Dentures Or Dental Implants? A Comparison

You local Epsom dentists discuss the pros and cons of these two teeth replacement methods.

One of the hardest decisions for a patient to take when they have lost a tooth, is the choice of tooth replacement method, especially if it is in the visible zone.

At one time, the answer would have been straightforward as dentures were the only method available. With modern advances though, the advantages of dental implants are increasingly apparent and they are starting to challenge dentures as the most popular choice available.

Below, your Epsom dentists take an unbiased look at these two options and discuss the pros and cons of each.

Dentures

Modern dentures are more attractive than the older type ones and look more natural. From a cosmetic viewpoint, there is little wrong with wearing dentures. The problems arise when it comes to functionality as they can limit the type of foods that you can comfortably eat. Some wearers also find that they sometimes irritate the gums when they move around slightly. There is also the potential for embarrassment for those whose dentures no longer fit well and become visibly loose when speaking.

The most significant ‘plus’ for dentures is that their fitting often requires no invasive dental treatment. Impressions are taken and the dentures are then created from this. This potentially makes it an easier process for nervous dental patients.

Dental implants

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Posted in Implants

Immediate Full Arch Teeth Replacement in Epsom

Using the ‘fast and fixed’ method, you may be able to have new teeth in just one day!

Dental implants are now widely used in the replacement of lost teeth. Most people though, are probably more aware of their use for replacing individual teeth.

At the Clock Tower Dental Clinic however, we can also replace a full arch of missing teeth using implants.

These missing teeth are not replaced individually, a process that would be both lengthy and very expensive, but can be done by using a small number of implants (usually four) to secure a fixed bridge of teeth in place.

Fast and fixed

There are various other names for this procedure, including ‘same day implants’, ‘teeth in a day’ and ‘all on 4’. Essentially though, these procedures are the same, or very similar. They involve the use of four dental implants, although occasionally more, two of which are standard implants and the other two are specially designed for this purpose. The key benefits to this procedure, in addition to the ones provided by individual implants, i.e. strength, security and stability, are that they can be used for people who have suffered bone loss in the jaw area, often without the need for a prior bone graft. For some cases, the procedure can also be completed in a single day.

First of all, your Epsom implant dentist will take x-rays and scans to examine the bone structure in your jaw to determine where nerves are situated so that these can be avoided. Where four implants are used (which is in the majority of cases), two regular dental implants will be placed towards the front of the mouth. In order to offer security and stability for those people whose bone structure is compromised, two specially designed implants are then placed into the jawbone at an angle. This provides a strong and stable anchor to support a fixed bridge.

This procedure can even be used to replace your dentures, even if you have worn them for years.

Aftercare

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Posted in Implants

Dental Treatment Using Sedation in Epsom

If you are looking for a sedation dentist, we can help.

Raised anxiety levels about a forthcoming dental procedure are not unusual, although most patients are able to undergo treatment without any additional help, realising that it is necessary. For some patients though, anxiety can reach such a level, that they avoid their dental visits altogether.

Long term oral health care

Looking after our teeth means regular cleaning, and daily brushing and flossing will certainly go a long way to preserving healthy teeth and gums. Unfortunately, this is not the whole story though and professional intervention is always necessary. Even the most conscientious patient will not be able to reach all areas of the teeth and even small bacterial deposits that build up will cause problems either with dental decay or potentially gum disease. Visiting the dentist and hygienist at the Clock Tower Dental Clinic in Epsom will help to ensure that your mouth is maintained in a healthy condition.

To help nervous dental patients, we have designed our practice environment to offer an air of calmness, and our friendly staff will always treat you in a calm and relaxed manner. With this approach, most nervous patients are able to overcome the worst of their anxieties, enabling them to have the dental care they need and deserve.

Invasive procedures

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Posted in Sedation

Mercury Free Dental Fillings

The Clock Tower Dental Clinic – amalgam-free fillings for Surrey patients.

If you follow dental news at all, you may have noticed that the European Parliament has decided that it will phase out amalgam in dentistry by 2030. For some time, there have been debates about the safety of using amalgam as it contains mercury. Whilst studies have shown its use to be safe in amalgam fillings, and has been designated so by the General Dental Council, this appears not to have satisfied some patient’s concerns.

