September 13th, 2012
In the pioneering days of dentistry in London and before the scientists started poking their new, understanding noses into all matters healthy, dentists were trying out all new ideas and things to keep our teeth in our mouths and getting away with it without fear of reprisals. Some of these ideas were horribly flawed and dropped; some were not- the descendants of which are still around today. There is one however, that still seems to be struggling with a hung jury- fluoride. It’s with us every day, in our water and in our toothpaste so really, it must be good for us surely? Like anything in life though, too much of a good thing can lead to disaster. Over the past 50 years, scientists have started to question whether or not we really need all this fluoride on a daily basis. Too much of the stuff can kill you as it is toxic and it’s certainly very dangerous for children, as they end up eating more than they brush with. It can also leave traces in the brain leading to fluorosis. Then there’s the flip-side; it has also been proven to be very good for our teeth. Fluoride gives strength to the enamel of the teeth as it re-mineralises it, which is why it can be found in most toothpastes- it can also help to prevent tooth decay. Being able to make informed decisions allows us all to have the luxury of choice. There are oral products that do not come with fluoride in them, so you can choose which you think is best for you, though you need to do your homework first. To end on a more sombre note, if you limit the your fluoride intake it should give you ‘said’ protection to your teeth and see you through life; stopping it won’t make you live forever- after all most of us on average will only get to 80 anyway.
October 11th, 2010
The teeth can suffer from many conditions and disease that wear down or damage the tooth enamel making the teeth lose some of their functionality or look damaged and in poor condition. Not only will this affect the appearance of the smile but it will also cause some emotional damage if the teeth cause pain or make patients anxious about their appearance.
One of the most effective ways of repairing teeth that are damaged by worn enamel or discolouration is by having a set of dental veneers fitted. In the past dental veneers were successful but also required the removal of otherwise healthy tooth enamel. This was always done reluctantly by dentists as tooth enamel will not come back once it has been removed and this can be bad for the teeth. However, modern veneers are very thin and extremely lifelike, meaning that nobody will notice that they are not real teeth and will mostly be stunned by how great they actually look.
Dental veneers themselves are thin ceramic shells, often made of porcelain as this looks very much like real tooth enamel. They are cemented over the top of the existing teeth suing composite resin, which sets them firmly in place. Because they are so thin they can even be placed over the top of existing dental work such as crowns and fillings.
Dental veneers can be expensive but they will also last a very long time if properly cared for. It is not unusual for veneers to last as long as fifteen to twenty years and in some cases even longer. Make an appointment with your London dentist to discuss further the possibility of having dental veneers and the benefits this could have for your teeth.
July 3rd, 2010
There are many ways patients can chip teeth. It could be the result of a physical trauma such as a sporting injury or motor vehicle accident. However, it is just as likely that it is the result of biting something hard when chewing. Tooth enamel is a very durable substance but on occasions it can be prone to cracking and chipping.
A chipped tooth can be either painless or very painful depending on how much of the tooth is lost, and whether the chip affects the dental nerve. Perhaps more importantly is the aesthetic loss that a chipped tooth can cause. Chips can occur anywhere in the dental arc but commonly affect the front teeth as the result of accidents, and the incisors as the consequence of biting injuries. This means that they are often very visible and can a large impact on the appearance of the smile.
Just like missing teeth, patients are often very keen to restore the appearance of chipped teeth. City of London dentists can do this in two main ways. Firstly, they can rebuild the missing part of the tooth with dental bonding to create the appearance of a complete tooth. They do this by moulding the composite resin into the desired shape before setting it firm with heat from a dental laser.
Alternatively, they could cover the chipped tooth with either a porcelain crown or veneer depending on which tooth has suffered the crack. This will completely restore the shape of the chipped tooth and offer an added layer of protection to the tooth. Porcelain crowns and veneers are designed to closely match the size, shape and colour of the existing teeth.
June 24th, 2010
Being happy and comfortable with your smile can do wonders for your self-confidence but of course the reverse is also true. Having teeth that are crooked, uneven or badly discoloured can be the cause of a number of self-esteem and confidence issues that can have a wider reaching effect on your emotional health.
Luckily, over the last twenty years a number of pioneering dental techniques have developed ways of cosmetically enhancing the appearance of even the most unattractive teeth. One of the most dramatic procedures available is the porcelain veneer.
Veneers are ceramic caps that are placed over the top of the existing enamel to restore the appearance of the teeth. Because the veneers can be designed and manufactured to exact specifications, they are capable of completely transforming the teeth. Creating the appearance of evenly sized, white and healthy teeth. And the best news is, this can all be achieved in just one afternoon. Once the teeth have been measured, either with a dental mould or in more recent times with a digital x-ray, the dentist can then begin to manufacture the veneers to fit your teeth exactly. Modern technology has vastly improved the manufacturing process, significantly reducing the time it takes to manufacture the veneers.
The veneers are then cemented into place over the top of the teeth using dental bonding. This is set hard by the London dentist using a dental laser so and you are then free to use your new teeth. Modern veneers are also incredibly thin and have the same translucent quality of tooth enamel. This means they are even more realistic than they have ever been before. Although expensive, veneers can last upwards of twenty years and is it really possible to put a price on your perfect smile.
