Replacing Missing Teeth At The Back Of The Mouth

Why you should replace lost teeth even if they’re not visible.

Our back teeth come under a lot of pressure on a daily basis. Largely responsible for grinding and chewing our food, it is probably not surprising that damage to these teeth is not uncommon. They can also be more difficult to keep clean, especially at the very back of the rear teeth where a toothbrush may not reach as well.

Whilst damaged and decayed teeth can often be filled or repaired, this does not always guarantee that they will last forever, and sometimes they become so damaged or decayed that they need to be extracted.

Should they be replaced?

Some patients who have rear teeth extracted choose not to replace them, leaving a gap. The logic to this is that these teeth are not really very visible. There are very good reasons for replacing these teeth though. Not only will not doing so limit the type of foods that you feel comfortable eating, but often means that you switch their role to other teeth which are less suitable for this purpose. In some cases, this can lead to damaged or eroded teeth elsewhere in the mouth.

How to replace them

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Avoiding The Devastating Effects Of Mouth Cancer

Risking oral cancer could change your life forever, or even prove fatal

Most of us who can remember the pop group ‘Bucks Fizz’ at all, will probably mainly do so for the ‘skirt incident’ in the Eurovision song contest. Unfortunately, their name has been in the news again recently, albeit in very sad circumstances this time. Singer Jay Aston has revealed that she has mouth cancer and will have to have a section of her tongue removed, clearly affecting her speech and ability to sing.

Whilst the likely reason for her cancer has not been announced, and we certainly don’t wish to speculate, there are are a number of factors which can increase the risks. Our Confidental Clinic dentists take a look at these below in a timely reminder for our Clapham patients.

Smoking

This is the number one threat where oral cancer is concerned. Although it is good news that far fewer people smoke than before, it is thought that there are somewhere in the region of nine million adults who do still smoke in the UK. These people are at the highest risk of mouth cancer. It is not just cigarettes either; all smoking products raise the risks of oral cancers. Indeed, although not commonly practiced in the UK, using chewing tobacco in the cheek of your mouth makes mouth cancer several times more likely than if you smoke regular cigarettes.

There are currently no statistics available regarding vaping and oral cancer. The fact that vaping does not contain the carcinogenic properties of cigarettes probably does mean that it is safer, although long term research could prove otherwise. So if you can stop smoking without resorting to vaping, this is your best option.

Alcohol consumption

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Alternatives To Large Dental Fillings

Confidental Clinic

Other options for large cavities available at our Clapham practice

Dental fillings are one of the most common treatments that dentists carry out. They are an excellent way of restoring a tooth that has either broken or suffered from decay. Whilst amalgam fillings are still available, many patients are opting instead for the more aesthetically pleasing white dental fillings.

As a cavity becomes larger, necessitating the need for additional fillings, or if it is a large cavity in the first place, fillings may not be the best option available. In today’s Confidental Clinic blog, we take a look at some of the alternatives that are available at our practice.

Crowns

Aside from fillings, dental crowns are commonly used. These provide both an excellent appearance and additional strength, whilst also being long lasting. There does need to be sufficient natural tooth available though for a crown to be successfully fitted and a prior examination will be needed to determine if this is the case.

Inlays

Where a large cavity is present, especially on rear teeth where an element of force is used to chew the food, even a strong filling material may not offer sufficient strength. In these situations, where a cavity is large but where a crown may be overkill, a porcelain inlay or onlay may be used. These are made to match the shade of the natural tooth and provide an excellent restorative alternative.

Implants

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Dental Myths Exposed By Your Clapham Dentist

Rumours about some aspects of dentistry can often misinform patients.

Aside from any ‘clickbait’ adverts that promise miracle cures at very cheap rates, there have long been many myths about dental care that have become widely accepted over time.

Some of these are relatively harmless, whilst others could have potentially serious consequences. In today’s blog, the team at the Confidental Clinic in Clapham take a look at a few of these myths and respond to them.

