If so, you might want to consider the increased risk of these dental problems….
Whilst smoking is on the decline, it is still thought that around one in every seven of us still indulge in the habit. Despite the now well known risk to our health, it seems as though nicotine is still a difficult drug for many to kick.
What many people don’t take into consideration is that, as well as general health problems, smoking can affect your mouth in many ways, both aesthetically and medically.
Your Epsom family dentist takes a look, below, at some of the ways that smoking can have a negative impact on our teeth and oral health in general.
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How this essential Epsom hygienist treatment helps to keep your gums healthy.
Whilst most people probably associate going to the dentist with keeping their teeth healthy, dentists are not only concerned with the teeth, but also the patient’s gum health. If the gums become infected, this can lead to damage being done to the underlying bone structure which holds the teeth securely in place.
The biggest threat to a patient’s gums is gum disease. Whilst later stage gum disease, known as periodontitis is the greatest danger, and often needs specialist periodontal treatment, early stage gum disease, or gingivitis, is easier to treat and to prevent.
Regular visits to the hygienist at our Epsom practice are an excellent way of helping to keep on top of your oral health regimen and many patients here at Clock Tower Dental Clinic find that the discussions and advice given, helps them to improve their oral health care at home.
Whilst the guidance given by the hygienist, concerning dietary improvements and better flossing techniques, for example, will greatly improve your chances of avoiding gum disease; the professional cleaning procedure, usually known as a ‘scale and polish’ performed by our hygienist, will also help to look after your teeth and gums.
Scale and polish
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Safe removal of dark amalgam fillings at an Epsom dentist in Surrey
Along with discoloured teeth, one of the things that can really detract from an otherwise nice smile is when a number of teeth have been filled with the dark coloured amalgam fillings which are commonly used. Whilst this type of filling certainly offers a high level of strength, it also comes at the price of being highly visible.
Increasingly, and largely because of this factor, patients of the Clock Tower Dental Clinic in Epsom are turning to the natural looking tooth coloured fillings that we offer as an alternative.
Use of tooth coloured fillings follows a similar pattern to regular fillings and no particularly special treatment is required to place them. Many of our patients have been so pleased with their new natural fillings that they have gone the extra step to have their current amalgam fillings removed and replaced with new, natural-looking cosmetic versions. At the Clock Tower Dental Clinic, we offer safe amalgam removal for patients from across Surrey, offering them the chance to swap a smile spoiled by dark fillings to one when they are virtually invisible. There are also some patients who prefer to avoid amalgam fillings because of the mercury component which is used within them.
To remove the amalgam, a local anaesthetic is given as it would be for a regular filling. Patients are also given the option of having a face covering to protect them from any particles of amalgam which become airborne during the procedure. Some people prefer these extra safety protocols which we have developed for our patients having amalgam removal in Epsom, Surrey.
The amalgam filled teeth which are to be treated are isolated from the other teeth using a rubber dam and other specialist equipment. Next, the amalgam is removed using a dental drill leaving a clean cavity which is finally filled using the natural looking cosmetic filling. This is then shaped and the bite checked so that the patient not only has nice looking, but comfortable fillings too.
We also offer the option of natural lavender essential oils which can help patients to relax during the procedure.
Post procedure care
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Don’t suffer in silence if you are suffering discomfort from teeth and gums
Here at Clock Tower Dental Clinic in Epsom, your comfort and oral health are of paramount importance to us.
If you are suffering at all from any kind of discomfort or pain, in either your teeth or gums and you require emergency dental treatment, then you should contact us here at the surgery on 01372 720136 to book a fast appointment with one of our team of highly experienced and caring dental practitioners.
Why suffer in silence when relief from your pain and distress can be just a quick phone call away ?
It is extremely important that if you are experiencing any kind of dental pain, that you seek prompt dental treatment or advice. This will not only hopefully put an end to your distress and pain, but it can also be an effective preventative measure against future dental problems and often costly treatment.
Unfortunately, it’s often the case that if a dental problem is ignored and left untreated for too long, it can begin to develop into something that is far more serious and even more painful; this will then often result in you requiring a far more prolonged, invasive course of treatment. It can also unfortunately, sometimes lead to the loss of the tooth.
A cavity if left untreated can quickly become infected, leading to a nasty and extremely painful dental abscess. This will need antibiotics, then often the only treatment available to the dentist is either an extraction, or a root canal procedure.
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Enabling Epsom patients with degraded bone structure to proceed with dental implants.
Here at our Epsom dental practice, in the majority of cases, we can place a dental implant without the patient needing any precursory treatment. In some cases though, bone loss can occur in the area of a missing tooth, leading to insufficient bone to hold an implant securely in place.
When this happens, a procedure known as a bone graft, or bone augmentation, can take place to build up the underlying jaw structure so that an implant can be placed successfully.
Bone loss can occur for a number of reasons. Two of the most common are because of advanced gum disease or simply because a tooth has been missing for a long time.
Advanced gum disease, also known as periodontitis, not only affects the gums but also gradually erodes the bone in the jaw. It is for this reason that teeth can be lost as the bone has insufficient density to secure a tooth effectively. Even when the bone has been rebuilt and an implant placed, diligent gum gum care is very important as gum disease and peri-implantitis remain a threat. Naturally, any diagnosis of gum disease will need treatment before a bone graft can take place.
When a tooth has been lost or extracted, bone loss will follow. In essence, the brain signals that as a tooth is no longer there and the bone no longer has the role to play of holding the tooth securely in place. Consequently, the bone will gradually erode.
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When a tooth becomes infected, a root canal procedure may avoid the need for extraction.
Many teeth are lost through external damage, and through decay of the hard outer enamel layer. A somewhat surprising number of teeth are also lost through infection of the inner part of the tooth, called the pulp. The pulp or pulp chamber is the soft area within the root canal, this contains the nerves and many minor blood vessels.
When a tooth’s nerve tissue or pulp is damaged, it can break down and bacteria can begin to multiply within the pulp chamber. Without treatment, the tissue surrounding the tooth will become infected and a painful abscess may eventually form. An abscess is a pus-filled pocket that forms at the end of the roots of the tooth
Root canal treatment is a procedure that can be performed as an alternative treatment to tooth extraction and during the procedure, the infected material is removed. A tooth’s nerve is not essential to a tooth’s function once the tooth has emerged through the gums. Its main function is sensory, i.e. providing the sensation of hot or cold, so the presence or absence of a nerve will not affect the day-to-day functioning of the tooth.
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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.
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.
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.
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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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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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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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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.
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