Dealing With Dental Anxiety

nervous

Three steps to help you receive the dental care that you need.

If you are afraid of going to the dentist, you are certainly not alone. It is thought that more than half of the population of the UK experiences some level of anxiety as their dental appointment approaches.

In most cases, patients will go through with their treatment, realising that it is essential for their health and well being, and, in most instances, treatment should not take too long to perform.

Once the procedure is complete, they can relax again.

Raised anxiety

Unfortunately, probably around ten per cent of those who do experience dental anxiety do so at a much higher level. This can cause severe symptoms for the patient, and, in many cases, appointments are cancelled or patients simply don’t turn up due to their fear. Despite probably understanding that missing appointments will inevitably mean more extensive treatment later on, as dental problems become worse, severely anxious patients may prefer to defer their treatment in the hope that it simply won’t happen i.e. taking a ‘head in the sand’ approach.

At the Clock Tower Dental Clinic in Epsom, we completely understand patient’s anxieties about their dental visits and do all that we can to help.

Therapies

Many of our patients have told us that they find certain therapies and techniques useful. These include aromatherapy, relaxation techniques etc. These, combined with the relaxed and friendly approach of our dentists can help some patients to, if not entirely overcome, then certainly reduce their anxiety levels enough to receive the treatment that they need.

The Wand

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Natural Looking Dental Fillings

Tooth coloured fillings as an alternative to amalgam at our Epsom dental practice.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, dental fillings are one of the most common procedures that we carry out. Providing that dental decay is detected in its early stages, a small filling is usually all that is necessary to restore the tooth, but even a small filling can spoil the appearance of a tooth where amalgam is used.

This material, a combination of metals including silver, tin, copper and mercury is extremely strong but does have the disadvantage of being very dark in colour, and therefore very visible, especially on teeth at the front of the mouth.

At the Clock Tower Dental Clinic in Epsom, we offer an alternative by using tooth coloured materials which are made of powdered glass, ceramic and a resin base. Previously considered inferior to amalgam from a strength perspective, advances have now been made and these “cosmetic” fillings are now much more robust than they once were. For larger rear fillings though, amalgam is still considered stronger, or, alternatively, an inlay or onlay can be made which offers a more aesthetic appearance as well as offering strength for the rear teeth where food is ground up when we chew.

No more dark coloured fillings

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Top New Year Tips For Healthy Teeth And Gums

Some oral care words of wisdom from our Epsom dental team.

Most of you are now probably getting back into your stride after the festive celebrations with things starting to return to ‘normal’ once more.

Sometimes, despite new year resolutions, even our bad habits also return to normal, either straight away or as resolutions slowly fade away.

So, to get you all off to a great start for 2017, we thought that we would offer some top oral care tips that will hopefully help to keep you trouble free from dental problems in the new year.

  1. Don’t forget to brush regularly – Brushing your teeth twice a day is important, but so is how it is done. You should always use a fluoride toothpaste and a brush that is no more than three months old. Electric brush heads should also be changed every three months. A worn or very soft brush will no longer be effective at removing food deposits and bacteria from your teeth and gums.
  2. Interdental cleaning – A sometimes neglected area of our oral health regimen is cleaning between the teeth. Whilst a toothbrush may remove some of the debris from these spaces, the very nature of the brush means it can’t reach these areas effectively. Using dental floss or an interdental brush to reach these areas is an effective method of cleaning in between the teeth. Our Epsom hygienist is always happy to show you how to do this efficiently.
  3. Stop smoking – Many of you will probably have already made this resolution. If you are wavering, please don’t just consider your overall health but also the benefits to your teeth and gums if you stop. No more staining from the tar in the cigarettes and the risk of gum disease is reduced significantly, to say nothing of oral cancers!
  4. Professional care – However well you take care of your teeth at home, professional dental care is important. Any dental problems that do arise can generally be treated with a relatively minor procedure if detected and diagnosed early on. Don’t ignore minor problems; they nearly always become much worse if you do.
  5. Hygienist – Finally, if you don’t already, a regular trip to see the hygienist at The Clock Tower Dental Clinic is an excellent way of helping to keep your teeth and gums in excellent condition. By having your teeth professionally cleaned, any hidden tartar (hardened bacteria) can be removed before any damage is done. Not only that, but most patients find that their teeth both look and feel cleaner once this has been done.

