Category Archives: Cosmetic Dentistry

Professional Teeth Whitening V At-Home Kits

In order to have a great smile, it’s important to have a bright and white set of teeth. However, as we age and as a result of various lifestyle choices, our teeth become stained or damaged. Thanks to professional teeth whitening treatment, it is possible to bring back the natural whiteness of your smile.

There are also several at-home kits available, which may be able to help you out. Both of them have some advantages as well as disadvantages.

Professional Teeth Whitening V At-Home Kits

Effectiveness: In terms of effectiveness, professional teeth whitening is way ahead. They use strong bleaching agent to remove even the toughest of stains. However, At-home kits lack the bleaching strength, and will not be able to rid of the tough stains caused by tobacco or alcohol. It will whiten just some of the areas, which will lead to less complete overall results. They are also fully effective if you have teeth which are properly aligned. If you have crooked teeth, then it may not work as you’d hoped.

Entire Mouth: Professional teeth whitening will take care of your entire mouth. If you want all your teeth to become brighter, then professional teeth whitening is by far the best option. At Home-Kits will only work for the front teeth. The teeth in the backward portion of your mouth won’t be benefited. Hence, if you are only worried about your front teeth, then you may consider at-home kits.

Safety: In terms of safety as well, professional teeth whitening is way ahead. The entire process takes place under the supervision of a professional, and there is no chance of any side effects. However, at-home kits may irritate your gums. Since there is no one to guide you, many people don’t apply it properly.

Faster Results: If you have a special occasion coming up and you are looking for fast results, then you should go for professional teeth whitening. You will be able to see a difference, the moment you come out from the dentist’s office. However, in case of at-home kits, you have to apply them for several weeks, before waiting for a result. The benefits of professional teeth whitening also last for far longer than at-home kits.
Cost: Professional Teeth Whitening may be more effective, but it generally costs a lot more. It is not possible for everyone to invest so much. If your condition is not very serious and you don’t want to spend much, then at-home kits will be best for you.

 

How safe are dental implants?

Despite the advancements in dental care along the lines of better treatment methods and increased awareness on how people can take care of their teeth, millions are still suffering from tooth loss. It is mostly caused by gingivitis, tooth decay or in some cases injury. The only treatment options that were available for people with missing teeth were dentures and bridges. But nowadays, one can get dental implants.

What are dental implants?

When one loses their teeth or when they are removed, the whole visible part plus the root are gone. A dental implant is inserted into your jaw bone so it can fuse naturally with it and provide a foundation for the placement of a crown. The implant is usually cylindrical in shape and has a tapered post made of titanium. The implant will need an abutment which is basically a connector that is put on top of the implant. The abutment can sometimes come built onto the implant that connects the implant with the crown.

The procedure

The first step involves creating an individualised treatment plan for the given patient. It is usually done by a team of professionals with experience in restorative dentistry or oral surgery. The plan will address the specific needs of the patient and the implant option that is best for the patient.

Next the implant is inserted into the jaw bone, specifically the socket of the missing tooth. As the jawbone heals, it will grow around the implant – a process known as osseointegration – fusing with the bone and forming a strong foundation for the replacement tooth. This healing process can take several weeks or even months.

The abutment is then placed on top of the implant which will function to connect the replacement tooth and the implant. The dentist then makes an impression of your teeth and creates a model of your bite which they will use to make the new tooth or teeth. The impression and model of your bite capture details about your teeth which include how they are arranged and their type. The replacement tooth is then attached to the abutment.

Are there any risks?

Teeth replaced through this method function and feel just like natural teeth, which means they require the same level of care and attention as natural teeth. They should be brushed, flossed and regularly checked by the dentist so that they last for the longest time possible and function to their full capacity. Dental implants that have been well-taken care of can last a lifetime. The implants have a high success rate of up to 98%. Most risks arise during the surgical procedure which can range from nerve damage, injury to surrounding structures and sinus problems. These, however, are rare problems and most sessions are successful without any incidents.

 

Bone Grafting For Dental Implants

Dental implants are needed for a variety of reasons, often due to tooth decay or other medical reasons. Dental implants may be needed due to missing teeth, diseased teeth, gaps in teeth or supporting a new crown, bridge or denture. Before a dental implantation can take place, a bone graft may be needed in some cases where the jawbone isn’t a secure enough base.

What is a bone graft?

A bone graft is one of many surgical procedures completed by a trained dental professional where a piece of healthy bone is transferred to an area where the bone is either missing, damaged or not strong enough.

