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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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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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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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.
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.
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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.
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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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.
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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Helping our Clapham patients to maintain healthy gums.
Gum recession not only detracts from an otherwise attractive smile, but can create other problems too. In today’s blog, we take a look at why some people’s gum recede, how to prevent it, and the problems that can occur if we don’t.
It should be said that gums are likely to recede, to some degree, as we grow older. This is simply one of those unfortunate facts of life, like wrinkles, that we would rather avoid. Most of us would probably agree though, that we would rather our gums not recede until we are in the later years of our life and avoid it completely if at all possible.
Medical – There are a number of potential medical reasons for your gums to recede. These include hormonal changes, such as during pregnancy, and other medical conditions where the immune system is affected, making it less able to fight bacterial infections. Some medications may also cause gums to recede as a side effect. If your medication has this listed and you are concerned, please consult your GP before stopping any medication.
Gum disease – This is one of the most common reasons for gum recession that we see here at the Confidental Clinic in Clapham. Both gingivitis and the more advanced periodontitis, will cause this to happen over time. In addition to improving your home oral health regimen, we strongly advise that you see our helpful dental hygienist on a regular basis for professional cleaning (also known as a scale and polish).
Incorrect brushing – In their desire to have clean teeth, some patients are prone to use excessive force when brushing. This can have the effect of wearing away the gums and, at the same time, causing enamel damage which increases the risk of tooth decay. A gentle circular motion with a relatively new toothbrush is all that is needed and our hygienists will show you the correct techniques.
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Safe and effective facial aesthetics at our Clapham dental practice.
If you hadn’t visited a dental practice in the UK for a number of years, you might be surprised to notice that some, including ourselves, now also offer facial aesthetics as well as both general and cosmetic dentistry. On the surface, this may initially seem a little strange but actually fits in well with our approach of helping patients achieve the look that they wish for.
The clean and hygienic environment of a dental practice also makes this an ideal safe space for these treatments to be carried out with minimal risk of infections for the patient.
At the Confidental Clinic in Clapham, we have a dedicated team who are trained to carry out facial aesthetics procedures such as anti wrinkle treatments and dermal fillers. Of these, the anti wrinkle treatments, such as Botox, are perhaps the most well known. However, in this blog, we will take a look at how dermal fillers, a slightly less well known option, can be used to give you a more youthful appearance too.
Reversing ageing signs
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Making sure your mouth is healthy for a positive outcome.
At the Confidental Clinic in Clapham, we offer a wide range of cosmetic dental procedures to help patients realise a great new smile. Before a cosmetic procedure takes place though, it is important to make sure that your mouth is as healthy as it can be.
By ensuring that problems such as decay and gum disease are not present, we are able to minimise the risk of the dentistry failing, saving you both disappointment and money.
General cosmetic procedures
Whether you are thinking of having a straightforward teeth whitening treatment or something a little more complex, such as dental veneers, it makes sense to make sure that your mouth is as healthy as possible first. There is little sense in spending good money on teeth that may need to be filled or worse, are on the way to being lost completely. For example, in the case of dental veneers, if the underlying tooth becomes decayed, this is likely to weaken the bond with the veneer and failure can result. In cases where the decay is significant, the shape of the tooth may be changed so radically that the veneer no longer fits the tooth at all and other restorative procedures need to be considered.
We’ve possibly all seen cases in the media where patients have had cosmetic dentistry failures simply because their own dentist had not addressed the health of their mouth before commencing?
This can be avoided by ensuring that your teeth and gums are as healthy as they can be. With good aftercare, your new cosmetic treatments should be effective for the maximum time possible.
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Why dentures are still one of the most common tooth replacement methods.
Whilst we are firm believers that dental implants are currently the best option for replacing a missing tooth, the reality is that not everybody follows that particular route.
Whilst most of our Clapham patients would accept that dental implants are the strongest and easiest to use solution, for some, the cost, or simply the invasive nature of the procedure, deters them from having them placed.
Although we do offer help for nervous dental patients at the Confidental Clinic, the fact is that the use of modern partial dentures does offer a means of having a replacement tooth without the need for invasive procedures.
The good news for potential denture wearers is that modern dentures are more comfortable and natural looking than their predecessors. Whilst they may not offer the strength and stability of a dental implant, they do offer an acceptable compromise without the need for dental surgery. Most modern dentures are made from acrylic and these are the most commonly used. The replacement tooth is made in a shade to match that of your natural teeth to create a realistic looking smile. Small metal clasps are also used which attach to adjacent teeth to help to improve stability.
Especially where more than one adjoining tooth needs to be replaced, patients of the Confidental Clinic might wish to consider the flexible Valplast dentures that we have available at our Clapham practice. These offer a heightened degree of comfort and will flex with the mouth, making them feel more natural than traditional dentures.
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