Why orthodontics isn’t just for kids

Think orthodontics, and what do you picture? If it’s metal train-track braces and head gear, you are not alone – many adults still think this is the only form of orthodontic treatment available, which can be enough to put them off seeking treatment.

orthodontics-treatmentBut they are wrong. Discreet orthodontics is one of the fastest-growing areas of modern dentistry, and involves the use of either subtle braces or clear aligners to improve the position of your teeth. Imperial Dental Care in Harrow offers adults treatment with both discreet fixed braces and clear, removable aligners.

Invisible braces are made from tooth-coloured and clear parts. The brackets are usually clear and ceramic, whilst the wires are made from nickel-titanium that is designed to blend in with the natural shade of your teeth. This means they are not immediately obvious in everyday life.

These brace systems can be fast-acting cosmetic braces such as Six Month Smiles, or specially-designed systems such as FastBraces, which can provide a greater degree of correction in a much shortened time period thanks to their unique design, which enables the movement of the roots and crowns of teeth together.

In some cases, clear, removable aligners can be used in place of fixed braces. This type of treatment has next to no impact on your daily life, because you can safely take your aligner out for short periods to eat and drink, to clean, and to brush your teeth like normal – no special dental hygiene techniques are required with aligners.

At our Harrow dental practice we use the Inman Aligner, which is a single appliance that can rapidly correct issues such as crowding or protrusion affecting the front teeth. The Inman Aligner uses a unique design of springs, coils and a barely-noticeable bar to push and pull your teeth into a better position.

One of the most notable things about the Inman Aligner is how fast it works. Average treatment times range from just six to 18 weeks, making it the fastest orthodontic treatment available from our Harrow dental centre.

Anyone interested in subtle orthodontic treatment is welcome to join us at Imperial Dental Care for a no-obligation consultation.

A guide to dental implants for permanent tooth replacement

By using dental implants, a dentist has a permanent way to replace missing teeth. Felmores Dental Care in Basildon offers implant treatment to replace anything from one to all of your natural teeth, providing realistic alternatives that look and function much like the real thing.

dental-implants-basildonWhilst traditional methods of replacing teeth – dental bridgework, full and partial dentures – only replace the crown portions of the teeth, dental implants replace the tooth roots. A bridge, dentures, or a crown will then be placed on top of the implants.

Tooth roots aren’t just important for anchoring your teeth in the jaw; they also play a vital role in preserving the health of the jaw bone itself. A shrinking jaw bone is one of the most common side-effects of losing several or all of your teeth, and can cause problems with the fit of traditional dentures as well as, in some circumstances, changing the whole appearance of your face.

Dental implants can prevent this from happening. They also alleviate many of the common problems reported by patients who wear full dentures, including issues with speech, diet, and self-confidence.

Placement of implants requires minor oral surgery, which at our Basildon dental clinic can be carried out under local anaesthetic or conscious sedation. Because of the advanced technology that supports dental implant treatment, and the intricate planning undertaken by your dentist before surgery, implant placement is actually fairly simple from a patient’s point of view.

Once your implants are in position, a process called osseointegration begins. This sees your implants mesh firmly with your jaw bone, and usually takes between two and three months. Your dentist may attach temporary teeth for the healing period, so that you won’t need to fear being toothless. Then, when healing is complete, your permanent new teeth will be fitted, attached to abutments on top of your implants.

These permanent new teeth will either be a single crown to replace one missing tooth, or a bridge or denture to replace several or all of the teeth. The former two options are designed to stay permanently in your mouth, whilst dentures can either be permanently attached or removable at home.

Dental hygiene: how to look after your teeth and gums

Did you know that, as well as keeping your teeth and gums healthy, good dental hygiene is beneficial to your overall health and wellbeing? Clacton Dental Care now offers direct access dental hygiene appointments, which means you are able to see the hygienist without having to visit the dentist first.

dental-hygiene-clactonWhen most people think of the hygienist, the first thing that comes to mind is a professional tooth clean –a scale and polish. In fact, this is just one of the important roles a dental hygienist plays. They are also instrumental in tackling and preventing tooth decay and gum disease.

Both tooth decay and gum disease are caused by a build-up of dental plaque. A scale and polish involves the removal of all plaque and tartar, including from areas that are hard to reach at home. But it is best to prevent plaque gathering in the first place, and your hygienist can help you to improve your home dental hygiene routine to make sure the problem doesn’t recur in the future.