The bone grafting procedure

1. The patient will be given an anaesthetic to be put into a deep sleep, they will be monitored at all times. Sometimes the procedure can be completed with the patient under intravenous sedation.
2. A local anaesthetic is used to numb the area where the incision is needed.
3. A cut is made into the chin, jaw or other bone area to extract the part that is to be used in the dental implantation.
4. The dentist may cover the area with a thin tissue substance to keep gum tissue from filling the space as it heals.
5. The piece of bone is then transferred to the jawbone. This is often done with pins and stitches to keep a solid base for the new bone to grow. It can take months for the transplanted bone to become solid enough to support a dental implant.

Dental Implantation

After the jawbone has healed from the bone grafting, the dental implantation procedure can then take place.
1. The oral surgeon will place the patient under either local or general anaesthetic.
2. A cut is made into the gum of the affected area in order to expose the bone.
3. Holes are drilled deep into the bone.
4. The dental implant metal posts are implanted into the holes created.
5. Once this is complete, osseointegration begins. This is where the jawbone grows into and merges with the surface of the dental implant. This can take several months.
6. Once osseointegration is complete, the surgeon will once more reopen the gum to expose the implant.
7. The new crown or tooth is then attached to the dental implant.

The entire procedure can take months to complete and the patient may face some swelling and bleeding.

Wearing Retainers after Braces

Once your braces have been taken off, your orthodontist is going to recommend that you wear retainers. It may seem likely you are getting rid of one appliance and replacing it with another, but retainers are far less invasive and obvious than braces; plus, you can remove certain types of retainers whenever you want.

Why Is a Retainer Necessary?

While some modern orthodontic treatments (such as Invisalign) normally don’t require aligners, traditional braces generally do. The period just after the braces are taken off is very important for your teeth. There is high risk of your teeth relapsing and shifting back to their previous positions or simply shifting incrementally. That’s because your bone and tissue may not have solidified properly yet after the braces have been taken off, and it is easy for the teeth to move around. The retainer holds them in place and helps you retain the smile that your braces gave you.

If you didn’t wear the retainer, then you would quickly lose all the hard work you put into straightening your teeth. You want to be sure you follow your orthodontist’s advice precisely about wearing your retainers. You could end up having to wear braces again because you simply didn’t listen about proper retainer use.

It Gets Easier

You’ve already been through the braces, and you know how frustrating and limiting they can be. Retainers are much easier to deal with. If you have a fixed retainer, then no one will ever even know you are wearing one except for you. That’s because it is simply a small wire that goes behind your teeth. You still have to be careful what you eat and how you care for the retainer, but most of the time you won’t even realize it’s there.

The removable retainers can simply be taken off whenever you don’t want to use them. Now your orthodontist will tell you how often you are supposed to wear them, but you can take them off for special occasions like dates or to eat without causing any damage to your teeth. Just be sure to put the retainer back in again as soon as you can.

Making the Retainer Work

You’ll have to follow a lot of the same rules for retainers as you did for braces if you want to get the most out of them. That means no biting your fingernails and no eating very hard foods while you wear them. You also need to make sure you clean them regularly. Cleaning a removable retainer is easier than cleaning braces though, as you can take it out and just soak it to keep it in good condition. Just don’t forget to take care of the retainer and let your orthodontist know if it is giving you any troubles. It may be uncomfortable at first, but over time, you will get used to it and often not even notice that you are wearing it.

A Look at Bite Reclamation Treatment

Bite reclamation is a cosmetic dental treatment which helps the recovery of teeth which lost their vertical length due to acid reflux, enamel erosion, bulemia, alcoholism, or simply, tooth abrasion over time. In all these cases, teeth will wear away so slowly that you won’t be aware of it unless you lose a major portion of surface enamel and dentin, or get to the point where your teeth are worn to the pulp, which normally causes pain.

Bite reclamation is a procedure which will not only stop, but will also reverse the entire process. Implications for a bite reclamation procedure aren’t just limited to aesthetics, and even the sole name for it gives you an idea.

The fact that you have teeth that are shorter than before gives you difficulty chewing your food. This is something most patients never actually notice, since the wearing happens slowly over time. However, they will certainly notice major improvements in their teeth function once the procedure and recovery is complete. They will simply have a better grip on their food. Regaining a natural bite grip will improve their entire oral health.

Speaking of the aesthetic benefits, these are not just limited to your smile. With a full length of your teeth reclaimed, your entire face will get a new look. Full-length teeth may improve the shape of your facial features, stretching the skin and some of your wrinkles may disappear. You will get a youthful look without Botoxing.

Although the problem is very complex, the bite reclamation procedure is remarkably simple. Before reclaiming, the dentist will perform a test to find out the real extent of the tooth length loss and make a decision whether elongation will be applied on lower jaw, upper jaw or both.

