We have a duty of care for our patients and that includes warning them about the most common risks of any treatment. If your treatment does not go to plan, it does not mean that we have made a mistake. Human bodies react differently to surgical treatments and a simple treatment on one patient can lead to complications in another. We will always try to remedy any problems you encounter or refer you to a specialist who can help. You may be asked to contribute for any re-treatments or problems that we consider we are not responsible for. A referral to a specialist may incur further costs.
EXAMINATION: Plaque and tartar may mask decay, so sometimes we can not diagnose it until you have a scale and polish. Early decay does not always show up on routine x-ray radiographs. We will monitor your mouth for gum disease and oral diseases such as cancer. It is not always easy to detect the level of gum disease you have until we have seen you for several examination appointments. We warn patients that smoking can cause gum disease and mouth cancer.
FILLINGS: A tooth with decay, a lost filling or a fracture may not hurt, but it has already been damaged. When we remove the decay and restore the tooth, there is a possibility of temporary post treatment pain. If the tooth continues to hurt, we may have to extract it or root fill it. Fillings do occasionally fall out and may discolour or leak after some time. Sometimes, a part of a tooth will break around a recently done filling; such a tooth may need to be refilled or crowned.
ROOT FILLINGS: Root canal treatment is not always successful. It is a very intricate operation on your tooth and very rarely the cleaning instruments can break within the canals. Removal of broken instruments may require referral to a specialist. Teeth that are hurting are difficult to anaesthetise and may require several types of injection technique. Sometimes teeth have blocked canals that are not easily filled. If a root filling does not settle down, we may need to extract it, root fill it again or refer you to a specialist for surgical intervention. Crowns are often recommended for teeth that are root filled; if you opt not to have one, there is a substantial risk that the tooth will break.
CROWNS: A crown is made to protect your tooth, but occasionally a live tooth may die after a crown. The risk is greater if the tooth has a large filling. If this occurs, the tooth may then need to be root treated by making a hole in your crown and resealing the crown afterwards. Sometimes a new crown will have to be provided. A post that holds a crown in a root treated tooth may fracture if it is heavily loaded. A root with a post in it may also fracture in some cases. A crowned tooth can sometimes shear off at gum level. Crowns may sometimes fall out and need re-cementation. Metal-ceramic crowns and porcelain crowns may occasionally fracture or chip. A bridge may occasionally need to be re-cemented. Crowns and bridges may need replacement after several years.
VENEERS: These are less destructive than crowns, but a tooth can be sensitive after treatment and occasionally die and need root treatment. Occasionally a veneer may break and come off. A failed veneer may need to be replaced by a crown.
EXTRACTION: An extraction may sometimes be unpredictable. Occasionally, the physical forces that have to be exerted by the dentist can cause the crown or root of the tooth to fracture. This will necessitate cutting the gum and removing bone to get access to the tooth. This is called a surgical extraction. Heavily restored teeth and old crowns next to the extracted tooth may rarely be fractured during the procedure. Sometimes, sockets can get infected after an extraction and you may get post operative pain, bruising, swelling and persistent bleeding. The extraction of upper back teeth may very rarely cause a root to enter the sinus or create a communication between your sinus and mouth; this may require surgical wound closure. Sometimes if the extraction becomes too difficult or the patient is unable to tolerate the treatment, we may refer the patient to a specialist for treatment under sedation or general anaesthesia.
HYGIENIST TREATMENT: The removal of tartar from your teeth may be uncomfortable and require local anaesthesia. Some patients get post operative sensitivity to hot and cold stimuli. This can usually be resolved by the use of a simple desensitising treatment or anti-sensitive toothpaste. Old fillings can occasionally come loose during treatment. If you do not clean your teeth the way we teach you, we can not guarantee that we can halt the progress of gum disease. Sometimes gum disease will progress despite our efforts and you may need a referral to a specialist.
DENTURES: Dentures are precision made for your mouth. Sometimes patients can not get used to them or find that th
ey cause mild discomfort or are a little loose. We will try and overcome all these problems with your help. We regret that we are not able to offer a money back guarantee if you are not totally satisfied. A denture that is made or added to soon after an extraction will need relining after a few months and a new denture may be needed within six to twelve months.
TOOTH WHITENING: This is a short term procedure that will need re-treatment after a year or so. Some patients have complained of sensitivity to hot and cold after the procedure. Some patients have found that they can not or will not tolerate the bleaching trays in their mouth. The change in whiteness of the teeth can be variable.
INJECTIONS: Problems occasionally occur after the administration of a local anaesthetic. These include a racing heart, feeling faint, electric sensation of the lip or tongue during administration of a lower injection, jaw muscle pain, spread of the numbness to other regions of the face and neck, ulceration of the injection site, allergic reaction, cheek or tongue biting while numb and anaesthesia lasting longer than the usual three hours. Sometimes due to the variation of human anatomy, anaesthesia is not always 100% successful. We will always try and make your treatment as pain free as we can.
CHILDREN: Treating children can be difficult and we often have to compromise. Fillings do not stick well to baby teeth and may fall out and fracture. Despite our best efforts, some children panic and move during treatment of a tooth; this is obviously hazardous to the surrounding tissues. If we are unable to get sufficient cooperation, we may have to refer a child for treatment under sedation or general anaesthesia.