This advice can include the type of toothbrush to use, specific brushing and flossing techniques customised to your individual needs, and the use of special tools such as interdental brushes. Your hygienist can also provide health advice, including how too much sugar in your diet will be bad news for your teeth.

You should always follow your hygienist’s advice. Top tips for taking care of your teeth and gums at home include:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste
  • Don’t brush them immediately after eating or drinking anything but water – you should wait an hour after meals
  • Use dental floss and/or interdental brushes as directed
  • Never use your teeth to open bottles, to hold anything, or indeed for any other purpose other than biting or chewing food.

Gum disease is a series problem, which can cause issues such as bad breath and gums that bleed after tooth brushing in the early stages. If it is left untreated, it can develop into the more serious form of periodontal disease, which can lead to loosening of tooth ligaments, and ultimately to tooth loss.

The benefits of dental implants to treat tooth loss

More often than not, dental implants are the best way to replace missing natural teeth. They are a long-term solution to tooth loss that can, in many cases, last a lifetime. They are also the only way for your dentist to replace the root portions of one or more missing teeth.

dental-implants-BrentwoodOur natural teeth are meant to last us for life, but modern lifestyles often get in the way. There are numerous causes of tooth loss – accidents and injuries, gum disease and tooth decay – and in most cases dental implants can successfully be used to replace them.

Dental implants should only be placed in a healthy mouth, so if gum disease has played a contributory factor in your tooth loss, this will need to be treated first to give your implants maximum chances of success.

Homewood Dental Care in Brentwood offers dental implants to replace one, some, or all of your natural teeth. It’s not strictly correct to call implants replacement teeth; they are, more accurately, replacement tooth roots. Placed in direct contact with your jaw bone, they will form a bond with the bone that is akin to that of a natural tooth root, creating a stable anchor for a denture, bridge, or crown.

At our Brentwood dental practice we can place implants under either local anaesthetic or conscious sedation. The latter is a good choice if fear of the dentist has played a contributory factor to your tooth loss, or if you have a strong gag reflex.

Because they are in direct contact with your jaw bone, dental implants help to prevent a loss of bone density. This is the main reason standard dentures become loose, and can also make you look much older than you actually are.

When your dentures are loose, you may have difficulty eating and speaking, and are likely to suffer a severe blow to your self-confidence. Choosing dental implants helps you to avoid or rectify these problems, enabling you to stop worrying your teeth may fall out and instead get on with enjoying your life.

Patients who have already suffered bone loss may need a bone graft procedure prior to implant surgery.

Why dental implants are often the best way to replace missing teeth

By choosing dental implants to replace your missing teeth, you choose so much more than just a beautiful smile. With implants your dentist can replace the roots of lost teeth, which helps not only to hold a crown, bridge, or denture in place, but also preserves the health of your jaw bone.

dental-implantsA shrinking jaw bone is a common but seldom talked about side effect of losing your teeth. It happens because when the roots of the teeth are missing the jaw bone starts to resorb. This can make future placement of dental implants more complex, can cause traditional dentures to lose their snug fit, and can change the appearance of your whole face, making you look old before your time.

Because dental implants are titanium tooth roots, they stop these problems. At South Benfleet Dental Care our skilled implantology team are able to help even those patients who have already experienced some degree of bone loss to regain their freedom with dental implants. An additional procedure – either a bone graft or sinus lift – to rebuild bone density may just be needed first.

Whatever type of tooth restoration is used to replace the crown portions of your teeth, your implants will hold them firmly in place. A crown (used to replace a single tooth) or a bridge (used to replace anything from two to all the teeth in one jaw) attached to dental implants is meant to stay in your mouth permanently. In the case of implant-retained dentures, they can either be permanently fixed in place or can be removable in the same way as their traditional cousins.

At South Benfleet Dental Care, dental implants can be placed under local anaesthetic or conscious sedation. This requires minor oral surgery, but many past patients have reported it as being more comfortable than having a tooth extraction.

Once your implants are in position, they will be left to heal and integrate with your jaw bone for a few months. Temporary teeth are often fitted for the duration of healing. Once full integration has taken place, your permanent new teeth will be attached.

