SERVICES

At Gateway Dental, based in Umhlanga Ridge Durban, we offer the full spectrum of Basic Dental Treatments, as well as smile-enhancing Cosmetic Procedures.

Root Canal TreatmentCrownsVeneersBridgesDenturesDental CleaningTeeth WhiteningDental ImplantsReplace Metal FillingsSedation OptionsPainless Injection SystemChild-friendlyMagnificationExtractionsFillingsCore Build-upsRoot PlaningInlays/Onlays

ROOT CANAL TREATMENT

Are you suffering with any of these signs or symptoms:

  • Sensitivity to hot & cold food or drink?
  • Throbbing ache, pain when chewing, pain that wakes you up at night?
  • Abscess (gumboil), a large deep cavity in your tooth?

This may mean that you require a root canal treatment.

DEFINITION

Root canal treatment is a sequence of treatments for the nerve of a tooth which results in the elimination of infection and protection of the decontaminated tooth from future infection.

Endodontic therapy involves the removal of the nerve tissue and blood vessels. Cleaning, and decontamination of the teeth using tiny files and filling of the decontaminated canals.

Root canal dental treatment

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING THE PROCEDURE

Dental rubber dam used during root canal treatmentRoot canal treatment is done over two or three appointments of one hour each. After the root canal treatment the tooth will require a crown leaving insufficient tooth structure remaining to restore the tooth with a filling. If a crown is not placed on the tooth it is a high risk to fracture.

During the root canal treatment you should not experience any pain as the tooth will be numb. The tooth will be isolated from the rest of the mouth using rubber dam (a green rubbery sheet). Small files will be used to clean and shape the root canal. Root canal treatment is a very accurate and technical procedure.

Multiple x-rays will be taken during the appointment and between appointments a temporary filling will be placed in the tooth.

Occasionally a root canal treatment can be done over three appointments if the tooth is very symptomatic and infection is still present. An antibiotic script will be given in most instances.

WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER TREATMENT

After the first appointment, the tooth might be slightly tender but the symptoms will settle down. Most patients experience a lot of relief from the tooth ache they initially experience.

Pain killers such as Myprodol, Mybulen, Genpain etc. can be used if necessary.

After a root canal treatment, your lips and gums may remain numb for a few hours until the anaesthetic wears off.

CROWNS

Do you have a broken or fractured tooth, root canal treated tooth, or a tooth with a large filling? This tooth may require a crown.

Crowns are used for teeth with compromised tooth structure and can also be used for cosmetic reasons to enhance your smile.

DEFINITION

Dental CrownA crown is a type of dental restoration which completely caps or encircles a tooth or dental implant.

Crowns may be required because of broken down old fillings, fractured, chipped or sensitive teeth. Crowns are also used to improve the appearance of natural teeth.

Crowns are made of natural looking porcelain and are made to improve your overall smile and to blend in with your own teeth.

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING THE TREATMENT

Crowns are done under local anaesthetic, therefore no pain or sensitivity will be experienced during the appointment. The tooth is prepared by removing enamel and some dentine. A scan of the tooth is then done and the crown is manufactured using CAD/CAM technology (Computer-Aided Design/Manufacturing technology).

The crown is made from a block of ceramic and fitted shortly after the teeth are re-shaped down. Therefore the treatment is carried out in one visit only. This eliminates the need for a second appointment as well as impressions and a temporary crown.

WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER THE TREATMENT

The local anaesthetic will take a few hours to wear off. There won’t be any pain after the procedure as only the enamel and some dentine of the teeth are removed. Occasionally sensitivity can be experienced. Further adjustments can be done to the crown or opposing teeth if the bite feels uncomfortable after the anaesthetic wears off.

VENEERS

Would you like to improve your smile? Do you have misaligned or discoloured teeth? Veneers are a great way to enhance your natural smile without removing a lot of your natural tooth structure.

DEFINITION

Dental veneersDental veneers are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve your appearance. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth changing their colour, shape, size, or length.

