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Your initial assessment gives you a chance to meet the dental team and discuss any problems or any particular requests you might have.

Your dentist will first discuss your medical history and medical problems you may have, as this may have an affect on your dental treatment.

Your dentist will proceed to carry out a thorough examination of your mouth, this will involve checking all the soft tissues and your teeth and a basic assessment of the gingivae (gums). The soft tissue (cheeks, lips, tongue palate and floor of mouth) are checked as part of a screening for oral cancer as well as other diseases which can manifest in the mouth which you may not be aware of. Also your jaw movements and lymph glands around the head and neck are checked for any abnormalities.

When the dentist checks your teeth he/she will look for any cavities (holes) and any deficiencies in your fillings and crowns (caps). To help in the assessment of your oral health radiographs (x-rays) will be taken which help the dentist identify any further decay or abnormalities present.

For children, regular check-ups are essential to monitor the development and health of their teeth. We can also give parents and children preventative advice regarding good oral hygiene techniques and dietary habits, to maintain a healthy mouth.

Your dentist will then discuss with you the dental treatment options available and agree a treatment plan. Your dentist may also discuss smoking, alcohol consumption and diet as all these affect your mouth and teeth. It is important for adults to have regular dental check ups, even if you have no teeth, as your dentist is able to identify if there is anything abnormal such as oral cancer or other types of disease.

After your check-up please feel free to ask any questions or ask about any treatment options you may have heard of or read about that you feel may be suitable for you.

As part of you dental check an assessment of the general health of your gums will have been performed. Depending on your gum health you may be prescribed a simple routine hygiene appointment or a more in depth series of appointments to get your gums back to their optimum condition.

Gum disease
Gum disease is a result of plaque stagnating around teeth and gums. Plaque consists of food debris and bacteria in a sticky film which is left behind on our teeth every day. If this is not removed by regular toothbrushing it causes irritation to our gums and holes in your teeth. Symptoms of gum disease are: Inflammation/swelling of the gums Bleeding when brushing/eating Bad taste in mouth Bad breath

What happens at a hygiene appointment ?

At your hygiene appointment routine scaling and polishing will be carried out as well practical aspects of how to clean your teeth with the use of floss and interdental brushes.

Stain Removal (Airflow)

Overtime the tooth surface can become stained by food and drinks, such as red wine, black tea and coffee and also cigarettes. The tooth surface can look discoloured, and patient's can feel embarrassed by their smile. Staining can be professsional removed easily leaving the mouth fresh and the tooth surface clean and restored to its natural colour. This advanced polishing technology removes stains from those hard to reach areas such as in between the teeth and within the pits and fissures (crinkles) of the teeth.

Tooth Coloured Fillings

If it is found that you have a cavity or decay (caries) in a tooth or a deficiency with one of your existing restorations (fillings), you will be advised to restore the cavity with either an amalgam (silver) filling or a tooth coloured/white filling. The cost for the different treatment options will be discussed and you can decide on your ideal treatment.

What is the difference between silver and white fillings ?

The main difference is the cosmetic appearance (aesthetics), the two materials are now very similar in longevity and strength. For situations where a cavity is small or medium sized on front or back teeth, an adhesive tooth coloured filling may be the ideal choice. Amalgam (silver) fillings are suited to larger sized cavities on back teeth but can also be used for small & medium sized fillings on back teeth. If you would prefer a tooth coloured filling in a larger cavity you may be advised to consider an inlay/onlay.

Amalgam fillings are silver in colour and are composed of mercury, silver, tin and other metals. Unlike white filling materials, amalgam does not bond or stick to teeth and relies on there being enough tooth to hold the filling in.

White fillings (tooth coloured fillings) are a more modern dental material and these can bond to tooth material and match the colour, texture and shape of your teeth.

What will happen during my filling appointment - will it hurt ?

With the use of special anaesthetic gels and dental anaethetics to numb your tooth, every effort is made to ensure there is no discomfort during your dental treatment session. The decay or old filling is painlessly removed, the tooth prepared to accept the filling and the restoration is placed and shaped using the latest bonding tehcniques and tooth coloured materials (if a cosmetic option is chosen).

What happens during an extraction ?

Sometimes a tooth needs to be taken out due to decay, gum disease, trauma or as part of straightening teeth (orthodontics).

Your dentist will anaesthetise (numb) the area using special anaesthetic gels and dental anaesthetic, to ensure the tooth and the tissues around it are numb. Prior to commencing with the extraction the area is checked to make sure it is thoroughly numb to ensure you feel no pain. You will not feel any pain during your tooth extraction but you may feel some pressure.

