General Dental Treatment

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General Dental Treatment

Scaling & Polishing

Your dentist or hygienist will use a ‘scale and polish’ when your teeth require a thorough clean to remove all traces of plaque and tartar. Scaling is used to remove the hard tartar on your teeth, which cannot be removed by simply brushing your teeth. The polishing stage helps to clean away stains from your teeth, which may have been caused by coffee, tea or red wine. If you have gum disease, you will require a deeper scaling which is called ‘root planing’. As this treatment cleans all around the roots of the teeth, your dentist or hygienist may discuss the option of giving you a local anaesthetic, so that it does not feel too sensitive and uncomfortable.


Having a regular ‘scale and polish’ will help you maintain healthy teeth and gums and it will make it easier for you to keep them clean at home. As this procedure will thoroughly clean your teeth, they will look and feel different too. If your gums bleed when you brush your teeth, this may be the early signs of gum disease and you should tell your dentist. By visiting your dentist or hygienist for regular scaling, this can help prevent gum disease from getting worse. This will also prevent bad breath, which may be caused by gum disease.


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General Dental Treatment


A dental restoration or dental filling is a dental restorative material used artificially to restore the function, integrity and morphology of missing tooth structure. The structural loss typically results from caries or external trauma. Dental restorations may be fabricated out of a variety of materials such as dental amalgam, glass ionomer cement and composite resins.

Several factors influence the performance, durability, longevity and cost of dental restorations. These factors include: the patient’s oral and general health, the components used in the filling material; where and how the filling is placed; the chewing load that the tooth will have to bear; and the length and number of visits needed to prepare and adjust the restored tooth.


A dental extraction, sometimes referred to as exodontia, is the removal of a tooth from the mouth. Extractions are performed for a wide variety of reasons, including tooth decay that has destroyed enough tooth structure to prevent restoration. Extractions of impacted or problematic wisdom teeth are also routinely performed, as are extractions of some permanent teeth to make space for orthodontic treatment.

What should you expect when you are scheduled for a tooth extraction?Your dentist will numb the area to lessen any discomfort. After the extraction, your dentist will advise you of what post extraction regimen to follow, in most cases a small amount of bleeding is normal. Avoid anything that might prevent normal healing. It is usually best not to smoke or rinse your mouth vigorously, or drink through a straw for 24 hours. These activities could dislodge the clot and delay healing.For the first few days, if you must rinse, rinse your mouth gently afterward. For pain or swelling, you can apply a cold cloth or an ice bag. Ask your dentist about pain medication. You can brush and floss the other teeth as usual but do not clean the teeth next to the tooth socket.
Tooth Extraction

Teeth Grinding

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Teeth Grinding is usually caused by a combination of Dental and Psychological factors. Dental factors include Malocclusion (misalignment of teeth) and Occlusal interference (interference when biting). Psychological factors include stress, tension, anxiety, anger etc.

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The grinding of teeth is very similar to our chewing action. The act of chewing is actually quite a complex action, involving our muscles of mastication (muscles controlling chewing), our teeth, our Tempuro Mandibular Joint (TMJ), our tongue etc. Chewing is controlled by both reflex actions and active conscious control by our brain. At night during sleep, our higher control by our brain is inactive and in highly stressed individuals their reflex part is still active and this leads to involuntary grinding of the teeth.

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Unfortunately many patients do not even know that they have a grinding problem. It is only when they complain about the consequences of teeth grinding that the problem is diagnosed.

Consequences of grinding include:

  • Broken restorations (like fillings, crowns, bridgework or veneers);
  • Excessive wear or damage to the teeth;
  • Pain around the neck, cheek or temple region;
  • Pain around the Tempuro Mandibular Joint (TMJ).

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Many times it is the spouse or sleeping companion/partner that notices the grinding sound before the sufferer even realises he/she has the problem. This grinding sound can sometimes be really loud.

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Treatment involves both dealing with the dental and psychological/emotional problems, as follows:

  • A proper examination and diagnosis including questions about stress or anxiety that the patient may be feeling due to problems at work, at home, or with relationships etc.
  • Usually a splint is used to relieve the immediate signs and symptoms.
  • For long term solution, dental problems may have to be rectified by replacing restorations and missing teeth, correcting occlusal problems with fillings or crowns. In some cases it may even include correcting malocclusion with braces.
  • For complex cases they are best managed by a Prosthodontist (a dental specialist whose expertise is in restoring dentition and TMJ)
  • Patients may also be referred for counselling to resolve their stress/anxiety or emotional problems.


“The above information is provided by Dr Raymond Ang, a dental surgeon of Q & M Dental Group.”


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FAQ after Dental Extractions

  1. I’ve had my tooth out – what should I do now?

    Take it easy for the rest of the day. Take as little exercise as you can, and rest as much as you can. Keep your head up to avoid any bleeding.

  2. What precautions should I take?

    Avoid hot food or drinks until the anaesthetic wears off. This is important as you cannot feel pain properly and may burn or scald your mouth. Also be careful not to chew your cheek. This is quite a common problem, which can happen when there is no feeling. If you do rest, try to keep your head higher for the first night using an extra pillow if possible. It is also a good idea to use an old pillowcase, or put a towel on the pillow, in case you bleed a little.

  3. Should I rinse my mouth out?

    Do not be tempted to rinse the area for the first 24 hours. It is important to allow the socket to heal, and you must be careful not to damage the blood clot by eating on that side or letting your tongue disturb it. This can allow infection into the socket and affect healing.

  4. Is there anything else I should avoid?

    Avoid alcohol for at least 24 hours, as this can encourage bleeding and delay healing. Eat and drink lukewarm food as normal but avoid chewing on that area of your mouth.

  5. When should I brush?

    It is just as important, if not more so, to keep your mouth clean after an extraction. However, you do need to be careful around the extraction site.

  6. What do I do if it bleeds?

    First thing to remember is that there may be some slight bleeding for the first day or so. Many people are concerned about the amount of bleeding. This is due to the fact that a small amount of blood is mixed with a larger amount of saliva, which looks more dramatic than it is. If you do notice bleeding, do not rinse out, but apply pressure to the socket. Bite firmly on a piece of sterile gauze for at least 15 minutes. Make sure this is placed directly over the extraction site and that the gauze is replaced if necessary. If the bleeding has not stopped after an hour or two, please contact your dentist.

  7. If I am in pain, what should I take?

    There will usually be some tenderness in the area for the first few days, and in most cases some simple pain relief is enough to ease the discomfort. What you would normally take for a headache should be enough. However, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and if in doubt check with your doctor first. Do not take aspirin, as this will make your mouth bleed.

  8. If I am still in pain, what could it be?

    Sometimes an infection can get in the socket, which can be very painful. This is where there is little or no blood clot in the tooth socket and the bony socket walls are exposed and become infected. This is called a dry socket and in some cases is worse than the original toothache! In this case, it is important to see your dentist, who may place a dressing in the socket and prescribe a course of antibiotics to help relieve the infection. You may also feel the sharp edge of the socket with your tongue and sometimes small pieces of bone may work their way to the surface of the socket. This is perfectly normal.

  9. Will my dentist need to see me again?

    If it has been a particularly difficult extraction, the dentist will give you a follow-up appointment. This could be to remove any stitches that were needed, or simply to check the area is healing well.

“The above information is provided by Dr Raymond Ang, a dental surgeon of Q & M Dental Group.”

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