Blog posts about cosmetic dentistry including veneers, whitening, bonding and orthodontics.

What everyone should know before getting dental braces

Want to get back you nice smile and you need braces, but don’t know what to expect?

What are the costs? What are the best types available? What are the steps involved? What are the risks involved? Are they painful?

Fear not, by the end of this article, you’ll have an answer to all of these questions and some!

Ready? Let’s dive right in!

What types of dental braces are there available?

Traditional Braces

You might think of these braces as those awful ones like in The Ugly Betty.

Well, this is what they used to look like. But not anymore. They are now much lighter in weight and structure than they used to be.

They are made from a high-grade stainless steel and have metal brackets that are attached to each tooth using some kind of cement.

Each bracket is linked to the other one with a thin archwire basically drags your teeth (slowly) in the correct position.

These archwires are in turn attached to the brackets using tiny elastics known as ligatures or o-rings.

Ceramic Braces

These are very similar to the traditional braces. They work the same way, but the braces are made from a clear, transparent ceramic material.

The advantage over the traditional braces is that they are less visible to others.

The disadvantage is that sometimes patients might  occasionally find that the elastics become discolored, which can cause marks on the teeth.

Fortunately, your orthodontist might recommend you to use a special solution to apply to your teeth in order to protect them against cavities.

Damon Braces

This is one of the most popular type of dentists because it provides gentler treatment and you have to go less often to your dentist. So you also save time and money.

But this is not the only advantage.

Damon braces are self-ligating and use a slide mechanism instead of elastics to connect the archwires.

This means you will see faster results because your teeth can move on their own, without needing to be adjusted.

And because the braces are self-ligating, they cause put less pressure on your teeth, so you feel less pain.

And there’s one more advantage to this. It’s also easier to keep them clean.

Clear and Removable Aligners

Invisalign is like a mouth guard with the advantage that it aligns your teeth.

You can remove them anytime you want and you can clean them whenever you want.

The disadvantage of this type of braces is that you have to change them out for a newly made one every two weeks. This is because one the aligner brings your teeth closer, it isn’t good anymore. So basically, each new aligner takes the adjustment of your teeth one step further.

Forsus Appliances

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children get screened by an orthodontist at the age of 7.

This is because at this age you have the most chances to correct your teeth fast.  

As you can see from the picture above, this device basically uses a spring that attaches to the braces and adjusts the upper or lower jaw into position.

Palatal Expanders

When you have overcrowded teeth, you have 2 options: extract the tooth or use palatal expansion.

In the past, tooth extraction was preferred. But today, fortunately, you can save your teeth by wearing this device which basically applies pressure to the back of your upper molars to gradually move your teeth farther apart.

This expands your palate and makes it possible for other types of braces to be fitted to correct the position of your teeth.

What are the best type of braces?

As you’ve already seen, there isn’t a “best type”.

You choose your dental braces based on 3 factors:

  1. How overcrowded your teeth are (severe cases require different type of braces)
  2. How visible/comfortable you want them to be
  3. What is your budget (Invisalign costs a bit more than traditional ones)

Either way, only your dentist can tell you for sure what type of dental braces you actually NEED.

Are dental braces painful?

The answer is both yes and no.

You will feel a mild soreness or discomfort after the orthodontic wire is engaged into the newly placed brackets.

This discomfort may may last for a few days to a week while your teeth will be a bit more sensible when you bite, depending on how hard is the food you eat.

Either way, you won’t feel any deep pains.

Another discomfort you may also feel at first is that you may feel that your braces are sticking out, which is completely normal.

As you get used to your braces and tooth alignment improves, this sensation will disappear and will cease to be a concern.  

In fact, when you get your braces off, your teeth will feel strange without them for a while, too!

How much do dental braces cost?

Again, it depends.

But here are some numbers, just to get an idea.

  • Metal braces (traditional braces) : $3,000 – 7,000
  • Ceramic braces : $4,000 – 8,000
  • Lingual braces : $8,000 – 10,000
  • Invisalign : $4,000 – 7,400

What are the next steps?

If you have overcrowded teeth, only your dentist can give you a pertinent advice. Depending on the severity of your problem, he can recommend you what you should do next.

But one thing is for sure, the sooner you go to a dentist, the sooner you’ll get back your beautiful smile!

