How to replace missing teeth

One of the fastest-growing areas of dentistry today is the replacement of missing teeth. As technology improves and disposable income increases as we get older the logical advancement is to replace our ageing missing teeth with dental implants.

But why should you bother? Why not just leave a gap? Here is what Dr Atkins from Confidence Dental Care in Jersey says:

If you don’t replace missing teeth then the bone in this area can continue to resorb, this can result in a lack of bone if you decide to have a dental implant at a later date which could result in more extensive and costly dental implant surgery, including bone grafts to replace the missing bone.

www.confidencedental.com

So it would seem that replacing missing shows not only looks good but helps to prevent problems with your bone and potentially more extensive and expensive dentistry later on in life when perhaps we have a little more money to spend.

So how do dental implants work?

They are basically a replacement of the root of your tooth. Don’t be fooled though, because we have this technology it is not an excuse to ignore your teeth and simply have bionic ones placed instead! Whilst Amongdental implants are excellent they are not a perfect replacement for your natural tooth.

Your natural tooth has a periodontal ligament around it which provides a cushioning and suspension like effect when you eat. Dental implants are rigid and tend to transfer more of the biting force directly to your bone.

The dental implants also don’t have nerves in them so he won’t be able to feel quite as much as you do with natural teeth, the overall result of this is that your natural teeth will always be better than dental implants, however, if you are unfortunate to lose your teeth then implants could be a viable alternative.

 Are cheap dental implants worth it?

Of course, the definition first needs to be established on what cheap means. Cheap is a variable term and can mean different things to different people, so we are not going to put a specific price on to what we mean by cheap at this point.

As with anything there are branded dental implants, these have heavy investment by the dental implant companies who spend millions of pounds and dollars per year on research and development of their products. The dental implants are manufactured to fine tolerances and the support that these dental implant companies offer is extensive.

Some examples of these companies are (please note this is not an exhaustive list)

  1. Nobel Biocare
  2. Ankylos
  3. Straumann

complex dental implant componentsAlso, because these are companies have been established for many years it also gives you peace of mind. Dental implants are not indestructible and in the event that yours breaks you need to ensure that you can still get components and parts for them. There are tiny screws and components to the dental implant and if the company has gone out of business in 10 years time how are you going to get your dental implant repaired?

This is an important consideration to always bear in mind when deciding if you should have cheap dental implants or not.

 Using a good quality dental laboratory.

We also recommend asking your dentist for confirmation about the dental laboratory they are using. Nowadays some laboratories are situated overseas in places like China and India. If your dentist sends your new dental implant crown to be made in another country how do you know what it will be like? Always ask your dentist which laboratory they use and visit the laboratory website so that you can see for yourself.

Summary.

Dental implants are able to supply you with an excellent alternative if you need to replace missing teeth and exercising caution explained in this blog post will help you get the best result.

Is a dental hygienist necessary?

One of the biggest shifts in modern day dentistry has been the move away from cosmetic dental treatments towards a more preventative and conservative approach. This means that many dentists in the UK at the moment are focusing on the need to preserve teeth, maintain oral health and only undertake cosmetic or restorative treatments if the need is absolute.

As part of this preventative and conservative approach the need to look after your teeth with good oral hygiene has taken a recent increase in the minds of many dental professionals. But how can they deliver this at the same time as providing excellent restorative work for the patients that need it?

In some dental practices oral hygiene education and preventative measures are undertaken by the dentist themselves, in the long run this can end up more expensive for the patient because the time of the dentist is rather expensive. It is also not o good for the dental practice as the experienced practitioner is spending his time on oral hygiene when it would be more beneficial to be treating patients with more complex dental problems.

This has led to the increase in the use of dental hygienists in many dental practices.

A dental hygienist is a highly qualified member of the dental professional team with dedicated training in looking after your oral health.

The role of the dental hygienist has increased recently with the ability for them to see patients directly without the need of a referring dentist. This has allowed patients direct access to the dental hygienists, which can only be a good thing for oral health.

Your hygienist will assess your oral hygiene at every appointment and monitor this on a sliding scale known as a BPI scale. This scale allows you to monitor your performance over an extended period of time to ensure that your oral hygiene is getting better.

Without good oral hygiene plaque has a tendency to build up on your teeth. It is around these plaque filled areas that the bacteria lurk, as the bacteria digests the sugar in your food. They excrete an acid and it is this acid which causes dental decay.

Keeping plaque at bay is a vital part of maintaining a good oral health routine and your hygienist will work with you to ensure that any plaque buildup is kept to an absolute minimum.

They will let you know about teeth brushing techniques, which is the right toothbrush to use, how to floss properly and which mouthwashes are best to use.

