Real Dentistry - Kilbirnie

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease can begin as gum redness or bleeding while brushing your teeth or using dental floss, and you may notice halitosis, or bad breath.  If not treated, gum inflammation can become worse, leading to gum damage, receding gums, the formation of pockets between teeth and gums, bone loss and eventually tooth loss.

Periodontal disease is a risk to your overall health.  If it is left untreated, it may increase the risk for atherosclerosis-induced conditions such as coronary heart disease and stroke, complications of diabetes, adverse pregnancy outcomes, and respiratory disease.


How safe aredental x-rays?

Advances in dentistry over the years have lead to the low radiation levels emitted by today’s digital x-rays.  The greatest advantage to a patient is that they require a significantly reduced radiation exposure, the amount of radiation you get from a set of digital dental x-rays is tiny.   Since the benefit of x-rays can be big (your dentist can find problems that aren’t easily seen) the small amount of radiation exposure is probably worth it. However, if you’ve had substantial radiation exposure from other screening tests or cancer treatments, talk to your dentist about your concerns

What type of filling should I have?

When you need a dental filling, you have many choices. But since different types of fillings are better for different dental situations, your dentist will help you decide which type of filling is right for you based on factors including the location in the mouth and particular tooth involved, the severity of the decay, and associated costs.

  • Gold. Gold fillings are sturdy and non-corrosive; they can last up to 15 years. Many people find gold fillings more aesthetically pleasing than silver fillings. But gold fillings cost  more than silver amalgam fillings, and it takes more than one visit to complete.
  • Silver amalgam. Silver amalgam fillings offer strength and durability similar to gold at lower cost, but many people don’t like the look of them.  Also, amalgam fillings can be more prone to expansion and contraction and thus they are more likely to cause a tooth to crack compared with other filling materials.
  • Composite. These fillings are  tooth-coloured and are popular because the colour can be matched to your teeth. Composite fillings are not always as durable as metal fillings .
  • Ceramic. Ceramic fillings are made of porcelain. They are durable and aesthetically pleasing.  These fillings, like the gold ones take more than one visit to complete.
  • Glass ionomers. These glass and acrylic fillings are  often a good choice for children whose teeth are still changing. Also, they can release fluoride, which can help prevent tooth decay.

Why do I need to visit the dentist if I wear full dentures?

It is essential to have an annual examination to check your oral health and evaluate the condition of the mouth. The dentist looks for changes in colour, inflammation, sores, lumps, and any condition not within normal limits. The dentures are evaluated for wear, fractures and changes in occlusion which can affect the appearance of the face and health of the jaw.

There are many things that can develop that don’t hurt and as  the saying goes, “don’t wait till it hurts.”  Some relatively simple, easy to correct problems can develop into much more serious problems if left untreated.