Most often the procedure will provoke nerves in the tooth which causes pain, and anesthetics are a must. This procedure is more thorough than replacing your regular fillings. The dentist will add fillings to the tooth surface to reclaim their ideal length these had when you were a young adult. In some more severe cases, repeated treatments will be required.

The recovery period may take up to several weeks. During that period you will use a special antibacterial mouthwash to prevent possible infections.

Home Teeth Whitening v Professional Treatment

Although the majority of on-line reviews show that the results of professional teeth whitening are faster and more immediately obvious, there are many advantages to ‘DIY’ or ‘at home’ kits. A huge variety of these types of kits are now available, ranging from ‘over-the-counter’ mouth guards and gel, to custom made trays – there are even kits available that come with UV lights.

With an almost baffling amount of choice, what are the pros and cons of having a go at whitening your own teeth in comparison to sticking with your dentist?

Over recent years, the effectiveness of home whitening kits has improved dramatically. Amazon reviews show many customers now swear by products such as Crest Whitening Strips and Doll White, and are happy to testify to the excellent results that they have achieved. Many of these kits now come packaged as strips, meaning that there are no messy mouth guards or gel, and that development time is usually around 30 minutes.

Of course, one of the major benefits of home teeth whitening versus professional treatment is the cost – professional teeth whitening can cost many hundreds of pounds, in comparison to around £10 for a week course of unbranded strips!

Now, to the downside of that DIY kit that you’ve seen on offer… many users of DIY kits have complained of increased (and in some cases quite severe) increased tooth sensitivity. A few have even stated that these effects are long lasting, extending well beyond the few hours that the majority of users report.

Dentists are quick to point out that some of the cheaper and unbranded products may damage teeth and gums, and of course, the whitening effect is simply not as instantaneously visible with the home whitening kits. There is also a good argument that any process which could cause lasting damage to your teeth should be supervised by a professional, or at least only carried out after consultation with your dentist.

The key here is to research the product that you are considering, and if in any doubt, ensure that you talk to your dentist prior to starting the course.
 

 

Invisalign v Braces

For some, having teeth that are crooked or out of place can, if it is not fixed, mean that they become damaged, or there is a strain on the muscles of the jaw. To fix the problem will mean dental treatment. There are two methods of treatment available. The traditional way of using metal braces or the newer Invisalign clear braces. This raises the question as to which treatment works best. Since everyone is different, any decision will depend on the patient and what is best for them.

Braces

While braces today are much more comfortable and less noticeable than those of the past, they are still noticeable. They can never be completely invisible. Braces consist of brackets, wires, spacers and rubber bands. Once you have braces, you cannot remove them yourself. Since they are stuck to teeth, removal needs to be done by a dental professional.

The benefits of having metal braces are that they are meant to be functional rather than looking good. They also work faster at closing gaps and straightening teeth. On the downside, since food may become trapped, extra care is needed cleaning teeth and watching what you eat.

As for cost, treatment is available for children free on the NHS however most adults would likely need to have private treatment. The costs vary between providers but on average are usually around £2,000 to £2,500.

Invisalign

Another option to metal dental braces are clear braces from Invisalign. Being clear, they are barely visible. Such braces are custom moulded to fit in your mouth. Unlike metal braces, clear braces are regularly replaced with each one gradually changing the position of the teeth and correcting the problem.

Unlike metal braces the patient can remove clear braces themselves. This means that there is no need for them to watch what type of food they eat. Since food is not trapped in awkward places, there is no build-up of plaque. The patient can continue to brush and floss normally. There are other benefits of using clear braces. One of those being that as there is no metal, they tend to be much more comfortable as there is nothing to irritate the mouth.

How much someone might have to pay for this treatment will depend on the patient’s treatment. Depending on the provider the cost might be anywhere from £1,800 upwards.

What is ‘Teeth in a day’?

How You Can Get Teeth in a Day

If your smile could use some help, you may have put off the decision of having work done for a number of reasons. One of them was probably that you didn’t want to spend months waiting to get your new teeth along with all the other complications that can come with the procedure. Fortunately, now this no longer needs to be an issue that keeps you from smiling with confidence. With All-on-Four implants, you can get brand new teeth in a single day.

Who Are They For?

All-on-Four braces are really for people who have the most severe of dental problems. If you just want straighter teeth or need one replaced, this wouldn’t be for you. However, if you have to hide your smile because you’re embarrassed by how much damage has been done to them, then All-on-Four implants are definitely an option worth exploring.

For example, do you currently wear dentures of some sort? Are the teeth you have beginning to fail you and you know it’s only a matter of time before they’ll have to be pulled? Could your smile benefit from a full restoration of the top or bottom row?

