Please select from our treatments below to find out more:
- Preventative Care
- Missing Teeth
- Periodontal/ Gum Disease
We will normally request that you see a dentist for a routine examination on a six monthly basis especially if you have filled teeth or are susceptible to gum problems or decay.
At your examination appointment a full charting of your teeth will be taken, noting any restorations that you may have. Routine x-rays may be taken if required, and a charting to record your gum condition will be taken every three years enabling us to continuously monitor your gum health. At each examination you will receive a full mouth check for signs of any abnormalities in the mouth including cancer.
During this appointment it is your chance to discuss with the dentist any concerns that you may have with your teeth and gums, even if it is a minor concern. The dentist will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and the nurse is always willing to listen and help as much as she can also.
Hygiene and Dental Health Appointments
Our Hygiene Team
We have a team of five hygienists, who are all qualified and registered with the GDC, and are constantly keeping up to date with their professional development. Patients who have periodontal (gum problems) will normally see the same hygienist throughout their treatment.
What Is The Hygienists Role In The Practice?
The hygienist's main role is to provide professional cleaning of the teeth for the patient using an ultrasonic scaler to remove deposits which may have built up on the teeth. The teeth are then polished to remove any superficial staining. She will also give you dietary advice and oral health instruction so that you are able to keep up a high standard of cleaning at home, which is vital to help prevent dental disease.
A clean and healthy mouth will improve your appearance, help you keep your teeth and give you fresh breath.
We can arrange your routine hygiene and dentist appointments so that they are on the same day if you prefer. Please ask the receptionist.
Our Dental Health Educators Team
We have two dental health educators who are trained in giving advice on your dental health. At a typical appointment with the dental health educator, she will go through different cleaning methods and techniques as well as checking for any signs of decay activity. By the end of this appointment you should feel comfortable that you are able to use the cleaning technique which was shown to maintain good oral health.
She will be able to answer any questions you may have regarding your gum condition and general dental health.
Dental Health for Children
Our dental health educators have been into schools to give dietary and tooth brushing advice to children between five and seven. This has proved to be very popular and if you know of a school who would like this please let us know.
You may also book an appointment with the dental health educator if you would like your child/children to be given advice and we can run half term tooth brushing clubs at the practice subject to demand. Please ask at reception for details.
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We use the Illumine™ home system which has been widely used in the USA and Europe since 2001. Backed by clinical studies, and years of clinical use, you can rest assured that Illuminé™ is a tried and tested system.
Illuminé™ is applied to the mouth using trays made especially for you. The tray design incorporates a reservoir that holds the gel against the tooth.
Illuminé™ Home is designed for you to apply in the comfort of your own home. The premixed gel is applied by the patient into specially made trays, which are worn for two hours, or overnight, for a period of two weeks. Illuminé™ Home is supplied in an attractive wash bag with simple application instructions.
Whitening does not affect white fillings, porcelain crowns and veneers so if you are planning to whiten your teeth, do it before any other restorative treatment takes place. The dentist will always perform a full evaluation before treatment to make sure that whitening is for you.
At your first appointment any questions you may have are answered and an impression will be taken of your upper and lower teeth. Models will then be poured up at our in-house laboratory and small bleaching slips are made up ready for your next appointment.
At your second appointment you will be given the bleaching slips to try in and also a patient kit consisting of 10% bleach syringes, storage box and instructions. The dentist will go through the procedure with you at this time.
Some patients experience sensitivity during treatment but this is only temporary and will resolve once treatment is finished. Your teeth can remain lighter for up to two years as long as recommendations are followed and further bleach syringes are available to buy through the practice.
For more information about Illumine products please click on this site: [Dentsply]
What Are Crowns?
Crowns are an ideal restoration for teeth, which have been broken, or have been weakened by decay, a root canal, or a very large filling. The crown fits right over the remaining part of the tooth, making it strong and giving it the shape and contour of a natural tooth. Crowns are sometimes also known as 'caps'.
Why Would I Need A Crown?
There are a number of reasons. For Instance:
- The tooth may have been weakened by having a very large filling.
- You may have discoloured fillings and would like to improve the appearance of the tooth.
- You may have had a root filling which will require a crown to protect it.
- You may have had an accident and damaged the tooth.
- It may hold a bridge or denture firmly in place.
What Are Crowns Made Of?