Dental veneers can be made from porcelain or from resin composite materials. Porcelain veneers resist stains better than resin veneers and better mimic the light reflecting properties of natural teeth. Resin veneers are thinner and require removal of less of the tooth surface before placement. A discussion for the best choice of veneer material will be conducted with your dentist.

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING TREATMENT

Veneers may be done over one or two appointments. The teeth are prepped (filed down) on the front surface and scanned to the computer. The dentist will then design the new veneers, changing different aspects of the patient’s teeth. The veneers are then milled (sculpted) from individual, full-porcelain blocks. The final stage involves cementing these veneers.

WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER TREATMENT

Your dentist may schedule a follow-up visit a few weeks after the procedure to be sure that the veneers don’t require any additional adjustments.

Follow your regular oral hygiene routine of twice-daily tooth brushing and daily flossing as you normally would. It is also important to keep to your six monthly check-up and cleaning visits.

THE REASON FOR PLACEMENT OF VENEERS

Veneers are routinely used to fix:

  • Teeth that are discoloured
  • Teeth that are worn down
  • Teeth that are chipped or broken
  • Teeth that are misaligned, uneven, or irregularly shaped
  • Teeth with gaps between them

BRIDGES

Dental bridgeAre you missing a tooth that you would like to replace with a fixed option? A bridge is a predictable and cosmetic option to close a gap.

DEFINITION

A bridge is also known as a dental restoration used to replace a missing tooth by joining permanently to adjacent teeth.

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING TREATMENT

Bridge preparations are done under local anaesthetic, so you will not experience any pain. Some bridges can be done the same day. Bridges have to made by the laboratory and done over two appointments. The first appointment entails preparing the adjacent teeth, taking impressions and making a temporary bridge which covers and protects the teeth until the bridge is manufactured by the lab.

WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER TREATMENT

The local anaesthetic will take a few hours to wear off. Only the enamel and some dentine of the teeth are removed. There should not be any pain after the procedure. Occasionally sensitivity can be experienced. Further adjustments can be done to the bridge or opposing teeth if the bite feels uncomfortable after the anaesthetic wears off.

CONSEQUENCES IF LEFT UNTREATED

If the space isn’t restored this will result in drifting of the adjacent teeth and over-eruption of the opposing teeth. The opposing tooth may over-erupt to such a point where it may need to be extracted.

Drifting and over-erupting of teeth

DENTURES

If you’re missing multiple teeth and would like to replace them with a removable, cost effective option, then a denture may be the treatment for you. Dentures are also known as false teeth.

There are 2 types of dentures: acrylic and chrome-cobalt.

ACRYLIC DENTURES

Acrylic denturesAn acrylic denture is also known as false teeth.

A denture is a removable appliance which means it should be removed at night and after meals to be cleaned.

CHROME-COBALT DENTURES

Chrome cobalt denturesA chrome cobalt denture is a removable appliance which means it should be removed at night and after meals to be cleaned.

This type of denture has a metal frame work which makes it a lot stronger than an acrylic (plastic) denture. It also has clasps and rests which improves the retention, support and stability of the denture.

An upper chrome cobalt denture has less material on the palate which makes it more comfortable, especially in terms of speech.

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING TREATMENT

This is done over four short appointments.

  1. First appointment: Involves taking upper and lower primary impressions (shape and structure of upper and lower jaw line).
  2. Second appointment: Entails taking a bite mould with wax and final impressions with trays made especially for your mouth.
  3. Third appointment: A try-in of the teeth set up in wax will be done. Thereafter if you are happy with the denture then it will be sent back to the lab to be completed.
  4. Fourth appointment: Delivery of the denture.

WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER TREATMENT

It will take some time to adjust if this is your first denture. Initially eating may be a bit difficult and your speech may be slightly affected – exercises like reading aloud will correct this. If you have had a denture for some time prior to this, it will still require some adjustment to your new denture.

HOW TO CLEAN DENTURES DAILY

Conventional toothpaste is not suitable for cleaning dentures as it can abrade and permanently damage your dentures. Instead you should use one of the many denture cleaners available. To remove food debris, we recommend you use a cream or gel with a special denture brush.

