Whiter Teeth For All!

Both men and women can benefit from a teeth whitening procedure at our Clapham practice.

Whilst the majority of people who have a teeth whitening procedure at the Confidental Clinic are female, we are seeing an increasing number of men wishing to have it done too.

A lot of marketing in this area appears to be aimed at women, as can be seen from the whitening toothpaste advertisements on TV, so, in today’s blog, we thought we would look at how men too, can benefit from this popular treatment.

Societal changes

You don’t have to go back too far to find a time where many men would have yellow teeth, probably from their early twenties, from smoking. At one time, it would be quite unusual to find a man that didn’t smoke. Naturally, as they became older, their teeth would become heavily stained with tar, often appearing quite yellow. Whilst this may not have been worn as a badge of pride exactly, few people were really concerned about how their teeth looked.

Perhaps things slowly started to change with the introduction of ‘youth culture’. As advertisers realised that there was a new market there, and men became aware of the opportunities available to them, new products started to appear on the market. Some of these enabled men to improve their appearance, something especially important to those in their teenage years and early twenties. Whilst, initially, there may have been a feeling that some of this was a little ‘effeminate’, times change and you would probably find it difficult now, to find many men who don’t use at least some form of male grooming product.

Whiter teeth

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Posted in Teeth whitening

Periodontitis – A Major Cause Of Tooth Loss

stages of gum disease

Our Clapham dental team explain why it is not just tooth decay that should be avoided.

The chances are that if you asked ten people on the street what the main cause of tooth loss is, probably around nine of them would say tooth decay.

This is understandable as we are often told, as children, that sweets will ‘rot our teeth’. Decay is probably all too familiar for some of us who may have experienced painful toothache at some point in our lives!

Whilst dental decay is a serious matter and can cause both pain and damage to the teeth, even needing extraction where the tooth can no longer be saved; there is another issue which is responsible for more tooth loss than even tooth decay, and that is gum disease.

Gingivitis

The most common, and probably best known, of gum health problems is gingivitis. Whilst once almost unacknowledged by the general public, toothpaste manufacturers now target this with new products aimed at reducing gum disease. These toothpastes can certainly help, but only if used as part of an overall gum health care programme, including regular hygienist visits. Gingivitis can be uncomfortable, with symptoms such as sore or bleeding gums, but, if treated early enough, is reversible and should cause little long term damage.

Periodontitis

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Posted in Hygienist

Extracting A Tooth – The Last Resort

Confidental Clinic

Explaining how we remove a tooth at our Clapham dental practice.

Whilst preventing dental problems is naturally better than having to treat them, there are now many procedures that are available to save a tooth when decay, or other problems, have occurred. From a minor dental filling through to root canal treatment, our dentists will do all that is practical to save a patient’s natural teeth.

Sometimes though, this may no longer be possible and a long standing troublesome tooth, or one that has received sudden damage, may have to be extracted. Many patients still believe that we actually ‘pull’ out the tooth. The procedure, however, is a little more involved.

X-rays and examination

When a patient attends our Clapham practice, either with a long term problem with a tooth, or an emergency dental appointment for something that has just happened, we will examine the tooth closely, likely taking x-rays to determine the nature of the problem. Where no alternatives are available, or where the prognosis is very poor, we may extract the tooth. This procedure will always be performed using a local anaesthetic and will take place at the Confidental Clinic except for where there may be complications, such as can occur with wisdom teeth, for example. These procedures may be carried out in hospital or by referral to a specialist.

The procedure

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Posted in Advice

Should Patients Worry About Facial Treatments?

Safety aspects of anti-wrinkle treatments and dermal fillers at our Clapham dental practice.

To anyone who has successfully had the lines and wrinkles on their faces treated using either Botox or dermal fillers, the idea of undergoing facial aesthetic treatment is no big deal. For many others though, who may be considering it but have not yet taken the first step, the thought may be quite worrying.

Unfortunately, for many people, their only encounter with cosmetic facial treatments has been through some of the more scaremongering stories in the daily tabloids. Usually this involves celebrities whose procedures have gone badly wrong. Understandably, given that this has been their only exposure, it can make some people think twice about having it done themselves.