Crowns are made of a variety of materials, and new materials are continually being introduced. Here are some of the options available at present:
- Porcelain bonded to precious metal: This is what the majority of crowns are made from. A precious metal base is made and porcelain is then applied in layers over it.
- Porcelain: These crowns are not as strong as bonded crowns but they can look very natural and are most often used for front teeth, especially for younger people.
- Precious metal (gold and palladium): These crowns are very strong and hard wearing, but are usually used at the back of the mouth, where they are not visible.
The tooth is prepared to the ideal shape for the crown. This will involve removing most of the outer surface, and leaving a strong inner 'core'. The amount of the tooth removed will be the same as the thickness of the crown to be fitted. Once the tooth is shaped, an impression is taken of the prepared tooth, one of the opposite jaw and possibly another to mark the way you bite together. The impressions will be given to the technician, along with any other information needed to make the crown.
Who Makes The Crown?
The impression and shade information will be given to a Dental Technician who will be skilled in making crowns. Models will be made of your mouth and the crown will be constructed on these in order to ensure that the crown fits perfectly.
Will The Crown Be Noticeable?
No. The crown will be made to match your other teeth exactly. The shade of the neighbouring teeth will be recorded, to make sure that the colour looks natural and matches the surrounding teeth. This is done using both a shade guide and digital photography. The technician will be able to match the characteristics of your own teeth with the help of the digital image. In some cases, the characterisation is so detailed, the only way to ensure a perfect match is to visit the laboratory and allow the technician to see your teeth himself. This can be arranged. A temporary crown, usually made in plastic, will be fitted at the end of the first appointment to last until the definitive one is ready. These temporary crowns may be more noticeable, but they are only a temporary measure.
How Long Does The Treatment Take?
At least two visits are needed, the first for the preparation, impression, shade taking and fitting the temporary crown, and the second to fit the permanent crown. The first appointment would normally be an hour.
Does It Hurt To Have A Tooth Prepared For A Crown?
No. A local anaesthetic is used and the preparation should feel no different to that of a filling.
Are Post Crowns Different?
Post crowns may be used when the tooth has been root filled or if there is no tooth remaining above the level of the gum. The weakened crown of the tooth is drilled off at the level of the gum. A double-ended 'post' is constructed to fit into the root canal. This can be either prefabricated stainless steel or custom made of gold. One end of the post is cemented into the root canal, and the other end holds the crown firmly in place.
How Long Will A Crown Last?
The life of a crown will depend on how well it is looked after. The crown itself cannot decay, but decay can start where the edge of the crown joins the tooth. It is very important to keep this area as clean as your other teeth, or decay may occur which could endanger the crown. Properly cared for crowns will last for many years.
What Are The Advantages of veneers?
Veneers make teeth look natural and healthy, and because they are very thin and are held in place by a special strong bond (rather like super-glue) very little preparation of the tooth is necessary.
When Would I Need A Veneer?
Veneers can improve the colour, shape and position of teeth. A precise shade of porcelain can be chosen to give the required colour, to improve a single discoloured or stained tooth or to lighten front teeth (usually the upper ones) generally.
A veneer can make a chipped tooth look intact again - the porcelain covers the whole of the front of the tooth with a thicker section replacing the broken part.
Veneers can also be used to close small gaps, when orthodontics are not suitable. If one tooth is slightly out of position, a veneer can sometimes be fitted to bring it into line with the others.
What About Alternatives?
A natural coloured filling material can be used for minor repairs to front teeth. This type of restoration is excellent where the tooth supports the filling, but may not work so well for broken tooth corners. There will always be a join between the tooth and filling material which will stain with time and look unsightly.
Crowns are used for teeth which need to be strengthened - either because they have broken, have been weakened by a very large filling, or have had root canal treatment.
How Long Will A Veneer Last?
Veneers should last for many years, but they can chip or break, just as your own teeth can. You will be advised how long each individual veneer should last. Small chips can be repaired, or a new veneer fitted if necessary.
Missing teeth can be replaced with either Bridges, Dentures or Implants (see implant section). Whichever method is used is determined by the number of teeth missing and where they are in the mouth, also factors to consider are the condition of the other teeth, oral health and of course cost.
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A bridge is normally used where there are fewer teeth to replace and there are different types of bridge including conventional, cantilever and maryland (resin bonded).
