The gold standard is the provision of fixed appliances, or “train tracks”.
Currently , the most effective treatment is a system called the Damon System. In many cases, removing teeth to make space to straighten crowded teeth is not required. Clear braces are available and are fine for mildly crowded teeth. Damon is up to two and a half times faster than any other technique. That means that it is quite possible to straighten difficult cases in 12-16 months, and milder problems can take one year or less. Fast Braces/6 Month Braces in most cases leave teeth in a worse position than having no treatment at all.
There are other devices used in orthodontics that do not involve train tracks. These devices are called Functional Appliances. People with teeth that appear to stick out/buck have a problem with the lower jaw, which is set back into the face. The lower jaw can be made to come forward . One device that is well known here is Clarke’s Twin Block. I received training from Dr Clarke himself in the early 1990’s
Non Mercury Fillings:
Tooth coloured, or “white fillings” are not a luxury any longer, in fact they form the majority of fillings provided by many modern dentists. The technique used allows for an exceptional tight seal around the filling edge, so leakage of fluids and bacteria back into the tooth is greatly reduced. Many of today’s materials are what we call Bioactive, in that they form a powerful and continuous chemical and biological bond to tooth structure, protecting the tooth from bacteria and extending the lifespan of the filling.
Test the Filling:
Immunosuppression, or illness due to metal/mercury based filling is rare, but is seen. The mouth itself may show the effects of contact with a metal filling such as a dermatitis like effect on the cheek, while clinical symptoms such as fatigue, irritable bowel, rash, are associated by some authorities with mercury based fillings. There is an electrical discharge from fillings, the level of discharge varies, and is measurable. The testing technique as advised by the British Society for Mercury Free Dentistry is the procedure which I use to find the level of electrical discharge coming from a filling.
Rather than the actual mercury locked up in the filling, the electrical current flowing from the filling is assessed. Once the simple test is done, only the targeted fillings are replaced. This cuts down on the number of teeth which are retreated. Removal of the metal filling is usually done by use of a special sheet of medical grade rubber stretched over the tooth. In this way, no bits of filling are allowed into the mouth.
Tooth coloured fillings are placed using a technique resulting in a much better seal when compared to metal. Even badly fractured teeth can be rescued by the use of this material.
Crowns, Veneers, Bridges:
These products require time and a high degree of accuracy at the time of impression. Input from the patient is welcomed in achieving the best result. There are several types of crown available.
Implants are “metal roots” placed in the jaw. Time is allowed to pass after an implant is placed, then the new tooth is attached to the implant.
This is key to a lifetime of healthy teeth. With good oral hygiene, and regular check ups, it is possible to keep your teeth and mouth healthy for life. Poor gum health is now proven to be linked to general health problems, including damage to the heart . Good gum hygiene and health is the cornerstone of dentistry.
Fissure sealing is a procedure for smaller children, where sealer is bonded into the grooves of the chewing surface of the critical back adult teeth that appear from about age 6 , as a means of helping to prevent the formation of tooth decay . These adult teeth are rarely noticed by parents as they come up quietly enough, but they become easily contaminated by sugars and foods with decay in the tooth following.
Implants consist of an artificial root which is placed in bone, allowed to settle for some months. A post which is usually made from titanium is attached then, and a crown is cemented on top of the post. It is also routine to have the post and the crown in one attachment, and to screw the crown onto the implant.