Clean all the surfaces of your dentures, including the surface which comes into contact with your gums. This is especially important if you use any kind of denture adhesives, which need to be removed daily. Then soak your dentures in a specialist solution to keep them fresh. Never use bleach or boiling water to clean your dentures.

DENTAL CLEANING

Dental cleaningWhen last did you have your teeth professionally cleaned? A scale and polish should be done at least every six months to prevent gum and bone disease. Plaque and tartar are removed from the surface of the teeth during a cleaning.

DEFINITION

It is the removal of stains, plaque and calculus (tartar) from the surface of the teeth. A cleaning should be done every six months.

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING TREATMENT

An ultrasonic scaler is used, which works by ultrasonic vibrations and the use of water to remove deposits. The scale and polish is a pain free procedure. Patients with sensitive teeth may experience slight discomfort with the cold water used.

WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER TREATMENT

Occasionally if there is gum recession then there can be some sensitivity experienced.

CONSEQUENCES IF LEFT UNTREATED

  • Gums become swollen and bleed
  • Bad breath
  • Gums receed
  • Gum disease

TEETH WHITENING

Certain food and drink intakes such as coffee and tea are part of our daily diet but causes yellow staining of our teeth. Teeth whitening/bleaching is a simple, conservative and cost effective way to brighten up your smile.

DEFINITION

Teeth WhiteningMany factors, including dietary habits (drinking coffee, tea, soda and red wine) and certain medications, affect the whiteness of your smile. Teeth whitening is an affordable and effective way to combat common causes of tooth discolouration, while boosting your self-confidence and improving your appearance. We offer an internationally renowned product known as BriteSmile to our teeth whitening patients.

SAFE

BriteSmile Take Home Whitening Gels are only available from your dentist who will supervise your treatment from initial consultation through to completion. The sticky, viscous gel won’t migrate to gums, and most formulations include Potassium Fluoride (PF), which helps to decrease sensitivity.

CUSTOMIZED

BriteSmile Take Home Whitening Gels are used with customized bleaching trays. Your dentist will create this tray from an impression, hence this customization is part of why BriteSmile Take Home Whitening Gels are very effective.

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING TREATMENT

First appointment: Upper and lower impressions will be taken of your mouth. You will also have a full consultation and cleaning done during this appointment. The consultation is necessary to note any treatment required prior to bleaching. The cleaning is also vital as you will then experience an even result with the bleaching process.

Second appointment: You will be given bleaching trays, a bleaching kit and the dental practitioner will explain how to carry out the home bleaching.

DENTAL IMPLANTS

Replace an individual missing tooth with a long term option that does not need to be fixed to the teeth on either side of the gap.

DEFINITION

Dental implantAn implant is a “root” device, usually made of titanium to support restorations that resemble a tooth or group of teeth and the main function is to replace missing teeth.

They appear similar to an actual tooth root and are placed within the bone. The bone of the jaw accepts and fuses with the implant.

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING TREATMENT

Placing an implant is a surgical procedure which is under local anaesthetic. No pain should be experienced during the procedure. Placement of the implant should be an uneventful and comfortable procedure.

WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER TREATMENT

Single implant placement in areas of well-healed bone can often require no downtime, with patients returning to routine activity immediately. Some mild pain can be expected as this is associated with the healing process.

Dental implant bridge

REPLACEMENT OF METAL FILLINGS

Replace metal fillingsHave you considered replacing those old mercury-contained metal fillings with a more natural-looking, long-term solution? Composite fillings are both healthier and more cosmetically appealing.

WHEN SHOULD METAL FILLINGS BE REPLACED?

That depends on the reason for your dentist’s recommendation. It is important to replace your metal dental fillings if they are defective or show decay. Replacing metal dental fillings may benefit the long-term health of the tooth.

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING TREATMENT

When having fillings replaced, the first step is to numb the patient up. Once you are sufficiently numb, the dentist will remove the
old metal filling and any infected tooth structure. The tooth will then be filled with a tooth-coloured material. Either resin,
composite or porcelain depending on how much tooth structure is remaining.

WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER TREATMENT

Occasionally with porcelain restorations adjustments to the bite may be required.