March 2nd, 2010
The important thing about treating tooth decay is that the earlier it is carried out, the easier it is and the more successful it will usually be. Dental decay is not a condition that will ever improve of its own accord. Enamel will never grow back once it has been removed and once the process has started it will only worsen making the situation more serious.
Patients can prevent tooth decay by effective and regular brushing and flossing and by paying regular visits to the dentist. However, if decay does happen it is usually accompanied by a toothache as the sensitive dental nerve is exposed to extremes of hot and cold and other stimuli. Early stage treatment of dental decay involves filling the cavities caused by plaque eroding the protective enamel. Filling material used to be commonly made of silver amalgam but due to controversy about its safety and metallic appearance in the mouth it is increasingly being replaced by composite bonding, which is tooth-coloured. The dentist will first clean the cavity and remove any infected material or bacteria that is in there. The cavity is then filled and set hard to protect the tooth.
For larger cavities it may be necessary to use a porcelain inlay as bonding can become brittle in large areas. The inlay will be cemented into place using bonding. For even larger damage and root canal treatments it may be necessary to cover the whole tooth exposed above the gum with a ceramic dental crown to offer a larger degree of protection. If you suspect dental decay or are suffering from a toothache, make an appointment to see a Central London dentist for treatment.
November 7th, 2009
Maintaining a good standard of oral hygiene is crucial in the war against tooth decay and gum disease. Just a few minutes of brushing and flossing each day could save you a lifetime of costly and painful dental treatment.
When it comes to oral hygiene, prevention really is better than cure. Dental problems are very easy to prevent but often very difficult to cure. Dentists recommend that patients brush their teeth twice a day for three minutes using an appropriate brush and toothpaste. This helps to prevent the build up of plaque on the tooth enamel. Plaque is a filmy substance made up of bacteria, decaying food particles and other debris. It breaks down the enamel causing cavities to develop, which if left unchecked will eventually penetrate to the root of the tooth causing toothache, abscesses and even tooth loss.
Flossing helps to remove plaque from between the teeth which is very hard for regular toothbrushes to reach. It allows you to clean below the gum line which is also hard to clean with a normal brush. This can be significant in the prevention of gingivitis, or gum disease as it is more commonly known.
Brushing and flossing are the front line defence against all forms of dental decay and disease and their importance cannot be underestimated. However, it is important, no matter how much of a fervent brusher you are, to keep up six-monthly check-ups with the dentist. Even patients with good standards of cleaning are susceptible to tooth decay, and a dentist will be able to spot the first signs of any problems.
Keeping teeth and gums clean can also have the added advantage of keeping your breath fresh. Flossing removes trapped food particles from between the teeth which are the cause for over 90 per cent of all cases of halitosis. Using tongue cleaners and inter-dental brushes can also help to keep your mouth free of bacteria. A London dentist will be able to offer you advice on which brushes are most suitable for your teeth and give further instruction on the best methods of maintaining good oral hygiene.
September 11th, 2008
Porcelain veneers are being widely used by London-based dentists and have been available for many years throughout the world. Teeth that are uneven, discoloured, worn and/or damaged may be corrected with the use of porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers, also referred to as dental veneers and laminates, are thin porcelain coverings fabricated distinctively for each individual patient and tooth. They provide an excellent cosmetic result in the properly chosen situation. Porcelain veneer technique(s) involve minimal preparation of the tooth enamel (the outer shell of the tooth), and at times the dentin (substructure of the tooth that can be sensitive to tooth preparation). This depends on the misalignment of the teeth, and the result sought by both you and your dentist.
The porcelain veneer procedure usually takes two dental visits. During your first visit, a smile analysis is performed either by using a camera or a cast of your mouth, or both. The result that can be obtained is usually shown to you via computer or by wax being placed on the stone model of your teeth. Any changes to colour, form and function of your teeth should be discussed with your dentist at this time. Once you and your dentist have agreed on the result that can be obtained, your anterior (i.e., front) dentition (i.e., teeth) are prepared using a diamond bur with local anaesthesia or no anaesthesia. This will depend on the amount of tooth structure that needs to be removed for the desired result.
Temporary acrylic or composite shells are fabricated by your dentist or his in-house laboratory to prevent tooth sensitively and the inadvertent shift of your teeth until the delivery visit. Impressions are taken of your mouth, and the stone models are sent to a laboratory that specializes in porcelain veneer fabrication. Upon return for your insertion visit, the porcelain veneers are bonded in place on your teeth utilizing the special materials to firmly affix the thin porcelain shell to each tooth. Porcelain veneers are inherently delicate; however, when securely bonded to the well-built tooth substructure they become both physically strong and long-lasting.
The greatest advantage of veneers above other aesthetic former brands are that porcelain veneers created to copy and achieve an extremely realistic look, and depending upon the artistic nature of the laboratory that fabricates the porcelain veneers and the artistry of the dentist placing the veneers, stunning results can be achieved. The best results are to both imitate the natural translucency of the tooth enamel and to also achieve the colour changes that are expected by the patient using opaque bonding materials and additional intrinsic colouring if required. Since Londoner’s generally have darker teeth, this intrinsic staining and use of opaque bonding materials should be carefully evaluated. After being placed and bonded, the porcelain veneers should very closely resemble the outer look of tooth enamel. A great advantage of porcelain veneers over composite bonding materials are their resistance to staining and discolouration.