Your dental hygienist can also undertake deep scaling and polishing. This is the process whereby they ensure that the teeth are clean all the way down the root face even under your gum. This is an advanced procedure, but is often necessary for patients that have not had good oral hygiene in the past.

What role does the dental hygienists play?

Dr Graham Atkins from Confidence Dental care in Jersey says:

“Most people today are keen to keep their teeth for life. Our dental hygienists play a vital role in this respect, helping you maintain your oral health. All our other team members are fully qualified in dental nursing and have a broad understanding of the services we offer. They are available to advise you about treatment options and to answer any questions you may have. Their involvement is much more than the immediate personal contact you see. Behind the scenes, they ensure that everything runs smoothly, from cross infection control to accurate record keeping.”

So we strongly recommend that you heed the advice of your dentist and make regular appointments with your hygienist. Doing this will keep your overall dental costs down and ensure that you keep your teeth fit and healthy for life, just what everyone wants.

Preventive Dentistry Meets Cosmetic Dentistry

Many times preventive dentistry and cosmetic dentistry are split into two separate ways of thinking.

However more and more dental practices are now considering the blending of these two disciplines to ensure that preventive dentistry is always cosmetic and looks good, and that cosmetic dentistry always is as minimally invasive as possible.

This trend in dentistry is appealing to the patients and is encouraging more people to go back to see the dentist.

What is minimally invasive dentistry?

In years gone by one of the only ways of treating a patient that did not like the teeth was to cut the teeth down into stumps and place crowns (dental caps).

Then as the years progressed dental veneers became more common, these often only required a small reduction of the natural tooth with the thin and high-strength dental veneer being bonded to the surface.

The progression from this type of dental veneer led on to what is known as no-prep veneers popularised by Lumineers. The technique involves no reduction of the natural tooth tool and simply bonding the new, custom-made dental veneer to the surface of the existing to.

This type of zero preparation veneer can only be used in certain circumstances where the tooth is rather in standing. Having no preparation of the existing tooth can also, in some situations, compromised the way the dental veneer fits against the natural tooth. If this junction is compromised it can leave areas for bacteria to infiltrate and cause dental decay and disease.

Unfortunately zero preparation veneers have often been prescribed when perhaps an alternative option would have been better, typically this is down to patient pressure requesting this type of dental veneer often after seeing an advert for no preparation veneers requiring no dental injection.

The most recent advancement in minimally invasive dentistry is the use of dental bonding. This involves placing a small amount of high-strength yet malleable composite material directly onto the tooth by the dentist. The dentist slowly build up the tooth into the new shade by adding small amounts of material at a time, curing that material between each addition using a high-strength light.

These light-sensitive or light curing materials are provided to the dentist in a range of colours which closely match your natural tooth.

The final part of minimally invasive dentistry is to consider moving teeth, rather than restoring teeth. If the natural teeth are actually in good condition but simply in the wrong place, rather than make additions to the front of the teeth to build them into the correct place (by using either dental veneers or dental bonding) the minimally invasive dentist will prefer to move teeth using orthodontics.

“More and more patients are requiring that we move teeth to the correct position using invisible orthodontics, this is preferable to cutting down the teeth and making dental crowns or veneers in many cases. For anyone that is looking for a more healthy and holistic approach to dentistry this is certainly on the top of things to look out for”

Says Sia Maani from IQ Dental in Kent.

When you come to consider orthodontics you really need to ask what type you want. Generally speaking fixed orthodontics is preferred by are a lot of dentists due to its ability to move teeth naturally and quickly, however with modern advances in clear braces and teeth coloured braces these are becoming more popular as patients wish to have orthodontics with no one else knowing.

The advice of cosmetic-dental-treatments.info is to discuss your wants and desires with the dentist rather than ask for a specific treatment. If you tell your dentist what it is that you want as an outcome they can then decide on the best way to achieve this in the way that fits with your lifestyle the best.

Should Your Gums Bleed When You Brush?

The simple answer to this question is no.

If your gums bleed when you brush your teeth then it is highly likely that you may have the early signs of gum disease. This is a completely treatable condition which is simply tackled by improving oral healthcare.

The signs of gum disease include, but are not limited to:

  1. puffy gums
  2. bleeding gums
  3. swollen gums
  4. Red or inflamed gums
  5. sore or tender gums

If you have any of the symptoms above then it is strongly suggested that you find a local dentist. If you’re unsure of how to do this we recommend that you speak to your friends and family or use the information and tips in our previous blog post about finding dentists.

why should gum disease be treated?

Apart from removing any of the pain associated with this condition it is important that gum disease is treated at an early stage and not allowed to progress. If gum disease progresses it can turn into a far more serious condition called periodontitis.