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Cheap Dental Implants – Is It Worth The Risk?

dental check

Our Epsom dentist takes a look at the risk of having implants placed abroad.

At The Clock Tower Dental Clinic in Epsom, we pride ourselves on offering patients top quality care. This applies to all areas of dentistry including dental implant placement.

Because dental implants are considered by many to be the best, if not the cheapest method of replacing missing teeth, it is perhaps not surprising that many people are tempted by the offers of having them placed abroad. Some of these offers even include flights and hotel accommodation! But what are you really getting for your money?

It is our belief that, whilst there are undoubtedly some top quality dentists in these countries, it is quite likely that those offering cheap implant offers are perhaps less experienced. Additionally, whilst it is possible for a slightly reduced prices due to currency differences and general cost of living, significant differences possibly indicate that corners may be being cut elsewhere that could create risks for the patient.

Training and skills

In the UK, any dentist wishing to place dental implants has to undergo further, comprehensive training in addition to their regular dental training. All dentists also have to be registered with the General Dental Council, and their qualifications presented clearly to allow you to validate what they are trained for and to what level. The same is not necessarily true abroad, and standards vary from country to country. If you are not familiar with the regulations of the country in which the cheaper implants are being offered, there is a significant risk that your dentist may be less well qualified to place implants than their counterparts in the UK.

Reduced quality

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How Dental Crowns Are Used For Tooth Restoration

replacing a lost tooth

Your Epsom dentist explains more about the versatile dental crown.

Dental crowns are well known to the general public and many people have them. Whilst they are generally fitted where a tooth has broken, they are also used more widely in a number of procedures that we perform at The Clock Tower Dental Clinic, and we take a look at some of these below.

Broken tooth

Perhaps the most common use of a dental crown is to restore a broken tooth which is so extensively damaged that a regular filling would not restore it with the strength needed for it to be fully functional. The tooth is prepared and digitally scanned which allows us to use our in-house CEREC technology to create the crown for you in just one hour, without the need for a second visit.

Bridges

Crowns are also used as a part of a dental bridge whereby they are attached to the teeth either side of the gap that the bridge will fill. The adjacent teeth are prepared and shaped, following which the crowns which support the bridge are securely attached.

Root canal treatment

Root canal treatment is performed when the canals in the roots of the tooth become infected. The only way to treat this is to remove the infected material and replace it with a special filling (Gutta Percha). In order to access the canals, the top of the tooth has to be removed and this naturally weakens the tooth. Once the canals have been filled, a dental crown is added to give the treated tooth both a natural appearance and sufficient strength for daily use.

Dental implants

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Maintaining Healthy Dental Implants

Considering the long term care of titanium implants.

Having invested in new dental implants, it makes sense that you will want them to last for a long time and in good health. This is relatively straightforward to do as long as the aftercare guidelines are adhered to. Our experienced Epsom dental team offers some guidance below, to re-enforce the details you will be given at the time of your treatment.

Immediate aftercare and placement

When you have taken the decision to have a dental implant placed, the dentist will ask you to refrain from smoking or drinking alcohol for a period of time, both before and after the placement. This is important advice as it is essential that your gums and bone are in the best health possible.

Smoking and alcohol can both increase the risk of gum disease, but perhaps more significantly as this particular stage, can also slow down the healing process and may even threaten the chances of a successful implant. You will also be advised to eat a liquid or soft food diet for a short period following the placement. This avoids putting strain on the implant until such time as it has sufficiently integrated with the bone.

Long term aftercare

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A Smile Makeover For The New Year

Smiling couple

A new year and a winning smile with the latest cosmetic dental procedures.

Even when you take good care of your teeth and follow a good oral health regimen, life still has a habit of throwing challenges in your way.

Consequently, our teeth can suffer a number of issues which, whilst possibly relatively minor on their own, can accumulate over time and leave us with a less than perfect smile.