CONSEQUENCES IF LEFT UNTREATED

It is important to start treatment before tooth decay becomes worse. More severe decay may cause pain and tooth loss and may require a crown, a root canal or tooth removal (extraction).

STAGES OF TOOTH DECAY

Stages of tooth decay

FORMS OF SEDATION

Are you nervous about your dental visit? There are various sedation options available to make your visit more comfortable. You sleep, we treat.

CONSCIOUS SEDATION

All conscious sedation procedures are performed by a qualified anaesthetist at our practice.

Benefits:

  • No hospital admission
  • No hospital costs
  • Can have a lot of work done in one session
  • Avoid repeated visits to the dentist
  • Excellent for nervous or anxious patients

Read more about Conscious Sedation in our FAQ.

NITROUS OXIDE

Nitrous oxide dental sedationNitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas. It is used in surgery and dentistry for its calming effects.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF NITROUS OXIDE?

  • Nitrous oxide works very rapidly.
  • The depth of sedation can be altered from moment to moment.
  • There’s no “after” effect – the gas is eliminated from the body within 3 to 5 minutes after the gas supply is stopped.
  • The administrator has absolute control over the action of the drug, preventing the possibility of accidental overdoses.
  • For certain procedures – those involving gums rather than teeth (e.g. deep cleaning) – it may be possible to use nitrous instead of local anaesthesia. N2O acts as a painkiller on soft tissues such as gums.

WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER TREATMENT

As your dental treatment comes to an end, the nitrous oxide level will be slowly reduced until only oxygen is being inhaled, during this time the effects of the nitrous oxide will start to wear off. You will be able to drive and return to work/home.

DENTAL WAND

dental-wandThe Wand is essentially a computer-controlled dental injection. This means that the injection is guaranteed to be slow and steady. It is referred to as the Dental Wand because a lot of people with needle phobia describe it as their “Magic Wand”.

Most people who have had a bad experience with injections think that needles sting because the skin is pierced, but this is not the case. The sting was caused because the anesthetic was injected in too quickly. This can be very reassuring for people with previous bad experiences.

WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER TREATMENT

You might not even know that you have had an injection. Some patients say, “It’s the best shot I ever had”. Your dentist might choose to only make one tooth numb therefore you can return to your routine after treatment.

CHILD FRIENDLY SERVICE

Child-friendly Dental ServicesChildren no longer have to fear their dental visits. There are dedicated dental practitioners who adopt certain methods to make the child feel comfortable. If your child sees the dentist from an early age, this will prevent future dental problems in adulthood.

DENTAL TREATMENT FOR CHILDREN OF ALL AGES

Child friendly dentistry is one of our priorities at Gateway Dental. Your child should have their first dental visit by the age of one as during this time their teeth start appearing. Thereafter they should come every six months for their routine check-ups.

The importance of bringing your child regularly for a dental check-up is to allow the dentist and child to form a relationship based on trust and allow the child to feel comfortable and safe to undergo any treatment. Your child will be introduced to the dental environment.

It is always better to allow your child to visit the dentist for a check-up and polishing and not only when they experience pain. Every child responds differently to dental treatment, so when we have the opportunity to meet your child we can determine which behavioural strategy we should use to suit your child’s unique personality.

The various strategies that we use at the Practice are:

  1. “Tell-show-do”: this entails a verbal explanation, followed by a demonstration and then the child allows us to perform the procedure.
  2. “De-sensitisation”: slowly introduce the child to each procedure in order of least fear inducing. For example – start with check-up, followed up with polishing, then fillings and extractions.
  3. “Positive re-enforcement”: encouraging the child and giving them positive feedback during the procedure.
  4. “Modelling”: allowing your child to watch while you have your check-up done, or an older sibling etc.
  5. “Alternative techniques”: voice control, flexible authority – allow the child to lift their hand when he would like a rest – and distraction.

Usually multiple strategies can be used during a single appointment.

At Gateway Dental we have a screen on the ceiling to allow children to watch movies while having their dental treatment done. Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) is also another option to consider, this allows your child to feel relaxed and eliminates any fear. You may read further about Nitrous Oxide in the Sedation description.

