Continuing professional development is an important part of our practice. Our dentists and staff are constantly furthering their education to enable us to provide the highest possible standard of dental care.

If you have any questions regarding a dental procedure please contact us; one of our friendly staff will be happy to answer any questions you have.

Tooth whitening

At Walsh Dental we use a combination of in-surgery and take-home whitening to obtain optimum results. This combined system allows us to tailor a whitening program which minimises sensitivity and maximises results for each individual.

An initial consultation and examination allows us to check your teeth for dental problems which may be exacerbated by bleaching. At this appointment impressions of your teeth are taken so customised bleaching trays can be made for you.

At the next appointment your teeth will be polished and cleaned, removing stains and build up, conditioning the teeth for the whitening process. A strong bleach is then applied for thirty minutes, under dental supervision, to kick start your whitening.
A customised whitening kit will then be assembled for you.

Although available, we rarely use light activated bleach as we have found that this method can cause dehydration of the teeth, resulting in increased sensitivity and a higher rate of relapse.

Over the next two weeks you can whiten your teeth at home, work or while you sleep!

Crowns and bridges

A crown is a false tooth which sits over the top of your natural tooth, a bit like a thimble fits over a finger. Crowns can be made from a variety of different materials including: gold, porcelain, zirconia and porcelain bonded to a gold alloy.

'Crowning' a tooth takes two visits. At the first visit the dentist will prepare the tooth which involves shaping the tooth to allow enough room for the crown to cover the tooth entirely. After preparing the tooth an impression is taken, the impression is then sent to a dental laboratory so the crown can be constructed. The dentist will make a temporary crown, to protect the prepared tooth and to allow you to chew normally. As the temporary crown is cemented with temporary cement (so it can be removed easily) we recommend that patients do not eat very chewy, sticky foods while the temporary crown is in place. This preparation visit takes about an hour. At the second visit the temporary crown is removed and the permanent crown is cemented with permanent cement. This visit takes about half an hour.

Your dentist may recommend a crown for a number of reasons, such as:

  • Aesthetics: Crowns can be used to improve a smile.
  • Root canal treated teeth: Teeth which have had root canal treatment are substantially weakened and are prone to fractures; your dentist will usually suggest crowning six–twelve months after root canal treatment.
  • Cracked teeth: A crown provides support for the underlying tooth structure, helping to prevent cracks from flexing. Cracked teeth can be painful and are at risk of splitting to a degree that they unrestorable.
  • Heavily restored teeth: Crowning heavily restored teeth may help to prolong their life.

A bridge is a fixed prosthesis, used to replace a missing tooth or teeth. A bridge literally bridges a gap. A conventional bridge involves preparing the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth or teeth just like the crowning process described in the previous section. The missing tooth/teeth are replaced by a false tooth called a Pontic (tooth replacement). A bridge is constructed as one unit.

As a bridge is one unit, one is unable to floss between the crowned teeth and the pontic; floss or inter-dental brushes can be threaded under the pontic for cleaning.

Your dentist will discuss various options for tooth replacement, a bridge is often considered as an alternative to a dental implant or a partial denture. The positives and negatives of all treatment options will be discussed with you so you can make an informed choice.

Root canal treatment

When the nerve of a tooth becomes inflamed we term it to have a ‘pulpitis’. There is reversible pulpitis where the inflammation causes the tooth to lay down more tooth structure and the nerve settles down and the pain may subside. An irreversible pulpitis means the nerve is dying, this generally causes pain and a dental abscess may form. A tooth that has died may, in time, develop an infection and subsequently a dental abscess may result. There may be various causes including: trauma, decay reaching the pulp chamber, a crack in a tooth which allows bacteria into pulp chamber.

When a tooth is infected there are two treatment options. The tooth can be removed or treated with root canal therapy.

  • Root canal treatment involves drilling through the crown of the tooth into the pulp chamber.
  • The pulp is removed and the root canals are cleaned and shaped, x-rays are taken to help establish the length of
    the canals.
  • An antibiotic, anti-inflammatory medicament is placed inside the root canals.
  • A temporary filling is placed.
  • At a subsequent visit the temporary filling is removed, the canals are cleaned and dried and a different medicament which stimulates healing is placed and another temporary filling is placed. This process may be repeated until evidence of healing can be established.
  • At the final visit the canals are irrigated and dried then filled with a rubber substance called gutta percha. Two radiographs are required at this visit.
  • The tooth will require a strong restoration, generally a crown, six–twelve months after the root canal is completed.
  • During treatment the dentist will often cement a metal band around the tooth to prevent it from splitting or breaking, this metal band will stay on until the tooth is crowned.

Dental Implants

Dental Implants are a replacement for missing teeth. Unlike other tooth replacement options available dental implants are fixed to the bone in the jaw and function like a natural tooth.

Dental implants can replace a missing tooth or teeth or can be used to retain dentures, improving stability and a persons’ ability to function with dentures. Implant retained dentures can either be fixed or removable. Implants are particularly good for lower dentures as they prevent the denture from moving around the mouth.

A dental implant is made up of three parts, a titanium fixture, similar to a screw, a connector and the abutment on which a crown is placed.

The implant is placed into the bone to replace missing or extracted teeth. Usually over a period of 3 to 6 months bone will grow into the grooves of the fixture this process is called osseointegration. During this period the implant is covered by a healing cap or healing abutment. When the implant is integrated into the bone it can then be restored with a crown, bridge or denture.

An impression is then taken of the implant and sent to a dental laboratory for the construction of the crown or bridge. The final restoration will function and appear like a natural tooth.

At an initial consultation the dentist will conduct a thorough examination of your mouth and teeth. X-rays and some impressions to construct study models could also be taken. The dentist will discuss all the treatment options available taking into account your wishes, medical conditions and finances. If dental implants are a suitable option the dentist may arrange for a 3D scan called a Cone Beam to be taken, this will allow the dentist to assess the bone levels and suitability for implant treatment.

A treatment plan will be tailored to meet your individual needs and an estimate of the treatment cost issued.