Teeth staining foods and drinks, chips caused by minor accidents and even the gradual movement of our teeth over many years can create uneven teeth that may make us think twice before we smile. But all is not lost! Modern dentistry gives you the opportunity to correct all of those defects to get you smiling again!

New Year, New You?

Many of us make New Year resolutions and many of us fail to keep them too! If you make a resolution to have a nicer smile though, through the cosmetic dental procedures on offer at The Clock Tower Dental Clinic in Epsom, you can be sure to have a long lasting and winning smile for some time to come. What might this involve? We, this all depends on the individual as you may well imagine. Some patients will need more extensive treatment than others, with some simply needing to top up the whiteness of their teeth with our fast acting teeth whitening procedure. Others though, may need a combination of treatments to give them the smile that they want.

First of all we will provide a thorough oral health examination to detect and if necessary treat, any problems such as tooth decay or gum disease prior to any treatment. Next we will discuss the most appropriate treatment plan with you, potentially including some of our most common procedures as follows:

Orthodontics (braces)

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Prompt action in the event of toothache

Guidance for local Epsom patients when tooth pain strikes.

Unfortunately, toothache can appear in many forms. It may be just a throbbing and slightly uncomfortable sensation or it could cause severe and excruciating pain. Sometimes it is a gradual occurrence, and sometimes it can come on quite suddenly.

Whatever the level and type of pain though, one thing for sure is that it indicates that there is a problem which needs prompt treatment. Under no circumstances should it be ignored as the pain and underlying issue will almost certainly get worse.

What to do

If the toothache has appeared due to an injury which involved a heavy blow to the face, the first thing that you should do is to attend your local A&E to ensure that there are no head injuries. Once this has been checked, you should take the following steps:

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Faster Healing After Dental Implant Placement

PRGF Endoret treatment to speed up the healing process.

As we’ve discussed previously on our practice blog, dental implants are generally considered to be the most effective method of providing a strong and long lasting replacement for a missing tooth.

The procedure is, of course, an invasive one which means that a healing process has to take place in the area where the implant has been placed. For some patients, this may lead to temporary soreness and discomfort caused by the ‘injury’ to the gum and underlying bone.

At the Clock Tower Dental Clinic in Epsom, we are pleased to offer a solution which speeds up the healing process, known as PRGF Endoret.

What is PRGF Endoret?

This technology assists the body’s natural healing process to work faster. In normal circumstances following this procedure, the body forms proteins which help to start the healing process at the site of the wound. By extracting a small sample of the patient’s own blood, this technology allows us to isolate these proteins and use them to speed up the healing using a specially prepared gel made from the proteins and a concentrate of natural healing materials.

This process is already used in some medical procedures, including plastic and reconstructive surgery and has a proven record of speeding up healing times.

Advantages for dental implants

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A Confident Smile With Invisalign

straight white teeth

Using the latest orthodontics, our Epsom dentists can help you to achieve a great smile.

Have you ever felt a little self conscious when you smile, knowing that your teeth are crooked? If so, you may have considered having them straightened but been deterred by the thought of having to wear unsightly metal dental braces.

If this is the case, we have some good news for you! We now offer our patients a revolutionary way of straightening teeth that doesn’t use conventional braces; namely the Invisalign system which does not rely on wires or brackets to straighten your teeth.

What is Invisalign?

The Invisalign braces system offers patients a means of having straighter teeth in a manner that is both more comfortable and almost invisible. Instead of the wire and brackets approach of most orthodontic systems, Invisalign instead uses a series of medical grade transparent plastic trays which fit directly over the teeth. These trays are produced after impressions are taken and are designed specifically for each individual patient. Each one in the series of aligner tray exerts a small amount of pressure on the teeth, gradually re-positioning them to the desired positions.

Once the first tray has achieved its aims, the next in the series is fitted, which continues the process. Each tray is worn for approximately two weeks and then replaced until all of the trays have been used and you have straight and even teeth again. Naturally, we will monitor your progress during the full duration of the treatment.

Advantages

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