About the author

Patrik Bindea is a growth hacking marketer and the owner of Strodin Dental Marketing Company, where he helps dentists get more patients. He obsessively tests different marketing ideas until he finds those details that turn strategies, concepts and words into sales.  

How does a dentist fill a cavity?

Pain from cavities is one of the most horrible experiences you can endure in life. Due to their proximity to several nerves, ignoring toothache is nearly impossible.

If you are in pain, find a dentist near you and visit him right away no matter how much you hate them. Thankfully, modern dentistry is relatively pain-free, and you can experience some relief in a matter of hours.

 Have you ever wondered what exactly a dentist does to take away your pain?

A qualified dental professional takes several steps to save your teeth and provide you with some immediate relief.

If your face is swollen, it means the bacteria has spread beyond the teeth and caused an infection in your mouth and maybe even your jaw. The first step would be to stop the infection from spreading further. Your dentist might prescribe a course of strong antibiotics and painkillers. The painkillers will give you relief from a toothache while the antibiotics control infection and reduce the swelling.

Your dentist is likely to take an x-ray to figure out the extent of the damage. If the cavity is not very extensive, a surface filling will suffice. But if it goes too deep, it may need a root canal, a filling, and a cap. In some cases, if the tooth is no longer salvageable, he may have to extract it completely to prevent further damage to the gum.

Once you are relatively pain-free and the dentist is certain of having controlled the infection, it is time to drill your teeth. A local anesthetic is used to numb your jaws. Some dentists may even give you nitrous oxide to calm you if you have too much anxiety about dental work.

Anatomy of a tooth including the pulpOnce the jaw is numb, and you are relaxed, the dentist will use a water drill to create an opening to reach your cavities. The extent of the drill is determined by how far the cavity has reached. If only a part of your teeth is affected and the roots are untouched, he will drill to remove the cavity completely, until he reaches healthy teeth material.

But if the root and pulp are affected, your dentist may use special tools to perform a root canal treatment. He will remove dead roots and nerves, apply some antibiotic and put a temporary seal in place. The antibiotic will kill any remaining bacteria and the temporary seal will ensure food particles do not enter the cavity.




Your dentist may suggest a follow up in 3-4 days to continue the work. In the next session, he may insert some needles into the cavity and take another x-ray to ensure all roots are covered. He may perform another root canal cleaning if he notices further decay. The gap between the first procedure and second allows him time to evaluate if there is any secondary infection or decay.

This time, a dental assistant would take a mold of your affected teeth to order for a custom cap in case you had a root canal.

If your teeth decay is superficial or only a few millimeters deep, your dentist is likely to seal it with an inert material.

Typically, it could be filled with metallic fillings like gold, amalgams like silver, a composite material like resins of quartz or glass or even ceramic substance.

Amalgams have been a popular filling for the last 100 years. Made of several metals, they are strong and lasts a lifetime. They are also the least expensive material to be used as a filling. But in the last two decades, there is a rapid reduction in its usage due to fear of mercury leeching into the body. So, none of the dentists in western countries use it anymore.

If you can afford it, gold is considered as one of the best filling materials. Ceramic is becoming the most popular option due to its low cost and low maintenance nature.

You get to choose which kind of filling you want, especially if it is a surface filling.

But if your decay goes deep and you need a cap, the filling material becomes less important since no one can see it. A ceramic filling is most commonly used when treating root canal decay.

But you can choose the type of cap for your tooth. You can choose an expensive porcelain cap, a gold one or a combination of dental ceramic and a metal alloy. The cap will be put on the teeth and sealed permanently. While you may notice this cap in the beginning as it feels foreign in your mouth, within a few days, it becomes normal, and you can treat it like your other teeth.

Cavities are a tricky business and should never be neglected. The faster they are treated, higher are your chances of saving your teeth. If you dive underwater, make sure you tell your dentist about it. He may use special techniques to ensure there is no air bubbles or gaps within the filling. This way, even when you go underwater, you are free from a toothache.


This article is a guest post.

Now is the time to start your dental treatment in time for a white smile at Christmas

Christmas white smile[This blog post was written on 28/11/17 and all dates and timescales are based upon this date.]

  • 66% of adults in the UK have visible plaque [1]
  • 48% of the population are unhappy with the look of their teeth
  • 31% of adults have tooth decay.

