As well as providing expert services to enhance your smile to the one you’ve been dreaming about, we also provide comprehensive general and family dental care. We especially focus on prevention of problems as we know this saves our patients time, hassle and cost.
One of the most important things you can do to maintain the health of your teeth is having them regularly examined by a dentist. By catching any problems in their early stages you may be able to have a very simple fix such as having a fluoride treatment or perhaps adding in a different mouthwash or maybe just changing the way you brush your teeth. Why would you wait until something breaks or gets a hole in it or even worse, begins to get sore? By this time the problem is going to be pretty significant in size and therefore complicated to fix and expensive.
Dr Tiang’s approach, as with all the dentistry he provides, is to diagnose or figure out what the problem is exactly, discuss with his patients the options available, their relative pros and cons including costs, make a recommendation and then let the patient decide which treatment suits them best. There is no pressure to have any particular treatment although you may get a warning as to what might happen if you choose a compromise treatment option.
Dental hygienist services
A dental hygienist is a registered dental professional who is qualified to “remove hard and soft deposits on teeth” meaning they clean teeth very thoroughly as only a dental professional can. We know you clean your teeth everyday but no matter how well you brush and floss, everyone ends of with some plaque and tartar build-up after a time. This build-up can only be removed by a dental professional with special instruments and training. Dr Tiang’s patients are lucky enough to have access to some of the best dental hygienists in the country at both Downtown Dental and Northcare Dental.
If plaque and tartar build-up is left too long it can cause gingivitis or periodontitis (the technical terms for gum disease). Gums are very important as they are what hold your teeth in place and although dentistry has made fantastic technological advances in fixing problems like holes in your teeth, we aren’t so good at growing your gums back so if they get infected and your teeth get loose or the gums shrink, we probably wont be able to grow them back for you. Preventing gum problems by visits to a hygienist are an essential part of preventing dental problems.
As well as removing the plaque and tartar from your teeth, our hygienists are trained to make recommendations regarding the way you clean your teeth so that you can perfect your technique and do the best job you can of cleaning your own teeth. This will slow the build-up of plaque and tartar on the teeth so you don’t have to come so often to see the hygienist. This is your rewards for listening to our advice and taking good care of your own teeth. Our hygienists make their recommendations as to how many times per year based on how well you are cleaning your teeth rather than using an arbitrary timing such as 6 months. This keeps costs as low as possible for patients which still ensuring they are properly looked after.
Dentists are also qualified to clean peoples’ teeth but a dental hygienist does this all day every day whereas a dentist provides all the other services which dentists can do. As you can imagine hygienists do as good a job and often a better job than a dentist so we have full confidence is recommending our patients see our hygienists. As an added benefit, the charge for the services of a hygienist are generally less than if a dentist were to do the same thing. Hygienists help patients keep their dental costs as low as possible while still providing a very high level of service and skill.
Composite is now the material of choice for filling cavities in many situations. If a cavity does not significantly weaken the structural integrity of a tooth then composite is an excellent material for restoring that cavity as it is tooth coloured and durable making it look great and last well. Compared to the traditionally used metal filling material amalgam, it actually looks like a tooth as opposed to black or silver and there is no issue with possible mercury toxicity. The only thing with composite as a filling material is that it is much more technique sensitive than amalgam is for dentists to use so dentists need to take more care in the way they put the filling into a tooth to ensure the filling lasts as long as it should.
Inlays/Onlays & Ceramic fillings
These are various ways to repair a damaged tooth similar to a filling but manufactured in a different way. With a filling, a hole in a tooth is filled with a filling material which is soft but then hardens into a proper filling. This is done on the spot in a single appointment. Inlays and onlays are made by taking a mould of the tooth and the hole in it and then sending the mould off to a laboratory where they can make a custom restoration to repair the damage to the tooth. This restoration is then cemented into place at a second appointment. The inlay or onlay can be made out of different materials such as gold or ceramic (hence being sometimes referred to as ceramic fillings) which are all harder and stronger than any “direct” filling and will physically protect the tooth much better than a direct filling can. Ceramic inlays and onlay have a advantage being tooth coloured so they can potentially restore a tooth to look like it never had a hole in it in the first place and also make it nearly as strong.
Full mouth rehabilitation
This is basically where an approach is taken to plan and provide dental treatment taking into account the big picture rather than focusing on one tooth at a time. By planning to treat the entire mouth, we can ensure that treatment for one tooth does not compromise another and wholesale changes such as altering the way the teeth bite together can be planned and designed into the dental work. In some cases where the majority of teeth are broken down, this is a far better way to approach fixing things up. Not all the dental work in a full mouth rehabilitation needs to be done in one big go but it certainly is best if the whole treatment is planned from the beginning then broken into stages.
Being able to plan such complex treatment, taking into account every single factor ranging from speech, to aesthetics and from jaw muscle comfort to chewing efficiency requires a dentist with extensive training and attention to detail. Dr Tiang has travelled to Seattle to train with Dr John Kois, a specialist in full mouth rehabilitation to study and learn about planning these complex treatments to ensure that the results he obtains look great and last a long time and are comfortable. Especially important is the ability to plan to stage treatment in more manageable chunks (both timewise and financially) so the end result is obtained without compromise but in a manner which the patient is able to manage more easily.
The temporo-mandinbular joint or TMJ is the joint connecting the bottom jaw to the skull. There are two (one on each side) and they are one of the most complex joint systems in the human body. They both have complex movements including rotating, sliding and moving and are also joined to each other via the lower jaw bone so are not independent. They allow us to chew in all directions for maximum eating efficiency. However, they can also be prone to problems due to their complicated structure. Jaw joint problems can show themselves in many ways such as a clicking or popping noise when opening or closing, pain on opening big, or even complete locking of the jaw. Something as subtle and not being able to open our jaw in a straight up/down line or the jaw not opening quite smoothly can be symptoms of a problem.
One potential source of problems of the TMJ is the arrangement of the teeth. As you close your jaw, eventually the teeth touch and then the movements of the TMJs is completely guided by the arrangement of the teeth. If you teeth are off to one side then the jaw closes to that side, shunting the TMJ sideways. Do this thousands of times a day and the joint can start to get worn out. Through his training, Dr Tiang is able to help patients for whom this is the particular problem. By analysing the way the teeth bite together he can recommend a treatment which can correct the misaligned bite and therefore misaligned jaws and TMJs.
Snoring has a number of causes such as flabby tissue at the back of the throat and a narrowed airway. Sometimes when a person lies flat, the tongue or soft palate can flop backwards in the throat obstructing the smooth flow of air and causing snoring. In certain cases, dental anti-snoring devices can virtually cure the problem.