For very decayed teeth or teeth with crooked roots your dentist may have to carry out a surgical procedure in order to remove the tooth and its roots.

Before you leave the practice you will be checked to ensure the area is clean and you will be given verbal & written instructions to help will the healing process.

What are dental implants ?

Dental implants are replacement tooth roots. Implants provide a strong foundation for fixed (permanent) or removable replacement teeth that are made to match your natural teeth.

Dental implants are stronger and more durable than their restorative counterparts (bridges and dentures). Implants offer a permanent solution to tooth loss. Additionally, implants may be used in conjunction with other restorative procedures for maximum effectiveness. For example, a single implant can serve to support a crown replacing a single missing tooth. Implants can also be used to support a dental bridge for the replacement of multiple missing teeth, and can be used with dentures to increase stability and reduce gum tissue irritation.

What Are the Advantages of Dental Implants?

There are many advantages to dental implants, including:

Improved appearance. Dental implants look like your own teeth and because they are designed to fuse with bone, they become permanent.
Improved speech. With poor-fitting dentures, the teeth can slip within the mouth causing you to mumble or slur your words. Dental implants allow you to speak without the worry that your teeth might slip.
Improved comfort. Because they become part of you, implants eliminate the discomfort of removable dentures.
Easier eating. Sliding dentures can make chewing difficult. Dental implants function like your own teeth, allowing you to eat your favorite foods with confidence and without pain.
Improved self-esteem. Dental implants can give you back your smile and help you feel better about yourself.
Improved oral health. Dental implants don't require reducing other teeth, as a tooth-supported bridge does. Because nearby teeth are not altered to support the implant, more of your own teeth are left intact, improving your long-term oral health. Individual implants also allow easier access between teeth, improving oral hygiene.
Durability. Implants are very durable and will last many years. With good care, many implants last a lifetime.
Convenience. Removable dentures are just that; removable. Dental implants eliminate the embarrassing inconvenience of removing your dentures, as well as the need for messy adhesives to keep your dentures in place.

What Is Involved in Getting a Dental Implant ?

The first step in the dental implant process is the development of an individualized treatment plan. The plan addresses your specific needs and is prepared by a team of professionals. This team approach provides coordinated care based on the implant option that is best for you.

Next, the implant, which is a small post made of titanium, is placed into the bone in the area of the missing tooth. As the jawbone heals, it grows around the implanted titanium post, anchoring it securely in the jaw. The healing process can take around 12 weeks.

Once the implant has bonded to the jawbone, a small connector post - called an abutment - is attached to the post to securely hold the new tooth. To make your new tooth or teeth, your dentist makes impressions of your teeth, and creates a model of your bite (which captures all of your teeth, their type, and arrangement). Your new tooth or teeth are based on this model. A replacement tooth, called a crown, is then attached to the abutment. Instead of one or more individual crowns, some patients may have attachments placed on the implant that retain and support a removable denture.

Your dentist also will match the color of your new teeth to your natural teeth. Because the implant is secured within the jawbone, the replacement teeth look, feel, and function just like your own natural teeth.

How Painful Are Dental Implants ?

Most people who have received dental implants say that there is very little discomfort involved in the procedure. Local anesthesia can be used during the procedure, and most patients report that implants involve less pain than a tooth extraction.

After the dental implant, mild soreness can be treated with over-the-counter pain medications.

How do I look after my dental implants ?

The long term success of dental implants depends largely on long term care and maintenance. They require the same care as real teeth, including brushing, flossing, regular dental check-ups and regular visits to the hygienist.

Why do I need Root Canal Treatment (Endodontic Therapy) ?

Teeth are made up three layers:a layer of hard outer coating called enamel; a layer of porous dentine ;and in the middle of teeth there is the pulp which comprises of nerve and blood vessels. These layers extend into the roots of the teeth along thin canals, there are more than one canal in some teeth depending on the number of roots a tooth has. The pulp can become aggravated as a result of either decay or trauma and this causes it to die off resulting in pain, swelling and eventually an abscess.

The dead pulp tissue needs to be removed to prevent the abscess recurring and/or enlarging. The process of removing the pulp and cleaning the canals is called root canal treatment. The alternative to root canal treatment is to extract the affected tooth.

What happens during a root filling ?

During your root canal treatment the tooth will be anaesthetised (numbed up) so you feel no discomfort. The infected pulp is cleaned and the canals of the tooth are disinfected, leaving these canal free from diseased tissue. During your dental appointment you will require radiographs (x-rays) to be taken to aid diagnosis and ensure all the decayed material has been removed.