Another factor which is slowly driving people away from amalgam fillings is, of course, their appearance. Amalgam is a mixture of metals, including silver, tin and mercury and consequently is very dark in colour.

More about amalgam fillings

It should be said that amalgam fillings are extremely strong and effective, and, for this reason, it comes as no surprise to know that this material has been used in dentistry for a long time; first appearing in Europe in 1528 and was, in fact, first documented worldwide as long ago as 659. It is reasonable to assume that the materials now used are more refined and effective than before, although its appearance may not be a lot different.

Amalgam can be used in both small and large fillings and does offer a very good degree of strength, despite its stark appearance.

Natural looking mercury free fillings

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Posted in Amalgam

New Dental Veneers In Epsom?

new smiles with cosmetic dentistry

Here are some quick tips to get the most from them….

Dental veneers can be used to correct a number of issues, but are perhaps most commonly used to restore the shade and appearance where a patient’s teeth are heavily discoloured or cracked. Once fitted, dental veneers should last in the region of ten years, depending on individual circumstances and how well they are maintained.

One of the fundamental aspects for making sure that veneers look great and function well over the years, is to maintain the integrity of the teeth on which the veneers are attached. So a good personal oral care regimen must be maintained.

Staining

As dental veneers are made from porcelain, they are quite resistant to staining and should not discolour quickly. This is because they are virtually non-porous and staining substances can’t get into the tiny pits and cracks as they can on a natural tooth. Surface staining though is still possible, and, for example, smoking may cause tar deposits to accumulate on the surface. Always make sure to brush both the surface of the veneer, and the rest of the tooth regularly.

Decay

The veneer itself cannot decay; however, the remainder of the tooth to which it is attached certainly can. Not only might decay of the underlying tooth mean that fillings might be required but it can also change the shape of the tooth and compromise the bonding of the veneer to it. As with the rest of your teeth, you should always brush the full area of the tooth well, including the gum line. If you don’t already, some form of inter-dental cleaning should also be used, whether tiny brushes or regular floss. Make sure too, that you see the hygienist at the Clock Tower Dental Clinic to help keep your mouth in tip top condition.

Detachment

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Posted in Veneers

Are You A Suitable Candidate For Dental Implants At Our Epsom Surgery?

dental assessment

Factors which may contribute to a decision about implant placement.

At the Clock Tower Dental Clinic, we believe that dental implants are the best solution available for anyone wishing to replace a missing tooth. Offering a level of strength and stability that other solutions such as dentures and bridges can’t, implants are rapidly becoming the first choice for many people.

Whilst most patients are able to have dental implants placed, there are circumstances which may mean a prior procedure is necessary, or that a patient will need to make a lifestyle change in order for implants to be a practical solution for them.

Bone deterioration

A patient who has been missing a tooth for some time, may well lack sufficient bone structure into which the implant can be placed. A firm foundation in the jaw is needed to place a dental implant, so it may be necessary to have a bone graft or sinus lift before the procedure takes place. X-rays and scans at our Epsom dental practice will determine whether you will need either of these procedures, or are suitable to proceed without any upfront treatments.

Threats to the longevity of dental implants

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Posted in Implants

Essential Advice To Promote Strong And Healthy Teeth

Family dental health

Our Epsom dentists offer some simple and easy to follow everyday dental advice.

Looking after our teeth and gums is relatively easy to do if we take just a few minutes each day to take care of them.

Whilst no one can guarantee against damage to a tooth caused by an accident, many dental problems are caused by neglect, to some degree.

In today’s blog, we look in more detail at how you can take care of your teeth on a daily basis.

Diet

It is well known that a diet that is high in sugars is not only bad for your general health in the form of obesity etc, but is also one that is likely to cause damage to your teeth. As sugars turn to acid, they erode the enamel, rendering the tooth more prone to decay. Other dietary factors can also affect your teeth. A high fruit diet, especially citrus, is not only a high sugar diet, even though they are natural sugars, but the high acid levels in fruits can also lead to enamel erosion.

Some special diets such as veganism can also lead to a lack of the right nutrients to build strong and healthy teeth. Without appropriate compensation, vegans can lack certain vitamins which are essential to strong teeth. If you do choose to follow diets like this, please take care to read up on how to obtain adequate nutrition.

