What is Scaling and Polishing
Scaling and polishing, also commonly known as ‘dental cleaning’, is the process of using ultrasonic tools or dental hand instruments to remove dental plaque, calculus and stains which have accumulated on the teeth over time.
Why do I need scaling and polishing?
Dental plaque forms naturally on our teeth, and is often seen as pale yellow in colour. When it is not removed completely, the dental plaque will become thicker as more bacteria are being built up.

If this is allowed to continue, the dental plaque will harden and form dental calculus. Once formed, dental calculus cannot be removed with just toothbrushing, and can only be removed by a dental professional during scaling and polishing.

The prolonged presence of dental plaque and calculus, could lead to periodontal (gum) disease.
What are the signs and symptoms of periodontal (gum) disease?
Gingivitis is the mild, reversible form of periodontal disease which can manifest as:
  • bleeding gums when brushing your teeth or flossing
  • red, tender and swollen gums
  • constant bad breath
Persistent gingivitis may lead to a more severe and irreversible form called periodontitis. If periodontitis is left untreated, the disease could cause:
  • changes in the position of your teeth or loose teeth.
  • receding gums and loss of the underlying bone supporting the teeth
  • pain when chewing
  • foul taste in your mouth
  • loss of tooth.
How do I maintain my oral health and prevent gum disease?
It is recommended that you go for your routine dental checkup and dental cleaning, at least once or twice a year. The routine dental checkup will allow your dentist or dental hygienist to detect and manage any potential oral diseases. They will also be able to ensure that your oral hygiene is good.
You should also maintain good oral hygiene at home with proper and regular toothbrushing and interdental cleaning. So be sure to ask your dentist and hygienist for the best tips on how to improve your oral care, and tips on keeping you free from periodontal disease. Be sure to inform them of any serious illnesses or long-term medications which you are taking, as they may be contributing factors to your gum disease.
What is Tooth Filling
Tooth fillings are done by dentists to repair a tooth affected by decay or trauma.
What are the types of dental fillings?
Dental fillings are also known as direct restoration, where the dentist repairs the tooth chair-side in a single visit. They are done on cavities using materials such as amalgam or resin composite.
Why do I need dental fillings?
It is important to treat dental cavities by having them filled. This is because if cavities are left untreated, it may cause further structural damage, or lead to nerve inflammation, which might require root canal treatment.
Whereas if a tooth is damaged due to trauma, dental fillings may be able to restore its functions and aesthetics.
How is a dental filling done?
Once the dentist has decided which type of filling is suitable, they will first ensure that the tooth structure is cleared of decay. In a direct restoration, the dentist may use chemicals to help bond the material of choice to the tooth structure.

The filling is then placed in increments, in its original soft consistency, which then a blue wavelength light is used to help the material harden.

With an indirect restoration, the dentist will prepare the tooth to retain the chosen base material. They will then record impressions of the teeth, which gives the dental technician information on how to customise the restoration to suit the patient. The custom made restoration is then sent back to the dentist, who will cement the final product in the patient’s mouth.
What is Tooth Extraction
Tooth extraction is the removal of a tooth from its socket in the bone. If a tooth has been broken or damaged by decay, your dentist will try to fix it with a filling, crown or other treatment. Occasionally, there has been too much damage to the tooth that it cannot be repaired. In this case, the tooth will need to be extracted. A very loose tooth also will require extraction if it cannot be saved, even with bone regeneration surgery (bone graft).
What are wisdom teeth?
Adults can have up to four wisdom teeth, two in the corners of the upper and lower jaw respectively. The wisdom teeth are the last to erupt into the oral cavity, usually between the age of 16 to early 20s. If they erupt into the correct alignment, they can be functional by helping with chewing.

However, there are times where the wisdom teeth do not erupt in the correct orientation due to space constraints. The result is a wisdom tooth that is trapped fully or partially within the jaw. There may also be instances where the impacted tooth is partially covered by the gum, which can trap food and accumulate bacteria.
Why do I need to remove my wisdom teeth?
Impacted wisdom teeth usually sit in an angled position, which could cause food traps between the wisdom tooth and the second molar in front of it. Constant food traps might increase the chances of decay forming, which could also affect the adjacent molar.
In cases where the wisdom tooth lies partially beneath the gum, the collection of food and bacteria, could lead to pain and swelling around the area. This can be managed with medication and cleaning, but in persistent cases, it may be advised to have the tooth surgically removed.
How is my wisdom teeth removed?
In order to remove the wisdom tooth, your dentist will first need a full mouth x-ray (i.e. the upper and lower jaws). This will help to determine the position of the wisdom tooth in question.

During the wisdom tooth surgery, local anesthetic will be administered to help make the procedure as painless and comfortable as possible.

After the procedure, you would need a few days to rest and recover. Your dentist will provide you with medication and antiseptic mouthwash to prevent pain and infection. In addition, you would be advised to follow a soft diet, and practice gentle cleaning on the surgical site. There will be an appointment scheduled a week later with your dentist, to review the extraction site.
What is Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment is a procedure that involves the removal of the damaged or inflamed nerves from a tooth. It is then followed by cleaning and removal of bacteria from the nerve canal, before placing a root filling to restore it.
Why do I need root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment is aimed to relieve the toothache by removing the nerve and blood supply of the affected tooth, and eliminating any infection in the canals. With a local anesthetic, the treatment is often painless. After the final restoration, the tooth will be able to function like any other tooth.
What are the causes of nerve inflammation or infection?
The usual causes of nerve inflammation or infection are tooth decay, gum disease, tooth fracture, cracked tooth, trauma or previous extensive dental work.

Occasionally, the nerve inside a tooth may become inflamed or infected. This often results in pain in the form of a toothache. In cases where the tooth is left untreated for a period of time, an infection in the form abscess may appear.
How is a root canal treatment performed?
Before the procedure, your dentist will take an X-ray of the tooth to examine the shape and length of the nerve canal. After which, local anesthetic is administered. Root canal treatment is sometimes done over multiple visits.

Once the nerve canal is cleaned, your dentist will fill the canal with a biocompatible material to seal it off. After that, a crown may be needed to protect the remaining tooth structure, and allow it to function normally.
What is a Mouthguard
A mouthguard is a covering worn over teeth to protect them from injury resulting from tooth grinding or physical injury during sports.
What are mouthguards made of?
Mouthguards are made from various materials depending on the thickness required.
Why do I need a mouthguard?
Bruxism, also known as teeth grinding. It is a habit that many individuals have, but may not be aware of. Some patients with bruxism may feel pain in the jaw joints, and experience headaches. Over a period of time, the teeth may appear worn down and flat, and may chip in some areas, causing aesthetic concerns. Grinding the teeth down to the dentine layer of the teeth, could also cause tooth hypersensitivity.

A nightguard is a protective mouthguard worn at night to prevent teeth grinding; and reduces damage to the teeth.

Sports mouthguards are used to protect the user’s teeth from the impact that results from playing certain sports. They act as a shock absorber to the face and jaw, and help to limit the risk of injuries to the teeth, lips, tongue and soft tissues of the mouth.
How are mouthguards made?
Your dentist will prescribe a custom-fitted mouthguard. These are preferable to prefabricated (i.e. over-the-counter) mouth guards, which may be ill-fitting. To customise your mouthguard, you would need to schedule 2 visits. The first visit involves taking an impression of your teeth to fabricate the mouthguard. On the second visit, you would be given the custom-fitted mouthguard to use.
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