• What is a cavity?

    A Cavity. That’s the word no one wants to hear at the dentist’s office. A cavity (say: ka-vuh-tee) develops when a tooth decays (say: dih-kaze), or breaks down. A cavity is a hole that can grow bigger and deeper over time. Cavities are also called dental caries (say: kar-eez), and if you have a cavity, it’s important to get it repaired.

  • What is Flossing?

    Dental floss is made of either a bundle of thin nylon filaments or a plastic (Teflon or polyethylene) or a silk ribbon used to remove food and dental plaque from teeth. The floss is gently inserted between the teeth and scraped along the teeth sides, especially close to the gums. Dental floss may be flavored or unflavored, and waxed or unwaxed. An alternative tool to achieve the same effect is the interdental brush.

    A review of trials concluded that flossing in addition to toothbrushing reduces gingivitis compared to toothbrushing alone.[1] In this review, researchers found “some evidence from twelve studies that flossing in addition to toothbrushing reduces gingivitis compared to toothbrushing alone” but only discovered “weak, very unreliable evidence from 10 studies that flossing plus toothbrushing may be associated with a small reduction in plaque at 1 and 3 months.”

  • What is a Bridge?

    A bridge, also known as a fixed partial denture, is a dental restoration used to replace a missing tooth by joining permanently to adjacent teeth or dental implants.
    Types of bridges may vary, depending upon how they are fabricated and the way they anchor to the adjacent teeth. Conventionally, bridges are made using the indirect method of restoration. However, bridges can be fabricated directly in the mouth using such materials as composite resin.
    A bridge is fabricated by reducing the teeth on either side of the missing tooth or teeth by a preparation pattern determined by the location of the teeth and by the material from which the bridge is fabricated. In other words, the abutment teeth are reduced in size to accommodate the material to be used to restore the size and shape of the original teeth in a correct alignment and contact with the opposing teeth. The dimensions of the bridge are defined by Ante’s Law: “The root surface area of the abutment teeth has to equal or surpass that of the teeth being replaced with pontics”.[1]
    The materials used for the bridges include gold, porcelain fused to metal, or in the correct situation porcelain alone. The amount and type of reduction done to the abutment teeth varies slightly with the different materials used. The recipient of such a bridge must be careful to clean well under this prosthesis.
    When restoring an edentulous space with a fixed partial denture that will crown the teeth adjacent to the space and bridge the gap with a pontic, or “dummy tooth”, the restoration is referred to as a bridge. Besides all of the preceding information that concerns single-unit crowns, bridges possess a few additional considerations when it comes to case selection and treatment planning, tooth preparation and restoration fabrication.

  • What is a Root Canal?

    A root canal is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or becomes infected. During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. Without treatment, the tissue surrounding the tooth will become infected and abscesses may form.

    “Root canal” is the term used to describe the natural cavity within the center of the tooth. The pulp or pulp chamber is the soft area within the root canal. The tooth’s nerve lies within the root canal.

    A tooth’s nerve is not vitally important to a tooth’s health and function after the tooth has emerged through the gums. Its only function is sensory — to provide the sensation of hot or cold. The presence or absence of a nerve will not affect the day-to-day functioning of the tooth.

  • Dental plaque

    Dental plaque is a biofilm, usually a pale yellow, that develops naturally on the teeth. Like any biofilm, dental plaque is formed by colonizing bacteria trying to attach themselves to a smooth surface (of a tooth)[1]. It has been also speculated that plaque forms part of the defense systems of the host by helping to prevent colonization by microorganisms which may be pathogenic[2].
    The oral cavity contains the only known anatomical aspect of the human body that does not have a regulated system of shedding surfaces: the teeth. This allows a numerous amount of microorganisms to adhere to the surface of teeth for long periods of time[3]. These multiple species of bacteria become dental biofilm. Dental biofilm, more commonly referred to as dental plaque, is composed of about a thousand bacteria that take part in the complex ecosystems of the mouth. The natural, non-frequent regulation of tooth shedding plays a large role in making dental biofilm the most diverse biofilm in the human body despite the relatively small size of the teeth.
    The human oral cavity is also called the human oral microbiome. This is because the human oral cavity can contain several environments at a given moment that could vary from tooth to tooth [4] . Additionally it has been estimated that the number of bacteria that reside in the mouth is about 25,000 species of bacteria [5]. This is in contrast to the previously estimated 700+ species [6]. Studies have found that out of the 25,000 species that exist in the oral cavity, about 1000 species can exist as part of the dental biofilm ecosystem [7]. This is also in contrast to the previous estimated 500+ species as part of the dental biofilm [8]. These 1,000 species have the ability to change their environment through a series of biotic relationships.
    At first, the biofilm is soft enough to come off by using finger nail. However, it starts to harden within 48 hours, and in about 10 days the plaque becomes dental calculus (tartar) hard and difficult to remove.[citation needed]
    Dental plaque can give rise to dental caries (tooth decay)—the localised destruction of the tissues of the tooth by acid produced from the bacterial degradation of fermentable sugars[2]—and periodontal problems such as gingivitis and chronic periodontitis.