 

For the 66% of adults that have visible plaque it’s not too late to get this removed for (allegedly) one of the happiest times of the year, Christmas. For the 48% of the population that are unhappy with the look of their teeth there’s also still time to do something about it, ready for all those photographs. But what about if you’re in the 31% of adults with tooth decay, is there still time for you to act? Oh yes, read on to find out what you can do to get your teeth and smile sorted for Christmas.

What dental treatments are available in time for Christmas?

Dental health treatments

With many dental practices now offering direct access for hygienists And hygienists offering a wider range of treatments there really is no reason why you can’t have visible signs of teeth staining removed prior to Christmas.



If one of the reasons you don’t smile is because your gums are red and puffy then you may have gingivitis, this can often take a few weeks to sort out so again, you just about have enough time before Christmas to resolve this dental health problem.

Most dentists near you will offer dental hygiene treatments, you should expect to pay for these privately as they are often not available with our hygienist on the NHS. Typically this will cost you between £50 and £100… Could this be a Christmas present to yourself?

Cosmetic dental treatments

Some cosmetic dental treatments such as orthodontics take longer to undertake and there is now not enough time to straighten teeth with braces prior to Christmas, however, restorative treatments such as dental veneers or crowns made just have enough time (time of writing 28/11/17).

If you have surface stains on your teeth you might like to ask your dentist or hygienist about mild air abrasion.  This uses a very light blasting medium to gently remove surface stains from your teeth, the treatment can be low-cost, quick and painless but is only suitable  if your teeth are stained on the surface. It cannot remove any deeper ingrained stains or change the colour of your teeth itself.

One of the treatments you definitely have time for before Christmas is teeth whitening, whitening can take anywhere from a few hours (with in surgery whitening) or a couple of weeks with home whitening. If you’d like to have whiter teeth for those Christmas photographs then we recommend you contact your dentist within the next day or so to avoid disappointment.

A word of warning about teeth whitening in a beauty salon… Don’t!

campaign for safe tooth whitening

A busy time of year

Many industries find that Christmas is an extremely busy time of year, dentistry is no different. So many people are wanting to have their smiles bright and fresh ready for the festive season, you don’t have much longer to go if you are to get an appointment in time to have your problem resolved.

Whatever you are waiting for… Don’t wait any longer and contact your dental practice TODAY.

References

[1] www.nationalsmilemonth.org/facts-figures/

Image source: freedigitalphotos.net

 

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.

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?

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.

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.

Instant Veneers

Instant Dental veneers are taking the cosmetic dentistry world by storm , but what are they?

If you have a broken down tooth, or one that is chipped then instant veneers can help. Your dentist will clean the tooth and may trim away a small amount of tooth if the area that has broken has gone really dark.

Your dentist will then apply a bonding solution to the outer surface of your tooth. Using a special ‘composite’ tooth coloured material (similar to putty in consistency) the dentist will then rebuild your tooth to the correct shape and size by adding this material.

How long to instant veneers last?

This depends on a range of factors from your diet to your bite, but they should be able to last for a few years if looked after well.

How many teeth can be done with Instant Veneers?

This really depends on the create skill of your dentist and how confident they are to apply this material to many teeth at once. It also depends on how much of the front of the tooth is being covered at any one time. The best thing is to ask your dentist for advice.

How much do Instant Veneers cost?

Typically Instant veneers are cheaper than conventional ceramic veneers as there is no dental laboratory involved in the process.

Again, speaking to your dentist will help find out the full cost of instant veneers although we would estimate that it is in the region of £250 upwards.

 

 

 

 

A brief article on the advantages and disadvantages of oral veneers

A brief article on the advantages and disadvantages of oral veneers

Dental veneers provide a straightforward resolution to a variety of oral issues, which help you to achieve a balanced, bright, and even look and due to this they are increasing in reputation and use almost contantly.

When placed by a dentist with a great deal of experience, qone that is perhaps registered with the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry or British Academy of Aesthetic Dentistry, working with high quality materials, laboratories and equipment, then there ought to be very few or no difficulties with the process.

It is however an idea to ponder the characteristics of the process of having dental veneers bonded to the surface of your tooth. Your natural enamel will be slightly removed and then etched with an acid to ensure the new veneer bonds well to your tooth. This means you must have these new veneers for the rest of your life.

You ought to genuinely and fully calculate not only the upfront price, but also the continuous price of replacing them in the future should they break or require replacing for any other reason.