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.
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.
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.
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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 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:
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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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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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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.
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Our Epsom dentists offer answers to common questions about this much maligned procedure.
Root canal therapy is considered by many to be the dental procedure most feared. We have heard many misplaced concerns about this procedure and are regularly asked questions about it when we advise that the treatment is needed to save an infected tooth.
Below are just some of the more common questions we’ve been asked about root canal treatment at our Epsom dental practice. Also some answers to help allay your concerns.
Isn’t it extremely painful?
Perhaps because of rumours surrounding this particular treatment, some patients find it difficult to accept that this procedure is nowhere near as painful as they might expect. In fact, pain should not be felt at all due to the powerful anaesthetics and modern techniques we use.
Can’t you just take the tooth out?
Well, yes we could do that but it doesn’t make sense to do so where it can be avoided. A root canal procedure is an excellent way to save a tooth when the pulp in the canals has become infected.
Why do so many people dread it then?
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Helping to to relax nervous patients throughout a dental procedure.
Dental anxiety is one of the most common phobias and it is thought that nearly half of us suffer from some level of it. For some, it is just a case of accepting the anxiety and simply carrying on attending their practice for check ups and treatment when needed.
Others may be able to take advantage of methods such as meditation, aromatherapy or hypnotism to help them get through the situation and these techniques can help for those with relatively mild to moderate dental anxiety.
For others though, the levels of anxiety may be such that it prevents them from even attending a dentist for regular check ups. This can, over time, lead to serious oral health issues as problems like gum disease become advanced. When this happens, tooth loss is a possibility, but it’s a condition that could so easily have been avoided. Where more invasive treatment is needed, or even requested for cosmetic purposes, anxiety can present a real challenge for both patient and dentist alike. However, there are options available to help you overcome this.
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How our Epsom dentists can restore even the most stained teeth.
For most patients who contact our Epsom dental practice wishing to have whiter teeth, a straightforward teeth whitening procedure is usually the answer.
This is not always the case though, and patients who come to us with very heavily stained teeth may only receive limited improvement with this particular procedure.
For these patients, and those whose teeth are chipped or cracked, modern dental veneers are likely to be the most effective solution to allow the patient to have great looking teeth once more.
Veneers are, as their name suggests, a replacement for the front of the teeth. Usually made from porcelain, they can be made to match the colour of the patient’s natural teeth. To allow us to fit the veneers snugly and naturally, it is first of all necessary to remove an equivalent thickness of the discoloured enamel from the patient’s teeth. Once this has been done, impressions would traditionally be taken and sent to a dental laboratory for the veneers to be manufactured. This, however, can result in a wait of a week or two.
At The Clock Tower Dental Clinic in Epsom, we are fortunate to have on-site Cerec technology which enables us to produce your new veneers whilst you wait. This takes approximately one hour and saves you the trouble of a second visit; especially important for our busier patients! Once the veneers are ready, they are attached, by our dentist, to the patient’s teeth with a strong dental adhesive.
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Recent reports suggest possible links to heart problems, strokes and Alzheimer’s disease.
We have touched, in our previous blogs, on gum disease and how good oral health care can keep it at bay.
In today’s post though, we want to take a look at how potentially serious this problem can be, not only for our oral health, but our overall health too. It should be noted that whilst a lot of research into some of the areas covered below are at a relatively early stage, the sheer weight of the reports indicates that these issues should be taken seriously.
As dentists based in Epsom, it seems reasonable to start with oral health issues.
In its early stage (gingivitis), gum disease can cause unpleasant soreness or even bleeding of the gums. Often, at this stage though, it can be reversed and managed through improved oral care along regular ‘scale and polish’ performed by our hygienist. Later stages (periodontitis) are more threatening and can attack not only the gum, but the bone in which the teeth are secured too. If not treated, this bone loss can cause teeth to become loose and even fall out. In fact, gum disease is responsible for more tooth loss than dental decay in the UK.
A recent study (1) of over 60,000 patients revealed that those who had gum disease problems were twice as likely to suffer from heart problems, strokes or severe chest pain than those who were problem free. Although this may also mean that those with oral health issues were likely to take less care of themselves; once adjusted to take this into account, the study still reveals that those with gum disease were still 59% more likely to have heart health problems.
With periodontitis in particular being associated with chronic inflammation, it is though that this, along with increased bacteria in the circulatory system may be behind the increased risk, although research is ongoing.
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