Failure to brush properly only affects your teeth

Anyone who has read our blogs will know that this is not true. Your gums especially are at serious risk if you do not clean them, including regular professional care. It doesn’t stop at your gums though, and poor oral health care also increases the risk of cancers to the tongue, throat and neck, amongst others. There is also some evidence that poor oral care during pregnancy may cause your child to be more susceptible to tooth decay.

Too much sugar causes tooth decay

Perhaps this should be rephrased as ‘too frequent sugar’. You could, in theory, eat a whole bag of sugar in just a few minutes with minimal effect for your teeth (though other health issues could arise!) What is far more harmful for your teeth is continual exposure, even to smaller amounts of sugar. If for example, you suck sweets throughout the day, even if these are relatively low in sugar, then the constant sugar exposure throughout the day will almost certainly harm your teeth.

First teeth don’t matter

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Unisex Teeth Whitening In Clapham

Women and men are now seeking great looking teeth!

Although much advertising for teeth whitening treatments is aimed at women, it is equally effective and beneficial for men too. Over the last few years we have noticed a steady increase in the number of men seeking this treatment at our Clapham dentists.

The custom home whitening treatment that we offer at the Confidental Clinic is a straightforward and easy way to really boost your smile with nicer looking white teeth.

Benefits for men

One of the groups of men that we commonly find are coming to us for this popular treatment, are those who have stopped smoking. Whilst, in the case of long term heavy smokers, porcelain veneers may prove a more effective option, our whitening treatment is still very effective for many ex smokers. Not only does having this treatment provide a boost for your smile after you have stopped smoking, but may also help as an incentive not to start again during those times when you might struggle.

As well as aesthetic benefits, in themselves worthwhile, a warm attractive smile may also help in situations such as job interviews and social situations too. There are no guarantees here of course, but a smile has been shown in numerous studies to be very beneficial in these situations and is often one of the first things that people notice about us.

Of course, these benefits apply to both sexes and our unisex teeth whitening treatment is ideal for all!

What about children?

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Are White Fillings Only Beneficial From An Aesthetic Perspective?

How our Clapham patients can gain from having tooth coloured fillings.

The most obvious reason for choosing a white coloured filling over the standard type is that they simply look much nicer.

There is little doubt that many patients of the Confidental Clinic in Clapham have benefitted in this way, by having this cosmetic treatment, but is that the only benefit that they gain?

There is no  doubt that standard amalgam fillings offer very good strength, but they are also dark in colour. That is not their only disadvantage though.

Less extensive fillings

It might surprise patients to know that when a white filling is used, it is often possible to fill the tooth by removing less of the natural part of the tooth. This is because the decayed tooth needs to be shaped in a way that that allows the amalgam to be secured. White fillings, on the other hand, bond directly to the tooth, meaning that the tooth does not have to be shaped to the same extent and less natural tooth needs to be removed in many cases.

No shrinkage

Although it is possible to have amalgam fillings for many years without trouble, the metals used in amalgam fillings will gradually shrink. When they do this, it can leave tiny gaps at the edges of the filling, leaving a space between the filling and the natural tooth. Whilst this usually has little effect on the immediate functionality of the filled tooth, it does provide a space where bacteria and acids can enter. When this happens, it often results in new decay at the edges of the fillings. Further fillings may then be needed.

The ‘mercury question’

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The Pros And Cons Of Dental Implants

Things to consider when you need to replace missing teeth.

When we lose a tooth or two, especially where it leaves a visible gap, we are almost certain to look at ways of replacing them.

Whilst dentures and bridges are probably the best known method for most patients, dental implants are rapidly becoming the ‘go to’ choice for many. There are a number of good reasons for this which will will discuss shortly.

At the Confidental Clinic in Clapham, we believe in providing our patients with unbiased information so that they can make an informed choice about their treatment. With this in mind, below we take an impartial look at some of the potential disadvantages of dental implants too.

The pros of dental implants

Our belief is that, despite some of the perceived cons of this procedure, dental implants, once placed and looked after, offer the best way to replace a missing tooth. The following are just some of the reasons why.

Strength – Once fully integrated with the supporting bone, your new implant will be as strong, or stronger, than your natural teeth, allowing you to eat whatever you want.