Dental care for pregnant patients – what you need to know

Pregnancy can be an exciting yet anxious time, with many things to think about. Whilst choosing a name, painting the nursery, and working out a birth plan may all be at the forefront of your mind, it can be easy to forget about visiting the dentist. However, taking care of your oral health during pregnancy is vitally important – for you and for baby, too.

Ladbroke Grove Dental Care provides free NHS dental treatment for pregnant patients. It’s important to monitor your dental health along with other changes in your body during pregnancy, and to contact your dentist promptly if you experience anything strange.

pregnant-womenThere are certain conditions that pregnant women are more prone to developing. One of the most common is gingivitis, or gum disease. Pregnancy gingivitis is characterised by swollen, reddened gums that may bleed when you brush your teeth or bite into crunchy foods such as apples.

Gum disease is common in pregnant patients because of hormonal changes in the body. Levels of the hormone progesterone can be up to ten times higher than normal when you are pregnant, and this affects how your body reacts to toxins – including dental plaque.

By visiting your dentist you can have all traces of plaque removed, and can gain valuable advice on how to manage the condition.

If you suffer from severe morning sickness, which is very common in the first trimester of pregnancy and is often one of the ways people learn that a new arrival is on the way, your teeth can suffer from enamel erosion. Again, this requires prompt intervention from a dentist, because otherwise tooth sensitivity can become a problem.

Another common dental complaint among pregnant women is pregnancy granuloma. In this condition, red nodules appear spontaneously on the gums, most frequently in the upper jaw. Whilst these nodules are harmless, they can be frightening if you haven’t experienced them before, and can sometimes cause discomfort or pain.

They usually drop off soon after baby arrives, although if they are causing you pain your dentist may painlessly remove them.

By visiting your dentist during pregnancy, you can gain reassurance and any necessary treatment, so that you can get back to focus on the new addition to the family.

Quality dental treatment for all the family

Downham Market Dental Care welcomes new patients of all ages for consultations, no matter what their requirements may be. People have different dental needs at different stages of life, but one thing remains universal: you need to visit your dentist and hygienist on a regular basis to ensure that both your oral and dental health remain in top condition.

quality-dental-treatmentOur team of highly-qualified dental professionals are highly committed to providing effective treatment for all the family. Let’s look at what our dentists can do for patients at various stages of life. . .

Babies and children

Bringing your child to the dentist from a young age is an important step in helping them to have good oral health for life. Early visits to the dental practice help to familiarise youngsters with the practice, and to see the dentist as a friendly face whom they enjoy visiting every six months, so that they can show off their progress on looking after their teeth.

Fissure sealants and fluoride varnish are available to all children at the practice, to help protect and strengthen their teeth against decay. Should decay be found, prompt intervention makes the process much more bearable, and avoids the need for distressing procedures such as tooth extractions. Early warning signs of orthodontic problems will also be picked up on, making treatment easier.

Teenagers and adults

Teens and adults require regular dental check-ups to avoid problems such as tooth decay and gum disease. For those who experience tooth staining, teeth whitening is a popular option, whilst regular visits to the dental hygienist help to ensure tooth cleaning routines are efficient, helping to avoid problems such as bad breath.

Patients who smoke can also benefit from help to quit the habit from the dental team.

Pregnant women

Pregnant women are more susceptible to conditions such as gum disease and enamel erosion. Nodules – pregnancy granuloma – can also often develop on the gums. These are harmless, but visiting the dentist helps to reassure patients.

Older people

Getting older doesn’t need to mean losing your teeth. Your dentist can help you to keep your natural teeth healthy, but if you do experience tooth loss can provide dentures or bridges as replacements.

Why choosing dental implants is an investment in your future

Dental implants may already be on your radar if you have suffered tooth loss, but you may be wondering if this much-touted treatment is really the best solution to your missing teeth.

dental-implants-wattonThere are two key points to note about dental implants when comparing tooth placement options:

  1. They are the only permanent method of replacing lost teeth
  2. They are the only way your dentist can replace your tooth roots

In essence, a dental implant is a bionic tooth root. They are made out of titanium and are placed in direct contact with the jaw bone under either local anaesthetic or conscious sedation at Clarence House Dental Care in Watton.

Not only to implants ensure that your teeth stay firmly in your mouth, they also help to preserve the health and density of your jaw bone. When several or all of the natural teeth are missing, the jaw bone will start to resorb or shrink. This is the primary cause of loose traditional dentures, and can also change the entire structure of your face and cause sagging of the skin around the jowls, making you look old before your time.