Should a child be very young, have multiple areas of decay, be very fearful and not able to co-operate in the chair, we would then manage the child in theatre and perform all required treatment in a single general anaesthesia session.

The staff at Gateway Dental are dedicated to making your child’s experience a pleasant one and ensure that they look forward to returning.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Your baby’s teeth perform the following important functions:

  • Helps provide nutrition
  • Helps make speech possible
  • Aids in the normal development of the jaw bones and facial muscles
  • Adds to an attractive appearance
  • Reserves space for the permanent teeth and help guide them into position

DENTAL TREATMENT UNDER MAGNIFICATION

Dental MicroscopeAre you aware of the additional benefits obtained from having dental treatment done with the use of a microscope? Does your dentist use any form of magnification?

WHY SHOULD A ROOT CANAL TREATMENT BE DONE UNDER MICROSCOPY?

The root canal procedure takes place in a very small area of the tooth and requires expert precision to effectively navigate the roots and canals. Some teeth may have more roots and canals than expected – missed canals can mean unresolved infections, which may eventually require another endodontic procedure, or even removal of the tooth.

The use of advanced microscopy technology helps the dentist to find and treat all the canals inside the tooth. Therefore making your root canal treatment successful and allowing you to keep your natural tooth for a lifetime.

Microscope provides dentists with exceptional magnifications and improves illumination to a level of vision unattainable by regular human eye.

BENEFITS

  • Improve accuracy of root canal procedures through magnification and ability to use smaller instruments.
  • Fewer traumas to your tooth structure and result in better or faster healing with minimal need for secondary procedures.
  • Ability to see root structure in greater detail.
  • Higher success rate of treatment, reduces the risk for infection to reoccur.
  • Reduced risk of possible complications.

TOOTH EXTRACTION

Extractions are the treatment option for wisdom teeth or teeth that cannot be saved.

DEFINITION

A normal tooth extraction is performed on a tooth that is visible in the mouth, usually under local anaesthetic, and require only the use of instruments to elevate and/or grasp the visible portion of the tooth. When a tooth is are removed with forceps, slow, steady pressure is applied with controlled force.

A surgical extraction involves the removal of a tooth that cannot be easily accessed, either because they have broken under the gum line or because they have not erupted fully. Surgical extractions may require an incision. The dentist may elevate the soft tissues covering the tooth and bone and may also remove some of the overlying and/or surrounding jawbone with a drill. The tooth may be split into multiple pieces to facilitate its removal. Stitches may need to be placed.

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING TREATMENT

This procedure is done under local anaesthetic, so no pain would be experienced. The only sensation you would experience during the extraction is the feeling of touch or pressure which is normal.

WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER TREATMENT

After the local anaesthetic wears off, you will experience some pain, this is normal as the tooth was removed from the bone. Therefore painkillers can be taken before the anaesthetic wears off.

POST OPERATIVE INSTRUCTIONS – EXTRACTION

  • Bite on the gauze firmly for 30mins.
  • No alcohol or smoking for the next 3 days.
  • Try to eat on the opposite side, avoid food entering the socket.
  • Brush your teeth as normal but try not to traumatize the extraction site.
  • Gently rinse your mouth with warm water and salt the day after extraction – this can be done twice a day.
  • The extraction site takes about 6 weeks to heal. Pain and swelling is quite normal, although severe pain, a foul odour and a bad taste in your mouth indicates an infection and you should return to the Practice for further treatment.
  • Should the bleeding continue, dip a tea bag in water and squeeze it to remove excess water. This can be placed on the extraction site and bit firmly for 20 minutes.
  • If bleeding starts after you have left the Practice, and you are unable to control the bleeding please return to the Practice.
  • Avoid medication containing aspirin as it will stimulate bleeding.
  • Myprodol, Genpain, Paracetamol, Mybulen etc. can be used.

FILLINGS

A filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay back to its normal function and shape. When a dentist gives you a filling, he or she first removes the decayed tooth material, cleans the affected area, and then fills the cleaned out cavity with a filling material.

