When You Might Consider A Smile Makeover

Dentist Dr Rohit Kumar of Confidental Clinic in Clapham

Dr Rohit Kumar looks at some of the common reasons why patients decide to have this treatment.

A smile makeover has long been popular amongst patients of the Confidental Clinic in Clapham, and with good reason. Having this treatment is a great way of giving your smile a real boost, often improving your confidence along with it.

When we have a toothache, it is obvious that we need to see a dentist, but what are the key factors which help patients decide that it is time to have a smile makeover? Dr Rohit Kumar takes a closer look below:

Unmovable staining

We know that if we drink tea or coffee regularly, our teeth may eventually stain. If we brush our teeth properly though, much of this can be removed and it does take quite a long time, especially if we attend the hygienist, for permanent staining to become a problem. But if you find that however well you brush your teeth, they still look discoloured, a smile makeover may be just the thing for you!

Tiny teeth

Some people may think that they have really small teeth. In the majority of these cases, it is likely not to be the teeth that are the problem, but overgrown gums. In some people, these grow further up the teeth than is normal producing what is sometimes referred to as a ‘gummy smile’. This can be corrected using a one off gum lift procedure to give you more natural looking teeth.

Gappy teeth

If you find that food becomes easily trapped between your teeth, it may simply be that they are not as straight and evenly spaced as they should be. This is a common problem, and one that can usually be corrected using one of our wide range of orthodontic treatments. These will not only provide you with a more attractive smile, but also reduce the risk of problems like decay and gum disease as the teeth are easier to keep clean.

Hiding your smile

Read more ›

Investing In A Healthy Mouth

Confidental Clinic

Preventative dental care doesn’t have to cost a fortune and is money well spent, says Dr Moira Baldiraghi.

Whilst some patients may equate dental treatment with financial outlay, actually preventing the need for many of these treatments in the first place is very affordable. In some ways diligent personal oral can save you money and in today’s blog, I will take a closer look at how patients can improve their oral health, without breaking the bank.

Saving money

Let’s start with some ways that patients can actually save money AND improve their oral health by doing so. This can mainly be done by cutting out some of the things which we often consume but which are harmful to our teeth and gums.

The most obvious of these is smoking. With ‘Stoptober’ (1) not being far away, now is a good time to start to think about stopping smoking, if you haven’t already. Although some people do find it difficult to stop, this is not always the case, and you won’t know unless you try. Even if you do find it hard to stop, there is now a large amount of support available, and your GP should be able to help you with this. By stopping smoking, you greatly reduce the risk of some serious dental problems including oral cancers and gum disease, as well as saving yourself a small fortune.

Reducing your alcohol intake will also save you money as well as improving your oral health in much the same way as stopping smoking. Finally, try swapping those expensive high sugar drinks for water. This will be much better for your health, and especially for your teeth.

Having saved you some money then, here are some of the things that you could invest it in, and which our Clapham dental team feel are essential for anyone wishing to maintain a healthy mouth.

Toothbrush

You are probably thinking ‘I’ve already got one of those’, and we certainly hope that you have. Have you thought about how old and ineffective it may be though? Older toothbrushes wear out, and the worn out bristles are no longer as effective at removing food and bacteria from the teeth and gum line. If you haven’t bought a toothbrush for some time, why not splash out on a good quality electric toothbrush. These are generally thought to be more effective than a manual toothbrush and are easy to use. Even if you are tired when you clean your teeth, the fast rotating speeds of the bristles will help to keep your teeth and gums clean. Many also include a pressure sensor to stop you from wearing away the protective enamel on your teeth.

Dental floss and toothpaste

Read more ›

The Problem Of Mouth Ulcers

Dr Jignesh Patel looks at this common oral health issue.

Although dentists are primarily responsible for looking after patient’s teeth and gums, we are also concerned about all other aspects of your mouth health too. For example, we are ideally placed to spot issues such as oral cancers, and refer you for prompt help from a relevant professional where necessary.

Occasionally we do come across potential signs of oral cancers, such as lesions or sore patches, but one of the more common problems that we see are mouth ulcers.

What is a mouth ulcer?

There are generally two types of mouth ulcer:

Firstly, ‘traumatic ulcers’. These occur as a result of some sort of trauma, even relatively minor traumas such as biting your lip or cheeks when eating. Generally, these are lone ulcers and only occur around the site of the trauma. These generally go of their own accord and are not usually serious. If you do have one that doesn’t seem to go away however, you should certainly have it looked at by one of our Clapham dental team.

The other type of mouth ulcer is what is known as a ‘recurrent aphthous stomatitis’. Despite the medical sounding name, these are generally not serious and appear in small groups of tiny ulcers, often in children and younger people. There is some uncertainty as to what causes this type of ulcer, and, again, if they are still there after a few weeks, we do recommend that you have them checked at the Confidental Clinic.

Infections

Read more ›

Root Canal Therapy Demystified

Clapham Endodontist, Dr Kunal Patel, discusses this often misunderstood procedure.