Once your dentist is happy with the cleaning process, he/she will then fill up the canal space and place a restoration on the completed tooth.

Does a root canal treatment hurt ?

The tooth will be sufficiently anaesthetised to ensure you feel no discomfort during your dental treatment. In some cases where the nerve has become necrotic (dead) you may not require anaesthesia, your dentist will inform you of this at your dental appointment and may require a radiograph (x-ray) to determine this.

What is a crown ?

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped "cap" that is placed over a tooth - covering the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and/or to improve its appearance.The crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth above the gum line.

Crowns are made of various materials including all metal, porcelain-fused-to-metal, all resin, or all ceramic. In more recent times crowns that contain no metal have become more popular due to cosmetic demands. All-ceramic or all-porcelain dental crowns provide the best natural color match than any other crown type and may be more suitable for people with metal allergies. Metal free crowns prevent the dark appearance around the gum line that can happen with porcelain fused to metal crowns.

Why do I need a crown ?

A dental crown may be needed in the following situations:

To protect a weak tooth (for instance, from decay) from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth
To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
After root canal treatment, crowns are used to strengthen the tooth which becomes brittle and prone to fracturing
To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn't a lot of tooth left
To cover miss-shaped or severely discolored teeth
To cover a dental implant

Crowns can be used to improve the aesthetics of your smile, but this should not be your first treatment choice as crowning involves removal of tooth substance. You should discuss with your dental practitioner if you are thinking of crowns to improve your smile.

What happens during a crown preparation appointment ?

Before the process of making your crown is begun, if the tooth is still alive (vital) it will be anaesthetized (numbed). The tooth receiving the crown is filed down along the chewing surface and sides to make room for the crown. The amount removed depends on the type of crown used. If the tooth has had root canal treatment a post may be placed in the root canal to support the crown. If, on the other hand, a large area of the tooth is missing (due to decay or damage), your dentist will use filling material to "build up" a core to support the crown. After reshaping the tooth, your dentist will use impression paste or putty to make an impression of the tooth to receive the crown. Impressions of the teeth above and below the tooth to receive the dental crown will also be made to make sure that the crown will not affect your bite. The impressions are sent to a dental laboratory where the crown will be manufactured. A temporary crown will be placed until the final crown is ready.

At your following dental appointment your temporary crown will be removed and your new crown will be fitted. Your dentist will ensure your bite is correct and that you are happy with the appearance.

What is a dental bridge ?

Missing teeth can be unsightly, cause problems with chewing and lead to drifting of the surrounding and opposing teeth. There are many options for filling spaces including dentures, bridges and implants.

Dental bridges literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth by joining permanently to adjacent teeth or dental implants. A bridge is made up of two anchoring crowns on the teeth on both sides of the missing tooth/teeth (abutments) and a false tooth/teeth in between (pontic). The teeth on either side of gap used as the abutments need to be in good condition as they will support the false tooth.

Why do I need a bridge ?

Bridges can:

Restore your smile
Restore your ability to properly chew and speak
Maintain the shape of your face
Distribute the forces in your bite properly by replacing missing teeth
Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position

There are several types of bridges available and discussion with your dentist will identify the best option for you.

Types of Bridges Fixed-Fixed bridge - This is essentially a false tooth (pontic) fused between two porcelain crowns.

Resin-Bonded bridge - This is also known as a Maryland Bridge and is made up of a false tooth with a metal wing attachment which is bonded to the adjacent tooth. This type of dental bridge is more suitable for areas with lower stresses.

Cantilver bridge - This is a false tooth (pontic) fused to an anchor only on one side. It is again more suited to areas of lower stresses.

What happens at my bridge appointment ?

Before the process of a fixed-fixed or cantilever bridge preparation, if the tooth is still alive (vital) it will be anaesthetized (numbed). The abutment teeth are prepared which involves re-contouring these teeth by filing down along the chewing surface and sides to make room for the crown to be placed over them. Next, impressions of your teeth are made, which serve as a model from which the bridge, pontic, and crowns will be made by a dental laboratory. Following the impressions your dentist will then fit your teeth with either temporary crowns or a temporary bridge.

At the next appointment the old temporaries will be removed and your new bridge will be cemented in. Your dentist will ensure your bite is correct and that you are happy with the appearance.

If you are having a resin bonded bridge you may not need anaesthetic, and your dentist will prepare the adjacent tooth to the gap with a minimally invasive procedure. Impressions will then be taken, along with a shade to match your existing teeth and the impressions sent to the laboratory where your new bridge will be made.

How do I look after my bridge ?