Periodontitis is the information of the area surrounding the root of your tooth where it connects into the bone of your jaw. If this becomes infected then it can lead to the resorbtion of bone holding in your tooth.

In the short term you would probably not notice this as the gum over your bone would cover any bone loss. However in the medium-term you may begin to see black triangles between your teeth where the gum has started to move away as it follows the resorbtion of the gum.

In the long-term however, periodontitis can result in loose teeth which can lead to tooth loss.

What are the problems associated with tooth loss?

Loosing teeth may not seem like too much of a problem, especially if they are back teeth. However there are more clinical reasons why missing teeth can be an issue, including:

  • the adjacent teeth either side collapsing into the space where the missing tooth has come from
  • opposing teeth on the opposite jaw drifting down into this space
  • bone being lost where the missing tooth has come from

In the long run this means that you could end up spending more on your dentistry (dental implants can run into thousands), something which most people don’t really want to do!

If the teeth drift and the bone resorbs then it becomes clinically more difficult to treat the missing teeth and you could be left with bite problems, chewing problems, aesthetic problems and even headaches.

conclusion

If you have any signs of gum disease then we strongly recommend that you visit your dentist as soon as possible, let us know how you get on…

Celebrites Have Adult Orthodontic Braces

A few years ago it would have been considered seriously uncool to have braces fitted. In fact there was even a sitcom called ‘Ugly Betty’ where the main character was portrayed as being ugly due to her wearing braces.

It seems this is all changing and celebrities are now proud to show off and where their adult orthodontic braces in public. Here are a few examples.

The first photograph shows when Gwen Stefani sporting full upper and lower metal braces. Generally speaking these are called train track braces, although that really is rather an unkind description of them.

Many orthodontists like this type of brace as the patient can’t remove them which means the pressure on moving the teeth is constant, over all this means that the treatment can move teeth a greater distance and is often quicker and removable orthodontics.

gwen-stefani,braces

An alternative to having metal train track braces is to wear ceramic braces, as worn here by Tom Cruise.

tom cruise braces

Ceramic braces are able to move teeth generally speaking the same as their metal counterparts, however they look far more appealing and don’t stand out as much. With the new treatments such as six month smiles which uses a unique type of ceramic brackets, treatment can be completed much quicker… Typically in six months-hence the name!

Another example of a celebrity having adult orthodontic braces is Faith Hill

Faith Hill Braces

Clearly Faith is proud to show off her braces in this posed photograph. She also has done television interviews wearing braces and openly talks about how comfortable they are to wear.

More information about six month smiles.

Overall this means that there really is no reason for you to not consider having braces, the celebrities are wearing them and are proud to show off not only the braces themselves but their final straight smile!

Orthodontics have changed hugely over the past few years, so what are you waiting for?

How to find a dentist on the Internet

Finding the dentist can be very difficult, and the best way by far is to always go for recommendation by a friend. This ensures that you can trust the dentist to carry out great treatment… After all they carried out great treatment on your friend didn’t they?

If you don’t know of the dentist in your local area then there are a few useful tips to finding one on the Internet.

There are many dentist directories on the Internet where dental practices in local areas are located, some typical examples are as follows.

  1. dentist101.co.uk
  2. thehealthcentre.org.uk
  3. dentistfinder.net
  4. dentaldentist.co.uk
  5. dentist-finder.co.uk

These websites do not let the dentists that they list they are simply a directory of local dental practices in your area.

Using the Internet to search for a dentist

Another technique to find a dentist would be to go to Google and search for various treatments and services and include your geographical location.

Search for << treatment>> in << geographical location>>, so for example ‘teeth whitening in London’. But how do you know which treatment  to search for? Well, here is an example list of some possible treatments for dental problems.

Dental problem-dark teeth

Search for:

  • teeth whitening
  • teeth bleaching
  • whitening trays
  • home whitening
  • surgery whitening

Remember to include your geographical location with each of these treatments.

Other possibilities could include:

  • dental veneers
  • instant veneers

Dental problem-missing teeth

Search for:

  • dental implants
  • dental bridges
  • dentures

Dental problem-crooked teeth

Search for:

  • six month smiles
  • Inman aligner
  • ceramic braces
  • invisible braces
  • Invisalign
  • clear step
  • Damon braces
  • lingual braces
Always remember to include a geographical location with any of these search terms, this way you will be assured of finding a dentist in the local area that can help.

Have you found this post helpful? If you did please feel free to share it around the Internet using the links above.


My Crooked Teeth Look dark!

James Arthur X factor teeth

One of the common concerns with people that have crooked teeth is the fact that they think the teeth are dark.

Here is a photograph of James Arthur, the recent winner of X factor in 2012. Since winning the show he has commented in the national press about the fact that he wants to have his teeth straightened. Here is a photograph showing him with his crooked teeth, notice how the second tooth on the left-hand side of the photograph (James is right hand side) looks darker due to the fact that the front tooth is rotated.