Over the years, I have developed a particular interest in the field of endodontics, better known to the layperson as root canal treatment. This is a procedure that can cause some anxiety in patients and is often said to be one of the most painful dental procedures that you can have. I am glad to report that this is not actually correct!

Before moving onto the procedure itself, it is worth understanding why this particular procedure managed to get such a fierce reputation. It is now generally agreed that this probably stems from a time when x rays were not routinely used in the procedure. As the treatment is required when the root canals of a tooth become infected, the likelihood of an abscess being present is quite high. Before x rays were used, it would be almost impossible to know whether an abscess was present or not, and if treated like this, then yes, it is very likely that this would be extremely painful. It is also worth noting that current anaesthetics and treatments are also much more effective.

Modern day root canal therapy

Anybody who is anxious about having root canal treatment can dismiss the ‘abscess problem’. At the Confidental Clinic in Clapham we will always x-ray a tooth where we suspect a root canal infection. If we do find an abscess, then your treatment will be postponed until the abscess has been effectively treated.

Once you are abscess free, or where no abscesses are present, the procedure can begin. You will first be given a local anaesthetic which is very effective and will absolutely minimise any discomfort you may feel during the procedure.

Because the root canals lie deep inside the tooth, we first need to access the top section of the tooth so that we can reach the internal canals. Once we have done so, we will remove any infected material, including tiny blood vessels and also the nerves. The hollow canals will then be thoroughly cleaned and filled using a special filling for this purpose, known as gutta percha. Typically, the tooth will then be completed by attaching a dental crown.

Once your treatment is complete, there are a few things that you should consider:

Read more ›

Common Food And Drinks That Lead To Stained Teeth

Reducing the use of certain foods can help to keep your teeth looking whiter for longer.

As we have noted in previous blog posts, almost everybody’s teeth will start to lose their sparkle as they get older. This happens when the inner part of the tooth starts to darken with age. Nothing that we do will prevent this from happening, although keeping the enamel healthy will help to delay the darker layer showing through as quickly.

When this stage is reached, only a teeth whitening procedure, carried out by one of our Clapham cosmetic dentists, will be able to restore the whiteness. Until this time finally arrives, there is much that we can do to help keep our teeth looking white and healthy. One simple way to do this is to avoid, or limit, the consumption of certain food and drinks.

Tea and red wine – These are well known products that cause tooth staining and the culprit in these drinks is ‘tannin’. This, in the case of red wine, comes from the skin of the grape and is what is responsible for the dry feeling that you get in the mouth when you drink red wine or tea. Unfortunately, it also builds up on the surface of our teeth and will eventually cause them to become discoloured.

Colas – The dark colour of this drink is only partially responsible for any tooth staining that might occur.  The fact is that any sugary fizzy drink is acidic and will wear away tooth enamel, at the very least, leaving a rough surface. When the enamel of our teeth is not smooth, it is much easier for staining products to stick to it.

Soy sauce and balsamic vinegar – Both of these are very heavily coloured products that can lead to tooth staining. The good news is that we tend to use these in limited quantities only, although if you are a fan of these products, it is worth keeping an eye on how much you use.

Beetroot and berries – Anyone who has handled these will know how difficult it can be to remove the subsequent staining from your fingers afterwards. Unsurprisingly, and especially if your teeth have rough surfaces, they can also stain your teeth.

Curries – One of the favourite dishes in the UK; the spices used in the cooking of curries, including turmeric, which is regularly used as a food product colourant, can also leave your teeth looking discoloured, especially if you eat them regularly.

Read more ›

Root Planing – What Is It And How To Avoid It?

stages of gum disease

Our Clapham dentists explain how to avoid this ‘last resort’ treatment

As regular readers of our Confidental Clinic blog will be aware, gum disease is a serious issue that can even lead to tooth loss if not treated in time. The good news is that, in the early stages, it is usually treatable with better home care alongside ‘scale and polish’ treatments performed by our Clapham hygienist.

The bad news is that not everybody sees their dentist on a regular basis and may not be aware of how serious the problem has become. Where the gum disease has become so aggressive that it has spread to the roots of the teeth and surrounding bone tissue, a procedure known as ‘root planing’ or a ‘deep clean’ will likely be necessary.

Root planing treatment

Unlike the scale and polish procedure carried out by the hygienist, root planing is much more invasive and has to be performed by a dentist, typically a specialist called a periodontist. Because of the invasive nature of the treatment, a local anaesthetic is necessary to minimise the discomfort.

Once the anaesthetic has taken affect, the dentist will  have to peel back the gums to expose the roots of the teeth so that they can be cleaned. This is done using a specialised hand tool to scrape away the hardened bacteria both on the root of the tooth and surrounding bone tissue. Once this has been done, the area is then ‘planed’ to provide a smooth surface which helps to prevent the recurrence of bacteria collecting in that area.

Is the treatment always successful?

Read more ›

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

Read more ›

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

Read more ›

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

Read more ›

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

Read more ›