Celebrity beauty gone wrong

Let us first take a look at why some of these procedures may have gone wrong. There are two likely possibilities. Firstly,  in the case of some celebrities, it’s the search for perfection. Where money is not an issue, some people may push to have as perfect an appearance as is possible. Even if we do not agree with what defines ‘perfection’, the reality is that, with money, it is usually possible to find someone who will push these procedures to the limit.

The desire for full lips, for example, may result in the now infamous ‘trout pout’.  Related to this issue is the fact that many professional facial clinics refuse to perform more ‘extreme’ treatments, thus forcing the customer to seek out less ethical clinicians who may lack the necessary skills or experience to perform an appropriate procedure.

In safe hands

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Posted in facial aesthetics

Worn Teeth – Dental Solutions

Our Clapham cosmetic dentist discusses how we can help people who have worn down teeth.

The older we get, the more the daily wear and tear of our lives takes a toll on our teeth. Some of this may be purely cosmetic, such as the fact that our teeth darken with age; sometimes though, a more noticeable impact can be seen when our teeth start to gradually wear down.

Causes of wear

There can be a number of factors which can cause our teeth to wear down in different ways.

Bruxism – This is where the teeth grind together, often during stressful periods and very often whilst we sleep. This can be very difficult to control, and, although there are solutions available to restore damage caused by this, which we will discuss later, it is best to wait until you no longer grind your teeth before attempting a permanent solution.

Poor diet – Too many of us still have a diet that is relatively high in sugar. As we know, this contributes to attacks on the enamel of the tooth, weakening it. One particular problem that affects many of us is the rise in consumption of both sugary fizzy drinks and high sugar ‘energy’ drinks. Both of these have been shown to contribute to erosion of the surface enamel of the teeth, exposing the dentin layer underneath.

Excessive brushing – Yes, even doing your best to look after your teeth can have its pitfalls. Excessive pressure placed when brushing your teeth can cause the enamel to wear away. Make sure to brush gently. There is no need to ‘scrub’.

Solutions for worn teeth

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Posted in Cosmetic dentistry

Experience The Latest In Dental Technology….

Itero Elements Scanner

With The iTero Element Scanner At Confidental Clinic In Clapham!

Patients who need to have teeth impressions taken with us will be very pleased to hear that we’ve gone putty free! That’s right, that gooey stuff we have to use to take accurate impressions of your teeth, that can make some people gag and feel generally uncomfortable, is gone! In its place is the revolutionary iTero Element Scanner.

What Is The iTero Element Scanner?

The iTero Element is an incredibly sophisticated piece of equipment that enables us to take 3D impressions of your teeth without the need for dental impression putty. It is convenient, comfortable and just as accurate as using dental putty, indeed more accurate in some cases. Major benefits of the iTero Element include:

●     No more gagging from placing the dental putty

●     No need for gooey dental putty

●     Just as accurate results from the iTero Element Scanner, if not more accurate

●     Impressions can be taken faster

●     Those needing impressions taken can enjoy a much smoother treatment process

●     Impressions do not need to be taken again

●     You can see an instant 3D image of your teeth on the screen

●     Dental devices needed for your treatment can be created more quickly

Which Treatments Benefit From The iTero Element Scanner?

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Posted in Technology

Dental Implants – Frequently Asked Questions

Common questions asked by our Clapham patients.

With access to the internet, it is quite possible to find out anything that you want about dental implants treatment. Sometimes though, the information might be difficult to understand due to technical terminology and there is also a risk too that the source you are using may not be entirely reliable.

With this in mind, we offer answers below to some questions that we have heard a number of times from patients of the Confidental Clinic in Clapham, in the hope that it will help patients feel better informed about this innovative tooth replacement procedure.

What are dental implants?

The actual implant is a screw like piece of equipment that is made from titanium. This is placed into the jawbone of the patient and is then allowed to fuse with the bone. This process, known as osseointegration, usually takes around 3 months. Once it is securely fused with the bone, a dental crown is attached by means of an abutment (a collar), which completes the replacement tooth.

Is the procedure painful?