DEFINITION

Tooth AnatomyA filling is a dental restorative material used to restore the function of missing tooth structure. The structural loss typically results from decay or external trauma.

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING TREATMENT

Treatment will be done under local anaesthetic, therefore one should not experience any pain. The tooth will be prepared for a filling by removing the decay and bacteria with the use of a drill.

WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER TREATMENT

The local anaesthetic will take a few hours to wear off.

CONSEQUENCES IF LEFT UNTREATED

Tooth decay and bacteria will spread through the dentine of the tooth and into the pulp chamber resulting in a tooth ache and a root canal treatment being the therapy of choice – a filling will no longer be feasible.

CORE BUILD UPS

A core build-up is necessary before crowning teeth that have been significantly damaged due to decay or fracture.

DEFINITION

Dental core build-upA core build up is used when teeth are built up because their foundation is insufficient.

This procedure provides this support and effectively replaces the original shape of the tooth so that it will be easier to later design a crown for it.

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING TREATMENT

The preparation of the tooth and placement of a core build-up is similar to that of a filling.

WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER TREATMENT

After a core build-up is done, the tooth structure may still be prone to fracturing. It is therefore important that the tooth is crowned to provide additional structure and support.

ROOT PLANING / DEEP CLEANING

Do you have mobile teeth, bad breath or bleeding gums? A deep cleaning (root planing) encourages bone formation and healthy gums.

DEFINITION

Peridontal DiseaseRoot planing or Deep Cleaning is a specialized skill involving scaling of the root of the tooth. A smooth cementum provides less opportunity for bacteria to accumulate and form calculus, so root planing is an important part of stopping progression of periodontal (gum) disease, Thus root planing is a specific treatment that removes the roughened cementum and surface dentin that is on the surface of the tooth structure.

The objective for periodontal scaling and root planing is to remove the causative factors, which can cause inflammation to the gum tissue and surrounding bone. Scaling and root planing is one of the most effective methods of treating gum disease before it becomes severe. Scaling and root planing are often referred to as deep cleaning, and may be performed using a number of dental tools, including ultrasonic instruments and hand instruments.

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING TREATMENT

This procedure is done under local anaesthetic over two appointments. The procedure is very similar to a cleaning except you will be anaesthetized in order to clean a bit deeper.

WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER TREATMENT

After the treatment you will be numb for a few hours. A three monthly scale and polish should be done to re-evaluate and monitor the condition of the gums and the bone level.

Root planing

INLAYS/ONLAYS

A long term option for replacing old fillings or for large cavities. A porcelain filling which is very strong, especially for molars and premolars.

DEFINITION

Dental inlay / onlayInlays and Onlays are indirect fillings made of porcelain that fit into and onto the tooth. These inlays/onlays are used to make the tooth stronger by holding it together while retaining a natural and cosmetically pleasing colour. These restorations are similar to regular fillings, with the exception being that they are permanently cemented and are made from full porcelain blocks.

Inlays and Onlays are used in cases when there is insufficient tooth structure to support a filling but the tooth does not require a crown.

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING TREATMENT

This procedure will be done under local anaesthetic, so you should not experience any pain. The tooth will be prepared accordingly and decay or existing defective filling will be removed. A scan of the tooth is then done and the inlay is manufactured by a machine.

This is done by CAD/CAM technology (Computer-Aided Design/Manufacturing technology). The inlay is made from a block of porcelain. The inlay is made and fitted shortly after the tooth has been prepared. Thus the treatment is carried out in a single visit.

WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER TREATMENT

The local anaesthetic will take a few hours to wear off. There will not be any pain after the procedure as only the enamel and some dentine of the teeth are removed. Occasionally sensitivity can be experienced. Further adjustments can be done to the inlay/onlay/opposing teeth if the bite feels uncomfortable after the anaesthetic wears off.

Contact Us

Tel:
031 566 1185

Email:
info@gatewaydental.co.za

Emergencies:
076 566 9738
Please sms only after hours

Office Hours:

Monday - Thursday:
8 am - 6 pm

Friday:
8 am - 5 pm

Saturday:
8 am - 1 pm

Find Us

Website by Dotcreative