Stability – Unlike some dentures, your new dental implants will not move around in your mouth. You can be confident, when eating or in conversation, that you will not have any wobbly teeth moments.

Ease of care – Unlike dentures and bridges, which can be quite fiddly to keep clean, dental implants can be treated as you would your natural teeth. You will need to brush them, floss and we also strongly recommend hygienist appointments at six monthly intervals to keep your teeth and implants at their very best.

Longevity – Healthy dental implants should last for a minimum of twenty years and very often many more.

Cons of dental implants

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Straightening Crooked Teeth With Cosmetic Braces

Six Month Smiles

Crooked and uneven teeth can be a thing of the past with discreet modern orthodontics.

Whilst the British have a reputation, largely in the US, for having crooked teeth, it doesn’t have to be this way, and an increasing number of patients at our Clapham practice have made good use of the modern orthodontics that are available to correct this problem. Whilst dental braces in the past have often appeared very unsightly and sometimes not been especially comfortable, the use of cosmetic dental braces has been a game changer for many.

The type of orthodontics needed will depend on each individual case and having straighter teeth starts with a thorough assessment at the Confidental Clinic. One of our most popular orthodontics is not technically a cosmetic ‘brace’, but it is worth taking a look at it before we venture on to those that are.

Invisalign

Invisalign braces are often used where there is significant unevenness of the teeth. Unlike many actual ‘cosmetic’ braces, these often have to be worn for a reasonably lengthy period of time. Because they fit over the teeth and are transparent though, Invisalign are almost invisible and can be removed for cleaning the teeth and whilst eating. This makes them a very convenient and discreet method of achieving straighter teeth.

Cosmetic braces

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Helping Your Child Overcome Dental Anxiety

Whether young or old, a fear of the dentist is relatively common.

As parents, there is a chance that we dislike taking our children for their dental appointments, knowing the anxiety that we also sometimes feel ourselves.

We still do it though, because we know that it is in their interest to have healthy teeth and gums, and we certainly don’t want to see our children suffer from cavities and toothache.

Whilst a certain level of apprehension is understandable at any age, it is especially useful to help children overcome their fear. Whilst they can be made to see the dentist when they are young; if they carry their anxieties into their teenage years and beyond, there is a distinct possibility that they will stop going at the first possible opportunity. This will, inevitably, lead to dental problems that could have easily been avoided with regular monitoring by the dentists at our Clapham practice.

At the Confidental Clinic, we believe that it is possible to overcome dental fear in most young children, enabling them to have regular care throughout their lives. The following are some of the ways in which we, as parents, can help.

Be a positive role model

Even if they deny it, children watch us closely and often follow what we do, rather than what we tell them to do. If you are an anxious dental patient, they are likely to follow suite. As well as letting them see that you take good care of your teeth at home, put on a positive attitude when your own dental appointment is due, at least in front of them.

Education

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What To Expect From NHS Dental Care In Clapham

The benefits and limitations of this essential dental health service.

At the Confidental Clinic, we strive to provide high quality dental care for all of our patients, whatever their income.

As a part of this service, we offer NHS dentistry locally in Clapham. This essential oral health service is designed to help all patients receive treatments and advice to keep their teeth and gums in good health.

Because funding for NHS dentistry comes from money paid by our taxes, it probably comes as no surprise that only essential treatment is provided under this system. Those seeking cosmetic procedures, such as teeth whitening, will need to pay for this privately.

NHS care

All ‘necessary’ procedures are available under the NHS scheme. These includes check ups, fillings, crowns etc. It can also include hygienist cleaning but usually only where it is needed to restore gum health. ‘Optional extras’ such as the use of a natural tooth coloured filling are also not available on the NHS. Amalgam fillings are used as standard under this scheme.

This does not mean that more advanced procedures are not available. Treatments such as some root canal procedures and dentures are also available, but all NHS treatment is priced according to which band they are in. Current prices can be seen on the NHS website.

You can be sure that, whether you have NHS or private treatment, you will always be treated with good care and in a welcoming manner at the Confidental Clinic.

Should I go private?

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