A conventional bridge can be used to replace one or a few missing teeth, it consists of crowns bonded together and at least two will be attached to your own teeth (abutment teeth) either side of the gap, which have been carefully prepared to hold the bridge.
A cantilever bridge supports the fake tooth from one end instead of two like the conventional bridge. In areas of your mouth that are under less stress, such as your front teeth, a cantilever bridge may be used. They are used when there are teeth on only one side of the open space.
A maryland bridge is primarily used for your front teeth. Less expensive, this bridge is best used when the abutment teeth are healthy and don't have large fillings. The false tooth has metal bands attached that are bonded to the abutment teeth with a resin which is hidden from view. This type of bridge reduces the amount of preparation on the adjacent teeth.
What appointments do I need?
Similarly to a crown, you will need an impression and prep appointment which could last anything from 90 mins. A temporary bridge is normally made (except in the case of the Maryland bridge) and cemented with a light cement which enables the temporary bridge to be easily removed at the fit appointment. At this appointment the permanent bridge will be cemented in place and full instructions given on how you can care for your bridge.
What are the benefits of dental bridges?
- They can restore your smile
- Restore your ability to properly chew and speak
- Maintain the shape of your face
- Distribute the forces in your bite properly by replacing missing teeth.
- Prevent other teeth from drifting out of position
Will it be difficult to eat or speak with a dental bridge in place?
It should actually be easier to eat and speak seeing that you no longer have missing teeth, although it might take a short while just to get used to the fact that the gap has closed and your tongue will need to adjust.
How long will the bridge last?
The bridge will last a number of years as long as it is cared for well. With good oral hygiene and diet it could last up to ten years.
How do I care for my bridge?
It is important that the abutment teeth and gum surrounding the bridge are kept clean and strong to form a solid foundation for the fake teeth. Careful cleaning with interdental brushes as well as superfloss will be beneficial as well as a good diet limiting the amount of sugary foods.
There are two different types of dentures including acrylic and chrome.
These are made from a Cobalt chrome material and can also include some acrylic and of course the replacement teeth. The chrome means that the thickness of the denture is very thin but strong enough to withstand biting pressure. It normally takes about six weeks to make from the first impression, and we include appointments in which we can be certain the bite is correct, and also a try in appointment to make sure you are happy with the fit and appearance of the teeth before going forward to the final fit appointment. Because of the time it takes to make, and increased material costs, chrome dentures are more expensive and so some people may prefer to go with the acrylic option.
These normally take less time to make in the lab and are slightly cheaper than the chrome version. They are made from a pink acrylic material with the teeth attached. They are slightly thicker than the chrome version.
Will dentures make me look different?
Dentures can be made to closely resemble your natural teeth so that little change in appearance will be noticeable. Dentures may even improve the look of your smile and help fill out the appearance of your face and profile.
How do I take care of my dentures?
Dentures are very delicate and may break if dropped even a few inches, especially acrylic dentures. Stand over a folded towel or a basin of water when handling dentures. When you are not wearing them, store your dentures away from children and pets.
Like natural teeth, dentures must be brushed daily to remove food deposits and plaque. Brushing helps prevent dentures from becoming permanently stained and helps your mouth stay healthy. It's best to use a brush designed for cleaning dentures. A toothbrush with soft bristles can also be used. Avoid using hard-bristled brushes that can damage dentures. Use a denture cleanser or even a hand soap or a mild dishwashing liquid to clean them and avoid bleach, as this may whiten the pink portion of the denture.
The first step in cleaning dentures is to rinse away loose food particles thoroughly. Moisten the brush and apply denture cleanser. Brush every surface, scrubbing gently to avoid damage.
Dentures may lose their shape if they are allowed to dry out. When they are not worn, dentures should be placed in a denture cleanser soaking solution or in water. Your dentist can recommend the best method. Never place dentures in hot water, which could cause them to warp.
Ultrasonic cleaners are also used to care for dentures. However, using an ultrasonic cleaner does not replace a thorough daily brushing.
Will my dentures need to be replaced?
Dentures can become loose because a mouth naturally changes with age. Bone and gum ridges can recede or shrink, causing jaws to align differently. Shrinking ridges can cause dentures to fit less securely. Loose dentures can cause health problems, including sores and infections. A loose denture also makes chewing more difficult and may change your facial features. It's important to replace worn or poorly-fitting dentures before they cause problems.
