144 Cranford St St Albans, Christchurch 8014, New Zealand

Find us on Google Maps (03) 355 9380

General Treatments

Our experienced dentists at St Albans Dental Centre offer a range of general dentistry services. Our dedicated team will understand your individual requirements and our dentists are committed to tailoring our treatments to suit all our patients’ needs. For further information regarding any of our generalist services, please see below.

White Fillings

The clear alternative to traditional mercury fillings.

Woman at the dentist's chair during a dental procedure
The Problem
The Solution
Advantages
Disadvantages
Alternatives
The Problem
  • Decay on a portion of any front tooth.
  • Breakage of a small portion of any tooth.
  • Small areas of decay on back teeth.
  • Desire to maintain a white, natural smile.
The Solution

A composite filling is a tooth coloured quartz-like material. After tooth decay is removed and cleaned, this tooth coloured material is layered into the tooth. Each layer is hardened or cured with highly intense visible light, and the final surface is shaped and polished to match the tooth. The final restoration is virtually invisible.

Advantages

Composite fillings are more than just attractive. They are environmentally non-toxic because they use no mercury. They are stronger because they bond directly to the surface of the tooth. They protect the tooth from fracturing because they don't require the severe "undercut" (removal of healthy tooth structure) of a mercury filling.

Disadvantages

The initial investment in a composite filling is higher than that for a mercury filling. This is due to the fact that the composite material is more expensive and the restoration is more difficult and time consuming to place. However, this initial higher investment is offset in the long run by the health benefits and reduced likelihood of restoring potentially fractured teeth.

Alternatives

CEREC inlays/onlays are sometimes good alternatives to composite fillings, offering excellent long term durability. In cases of extensive decay or breakage, CEREC inlays/onlays or crowns are the recommended alternatives.

If you require any fillings, or wish for a more natural filling and an older one replaced, contact our friendly team for an appointment.

Glass Ionomer

c
The Problem
The Solution
Advantages
Disadvantages
Alternatives
The Problem

Decay on a non load bearing part of the tooth

The Solution

A glass Ionomer is tooth coloured filling material that bonds to enamel and dentine. After the decay is removed and the tooth cleaned this material is injected into the cavity and allowed to set. Once set the material can be finished.

Advantages

Glass Ionomer is a great filling material in a non load bearing area because:

  •  It releases a small amount of fluoride over time preventing decay under and around the filling.
  •  It chemically bonds with tooth tissue
  •  It can be coloured to match your existing teeth
  •  It can be used in conjunction with composite to form a strong tooth coloured filling
Disadvantages
  •  It is weak if put under load.
  •  It doesn’t polish as well as composite.
  •  It wears more than composite.
Alternatives
  • Composite can be used often as alternative, but it does not seal as well as glass ionomer, especially around the necks of the teeth.
  • Amalgam can be used where cosmetics are not an issue.

Silver Fillings

Silver fillings are a cost-effective way to restore a small amount of tooth decay or breakage.

Woman at the dentist's chair during a dental procedure
The Problem
The Solution
Advantages
Disadvantages
Alternatives
The Problem

A small amount of decay on a portion of a back tooth.

The Solution

A silver (or amalgam) filling is a mixture of approximately 50% silver/tin alloy and 50% mercury. After tooth decay is removed and cleaned, this grey coloured material is packed into the tooth and shaped.

Advantages

Silver fillings have been used for more than 125 years. Their biggest advantage is that they are quickly placed, making them fairly inexpensive. They are also relatively durable.

Disadvantages

Silver fillings do not bond (stick) to the tooth structure. This requires the preparation to be "undercut," creating a chamber that is smaller at the surface of the tooth and wider inside. This undercut keeps the filling from falling out of the tooth. The problem is that the creation of this undercut requires the removal of extensive tooth structure. This weakens the tooth and predisposes it to fracture when biting into hard items. Since fillings will break down from normal wear, they will eventually need to be replaced, and this will require the removal of even more tooth structure.

Cosmetically silver fillings are poor. The amalgam generally oxidizes in the oral environment turning it grey or black.

Though silver fillings contain some mercury, current studies indicate what appear to be no measurable health risks to patients. The extensive use of mercury in fillings may have a long term environmental impact.

Colgate – Oral and Dental Health Resource Center, Dental Amalgam: A Health Risk,. Accessed July 2011.

