Bridges are still a popular tooth replacement method at our Clapham practice. Here’s why….
Although looking after our teeth correctly greatly improves our chances of keeping them healthy and strong well into later life; as we become older, the challenges become greater, and the longer we live, the greater the risks of accidents that may threaten our teeth too.
Especially as we enter the later stages of our life, it is likely that we may suffer at least some tooth loss. When this happens, there are a number of options to replace them including dental implants, dentures or a dental bridge. In general, we believe that dental implants offer the best of these three options. There are, however, a few reasons why people may not choose these, including possibly budget and the desire to avoid invasive treatment.
Of the three main options, the dental bridge is probably the least understood, and in today’s blog, we look at how patients of the Confidental Clinic in Clapham can benefit from this particular treatment.
What is a dental bridge?
As the name indicates, a bridge ‘bridges’ the gap between missing teeth. It consists of a false tooth, or teeth, that are used to replace the missing ones. At either end of these teeth are crowns. Depending on the number of missing teeth and the location, there may be one or more crowns used. These are the attached to the teeth either side of the gap, holding the false teeth securely in place. As this does require preparation of the teeth that the crowns are being attached to, it may be worth considering the option of implants to hold the bridge in place. Indeed, this is how a full bridge of teeth can be used to replace a full arch of missing teeth, where there are no natural teeth left to provide support.
The benefits of a bridge
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What things should you look for when you need to register at a new dental practice?
If you are new to the Clapham area, you might be considering which dental practice to choose. Equally, perhaps you already live around here but are looking to change your dentist for some reason. This can be a bewildering process, especially with the ever increasing range of treatments available. Below, we offer our guide to some of the things to consider when you are in this situation.
Whilst it may seem convenient to simply go to the dentist that is closest to you, this is not always the best choice, although equally, it may be. Location will naturally be a factor, especially if you are older or disabled, for example, but choosing a dentist that meets your needs should be your priority. Our modern dental practice is just a 5 minute leisurely stroll from Clapham Junction station and is therefore very convenient for patients living in this area of London.
We appreciate that visiting the dentist is not high on most people’s favourite things to do, and we always try to make your visit as pleasant as possible. This starts with our friendly and experienced team. From your initial greeting by our receptionists to our clinical dental staff, you can be assured of a warm and friendly welcome at our Clapham practice.
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Looking at why more and more people are turning to implants.
Although not the cheapest method of replacing a missing tooth, or teeth; an increasing number of patients at our Clapham practice, as elsewhere, are turning to dental implants when they have lost a tooth.
Although modern dentures are by no means redundant, and are still popular with many patients, the titanium implants that we provide at the Confidental Clinic are clearly producing the desired results for those that have them.
What are the advantages of having dental implants?
Dental implants provide a number of benefits for patients, and we will cover these shortly. It is important though, to acknowledge the main reason for all of these benefits, and that is the osseointegration process.
Unlike dentures or a bridge, which are attached to the teeth and gums through clips, adhesives or crowns, implants take a different approach entirely. The titanium implant is placed into the patient’s jawbone, and is then allowed to fully bond with the bone, before the abutment and crown are attached, finally completing the procedure.
The osseointegration process provides an extremely secure ‘artificial root’, and this is the main reason why they offer the hugely positive experience that they do.
The key benefits
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Early stage gum disease is manageable if you follow the advice given by our Clapham dentists.
We all hope, that when we visit our dentist for our regular check up, we will be be told that they will see us again in six months time and that no treatment is needed.
Providing that we have looked after our teeth, and that there have been no mishaps, there is no reason why this should not be the case.
It can come as a bit of a shock then, when the dentist tells us that we have gingivitis. This is an early form of gum disease, but one that needs treatment and should certainly not be ignored.
How did I get gingivitis?
The fact is that, however well your brush your teeth, if you don’t pay due attention to your gums, gingivitis is a distinct possibility. Gently brushing the gums and along the gum line, combined with the use of dental floss, is essential in order to have healthy gums. On its own, gingivitis can have some unpleasant effects, such as sore or inflamed gums bleeding when brushing and even bad breath. The most important thing to remember though, is that it is also a precursor to periodontitis, a much more destructive form of gum disease.
What is periodontitis?
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Potential treatments to restore a damaged tooth at our Clapham practice.
A tooth can break for any number of reasons. Weakened by decay or even where it has previously been treated, it can still come as something of a shock when a tooth breaks. How it breaks, and the extent too, will determine the type of treatment needed to restore it.
Your first step, when a tooth breaks, should be to call our Clapham dental surgery to arrange an appointment. We will try to see you as soon as we possibly can, especially if you are in significant discomfort. The dentist will examine your damaged tooth and advise you of the most appropriate treatment to restore it.
If the breakage is relatively minor, it may be possible to restore it using a filling. This can even be a tooth coloured filling for those who wish to retain the aesthetic appeal of a natural looking tooth. The use of a composite may be possible in some cases, although other techniques may be considered where elevated pressure will be placed on the tooth.
A crown is commonly used on a broken tooth, where the breakage is too significant to be treated with a straightforward filling. Not only does a crown strengthen a damaged tooth, but is also prepared from scans to ensure that it matches the shade and shape of your other teeth. This means that you can have a natural looking tooth that provides a good level of strength. With good care, a crown should last you for many years.
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Tooth sensitivity can be uncomfortable, but could also indicate other problems.
Having sensitive teeth can make drinking and eating quite uncomfortable. It is no fun, on a hot day, to have to think about the consequences before drinking a nice ice cold drink.
There can be a number of reasons for this problem, some of which could indicate a potential issue with the health of your teeth.