Understandably, due to the implant being placed into the bone, some patients do worry about this aspect of the procedure. There is no need to though. Using modern x-rays and scanning equipment, the implant is placed carefully so as to avoid major nerve systems. Naturally, the procedure is carried out using a local anaesthetic and you should feel no more discomfort than you would expect with any other detailed dental procedure.

Are they strong?

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Posted in Implants

Mouth Cancers – Prevention And Early Detection

Although relatively uncommon, oral cancers can be extremely serious.

Mouth cancers are probably less well known to the general public than breast or lung cancers, for example, and are not as common. The damage that they can cause though should not be underestimated, and over two thousand people a year are thought to die from this particular form of cancer.

Whilst we are not cancer experts as such, our Clapham dentists and hygienists do have an important role to play in both the prevention and early detection of oral cancers.

Prevention

As with any medical condition, prevention is preferable to treatment, and the good news is that the risk of mouth cancer can, by and large, be significantly reduced with a little self control and professional care. A good oral health regimen, combined with professional dental supervision, will go a long way towards having a healthy mouth.

There are certain patients though, who are at an increased risk. Anybody who smokes and/or drinks alcohol in large quantities is more likely to suffer from this potentially fatal disease. Both tobacco and alcohol contain carcinogens which can damage the DNA within cells and lead to cancers. Stopping or significantly reducing both of these habits will greatly improve your chances of avoiding mouth cancers.

In addition to stopping these potentially cancer forming habits, one way in which you can greatly improve the health of your mouth is to make an appointment with our dental hygienist. Not only will your teeth and gums be thoroughly cleaned, but this is also an excellent way of understanding your oral health better, including learning methods to keep your mouth cleaner and healthier.

Early detection

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Posted in Advice

Practical Teeth Straightening With Invisalign in Clapham

Invisalign from £44 per month

Near invisible braces that straighten your teeth with the minimum of inconvenience.

Anyone who is unhappy with their crooked teeth will almost certainly have considered having dental braces at one time or another. Many braces though, offer an unsightly method of straightening teeth, with most being made from metal and therefore highly visible. In addition to this, it can be very difficult to keep teeth clean when braces are being worn and food becomes easily trapped in the wiring.

At the Confidental Clinic in Clapham, we are pleased to offer our patients an alternative type of orthodontic system in the form of Invisalign braces, which use an entirely different method altogether.

Transparent trays

By replacing wires and brackets with a series of transparent plastic trays that are placed over the teeth, patients are able to have their teeth straightened without the inconveniences of traditional braces. Whilst the trays should be worn for most of the time during the treatment period, they are designed to be removed by the wearer when they are eating and for cleaning their teeth. This simple method makes them a very practical way to straighten teeth.

By removing the trays, patients can eat the same foods that they usually would without the difficulty of eating or food getting trapped in the wiring. In fact, trapped food may cause more than embarrassment and can lead to tooth decay or gum disease. Although the risks of decay and gum disease are minimised using Invisalign braces, it is still important that you maintain your dental and hygienist visits during the treatment period, as well as maintaining good oral care at home.

The comfort factor

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Posted in Invisalign

The Ageing Effects Of Smoking

How smoking affects your facial features and your teeth, prematurely aging you.

We have covered in a previous blog post, the dangers to oral health caused by smoking, with the increased risk of oral cancers and advanced gum disease.

Although these issue do, quite rightly, grab the headlines, there is another issue which long term smokers have to face, and that is the way that it affects their appearance.

Although it may once have been ‘cool’ to smoke, and there is little doubt that in earlier times, the sight of Bogart and Bacall smoking could be classed as ‘alluring’, few would argue that to be the case these days. With a heightened awareness of the damage that smoking causes, more and more people are attempting to stop.

At the Confidental Clinic in Clapham, we see the effects on oral health of smokers on a daily basis. Our facial aesthetics team also see the effect that it has on the patient’s appearance in general.

‘Ugly’ teeth

We don’t really like to use the term ‘ugly’, but it is often an appropriate term where someone has smoked for a long period of time. From a dental perspective, there are a number of visual symptoms which can cause a smoker to have an unattractive smile.

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Posted in Advice