July 31st, 2012
There are many situations which could result in a dental emergency. Like any other type of emergency they can happen at any time, to anyone. In many cases immediate dental treatment will be required and this is why we offer a number of emergency appointments on a daily basis. Some of the most common reasons for emergency dental treatment include a knocked out tooth, a broken tooth or severe toothache.
There are many situations which could result in a broken or severely chipped tooth. First of all contact the practice as soon as possible to arrange an appointment. Then use a warm water salt solution to rinse out your mouth. Using a cold compress can help slow any bleeding as well and can help reduce swelling.
Knocked out Tooth
If a tooth is knocked out carefully pick it up by the crown, this is the section of tooth that is visible while the tooth is in place in the gum. Wash it off in warm water; if at all possible replace the tooth into the empty socket. If this cannot be achieved put it into jar with milk. Time is of the essence in this situation, so the sooner you see a dental professional the higher the chances are of them being able to save your tooth.
This usually only occurs when there is an infection present. There are some home remedies that can be under taken prior to seeking dental advice and treatment. Rinsing out your mouth with a warm salt solution and gently flossing around the tooth can help remove food and debris. This can sometimes be enough over a few days to clear up the problem. However if this does not help you will need to make an appointment and have the issue looked at and treated if necessary.
July 28th, 2012
Even with the best oral hygiene in place tooth decay can still occur. If the decay begins deep within the tooth it can be hard to spot until it has progressed to the external tooth surface. This could mean that it has infected the internal structure of the tooth. When this occurs the only option is root canal treatment as antibiotics cannot treat infection that is inside the tooth.
What is root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment is performed when the internal ‘living’ section of the tooth has become damaged, decayed or severely infected. The tooth will be drilled, as per a normal filling, but this will continue until the soft living pulp of the tooth is exposed. The pulp is then removed and the cavity washed out to ensure all traces of decay and infection are removed. It is then filled and sealed to prevent further infection. The tooth will then either have a standard filling to complete the treatment or a crown may be fitted.
How can this treatment save my smile?
If left untreated the end result will be that the decayed or infected tooth will have to be removed. In some cases the infection can spread to the neighbouring teeth, so it is never wise to leave a tooth untreated. By undergoing root canal treatment the dentist can save the natural tooth and with it your smile. It is common for teeth that have had this treatment to appear darker than the others. This can easily be countered by means of bleaching so that it blends in with the healthy teeth.
What happens if the infection returns?
This infection in the tooth should return the treatment can be repeated, however it is rarely needed as root canal treatment is highly successful.
July 26th, 2012
Like any other form of cancer the sooner it is picked up the better the outcome for the patient. However the problem with oral cancer is that around 70% of the cases will not be detected until it has progressed to a more advance stage. Oral cancer, along with other oral conditions and diseases, are part of what your dental professional is looking for at each six monthly check up. This is why having regular check-ups is so important.
How can VizLite Plus help?
VizLite Plus is a new and innovative product which allows dental professionals to see abnormal tissue within the oral orifice before it become visible to the naked eye. VizLite Plus is similar to a mouth wash in how it is administered. When it comes in contact with healthy oral tissue it will appear dark whereas abnormal tissue cells will show up white. The sooner the abnormal tissue cells can be detected the sooner it can be treated.
Where does oral cancer form and what are the symptoms?
Oral cancer can form in any area of the mouth or lips. This includes the cheeks, tongue, throat and tonsils. Symptoms of oral cancer can include lesions or lumps, ulcers that do not clear up in around 14 days and white or red patches in the oral cavity. Will initially be painless to begin with but over time a burning sensation may become present as the cancer progresses.
Who is at more risk of oral cancer?
Anyone who smokes or uses any form of tobacco products will have an increased risk. Those who are heavy drinkers and anyone who has previously been diagnosed with cancer will also be more likely to suffer from oral cancer. The majority of cases or oral cancer occurs in men, however in recent years the number of women suffering with tongue cancer has increased.
July 25th, 2012
If you are preparing for a special occasion, such as a wedding, you will want to look your best. Thanks to celebrity influence more and more people are opting to have their teeth whitened. This not only improves the look of your smile but increases a person’s self confidence.
What are the options?
There are two main options when it comes to tooth whitening. It can either be done at a dental practice or cosmetic surgery by means of in office treatment or at home treatments. Or it can be done with ‘over the counter’ products available from supermarkets and online retailers.