Your dentist will show you how to care and look after your bridge work to keep it at its optimum. Essentially this involved flossing above the false tooth with a special type of floss used for bridges, brushing and regular visits to your hygienist.

What are Dentures ?

A denture (false teeth) is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. Two types of dentures are available - complete and partial dentures. Complete dentures are used when all the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain.

Why should I wear dentures ?

When we lose teeth it can lead to many problems such as loss of support for our cheeks and lips leading to the appearance of a "sunken face" which can have an ageing effect on our appearance and leave many peolpe embarrassed to smile. Loss of teeth can have an affect on our speech and our ability to eat and chew. Not only does a partial denture fill in the spaces created by missing teeth, it prevents other teeth from changing position. Dentures can improve all of these problems and now can look very natural.

What are dentures made of ?

Dentures can be made of acrylic, metal or a flexible material. To find out which material is best for you an appointment with your dentist should be made to discuss your needs.

What happens when dentures are made ?

The denture development process takes about three weeks to 1.5 months and several appointments. Once your dentist determines what type of appliance is best for you, the general steps are to:

Make a series of impressions of your jaw and take measurements of how your jaws relate to one another and how much space is between them.
Create models, wax forms, and/or plastic patterns in the exact shape and position of the denture to be made. You will "try in" this model several times and the denture will be assessed for color, shape, and fit before the final denture is cast.
Cast a final denture
Adjustments will be made as necessary after fitting as your teeth “bed in”.

Immediate dentures are made in advance of tooth extraction This is where an impression is taken prior to tooth extraction and a denture is made and placed immediately when the tooth is. As a result, the wearer does not have to be without teeth during the healing period. However, bones and gums shrink over time, especially during the healing period following tooth removal. Therefore a disadvantage of immediate dentures compared with conventional dentures is that they require more adjustments to fit properly during the healing process and generally should only be considered a temporary solution until conventional dentures can be made.

Denture Hygiene and Maintenance

In order to keep your dentures at their optimum, you need to remove them every night and clean them by brushing and soaking them in water overnight. You can use special denture cleaning tablets if you wish to remove light staining.

It is important to keep your dentures clean as bacteria and fungi can live on your denture and be easily transferred to your gums and surrounding tissues. Do leave your denture out at night as this gives your gums and surrounding tissues a 'rest' and visit your dentist regularly for oral health screening.

What are Fissure Sealants ?

Fissure sealants are plastic coatings which help to protect the deep pits and fissures on the chewing surfaces of back teeth. In certain teeth these pits and fissures can be deep which make these areas difficult to keep clean. Also fissure sealants are sometimes needed when children cannot brush the back teeth properly and food and bacteria are left on the tooth which can lead to tooth decay.

What happens at my fissure sealant appointment ?

The chewing surface of the tooth is cleaned with a special solution to help the sealant bond to the tooth. The tooth is then washed and dried and the sealant placed on the tooth filling the pits and fissures and the sealant is then set hard by a special light.

What are Veneers?

A veneer is a thin layer of material (which can be either porcelain, ceramic or composite bonding material) made to fit over the front surface of a tooth. Veneers can be used to transform crooked, discoloured, stained, damaged or badly worn teeth into a brand new, straight and whiter smile. They are “cemented” to the front surface of teeth to improve their cosmetic appearance. Many dentists use the analogy that dental veneers are for your teeth what false fingernails are for your hands.

The most popular type of veneers is porcelain, which offers a stronger and more durable alternative to its composite counterpart. Ceramic veneers give more strength and improved appearance than porcelain veneers. They are an ideal veneer choice for smile makeovers.

What are veneers used for ?

There are a wide variety of reasons why patients opt for treatment with dental veneers:

Damaged teeth - teeth that have become badly worn through excessive grinding or by fizzy drinks, as well as those that have been chipped or broken, can benefit from veneers. A single damaged tooth can easily be repaired with a porcelain veneer that has the same characteristics and colour as you natural teeth.
Stained teeth - badly stained teeth that cannot be improved by teeth whitening or can be greatly improved by dental veneers.
Gap - spaces or gaps (diastimas) between your teeth can easily be closed using dental veneers, giving you a more uniform-looking smile.
Crooked teeth - Veneers are not the ideal treatment for crooked teeth, orthodontics or Clearstep braces would be an ideal solution from the point of view of preserving your natural teeth. However, braces treatment can take up to a year or longer. For teeth that are not severely crooked, veneers placed over their front surface will give a straight and perfectly aligned-looking smile.

What is the procedure of having dental veneers ?

