South Yarra Dental Group


Scaling and Root Planing

Some cases of acute periodontal (gum) disease that do not respond to more conventional treatment and self-care such as flossing may require a special kind of cleaning called scaling and root planing.

The procedure begins with administration of a local anaesthetic to reduce any discomfort. Then, a small instrument called a ‘scaler’, or an ultrasonic cleaner, is used to clean beneath your gum line to remove plaque and tartar.

The root surfaces on the tooth are then planed and smoothed. This lets the gum tissue heal and reattach itself to the tooth.

Maxillofacial Surgery

Maxillofacial surgery is a branch of dentistry that deals with surgical procedures of the head and neck, including the mouth and tooth structures.

Flap Surgery

Your bone and gum tissue should fit snugly around your teeth like a turtleneck. When you have periodontal disease, this supporting tissue and bone is destroyed, forming pockets around the teeth. Over time, these pockets become deeper, providing a larger space for bacteria to thrive and wreak havoc.

As bacteria accumulate and advance under the gum tissue in these deep pockets, additional bone and tissue loss follow. Eventually, if too much bone is lost, the teeth will need to be extracted.

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In most cases, a tooth may need to be pulled when other, less radical procedures such as amalgams or restoration make it impossible or imprudent to save your original tooth.

Advanced anaesthetic techniques today greatly minimize discomfort associated with a tooth extraction. First, the area surrounding the tooth is numbed to lessen any discomfort. After the extraction, you are given a regimen to follow to ensure that no infection occurs and your gum tissues heal properly. In most cases, a small amount of bleeding is normal.

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Cosmetic Surgery

In addition to procedures to treat periodontal disease, many periodontists also perform Cosmetic Dentistry to enhance your smile. Often, patients who pursue Cosmetic Dentistry notice improved function as well. Cosmetic Dentistry include:

  • Crown lengthening
  • Soft tissue grafts
  • Ridge augmentation

Root Canal (Endodontic Therapy)

Root canal therapy has saved more teeth than you can imagine! Before root canal therapy came along, if you had a tooth with a diseased nerve, chances are you would lose that tooth.

Deep beneath each tooth’s outer shell is an area of soft tissue called the pulp, which carries the tooth’s nerves, veins, arteries and lymph vessels. Root canals are very small, thin divisions that branch off from the top pulp chamber down to the tip of the root. A tooth has between one and four root canals.

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Braces (Orthodontics)

Cosmetic concerns | Comfort | Hygiene | Space Maintainers | Invisalign – an alternative

An orthodontic problem is called a malocclusion or ‘bad bite’. Some examples of causes of malocclusion include crowded teeth, extra teeth, missing teeth or misaligned jaws. Most malocclusions are inherited, although some can be acquired. Acquired malocclusions can be caused by accidents, early or late loss of baby teeth, or thumb-sucking over a long period of time.

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Periodontal Disease (Gum Disease) and Gingivitis

Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is an infection of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth, and a major cause of tooth loss in adults. It most often is caused by bacteria. If left along the gum line, these bacteria can irritate the gums and cause inflammation. The gums begin to bleed and swell, which allow the bacteria even more opportunity to go deeper under the gum line.

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Emergency Care

Rinse the mouth with water and apply a cold compress, or ice wrapped in a cloth. Do not apply heat or aspirin to the sore area.

Fractured teeth
If a tooth is fractured, rinse mouth with warm water and use an ice pack or cold compress to reduce swelling. Use ibuprofen, not aspirin, for pain. Immediately contact your dentist.

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Research has shown that almost everybody has a 95 percent chance of eventually experiencing cavities in the pits and grooves of their teeth. Sealants were developed in the 1950s and first became available commercially in the early 1970s. Sealants work by filling in the crevasses on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. This shuts out food particles that could get caught in the teeth and cause cavities.

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