Our Surbiton dentist looks at dentures, bridges and implants to replace missing teeth.
Although it can be devastating when we lose a tooth, especially in our younger years, there are now several options available to replace those which are missing.
Choosing which of these methods to use can be difficult and will depend on a number of factors, including finance and how far you are prepared to go with a more invasive treatment.
Whilst all of these methods offer a certain level of benefit, some provide better longer term solutions than others. Below, we look at the pros and cons of the three tooth replacement methods available at the Confidental Clinic in Surbiton.
- Modern dentures offer better aesthetics than older type ones and look natural.
- The fitting of dentures is usually a non invasive procedure and may be one that appeals to those who suffer from dental anxiety.
- Some people find dentures to be uncomfortable and to move around in the mouth a little.
- There may be some restrictions on what foods you feel comfortable eating.
- Dentures can be fiddly and inconvenient to clean.
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Our Surbiton dentists discuss the possible precursors to implant treatment.
At the Confidental Clinic in Surbiton, we know that dental implants offer an excellent opportunity to have strong, long lasting and trouble free replacement teeth. This option does require a relatively extensive procedure however, and it is therefore important to make sure that you are absolutely ready before treatment begins.
In today’s blog we look at a few of the things which could cause a delay for patients having this treatment. None of them however, prevent the procedure from going ahead, and may simply cause a short delay whilst the issue is addressed.
Too little bone structure
One of the most common reasons why we may have to delay an implant placement is when we discover, from x rays and scans, that the patient has insufficient jaw bone into which the implants can be placed. This can occur when a tooth has been missing for some time, and can also be exaggerated if the patient has smoked.
In order for a dental implant to be placed, there needs to be healthy and sufficient bone, and, in situations such as this, a bone graft or sinus lift may be necessary prior to the implant procedure. This will re-establish sufficient new bone into which the implant can be placed.
Dental implants require healthy gums and bone to be successful. One of the biggest challenges to dental implants comes from gum disease, and especially periodontitis, which can damage the bone structure. Any sign of this problem will need to be treated before we can place dental implants. You will also need to take good care to avoid this problem once you have had them placed.
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A Surbiton dentist discusses gum health whilst wearing dentures.
In previous blogs we have discussed how advanced gum disease can cause tooth loss due to the deterioration of the bone in the jaw. When this degrades, it is no longer able to hold teeth securely in position, often causing them to become loose or even fall out altogether.
One or two new patients of the Confidental Clinic have, in the past, jokingly suggested that this wouldn’t be an issue for them as they have already lost their teeth and their dentures sometimes fall out anyway. Although this was said in humour, it does raise some important points and considerations regarding dentures and the health of your gums.
If we take the example of someone who has lost all of their teeth and are wearing a full set of dentures, you might think that their gum health was not as important as someone who had healthy natural teeth. There are a few reasons why this is incorrect. Gum disease often causes bleeding gums, soreness and discomfort and the addition of dentures rubbing against these could cause quite significant pain for the denture wearer.
Additionally, gum disease is increasingly being linked with other health conditions such as heart problems, strokes, diabetes and even Alzheimer’s disease. It makes sense therefore, to keep your gums as healthy as possible to help protect your general health.
Advanced gum disease can also erode the bone structure, causing facial shape changes and even small changes can cause your dentures to no longer fit correctly. This can cause movement and instability of the dentures that can make eating more difficult.
Even if you wear partial dentures, the above may still apply. Modern dentures offer a much better experience that older types, but care still needs to be taken to ensure that you have a healthy mouth to continue to support them.
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Our Surbiton dentist takes a look at why it’s worth the effort to stop smoking.
It seems quite strange that there was a time that almost everyone smoked. Not only that, but cigarettes were advertised positively and even recommended for stress relief! Of course, we now know differently, and the link between smoking and numerous health problems is well established.
Whilst patients may well be aware of risks such as lung cancer and heart disease, we thought that we would offer our perspective, from a dental viewpoint, why we would like any patient of the Confidental Clinic who still smokes, to make a real effort not to do so.
Oral cancer – This is the most serious risk to your health from an oral health perspective. Although not the most widely known cancer, it does still cause serious problems and caused nearly two and a half thousand deaths in 2014. Our Surbiton based dentists team regularly inspects your mouth for potential symptoms during your six monthly check ups and may recommend a visit to your GP if we see something we feel may be of concern.
Gum disease – Gum disease is responsible for more tooth loss than dental decay. This happens due to the degrading of the bone in the jaw during latter stage gum disease, known as periodontitis. Smokers have been shown to have increased rates of gum disease caused both by irritation of the gums and increased harmful bacteria due to a dry mouth.
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Patient choice is important but first choices may not always be the most appropriate.
Let’s be honest, the Internet is great. At the press of a few keys we can find out about the smallest town in the remotest part part of the world that once would have taken weeks or months to research. Overall, this is great, but this instant information does not mean that professional advice can be ignored altogether.
Occasionally, we meet a patient who has spent some time researching ways of improving their teeth and then books an appointment at our Surbiton practice, armed with instructions of what they want us to do. Whilst we are always happy to help our patients to achieve their aims, a little investigation may indicate that their well researched path is not actually the most appropriate for them.
Let us take, for an example, a case where a patient came to us wanting to have their teeth straightened. Their research led them to choose the popular Invisalign system to straighten their teeth, based on the many benefits of this system, including comfort, discretion and also that they can be removed when eating, thereby offering a high level of convenience.
Invisalign would be an excellent first choice orthodontic for many reasons; however, in this particular patient’s case, their teeth were largely aligned correctly and the main “problem” was with some minor crookedness in their front teeth. Therefore, there was more concern about appearance than with any functionality problem.