How often should I schedule dental appointments?
You will be advised about how often to visit us. Regular dental check-ups are important as we need to check that the dentures are still fitting properly as well as checking your mouth for signs of oral diseases including cancer.
With regular professional care, a positive attitude and persistence, you can become one of the millions of people who wear their dentures with a smile.
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a titanium metal rod, which is placed into the jawbone. It is used to support one or more false teeth. In practice, both the false teeth and their supporting rod are known as 'implants’
Are Implants Safe? How Long Will They Last?
Implants are a well-established, tried-and-tested treatment. 90 per cent of modern implants last for at least 15 years.
I Have Some of My Own Teeth. Can I Still Have Implants?
Yes. You can have any number of teeth replaced with implants - from one single tooth, to a complete set. It depends on the state of the bone in your jaw. We will arrange for a number of special tests to assess the amount of bone still there. If there is not enough, or if it isn't healthy enough, it may not be possible to place implants without grafting bone into the area first.
Do Implants Hurt?
Placing the implants requires a small operation. This can be carried out under local anaesthetic. The placement will therefore be painless, but you may feel some discomfort during the week following the surgery. This is usually due to having sutures (stitches) in place, and the normal healing process.
Can I Have The New Teeth Straight Away?
No. The implants need to bond (integrate) with the bone after they have been placed. This takes at least 3 months in the lower jaw, and 6 months in the upper jaw. If you are having one, two or three teeth replaced, you will have a temporary restoration in the meantime. If you have complete dentures, then these can be worn throughout the healing period once they have been modified after the surgery.
How Long Does Treatment Take?
From the initial assessment to the time when the artificial teeth or dentures are finally attached to the implants, is about 12 months. However, if only the lower jaw is involved then the whole process may be completed in around 5 months.
A lot depends on how complicated your treatment is. Your treatment will be discussed fully at your initial consultation, and a treatment plan and a detailed cost breakdown will be sent to you, once it is clear that implants are viable. We will also be able to give you a definitive timetable once the surgery has been completed.
Are The Teeth Difficult To Clean?
Cleaning around the teeth attached to the implants is no more difficult than cleaning natural teeth. However, there may be areas that present particular problems and you'll be shown methods to help.
If I had gum disease, when I had my own teeth, will I get it with the teeth attached to the Implants?
Yes, if you don't care for them well enough. If you keep them clean, and don't smoke, then you should not have any problem.
Gum problems or Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is one of the most common diseases of our civilisation affecting one in five people. It is a genetically inherited condition, and is an infection of the tissues which support the teeth.
Periodontal disease is a painless condition and if undetected or undiagnosed could result in you losing your teeth. Because it is painless you may be unaware of any dental problems. You may have been told to seek expert advice by your regular dental surgeon, or have yourself detected bleeding on brushing or when eating.
The important message is however to move forward as it’s never too late to seek specialist care.
A periodontal specialist will be able to diagnose if you are one of the one in five people affected and advise treatment to arrest the condition.
Several warning signs that can signal a problem:
- Gums that bleed easily
- Red, swollen, tender gums
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- Persistent bad breath or bad taste
- Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
- Any change in the way your teeth fit together when biting
At your first appointment
The initial consultation with the Periodontist will take half an hour and you are welcome to bring your husband/wife or partner with you. After a thorough examination we will explain the disease to you, how you are affected and treatment recommended. So often our patients leave feeling reassured and optimistic.
An appointment will be made for you to see the dental health educator and radiographer so that a full mouth series of x-rays can be taken and this appointment will also encompass dental health advice and demonstration. At this time we will be happy to answer any questions you may have since your last appointment regarding treatment.
A series of three to four appointments with the hygienist for thorough cleaning and oral health advice will follow over a three to six week period and this will complete the initial therapy stage.
We will make a further review appointment with the Periodontist two months following the completion of this initial therapy to see how you are progressing.
Can losing teeth through gum disease be stopped?
Yes if the diagnosis is made early enough, treatment can be commenced before it has become too far progressed. With meticulous cleaning including home care, the condition can be stabilised. If you are at all worried it is best to consult with a periodontist.
What ongoing maintenance will I need?
We normally recommend seeing a hygienist on a three monthly basis and then the Periodontist will review you on an annual basis to see how you are progressing.