In Office Options
The in office options are much more expensive than any other options, but they do yield faster results and are carried out by trained professionals. There are usually two ways it can be done, either an intensive treatment using a special light to speed up the process. This option can usually whiten teeth by around 5-6 shades in a single session. Or it can be done more gradually over a course of sessions that can span a few weeks.
Professional at Home Treatments
If you have limited time, or would rather not spend any unnecessary time in the dental hot seat then your dental professional can provide you with an at home kit. This kit will usually take around two weeks to complete and can lighten teeth by around 5 shades.
Over the Counter at Home Kits
Products that can be purchased over the counter or via online sites have wildly varying results. Some are so weak in the active bleaching ingredients that will do little to nothing to change the shade of your teeth. While other may be overly strong and can cause burns to the gums, throat and mouth. Although this is the cheapest option is it also the least reliable.
July 24th, 2012
If you have lost a tooth, or a number of teeth, it is comforting to know that with the use of a dental implant you can replace the tooth with a complete restoration.
What are dental implants?
They are small metal screws which act as replacement roots and can be used to support single restorations, dentures or dental bridges. They will either be tapped into place in the jaw bone or screwed in. This helps prevent bone loss and gives a secure anchor for the restorations.
How long do implants last for?
On average you can expect an implant to last somewhere between 15 to 20 years. They can be used to replace a single tooth or a series of teeth.
How long does the treatment take and when will I be able to have my new teeth?
The average treatment time for implants is 3 months. The implants can usually be fitted the same day as an extraction; however it takes time for the implants to integrate into the jaw bone. This process can take anywhere from 6 to 10 weeks and will vary from patient to patient. Only once the dentist is satisfied that the implant is securely bedded in the jaw bone will they fit the restoration.
If the implants are being used to secure dentures, they can be used immediately.
What if the implant doesn’t integrate?
It is very rare for an implant to fail, however if this does happen it can be re-inserted. If this does not work then a dental bridge will be the next recommended step.
How do I clean the implants?
If the implants have been fitted to help secure a set of dentures then they will need to be cleaned in the same manner as natural teeth. If they are used to anchor a restoration they will not be cleaned directly as the restoration can only be removed by the dentist.
July 21st, 2012
If you need to have your teeth straightened due to misalignment, spacing or overcrowding it can be very off -putting to be faced with 12 to 18 months worth of metal mouth smiles. Although conventional braces do work very well they are also very unsightly.
Invisible alternative to metal braces
Thanks to modern technology there are not a number of ways you can undergo tooth straightening without having to have a mouth full of obvious metal. One of the best ways to achieve a straighter, healthier looking smile is by using Invisalign braces.
What are Invisalign Braces?
Invisalign braces are a series of removable clear aligners that are used to gently reposition your teeth. Anyone can use this type of brace and because they are made from clear plastic they are almost impossible to see. Generally unless you tell someone you are wearing them they will not know you are undergoing treatment.
How long does treatment take?
The average treatment time is the same as it is for conventional metal braces, around 12 to 18 months. The aligners will need to be worn for at least 21 hours every day, however they can be removed for special events and whilst eating and drinking.
Do they hurt?
It is common for there to be some discomfort for the first few days whilst the mouth adjusts to them. However they will not damage your gums or cheeks in any way as they are carefully moulded and smooth. The only thing you will feel on a contestant basis is the sensation of slight pressure on the teeth. This is normal and means that they are working.
Are there any side effects to having Invisalign Braces?
As with any braces the speech may be affected for a few days. Once the mouth has become accustom to them this will settle itself out and everything should be back to normal within a few days to a week at the most.
July 19th, 2012
Gum disease is the UK’s major reason for tooth loss in adults. However, it is a completely preventable problem and one that can be successfully treated if it’s caught soon enough.
What are the signs of gum disease?
The main signs of gum disease include bleeding gums and gums that are red, swollen and or tender. The gums may appear to be pulling away from the teeth and the patient may persistently experience a bad taste in the mouth. A tooth or number of teeth may feel loose and your bite may have changed as well.
What causes gum disease?
Gum disease is caused by dental plaque that has been allowed to build up around the gum line. The bacteria which are present in plaque produce a form of acid and other toxins which begin to eat away the gum tissue. If left untreated the acid will eventually begin to eat away the teeth and the underlying jaw bone. This is why it is important to brush twice a day and floss every night.
What treatments can be used to cure gum disease?
Stage 1 Treatment:
In the very early stages your dentist may suggest that you improve your oral hygiene routine. The following may be suggested to you; begin to brush your teeth and gums for 2 to 3 minutes twice a day and flossing every night. If possible use an electric toothbrush as these remove more plaque than a manual one and use an antiseptic mouthwash. This form of treatment may well be enough to cure the problem.
