At Clonakilty Dental Centre we provide a wide range of dental treatment. Here's a guide to the different types of treatment on offer. If a treatment option is not available at the clinic we refer to a recommeneded specialist - for example Orthodontics. Ask your dentist whether they are available on the Medical Card.

What is a filling?
Fillings are used to repair a hole in a tooth caused by decay. The most common type of filling is an amalgam, made from a mixture of metals including mercury, silver, tin, copper and zinc. Your dentist will offer the most appropriate type of filling according to your clinical needs. This includes white fillings, if appropriate. 

What is a crown?
A crown is a type of cap that completely covers a real tooth. It's made from either metal, or porcelain and metal, and is fixed in your mouth. Crowns can be fitted where a tooth has broken, decayed or been damaged, or just to make a tooth look better.

To fit a crown, the old tooth will need to be drilled down so it's like a small peg onto which the crown will be fixed. It can take some time for the lab to prepare a new crown, so you probably won’t have the crown fitted on the same day.

What is a bridge?
A bridge is a fixed replacement for a missing tooth or teeth. It's made by taking an impression of the surrounding teeth, which will eventually support the bridge. A bridge is usually created from precious metal and porcelain and will be fixed in your mouth (unlike dentures, which can be removed).

What are dental veneers?
Veneers are new facings for teeth which disguise a discoloured (rather than a damaged) tooth. To fit a veneer, the front of the tooth is drilled away a little, an impression is taken and a thin layer of porcelain is fitted over the front of the tooth (rather like a false fingernail is applied).

What are dentures or false teeth?
More commonly known as false teeth, dentures are fitted in place of natural teeth. A full set is used to replace all your teeth and a part set is used to replace one or more missing teeth. Dentures are custom-made using impressions (mouldings) from your gums. They're usually made from metal or plastic.

They're removable so you can clean them, although part dentures can be brushed at the same time as your other teeth. A full set needs to be removed and soaked in a cleaning solution.

Dentures are important if you lose your natural teeth as it's difficult to chew your food, which will adversely affect your diet and may cause your facial muscles to sag.

What are implants?
Implants are a fixed alternative to removable dentures, and may be the only option if the loss of teeth has led the mouth to shrink so that it can no longer support dentures. 

Implants are usually reserved for patients who can't wear dentures or whose face and teeth have been damaged, such as people with mouth cancer or who've had an accident. 

To fit an implant, titanium screws are drilled into the jaw bone to support a crown, bridge or denture (a bit like screwing a rawlplug into the wall to hang a picture).

Replacement parts take time to prepare to ensure that they fit your mouth and other teeth properly. Therefore, they may not be available on your first visit to the dentist.