Dentist in Welwyn Garden City (near new Sainsbury's)

Treatments » General Dentistry

Amalgam Fillings


Dental amalgam is the traditional silver-coloured filling we are all familiar with. Although there is mercury in dental amalgam, once it is combined with the other materials in the amalgam filling its chemical nature is changed rendering it harmless. Research into the safety of dental amalgam has been carried out for over a century and to date, no trustworthy controlled studies have found a connection between amalgam fillings and any medical problem.

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Gold Inlays


Gold inlays are restorations placed usually on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. An inlay fits within the confines of the teeth. An onlay covers the entire chewing surface of the tooth. These can be made of either plastic resin or porcelain. The procedure involves removing decayed tooth structure or old fillings, preparing the tooth cavity, taking an impression of the cavity to fabricate a custom-fit inlay or onlay. Two visits are required to complete the treatment.

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Root Canal Treatment


Root canal treatment involves the removal of the pulp tissues from the tooth in the event that it gets infected or inflamed. Removal of the infected or inflamed pulp is the first step in saving the tooth. Debris within the canals is removed by flushing with an anti-bacterial solution. The canals are finally filled or sealed and the tooth restored to full shape and function by either a permanent filling or a crown.

Root Canal Treatment

When Is Root Canal Treatment Needed?

The crown of the tooth is made up of the hard, white, enamel layer and a thicker dentine layer. Both these hard layers protect the innermost soft tissues of the tooth called the pulp. The dental pulp contains blood vessels and nerves within and extends from the crown to the tips of the root or roots.

Root canal treatment involves the removal of the pulp tissues from the tooth in the event that it gets infected or inflamed. The pulp can be infected or inflamed due to either deep decay or an extensive restoration that involves the pulp, cracked or fractured tooth due to trauma, excessive wear of enamel and dentine exposing the pulp, and sometimes as a result of severe gum disease.

Signs of pulp damage may include pain, prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, discoloration of the tooth, swelling, tenderness of the overlying gums or a bad taste in the mouth. On the other hand, there may be no symptoms at all. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can eventually cause pain, swelling and loss of the supporting bone.

What Are The Advantages Of Root Canal Treatment?

Root canal treatment saves teeth that would otherwise have been extracted.

After root canal treatment the tooth is pulp-less i.e. it has no vital tissues within. However, there are vital tissues surrounding the root e.g. the gum, periodontal membrane and supporting bone. A root canal treated tooth can function normally and can be maintained with routine dental care and oral hygiene measures.

How Is Root Canal Treatment Carried Out?

  • Removal of the infected or inflamed pulp is the first step in saving the tooth. Under local anaesthetic an opening is made in the crown of the tooth to get access to the infected or inflamed pulp within.
  • Using small, specially designed hand or rotary files, the root canals are cleaned and shaped to a form that can be sealed. Debris within the canals is removed by flushing with an anti-bacterial solution.
  • The canals are finally filled or sealed with an inert material called gutta-percha. The tooth should be restored to full shape and function by either a permanent filling or a crown, depending on how much of the tooth is left. This should be done as soon as possible as there could be a risk of tooth fracture due to biting forces.

All root canal treatment procedures are performed by isolating the tooth with a rubber dam to provide a clean and saliva-free environment. Root canal treatment may be done in single or multiple visits depending on the complexity of the tooth. In between treatment appointments, medicaments may be placed within the canals and the tooth is covered with a temporary filling.

Often, X-rays are taken to determine the length of the root and to monitor the various treatment stages.

Is Root Canal Treatment Painful?

Root canal treatment procedures are relatively comfortable and often painless as the tooth is anaesthetised during treatment. After treatment, the tooth may be sensitive or tender for a few days due to inflammation of the surrounding tissues. This discomfort can be relieved by taking mild analgesics or painkillers available over the counter at the pharmacy. However, if the pain persists and is severe, or a swelling occurs, you should contact your dentist.

Care of the Root-treated Tooth

As far as possible, avoid chewing or biting on the tooth being treated until you have it permanently restored with either a filling or a crown. Excessive pressure at this stage may crack or fracture the tooth. Therefore, it is very important to restore the tooth properly as soon as possible. Most endodontically treated teeth last as long as natural teeth following permanent restoration.

Practise good oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing at all times, as root-filled teeth are as prone to decay as natural teeth. It is also important to have your treated tooth reviewed regularly by your dentist.

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Fissure Sealants


Deep pits and grooves can be found on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. Such pits and grooves are termed ‘fissures’ and are usually so narrow that toothbrush bristles and streams of water are not able to clean them effectively. Fissure sealants can be applied to the teeth. Fissure sealants are special materials used by dentists to seal off pits and fissures from the oral environment. Sealing the tooth surface protects fissures from bacteria and fermentable foods like sugar and starches to prevent decay from starting deep within the fissures.

Deep pits and grooves can be found on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. Such pits and grooves are termed ‘fissures’ and are usually so narrow that toothbrush bristles and streams of water are not able to clean them effectively. These form a favourable environment for bacteria to flourish, often resulting in tooth decay.

What can be done?

Fissure sealants can be applied to the teeth. Fissure sealants are special materials used by dentists to seal off pits and fissures from the oral environment. Sealing the tooth surface protects fissures from bacteria and fermentable foods like sugar and starches to prevent decay from starting deep within the fissures. Any tooth with pits and fissures can be treated, provided the surface to be filled is sound and has not been previously filled. The most commonly treated teeth are the molars and premolars.

How are sealants applied?

Sealants are applied easily and painlessly. No drilling is required. The tooth is properly cleaned, treated, dried, and the sealant applied. It then hardens to form a protective coating over the tooth.

How effective are sealants and how long can they last?

Many studies show sealants to be very effective in preventing decay in fissures. They do, however, require regular maintenance by your dentist. This can be performed with your six- monthly check-up. Recent studies show that a properly placed sealant will last as long as a typical amalgam filling. Even if a sealant is damaged or lost, it is easily repaired and replaced. Regular maintenance by your dentist will help them last. This can be done with your six-monthly check-up.

When should sealants be put on the teeth?

Sealants are most effective when applied after the eruption of the tooth. Early application ensures pits and fissures are sealed before the decay process begins.

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Dental Hygiene Department


Dental hygiene - Church Road Dental

Dental hygiene is a very important part of keeping a healthy beautiful smile. Our professional Hygienists, Christine, Monica and Nancy are specially trained in the prevention of gum disease and dental cavities. They will help you gain that superb fresh breath that will improve your oral health and well being. They are keen to show patients the best use of toothbrushes, dental floss and inter-dental bushes.

They will carefully examine your teeth and gum tissues and remove plaque and surface staining by gently cleaning and polishing. They are also able to offer a wide range of fresh breath treatments for individuals suffering from bad breath.

Our hygiene programme - All our patients are offered an individually tailored preventative programme to help them maintain their mouth, teeth, gums and restorations in a healthy state. This essential part of your dental regime not only makes your mouth feel fresh and healthy but will reduce the need for dental treatment and save money.

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Dentist Hertfordshire - Cosmetic dentistry Welwyn Garden City (near new Sainsbury's) offers restorative dentistry like dental amalgam fillings, root canal treatments and dental hygiene services.