Whilst Invisalign could be used to correct this problem, the method may not necessarily be the only choice. Invisalign can be used for minor and more complex issues but can take longer to work than some brace systems. So it is sensible to consider other solutions for this type of problem which can potentially produce faster results.
Six Month Smiles
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Cutting corners on dental implant placement could prove to be a bad mistake.
As reports in the newspapers seem to be indicating, money is starting to get a little tight for some people. Generally, when this happens, we look at ways to cut back our expenditure, perhaps buying less, or more likely, switching to cheaper brands.
Whilst this may work with some products, it is a risky strategy when it comes to dental care, and especially implant placement.
If you do a search for ‘dental implants’ even within your own area, you are likely to see a number of adverts offering ‘cheap implants abroad’ or similar. These can, at first glance, seem very tempting. After all, who would not want to pay less and have a few days in a hotel to recover too!
The financial incentive to go abroad for dental implant treatment is understandable, but is also probably the only plus factor. There are a significant number of risks in taking up these offers, and we look at a few of these below.
How qualified and experienced will the dentist be? – Whilst there are many talented dentists abroad, it can be difficult to ascertain whether the ones offering these cheaper implants have the level of expertise required to place implants safely and successfully. Different countries may have different standards and may not adhere to those that we are used to in the UK. In addition to this, even where the skills have been gained, experience can count for a lot. Some of these dental practices may be relatively new to implant placement, unlike the experienced implant dentists at our Surbiton practice.
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Cracked, chipped and badly stained teeth can look great again!
It is not unusual for a patient to come to our Surbiton practice, asking to have their teeth whitened. In most cases, following an examination of their teeth and general oral health, we are able to do this using a straightforward teeth whitening procedure.
To some other patients though, we may have to tell them that they would not really benefit sufficiently from this particular procedure. This usually applies to patients whose teeth are either very badly stained or are chipped or cracked.
All three of these problems means that a whitening procedure would likely be insufficient for their needs. In the case of badly stained teeth, perhaps those of a heavy ex smoker, there may be some improvement, but the results would probably not be as significant as they might expect. In the cases of chips or cracks, a whitening treatment would not touch these, and, indeed, may highlight these flaws even more.
Replacing the enamel
Once a patient’s teeth have suffered from this type of damage, the best and least invasive solution is to replace the surface enamel of the teeth with a porcelain veneer. This is an increasingly common and popular procedure for patients with this type of problem.
The procedure itself does involve removing a fine layer from the damaged front surface of the tooth which is done using a dental bur and is performed after a local anaesthetic has been administered. Once the teeth have been prepared in this way, impressions are taken of the teeth and sent to a dental laboratory for the manufacture of the veneers. This process usually takes a little over a week, and temporary veneers will be fitted to protect your teeth in the meantime.
Upon the return of your new veneers, we will remove the temporary ones and attach your new veneers before finally trimming and polishing them to give them a great looking and natural appearance.
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Oral health advice for very young children.
If you have recently had a baby, probably the last thing on your mind is how to look after their teeth; getting enough sleep is more likely to be a priority! Taking a little time to look after your young child’s teeth though, will pay dividends as they start to grow up and have strong healthy and attractive smile.
Our Surbiton dentist at Confidental Clinic, offers some thoughts below, on some simple things that you can do to look after your young child’s teeth.
Although it is important to clean a baby’s gums to prevent any problems; once their teeth start to appear, this should be replaced by regular brushing. This should be a soft brush with a small head. Initially, the use of water alone to brush is sufficient. Gradually though, very tiny amounts of a mild, fluoride toothpaste can be introduced, building up to a pea shaped amount as they develop.
Whilst you will initially have to brush their teeth for them; once capable, they should be encouraged to do this themselves so that they see this as a normal thing to do. You should supervise them whilst they do this though to make sure that they brush their teeth correctly, until such time that you are happy that they will do so themselves.
Pacifiers, thumbs and drinks
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If you are looking for ‘invisible’ braces in Surbiton, look no further!
Most people have heard of dental braces and the request to have teeth straightened is one of the most common that we hear from patients at the Confidental Clinic in Surbiton.
Whilst some patients do express concerns about the visibility of any braces that they may be required to wear, they are usually reassured by the range of near-invisible brace options that we offer at our practice.
This wide range of braces allows us to treat most types of misaligned and crooked teeth, and all of them offer a greater degree of discretion than conventional dental braces can. Of all the types on offer, it is Invisalign, one of our most popular orthodontic systems, that appeals to perhaps the largest number of patients, and for good reasons.
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Offering strength and stability, dental crowns provide a solution to a number of dental problems.
Dental crowns offer an excellent means of restoring a tooth and are used in a number of procedures. They can be made from a number of different materials, and, at the Confidental Clinic in Surbiton, we will assess and recommend the best type for you, depending on the type of procedure involved, and your own circumstances.
In today’s blog, we take a look at how dental crowns are used in the procedures available at our own practice.
The most common use for a dental crown is where a tooth has been badly broken, or a large amount has to be removed due to dental decay. Whilst in both cases it may be possible to offer a simple filling, this should be weighed up against how reliable and strong it would prove to be. In many cases, it is better to restore the tooth using a dental crown. This will provide the tooth with sufficient strength and hopefully minimise the need for further treatment should a filling not be strong enough to resolve the problem.
Root canal treatment is an effective way to save a tooth that has become infected; the only other alternative being to extract it. Because this procedure necessitates the removal of part of the top of the tooth in order to access the root canals, the restored tooth is, quite naturally, weakened significantly. The addition of a dental crown both completes the root treated tooth aesthetically and restores sufficient strength for daily use.
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