The first step in the process is the initial consultation and examination, so that the dentist can provide an individualised treatment plan to address your specific needs and concerns. Your dentist will explain the treatment procedure to you and give you an accurate guide to the likely costs of your treatment.

To give you an idea of how your new smile will look before your final veneers are designed, an impression of your teeth can be taken to construct a model of your veneered teeth (diagnostic wax-up).

With the use of special anaesthetic gels and dental anaethetics to numb your tooth, every effort is made to ensure there is no discomfort during your dental treatment session.

Your dentist will then need to reshape and prepare the front surfaces of your teeth so that they can accommodate the veneers. A thin amount of the front surface of your teeth will be removed, this will be equivalent to the thickness of the veneer that will sit over the front of the tooth.

An impression or mould of your prepared teeth is then taken with special dental putty. The impression is sent to the dental laboratory where an accurate model of your teeth is made, which is used as a guide to fabricate your new veneers. This process can take around one week. Temporary veneers may be fitted while you're waiting for your veneers to be fabricated. Not all situations require temporary veneers.

At your next appointment the veneers will be sat over your teeth to see how they look with your smile. The veneers are then cemented into place, and a special curing light is used to activate the dental cement so that it bonds the veneer to your tooth.



Tooth whitening can be a highly effective way of lightening the natural colour of your teeth without removing any of the tooth surfaces. It cannot make a complete colour change; but it will lighten the existing shade.

Why would I need my teeth whitened ?

There are a number of reasons why you might get your teeth whitened. Everyone is different; and just as our hair and skin colour vary, so do our teeth. Very few people have brilliant-white teeth, and our teeth can also become more discoloured as we get older. Your teeth can also be stained on the surface through food and drinks such as tea, coffee, red wine and blackcurrant. Smoking can also stain teeth.

What does tooth whitening involve ?

At Didsbury Family Dental Care we offer a choice of professional take home whitening kits with custom-made trays, “Zoom” in surgery whitening and a combination of both. Both procedures are based on a bleaching process that uses a peroxide-based compound of varying strength. The ‘active ingredient’ in the product is usually hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. As the active ingredient is broken down, oxygen gets into the enamel on the teeth and the tooth colour is made lighter.

During the Zoom in surgery procedure your gums are protected with a rubber shield, and a bleaching product is painted onto your teeth. Then a light or laser is shone on the teeth to activate the chemical. The light speeds up the chemical reaction of the whitening product and the colour change can be achieved more quickly using this procedure. Laser whitening is said to make teeth up to five or six shades lighter.

How much whiter will my teeth look ?

This varies from individual to individual, and also depends on the type of whitening system used. Some people respond very well to teeth whitening and have dramatically whiter teeth as a result, whereas others may notice very little difference at all. Your dentist will be able to advise you on the likely results given your teeth.

How long will my teeth stay whiter ?

The effects of whitening can last up to two years. However, this will vary from person to person. The effect is less likely to last as long if you smoke, or eat or drink products that can stain your teeth. Ask your dentist for their opinion before you start the treatment.

What are the side effects ?

Some people may find that their teeth become sensitive to cold during or after the treatment. Others report discomfort in the gums, a sore throat or white patches on the gum line. These symptoms are usually temporary and should disappear within 24-48 hours of the treatment finishing.

If any of these side effects continue you should go to your dentist.

Content provided by Cosmetic Dentistry Guide

A visit to the dentist can be a daunting experience which some find too much to overcome and some people feel like they will be judged because of the state of their teeth. Here at Didsbury Family Dental Care we understand that for the very nervous and apprehensive person it can be difficult to pluck up the courage to come to the dentist. If our usual warm, friendly and caring approach isn’t enough then you may want to consider having treatment under i.v. sedation.

Who is IV sedation good for ?

Sedation is ideal for people:

who are anxious of coming to the dentist
with a history of bad dental experiences
with a fear of dental treatment
with a severe gag reflex
who are difficult to get numb
who have a fear of needles in the mouth
who are receiving complex treatments or surgery e.g. extractions or implants

After we have discussed your fears and concerns and following an initial examination we can create a personalised plan so that you happy with what we aiming to achieve and arrange an appointment to start reaching your goal.

What happens at the appointment ?

At the start of the appointment we place the i.v. sedation agent either into the back of your hand or front of your arm. We will not start until you are completely relaxed and happy to proceed.

You will be relaxed throughout your appointment and will have little or no memory of the visit. The time you will be sedated will depend on your treatment. Once the appointment is finished you will be allowed to recover before you leave the surgery. You will have to make sure you can be accompanied to and from the practice and must rest on arriving home. After the sedation, on that day you cannot drive, operate machinery or sign any legal documents.