How Do They Work?

The great thing is that, as the name makes clear, All-on-Four implants only need four points in your jaw for them to be installed. One option is to simply attach them right into your jawbone. However, many people have jawbones that are falling apart or otherwise don’t provide enough material for an installation to take place. This may have convinced you in the past that permanent implant solutions simply weren’t possible them.

Well, now you can throw those dentures away because we have the technology to move bone from one portion of your body and graft it on your jaw. With that, the orthodontist will have more than enough bone to apply All-on-Four implants.

Best of all, this entire procedure is one that can happen while you’re comfortably asleep. That’s why this is a single day solution (unless the aforementioned bone graft is needed). You’ll walk in with the smile you no longer want and in a couple hours, will walk back out with beautiful new teeth.

Permanent Dentures

All-on-Four implants are essentially permanent dentures. This means that once they’re installed, they’re staying there. You never have to worry about taking them off when you go to bed at night or to clean then. Sleep soundly with these dentures in and never worry that you’ll experience issues.

In fact, you can even leave them in to clean. You’ll just brush them exactly like you would your normal teeth, with a toothbrush and everything.  Once they’re in, these are your new teeth for life!

Installations That Won’t Budge

It’s not just that All-on-Four implants are permanent. It’s that they also stay perfectly in place. If you currently wear dentures, you may struggle with the fact that they are constantly moving around. Trying to eat with them, for example, can be a terrible challenge, because their movement means that food can become trapped and cause further problems.

On top of that, non-permanent solutions mean you constantly have to worry about the embarrassment that occurs if they pop out during conversations.

Again, All-on-Four implants aren’t going anywhere. They’ll sit in your mouth and stay there just like anyone else’s teeth would.

Ask your orthodontist today about All-on-Four implants or do a Google search for dental professionals in your area who specialize in this procedure. The procedure is easy and the result is permanent, meaning you can enjoy a beautiful smile for the rest of your life.

 

Finding the Perfect Orthodontist

Finding the Perfect Orthodontist

Whether it’s for you or your child, if you’re in the market for orthodontic work, then you need to have the best possible orthodontist in Southampton to do it. The good news is that you shouldn’t have any trouble finding one these days. However, the flip side of this benefit is that you’re going to have to do some pretty serious homework before you make your final choice. Without the best possible orthodontist working for you, you may not end up with the perfect teeth you had in mind too. Here’s what to look for.

A Specialist

Many dentists are qualified to do all kinds of procedures we usually associate solely with orthodontists. For example, many dentists are able to put Invisalign braces on your teeth or even do traditional braces. However, that doesn’t mean they’re your best option, even if they are more convenient to visit.
Orthodontists don’t just go to dental school. They usually graduate top of their class and then spend three more years doing rigorous study to attain their orthodontist’s degree.
Even for something as seemingly simple as Invisalign braces, you want someone who will know how to look for other potential issues too. An orthodontist is more likely to know all the different procedures that can be used to help you get the perfect teeth you always wanted.

Go with a Private Practice

You should also look for a private practice. If you end up with an orthodontist that is simply on staff for a larger company, you run the risk that they’ll leave at some point while you still have braces on. This isn’t the end of the world, by any means, but it’s much better to have the same doctor the entire time.

This won’t happen at a private practice because the orthodontist owns it. So you’ll start with and finish with the same practitioner.

Furthermore, go with a private practice that is at it full time. More than likely, your private practice orthodontist will be working plenty of hours, but be sure. While you shouldn’t expect any emergency problems with braces, little things may crop up like wires that poke you or a piece that falls off. Ideally, you want to know you can stop in at anytime during the week and get help from your orthodontist.

Find Flexible Financing

Getting braces is never cheap, but that doesn’t mean it has to be unaffordable. Look for a private practice that will offer flexible financing options to help ease the burden a bit. Given how expensive orthodontic work often is, this shouldn’t be too difficult.

Try to find a practice that is in your insurance network, offers 0% financing and who will accept a down payment with ongoing monthly payments.

Don’t Fall for Bargain Service Though

You’d never expect to find a brand new car with 0% financing and half the normal price. If someone tried to sell you one, you’d rightfully react with skepticism. While most orthodontists are going to be above such reproach, this type of thing happens from time to time. Sure, you save some money upfront, but the service you receive in return leaves a lot to be desired.

Read Reviews Online

Most orthodontists can be found on Internet review sites where you can find what prior customers thought of them. This is a huge advantage, but you should also ask around your social circle and see what people whom you actually know have to say. Plus, this way you can examine the results up close too.

There’s no doubt that finding the perfect orthodontist will take a little extra work on your part. However, when you consider how important their work is it’s definitely worth it.