Stage 2 Treatment:
A professional scale and polish may be the next step as this will ensure that all plaque and tartar is removed. It will also include ‘below the gum line clean out’ which should remove the problem plaque and cure the infection.
Stage 3 Treatment:
In some cases of gum disease ‘root planning treatment’ is required. This is essentially a deep clean which gets below the gum line and under the teeth to the roots. This is done under local anaesthetic and patients may have some pain or discomfort for a few days after the treatment.
July 17th, 2012
The most common form of oral surgery is the extraction of the wisdom teeth. The wisdom teeth may need to be removed if there is not sufficient space for them to erupt properly or there is risk of damage to neighbouring teeth. If there is not sufficient room for the teeth to erupt they will become impacted. This means that they will begin to force the neighbouring teeth out of line and in some cases can cause pain and discomfort for the patient.
There are two types of impaction, complete and partial.
Complete bone impaction
Complete bone impaction means that the teeth are covered by bone and cannot erupt. If left untreated it can lead to complications and possible jaw damage of the jaw bone.
Partial bone impaction
Partial bone impaction refers to part of the tooth erupting, usually the crown. A partial eruption can increase the risk of gum disease, tooth decay in neighbouring teeth and infection in the flap of tissue that covers the non-erupted section of tooth.
In most cases patients will prefer to be sedated during the treatment; however it can be done under local anaesthetic. There will be a degree of pain felt for a number of days after the treatment but over the counter pain relief will be able to control this. Swelling is common, and if all four wisdom teeth are extracted at the same time, then ‘hamster cheeks’ will develop. This is due to the swelling of the gums and tissues on the mouth that subsides over a number of days to a week.
On average it will take about just under an hour to remove upper impacted wisdom teeth and just over an hour to remove lower teeth. However this is only an estimate and actual times can vary depending on the patient’s specific situation.
July 14th, 2012
A smile makeover can be used for a number of reasons, it can be to instantly give the appearance of straight, white teeth or it can be used to cover gaps between teeth. In fact there is a wide range of situations in which a smile makeover can be beneficial.
What treatments are used?
The most common treatment used during a smile makeover is the addition of porcelain veneers. Veneers are wafer thin sections of porcelain that are attached to the front of the existing tooth, or teeth. They will be carefully made so that they blend in with the natural teeth. In addition to having veneers fitted it is common for the natural teeth to be whitened in order to create a healthier, whiter smile.
What problems can veneers be used to cover?
Veneers can be used to cover a wide range of complaints such as chipped or broken teeth and can be used on heavily stained teeth. They can also be used on worn or crooked teeth as well as being able to hide gaps between teeth.
How long does the smile makeover take?
On average a smile makeover will require two visits to the dentist. This will usually be a week or so apart. During the first visit the dentist will prepare the teeth and take an impression of the mouth in order to create the veneers. In some cases temporary veneers will be fitted at the first visit to protect the teeth, however it is not always required. The second visit will be when the permanent veneers are fitted.
How long do veneers last?
Veneers just like normal teeth can chip or break however in most cases they are expected to last for 5 to 7 years.
July 12th, 2012
If tooth decay has become severe or there is gum disease present there is a risk that the root canal may become infected. This is the soft pulp section of the tooth where the nerve ending is found and unlike other dental infections it cannot be treated by antibiotics.
What is root canal treatment?
This treatment involves having the soft pulp at the centre of the tooth removed and filled. This treatment is usually used when tooth decay has penetrated the central structure of the tooth and the only way of saving the tooth is to clear out the decay and fill it.
What is involved in the treatment?
X-rays will be taken to assess the extent of the infection, in some cases your dental professional may suggest you wait a few weeks or months to see if wit goo oral hygiene the infection clears up. However if it persists or gets worse the only option is root canal treatment. The tooth will be drilled into so that the dentist can remove the pulp, once the canal is clear and washed out it will be filled. The tooth will be filled and in some cases a crown may be fitted to provide additional support and protection for the tooth.
Will the tooth look different after treatment?
Sometimes teeth that have had root canal treatment do appear darker that untreated teeth. If this is the case the tooth can be whitened to make it blend in with the surrounding healthy teeth.
What will happen if treatment is not completed?
In the long run the tooth will have to be removed. Once the infection becomes severe the pain associated with it will become unbearable. This is why root canal treatment is recommended in some cases as this will at least save the tooth and avoid the need of a dental implant or denture.