Can hot weather pose extra risks for oral health?

Simple tips to keep your teeth and gums healthy….

It is well known that the foods that we eat can have an impact on our oral health. Other factors can also contribute of course, including how well (or otherwise!) you clean your teeth.

Probably few people consider the impact of hot weather on our teeth and gums, but it does pose some additional risks which are worth considering.

Below, our Epson family dentist looks at some of the ways that hot weather can adversely affect our oral health and what you can do to minimise the risk.

Water water water…

One of the most important things that you can do to keep teeth and gums healthy in hot weather is to drink plenty of water. For many people, doing this is common sense. A lot of people though may be more tempted by the ice cold carbonated drinks that are on sale. Unfortunately, whilst these may help to quench your thirst, they often contain high levels of sugar and can be quite highly acidic. In addition to this, they will not hydrate you as well as water does.

So why is hydration so important for a healthy mouth? Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss in the UK and the bacteria which make this more likely, thrive in warm and dry environments, such as a dry mouth. If you are not properly hydrated, your mouth is more likely to become dry, especially during the night whilst we sleep, allowing the number of bacteria to increase.

Moderate alcohol

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Smile and Eat With Confidence in Epsom!

The Clock Tower Dental Clinic – helping you have strong and healthy teeth.

Have you ever paused, when looking at a menu, and eventually chosen a meal that is less challenging for your teeth?

Many people are thought to compromise in this manner due to their lack of faith that their teeth, natural or otherwise, are simply not up to the task of chewing harder foods.

This is a shame and is also unnecessary. There is a wide range of procedures available at our Epsom dental practice that can restore your teeth to a strong and stable state, or, where teeth have been lost, replace them with secure replacements.

Below are just some of the ways that we may be able to help you to have teeth that will allow you to tackle even the most challenging foods.

General dental care

Healthy teeth are usually strong teeth and there is no better way to ensure that this is maintained than by having regular oral health checks performed by one of our friendly Epsom dentists. Problems such as gum disease can be detected early on and treated before it starts to weaken the bone that holds your teeth in position. Decay can also be treated with a minor filling, where necessary, rather than allowing the decay to spread. In cases where a patient has not seen a dentist for a while and more extensive treatment is needed, our Cerec produced dental crowns offer a speedy and effective way to restore a more badly damaged tooth.

Orthodontic care

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Going Private For Dental Services in Epsom?

healthy family

What we can offer former NHS dental patients at the Clock Tower Dental Clinic.

Over the years, we have seen a number of patients at our Epsom dental surgery who have decided to join us after many years with an NHS dentist. Sometimes this is simply because they have relocated to this part of Surrey, but equally, some patients are attracted by the additional treatments that we offer.

This is not to undervalue NHS dental treatment and we are sure that the quality of dentistry is high in most practices. But due to the nature of funding of these practices though, they are often only able to carry out a limited range of procedures.

Basic improvements

We will look at some of the more advanced procedures that we can offer patients in a moment, but first, let us take a look at one of the most common procedures that people have; the dental filling. At an NHS practice, the filling that is typically used is made from amalgam, a combination of metals. Whilst there have been debates about the safety of mercury in traditional amlagam fillings, we would like to focus on the aesthetic aspect of them. Anyone who has an amalgam filling will acknowledge how dark and highly visible they are.

At the Clock Tower Dental Clinic, we do not use amalgam in our practice, but offer a tooth coloured cosmetic filling instead. This allows our patients to have natural looking teeth even after they have been filled. Additionally, we are also one of only a few dental practices offering amalgam removal in Surrey for anyone who wishes to replace their current dark fillings safely.

Advanced cosmetic dentistry

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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