Cleaning

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Posted in Advice

Clear Aligners – A Discreet Way To Straighten Your Teeth

near invisible braces

Straight teeth for Epsom patients, with near-invisible braces!

Modern cosmetic orthodontics offer patients a much more convenient and discreet route to an even smile when compared to traditional braces; none more so than the ‘Clear Aligner’ system. Whilst most newer generation dental braces use discreet materials, most still use a system of wires and brackets to reposition the teeth.

Though significantly less visible than the old “train track” versions, these can still be seen, and, in addition to this, dental hygiene can be difficult to maintain when wires and brackets get in the way as you clean and floss your teeth.

Invisible braces

The Clear Aligner system offers patients of the Clock Tower Dental Clinic in Epsom, a new and more convenient way to straighten teeth. Gone are the wires and brackets, and, instead, a series of clear plastic trays are used which fit directly over the teeth. These are made following impressions which our dentist will take, ensuring that they not only do their job effectively, but also offer the maximum level of comfort for the patient.

Whilst comfort is obviously a significant factor, the main appeal of this type of orthodontic is that they are very discreet and also convenient. As they are made from a clear medical grade plastic and sit directly over the teeth, they are virtually invisible to most observers.

In addition, Clear Aligners are specifically designed to be removed when you eat and also for brushing your teeth. This, naturally, means that you can continue your usual oral health regimen with no problem. The trays will also need to be kept clean so that they do not harbour harmful bacteria and you will be advised of the best cleaning method for them during the initial fitting.

Whilst you should remove the trays when eating and cleaning only, it may be appropriate to remove them, for example, if you have an interview if it helps you to feel more confident. Removing them too often though, may result in a longer period of time needed to straighten your teeth and this should be borne in mind.

Disadvantages?

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Posted in Braces

Tooth Extraction And Replacement Options in Epsom

replacing a lost tooth

How we take out a tooth and examine options for closing the gap.

At the Clock Tower Dental Clinic, we will always try to save a patient’s natural tooth wherever that is a practical option.

There are a number of procedures including fillings, crowns and root canal procedures that can help us to do this, but sometimes a tooth is simply too badly decayed or damaged to be worth attempting to save. The only option available to us at this stage is to extract the tooth.

Providing that the extraction is straightforward, and does not require specialist dental treatment, such as where the tooth has broken at the gum line, it can be extracted by one of our experienced Epsom dental team. Whilst some patients believe that a tooth is pulled out using force, this is usually not the case and the procedure is less traumatic than many patients fear.

Tooth extraction

To remove a tooth, the patient will be given a local anaesthetic to minimise any discomfort. Using forceps, the dentist will then grip the tooth and rock it gently from side to side. By doing this, the bone which holds the tooth in place slowly releases its grip and the tooth can then be gently removed from its socket. Naturally, there will be some bleeding and you will be given some gauze to bite onto which helps to form a clot – this is the start of the healing process. You will be given full aftercare instructions to ensure that your recovery is comfortable and straightforward.

Replacing the tooth

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Posted in Advice

What We Look For During Your Dental Check Up

Our Epsom dentists explain how your oral health is monitored.

Most patients of the Clock Tower Dental Clinic come to us at six monthly intervals to have their teeth and gums checked by one of our dentists. Providing that good care has been taken to keep both the teeth and gums clean in the period between, it is likely that no treatment, or only minor treatment will be needed.

So is a six monthly check-up always needed? Our recommendation would be that, unless you have a long history of completely trouble-free teeth and gums, then leaving it longer between appointments increases the likelihood of problems arising and needing more extensive treatment when they do.

What we look for

When we perform an oral health check for a patient, we look for many things. The following are some of the key points of a routine dental check up:

Dental decay

Sometimes, dental decay can be obvious to the naked eye and we examine a patient’s teeth closely for signs of this. Sometimes though, it may occur under the surface of the tooth, and, in order to check for this, an x-ray may be necessary. These can reveal not only tooth decay, but also any initial signs of bone loss caused by the onset of gum disease. X-rays at the Clock Tower Dental Clinic use low doses of radiation and are perfectly safe for most people. If you are pregnant though, please let us know, as x rays are usually avoided during this time.

Inter-dental cleanliness

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Posted in Advice