have been damaged from trauma e.g. falling off a bike or playing rugby without a gum shield!
WE NEVER MAKE THE DECISION TO TAKE A TOOTH OUT LIGHTLY SO IF YOU ARE NOT EXACTLY SURE WHY THEN ASK US AGAIN !
3. Why is my tooth sensitive to hot and cold?
All teeth have nerves in the middle of them, unless they have had a root canal treatment. These nerves are surrounded by an inner layer of dentine, and an outer coat of super strong enamel.
The outer layer is hard, but the dentine is softer and the nerve sends out little “tentacles” into the dentine. If the enamel becomes worn away e.g. from too much drinking of acidic drinks, such as Coke, or from tooth grinding, then the “tentacles” are closer to the surface and are able to detect the changes in temperature and this may send a pain signal to the brain. This also happens when, as you get older, the gums recede and the root surface doesn’t have a protective enamel coat so the tentacles of nerve ending are irritated.
Root surface exposure can be treated with sensitivity toothpastes and strong fluoride mouthwashes.
4. I have a cold sore can I still come to the dentist?
Not if the cold sore is tingling in the early stages, even if it hasn’t started to blister. And not for at least a week until after the cold sore has appeared. The virus that causes cold sores is very easily transmitted and so please let the dentist know if you think you may have one.
5. Which is better a manual or an electric toothbrush?
Dental health companies have spent years and millions researching the best way to clean your teeth. There are a variety of electric brushes available with a range of heads. We like electric toothbrushes for children who may need a bit of added excitement to be encouraged to clean their teeth. We like them for elderly patients who may have reduced manual dexterity. We like them for patients who like a gadget! The dentists and hygienists at Harewood will help you decide what is right for you. It’s a very personal choice and there is no right or wrong answer. HOWEVER IT IS NOT TRUE TO SAY ELECTRIC BRUSHES ARE BETTER THAN MANUAL BRUSHES.
6. I need a root canal what is it and will it hurt?
A root canal treatment is needed when the nerve inside the root has died. This may be from trauma or it may be because the tooth is heavily filled or the tooth is badly decayed.
Classically the tooth is very tender to touch. It may be more loose than surrounding teeth, and the pain may keep you awake at night.
The dentist will numb the tooth using local anaesthetic and use a drill to open up inside the tooth and gain access to the nerve in the “pulp chamber”. The dentist will use small files to gain access to the root system of the tooth and clean out the dead nerve and remove as many bacteria from the root as possible.
WE CANNOT STERILISE A ROOT CANAL but we can get it clean enough to make the tooth pain free. The root is then filled and sealed. The tooth is then filled back up. The tooth may then need to be crowned as gaining access to do a root treatment weakens the tooth and it may break.
A DIFFERENT QUESTION ? EMAIL US AND WE WILL TRY TO ANSWER IT FOR YOU