Many people go to the dentist asking for teeth whitening because they see this dark tooth, however the reason is that it is in shadow caused by the rotated front teeth.

Shadows very often create dark areas on teeth and in fact teeth whitening is not the solution, having straighter teeth is!

Generally speaking straightening teeth nowadays is a fairly simple process with either invisible braces or fixed tooth coloured braces. These treatment options are certain to help your crooked teeth look white again.

Very often though, after treatment, teeth whitening is also offered to finally make your new straight teeth look really white. You may find that your dental practice offers free teeth whitening with any orthodontic treatment, although this is not always the case.

If you’re looking for a dentist to help you with your crooked teeth then the best way to find them is to go to the search engines, most commonly Google, and do a search for the following terms:

  1. ‘Six month smiles < <your geographical location>>’
  2. ‘Invisalign < <your geographical location>>’
  3. ‘Inman aligner< <your geographical location>>’
  4. ‘invisible braces< <your geographical location>>’
  5. ‘ceramic braces < <your geographical location>>’
  6. ‘lingual braces < <your geographical location>>’

By doing this type of Google search and adding your geographical location will allow you to find a dentist in the local area who can provide for you one of these orthodontic options.

iTero Digital Dental Crowns

iTero crowns are a revolution in modern dental technology and allow the patient to have digital impression, that’s impressions with none of the nasty messy impression goo that normally accompanies having a crown made.

iTero digital impressions are a great way to improve the comfort of the patient and allow an ultra high tech, modern and accurate way of recording the patient’s mouth for manufacture of the final dental crown.

This technique can also be used to make Invisalign Braces – again with no nasty impression goo.

There are 2 primary reasons that iTero is more accurate than conventional impression goo:

  1. The dentist can accurately see the results of the impression live on the computer screen and make tiny adjustments before the patient leaves
  2. The impression is not physical, therefore it is not prone to warping or damage during use by the dentist and dental technician

Here is a video that explains more:

To find a dentist that provides iTero Digital Impressions we suggest you Google this phrase to find a dentist local to you.

When Should Orthodontics be Started?

Orthodontic treatment can be undertaken from children as young as 6 right the way up to adult hood. With young children of this age orthodontics is often termed ‘preventive’ orthodontics as dentists are preventing further problems as the child gets older.

Typically a specialist orthodontist might remove some baby teeth to make way for adult teeth, or they may decide that some form of ‘ridge or arch’ expansion is required. This can be done to increase the size of the jaw if it is felt that is current too small.

The recommendation is to take you young child to a specialist orthodontist practice in London or the area that is close to you as soon as possible. This specialist will then be able to check your child’s teeth and advice you on the best option for possible treatment.

This treatment may involve orthodontics at a young age, or possibly waiting a while for more teeth to come through. In any event it’s best to seek this advice before the critical age is reached.

It is important to find an orthodontist that is a specialist in treating children of this age as many simply suggest that you wait until all the adult teeth have come through. This may not always be the best option as critical times in development may then have been missed and early intervention orthodontics could have worked better.

The advice is to go to the GDC (General Dental Council) and check their register for specialists orthodontists in your area, then ask them if they do early intervention or preventive orthodontic procedures.

Specialist Orthodontics requires a higher level qualification than a general dentist and they will typically have a great knowledge of the treatments and alternatives available to you.

 

Which Cosmetic Dental Option is Right for You?

Cosmetic dentistry is moving fast in the UK, yet the basic problems it solves is the same as it has always been.

There are 3 basic classifications for people that want cosmetic dentistry, people with:

  1. Crooked, Twisted, Rotated Teeth
  2. Mis-Shapen Teeth
  3. Dark Teeth

So, let’s look at some of the options:

Crooked Teeth

The most basic treatment for this is orthodontics, so if you are happy with the tooth shape itself, then your dentist can move your teeth to a new position using one of the orthodontic options listed here.

Mis-Shapen Teeth

If you don’t like the shape of your tooth then your dentist can use either crowns or veneers. Veneers cover only the front of the tooth, while crowns cover the whole of your tooth. Dental veneers/crowns can be used to correct not only the mis-shapen tooth, but also straighten them and lighten them at the same time.

Dark Teeth

The simplest option is to lighten teeth using tooth whitening. If you are happy with the basic position and shape of your teeth then this option may be best. Tooth whitening is also often used after orthodontics to really brighten up your smile.

The recommendation of dentists seems to be the at the best thing is to tell your dentist what your concerns are and what you like/dislike about your smile then let your dentist decide on the best treatment option for your depending on your ideal smile and your budget.