Most people who wear traditional dentures will experience problems with their fit. Ill-fitting dentures can cause your gums to become sore if they start to rub, can limit you to a soft-food diet, can change your speech and can have a significant negative effect on your confidence. If your dentures begin to slip or fall out in public situations, it can restrict your social life, contributing to the problems of loneliness and social isolation that are common among the over-75s as people start to avoid situations where slipping teeth can cause embarrassment.

By choosing dental implants, you can avoid or alleviate all of these problems. Implants integrate with your jaw bone in the months after surgery, meaning they will hold dentures, crowns, or bridge in position with a similar strength to that of natural tooth roots.

This means that you will be able to eat, speak, and smile with confidence, and can get back to enjoying time with friends and family with no fear that your teeth will let you down.

Using Invisalign to subtly straighten adults’ teeth

What if we told you there was a subtler way to straighten your teeth than metal braces? At Southend Dental Care we are always keen to highlight the benefits of teeth straightening treatment to patients of all ages. However, we are aware that the thought of wearing an obvious metal appliance for months or years on end can be a barrier to treatment for adult patients. That’s why we are proud to offer a more discreet option.

straighten-teethInvisalign has been used successfully to treat more than three million patients across the world to date. This treatment is designed to subtly straighten your teeth, with next to no impact on your lifestyle.

How Invisalign works

Unlike traditional braces, which are fixed in place for the duration of treatment, Invisalign aligners are safe and easy to remove at home. They can be taken out for short periods to eat and drink, as well as to clean and to brush and floss your teeth as normal, meaning no special dental hygiene techniques are needed during treatment.

Treatment involves the use of a series of clear aligners – sometimes called “invisible braces” – which are designed to fit comfortably over your teeth, gradually guiding them into a better position. You need to change your aligner every two weeks as your teeth begin to move, and will need to use a retainer at the end of treatment to make sure your teeth stay in their new position.

Every case is different, and your Invisalign dentist will tell you how many aligners you will need during your initial consultation.

Invisalign is backed up by advanced 3D computer software, which means that after taking photographs and impressions as necessary your dentist will be able to show you the results you can expect from treatment right from the outset.

You will need to wear your aligners most of the time – between 20 and 22 hours per day to ensure that treatment progress stays on track. However, because they are made from durable clear plastic, they will be invisible to the untrained eye, meaning that nobody needs to know you are having orthodontic treatment unless you choose to tell them.

How cosmetic dentistry can lighten the colour of your teeth

The best thing about cosmetic dentistry is that there are so many ways to transform you smile. With some 48% of UK adults unhappy with the way their current smile looks, it’s no surprise to learn that cosmetic dental treatment has risen rapidly in popularity over recent years. With celebrities, pop stars and reality TV personalities increasingly showing off beautiful transformations brought about through such treatment, the demand has been steadily growing among regular people, too.

cosmetic-dentistry-basildonWhilst cosmetic dentistry can address all manner of smile issues, the most common complaint heard by cosmetic dentists is about the shade of the teeth. There are many causes of tooth discolouration, and at Felmores Dental Care in Basildon the cosmetic dentistry team has many ways of solving the problem, often brightening up your smile in just a couple of appointments.

The first thing a cosmetic dentist will do is to establish what has caused your tooth staining, so that they can determine the best way to treat it. It’s a shocking statistic, but 66% of people have visible dental plaque. This isn’t just bad news for the way your smile looks; it’s also a risk to your health, because as well as being unsightly plaque can cause both gum disease and tooth decay.

The best way to get rid of plaque is to visit a dental hygienist, who will perform a professional scale and polish to cleanse your teeth of plaque, as well as helping you to improve your home brushing and flossing routine to reduce the chances of it coming back.

Even people with good oral hygiene find their teeth get stained, with a number of dietary and lifestyle factors playing a role. For this type of staining, teeth whitening is often the most appropriate treatment. When carried out by a dentist this is a reliable, gentle, and safe way of removing stains caused by such things as tea, coffee, and nicotine from the teeth.

At our Basildon dental clinic we offer two options for teeth whitening: home whitening, which takes two weeks, and power whitening, which takes place here in the dental practice.