Alternatives

Composite (white) fillings are an excellent alternative for small restorations near the front of the mouth, limiting the removal of healthy tissue and posing no known environmental risk. In cases of extensive decay, CEREC inlays/onlays or crowns are an effective restorative technique.

Wisdom teeth removal

Wisdom teeth are the teeth used for chewing that are found furthest back in the mouth.

people, medicine, stomatology, technology and health care concept - happy dentists looking to x-ray scan on monitor at dental clinic
Why Should They be Removed?
Why Remove the Teeth Early?
What to Expect of the Procedure
Why Should They be Removed?
  • Impacted wisdom teeth are those which have only partially erupted. This leaves an opening for bacteria to enter around the tooth and cause an infection under the gum. Pain, swelling, jaw stiffness and general illness can result.
  • Impacted wisdom teeth may continue growing without enough room, damaging adjacent teeth or jaw structure. This continued pressure can eventually destroy the healthy second molar tooth.
  • A fluid filled sac (cyst) or tumour forms, destroying surrounding structures such as bone or tooth-roots.
Why Remove the Teeth Early?

People between the ages of 16 and 19 should have their wisdom teeth evaluated. If they need to be removed, ideally it should be considered before age 20 when generally fewer complications will occur. At a younger age, tooth roots are not fully developed, the surrounding bone is soft and there is less chance of damage to nearby nerves or other structures. There is also less surgical risk and healing is generally faster.

Sometimes if your wisdom teeth are in a very difficult position to extract you will be referred to an Oral Surgeon. An Oral Surgeon is a dentist who specialises in oral and facial surgery which includes the removal of wisdom teeth.

What to Expect of the Procedure

Before surgery, we will explain in detail to you and the person accompanying you, what to expect, so you remain fully informed on your treatment. We will go through the consent form with you and give you personalised instructions to follow. Keep these general items in mind as they will assist your surgery to go smoothly. Wear loose, comfortable clothing which will allow access to your arms and arrange to have a responsible adult to escort you home after the procedure and stay with you for the next 2 hours. Extractions of impacted wisdom teeth will generally cause some swelling and discomfort. The medication prescribed will provide pain control.

Some patients experience numbness or tingling in their lip, chin or tongue following surgery. Normal sensation usually returns over a period of time. Occasionally, a problem of healing known as a dry socket, occurs. This is when the blood clot breaks down earlier than normal. If this occurs a dressing can be placed in the socket to protect it until the socket heals. Prior to the procedure of having your teeth out there is ample time to talk with us about any questions that you have. It is especially important to let us know on the day of your surgery of any illness that you have and medication that you are taking. For more severe cases or for particularly anxious patients this procedure can be under taken at the local hospital.

Your well being is our primary concern. If you feel your wisdom teeth may be a problem or want to have them assessed, contact our team to arrange a consultation.

Root Canal Therapy

Protect and keep a sick or dying tooth.

Beautiful woman is visiting a dentist. She is sitting on chair with joy. The dentist is standing near her and treating female teeth. The man is holding tools and looking at woman with concentration
The Problem
The Solution
Advantages
Disadvantages
Alternatives
The Problem
  • Decay on a portion of any front tooth.
  • Breakage of a small portion of any tooth.
  • Small areas of decay on back teeth.
  • Desire to maintain a white, natural smile.
The Solution

A composite filling is a tooth coloured quartz-like material. After tooth decay is removed and cleaned, this tooth coloured material is layered into the tooth. Each layer is hardened or cured with highly intense visible light, and the final surface is shaped and polished to match the tooth. The final restoration is virtually invisible.

Advantages

Composite fillings are more than just attractive. They are environmentally non-toxic because they use no mercury. They are stronger because they bond directly to the surface of the tooth. They protect the tooth from fracturing because they don't require the severe "undercut" (removal of healthy tooth structure) of a mercury filling.

Disadvantages

The initial investment in a composite filling is higher than that for a mercury filling. This is due to the fact that the composite material is more expensive and the restoration is more difficult and time consuming to place. However, this initial higher investment is offset in the long run by the health benefits and reduced likelihood of restoring potentially fractured teeth.

Alternatives

CEREC inlays/onlays are sometimes good alternatives to composite fillings, offering excellent long term durability. In cases of extensive decay or breakage, CEREC inlays/onlays or crowns are the recommended alternatives.

If you require any fillings, or wish for a more natural filling and an older one replaced, contact our friendly team for an appointment.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding with a surgical or invasive procedure, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

Are you ready for a new smile?

Take the first step and book an appointment today.