If you come to the Confidental Clinic in Clapham because of tooth sensitivity, we will examine the tooth, or teeth, to see if there is an obvious problem that is causing this.
Damaged or worn enamel is one of the most common causes of having sensitive teeth. As the enamel is compromised, it exposes the softer inner dentin layer. This layer is porous and offers a route to the nerves stored in the root canals of the teeth.
Enamel damage, or erosion, can be caused by a number of things, including:
Excessive or over enthusiastic brushing – Brushing too often, or too hard, can gradually cause the enamel of the teeth to thin. There is no need, under normal circumstances, to brush your teeth more than twice a day. A gentle circular brushing motion for 2 minutes each time is sufficient. There is no need to ‘scrub’ your teeth.
Acidic diet – Even a healthy diet that contains a lot of fruit can cause the acids to erode the teeth. Equally bad are high sugar drinks, especially carbonated ones. Eating a small piece of cheese at the end of a meal is actually a good way to help re-balance the acids in your mouth.
Solutions to sensitive teeth
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Our Clapham children’s dentist explains why parents must take responsibility.
A report out today has shown that there has been a rise in the number of children needing to have teeth extracted in hospitals, from last year (see link below).
In 2016 to 2017, 43,000 children had teeth removed; the large majority of which would almost certainly have been completely avoidable.
No one likes to see their children suffer, yet, as parents, we allow children to consume vast quantities of sugar each year, not only in sweets, but also in convenience foods and especially fizzy drinks. It is the popularity of these drinks, along with high sugar fruit juices, that are thought to play a large part in these figures.
What can we do?
As parents, we need to be more proactive in watching what our children eat and drink. This does not necessarily mean banning sugar from the diet altogether, but being careful about the amount they consume. Sweets and similar products should be kept only for special occasions, with possibly non food rewards used as an alternative.
Even if we do manage to minimise their sugar intake, we also need to make sure that they have good dental care and this begins at home.
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Avoiding the dentist because of anxiety is likely to cause long term harm to teeth and gums.
Anxiety is a strange thing, and some believe it is hardwired into our DNA from our times as hunter gatherers.
Whether this is true or not, many of us will have anxieties about one thing or another. Mostly, we recognise that there are no real foundations to our fears, but we seem unable to stop them anyway.
One common anxiety is a fear of flying. Statistics show us that our chances of being in a plane crash are ridiculously small, yet it is still a very common phobia. Giving it a good run for the number one phobia though is dental anxiety.
Why the anxiety?
There are a few reasons why people become anxious about going to the dentist. Generally, if asked, they will tell you it is the pain, or the possibility of pain, that concerns them. Even if this were the case, many patients also experience the same level of anxiety when they are due for a check up, where they know that no treatment will be involved on that particular visit.
Other patients cite the sound of the drill, or the fact that they feel they are going to choke or swallow their tongue during a procedure, or even a check up. Some psychologists believe that one key reason why patients are anxious about their visit is that check ups and procedures all take place very close to all of our major senses; i.e. sound, sight and smell.
We probably don’t need to go too deeply into the consequences of dental anxiety here. Too many anxious patients either cancel their appointments or even simply don’t show up. Avoiding seeing your local dentist for some time though, will almost certainly eventually result in advanced dental problems such as decay, root canal infection or periodontitis which will needed to be treated at the Confidental Clinic.
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Your Clapham dentist offers advice on avoiding oral problems during the holiday period.
We are sure that many of you will be looking forward to your Christmas break. Hopefully most of the presents have now been bought and you can start to relax.
Whilst your teeth and gums are probably one of the last things that you will think about during the festive period, it is worth keeping in mind that problems can occur, if you don’t look after your teeth, and how a painful tooth could easily spoil your holiday.
Below, we offer some simple pieces of advice for patients of the Confidental Clinic, in the hope that it will help to keep your teeth and gums in tip top shape.
Before we move on to general care, it is worth reminding anyone travelling abroad for the holidays to be well covered for dental treatment, should the need arise. It is also worth taking an emergency dental repair kit with you. These are available at chemists and contain a ready made portion of a temporary ‘amalgam’ type filling. Only use this if you are unable to access a dentist, and definitely make sure to contact us as soon as you get home so that we can make sure that the tooth is treated correctly.
Whether abroad or at home, you should always take good care to keep your teeth clean, with regular brushing and flossing. This might be the last thing that you feel like doing at the end of a long day, but it is essential that you make that little bit of effort to do this. Almost certainly, your diet will contain more sugar at Christmas, and failing to clean your teeth before bedtime means that they are in contact with sugars and acids whilst you sleep.
No bottles or nuts please!
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2018 could be the year that you take action to improve your smile.
We are coming to the end of the year, although we still have Christmas to enjoy, or survive, as the case may be. It will only be a matter of days now when we start to turn our attention towards the New Year.
Whether they call them resolutions or not, many people still determine to make changes to their lives as each new year approaches.
At the Confidental Clinic in Clapham, we usually see an increase in the number of patients, at this time of year, who request a smile makeover. If you would like to improve the way that your smile looks, this could be for you too!
The smile makeover
The smile makeover is not always a single treatment as the name might imply, but can be a combination of treatments designed to give you a great looking smile. Each person will require different treatments to achieve the smile that they want, and, accordingly, we can only provide a price once a consultation has been held where we will discuss the options open to you.
The list below is not an exhaustive list of treatments used in this process, but does focus on some of the ones most commonly used.
Teeth whitening – The teeth whitening treatment that we offer at the Confidental Clinic is both painless and fast acting. The custom made trays that we provide will also help to reduce the cost of any ‘topping up’ of the whiteness that you wish to pursue after a while.
Bonding – Cosmetic bonding may be used to fill minor chips on the teeth that could distract from your smile.
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