A quick look at the roles of team members here at Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic, Canterbury.
Since opening in 1880, our Canterbury dental clinic has seen many changes including, of course, members of staff. The methods of treating patients will have changed dramatically in that time as well; something that our patients would definitely appreciate if they could travel back in time!
The training, skills and experience of our dentists now means that most dental problems of all types can be effectively treated within our practice. Our clinical team is trained in general dentistry, but as you might expect, most dentists have fields in which they are particularly interested too.
In today’s blog, we take a look at some of the treatments that Dr George Mathioudakis who joined us in 2005 as a full time associate, previously practicing in Athens, Greece, can provide.
George has two areas of particular interest which we will take a look at now. They are restorative dentistry and endodontics.
Most of us are probably familiar with some restorative dental treatments, with fillings being the most widely used. These are used where tooth decay has occurred and is used to fill the decayed area either with traditional amalgam or, increasingly, with a more natural coloured ‘composite’ filling.
Another common way to restore a tooth is the use of a dental crown. These are generally used where a tooth has suffered either decay or has fractured or broken to a degree that it can’t be restored using a filling. Produced in both shade and shape to match the patient’s other teeth, they help to protect the tooth from further decay, whilst also adding a significant level of strength to the affected tooth, helping the patient to eat normally again. They are also often used in both of George’s particular areas of interest, the restoration of dental implants and root canal treatment.
Another particular area of interest for George is that of endodontics. This is an area perhaps better known by our patients as root canal treatment or sometimes, root canal therapy. Although it is a treatment that can cause concern to some patients, largely based on myths and incorrect information, it is an extremely useful procedure in certain situations.
As George is originally from Greece, it seems appropriate to note that the word ‘endodontic’ comes from the Greek language which can be loosely translated as ‘inside the tooth’.
The area where the treatment is applied lies within the root canals of the tooth. This is an area where tiny blood vessels and the nerves of the tooth are located. Where the enamel is strong, these are fully protected, but where decay or damage occurs, it can lead to bacteria entering this part of the tooth and causing infection. In some cases, this can be very painful, but even where discomfort isn’t present or is not yet significant, it needs to be treated in order to avoid extraction.
The treatment required to treat the tooth when it has become infected in this way is relatively invasive but not one that patients should be afraid to have, whatever they have heard about it. As with all invasive treatments, you will be given a powerful local anaesthetic prior to the procedure. This ‘deactivates’ the nerves in the teeth for a temporary period and leaves the area feeling numb.
The dentist will then need to access the top of the tooth to reach the infected canals within. All the soft pulp, including blood vessels and nerves, will then be removed and the now hollow canals given a thorough clean to prevent reinfection. The tooth will then be filled using gutta percha, a type of filling ideal for this procedure due to its sealant qualities. Finally, in a large majority of cases, a dental crown will be added to the tooth to provide both strength and an improved aesthetic appearance.
Although a root canal treated tooth may not offer the same degree of a strength as a healthy natural tooth, and a little more care may need to be taken when eating; with a little bit of common sense, it can function reasonably well rather than having to extract the tooth and replace it with a denture or dental implant.
Under the care of George Mathioudakis, patients of Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic can be assured that they will receive first-class treatment, whether you require a small filling or more complex surgery such as a root canal procedure.
If you live in the Canterbury area of Kent and would like to arrange an appointment or to find out more about what we can offer, please call us today on 01227 463529. We look forward to seeing you.