Broken Tooth Restoration Using CEREC Technology

CEREC machine

Cerec dental crowns offer real benefits for our Epsom patients.

When a patient comes to us with a broken tooth, we always look at all the available options for restoring it.

This could be a simple filling where the breakage is minor, or a more extensive repair using our natural white coloured fillings. For larger breaks though, it is likely that a filling would not restore the tooth effectively enough. In these instances, the use of a dental crown is one of the most likely options to be considered.

Dental crowns are a long standing method of restoring a badly broken tooth, and the procedure hasn’t changed a great deal over the years. The broken tooth is first of all shaped in a way that allows a crown to be attached. Impressions are then taken of the prepared tooth and these are sent off to a dental laboratory for the crown to be made; a process that takes a week or two and requires two visits to the dentist ……… except, at The Clocktower Dental Clinic, it doesn’t!

Modern, patient-friendly dental care

Our Epsom dental team believe in making the patient experience as positive as possible, and, to this end, we invest in modern equipment that offers value for money both in improving patient care and improving the end product. With the use of the CEREC system that we have here on site, we believe that we have achieved this.

CEREC is a system that allows us to produce same-day dental crowns that are just as good, and it is now believed by some, even better quality than those produced at a specialist dental laboratory. The system is entirely computerised and also does away with the need for impressions, something which those who find them a little uncomfortable will, no doubt, be pleased to hear.

To produce the crowns, digital scans are taken of the prepared teeth and this information is then fed into a computer. This information allows the technology that physically produces the crown to, literally, whirr into action. For those curious to see how this happens, there is an short, and rather beautiful to watch, video on YouTube here. Essentially though, the information supplied enables a single block of ceramic to be milled to the exact specification of your required crown.  Once this has been prepared, it is then attached to your prepared tooth using a strong dental adhesive, as would be the case with a regular crown.

Advantages for the patient

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Dermal Filler Safety

In trained hands, dermal fillers are perfectly safe, but whose hands are you in?

Some of our more eagle-eyed readers may have noted a recent article on the Guardian newspaper’s website about potential legislation on who can administer dermal fillers (reference 1 below). At the moment, there are very few restrictions on this and it seems that almost anybody can set themselves up on the high street and offer this facial treatment.

Dermal fillers are becoming very popular, especially for plumping up the lips. Whether we like it or not, they are also becoming increasingly popular with younger people who may not fully understand the risks that they are taking by using these high street outlets, looking to cosmetically improve their appearance. We should say, of course, that many of these outlets will operate legitimate businesses and take good care of their patients, but the problem remains that there is no easy way of knowing which ones these are.

What could go wrong?

In the very worst case scenarios, equipment used in some of these outlets may not be sterilised properly and could lead to infections that could potentially disfigure the patient. More likely though, is that the results of the treatment could go horribly wrong. The ‘trout pout’ is the best known poor outcome, with the lips being disproportionately larger than they should be.

The MP for South Leicestershire, Alberto Costa, who raised this issue in parliament, cited a patient in his constituency who suffered a “terrible injury following a botched lip filler treatment” (if you aren’t squeamish and want to see the results, you can do so here  https://www.prevention.com/beauty/a25429413/lip-filler-injection-artery-swelling-rachael-knappier/ ). In this instance, the filler was accidentally injected into the patient’s artery, causing her lips to swell to five times their normal size.

This particular outcome is a very extreme example of what could go wrong, but as there were nearly a thousand complaints about the results of this type of treatment in the UK last year, it is safe to say that there are many unhappy people out there who probably wished they had never had the filler in the first place.

Can dermal fillers be safe?

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Essential Nutrients For Healthy Teeth

Dietary advice for good oral health, compiled by your Epsom dental team.

When it comes to discussing good oral health, many things come into play. Avoiding, or at least reducing, sugar in our diet is one of them.

We also need to make sure that we look after our teeth well at home, and see a dentist every six months for a regular check up.

Our family genes also play a role and even the best diet in the world may not help you to avoid treatment if your ‘dental genes’ are not as good as they could be.

There are other things that you can do though, and diet again plays a role in this. Our bodies need a good level of nutrition to function at their best, and our teeth are no different. In today’s Clock Tower Dental Clinic blog, we take a look at some types of food that are important to help maintain strong and healthy teeth.

Cheese

Whilst we are not saying that you should eat a large amount of cheese, something which may not be good for your heart; a moderate amount of cheese is very helpful for healthy teeth. Not only does it contain calcium and proteins, both of which are essential for strong enamel, but also neutralises some acids that can damage our teeth. So eating a small quantity of cheese at the end of a meal can actually help to protect your teeth!

Yoghurts

Again, yoghurt, as with most dairy products, contains calcium and proteins. If you buy a good quality yoghurt though, and one that is not full of sugar, they also often contain live bacteria that are helpful for your mouth and gut and will help to minimise the damage that harmful bacteria can cause.

Apples

Although apples, like all fruits, do contain natural sugars, they also offer benefits too. The sweetness of an apple, along with the high water content, has a tendency to make us salivate as we eat them. This increase in saliva helps to wash away the bacteria and food particles that may have become trapped between our teeth. Of course this is not a substitute for brushing our teeth, but is certainly a helpful addition.

Crunchy vegetables

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Why You Should Consider Private Dental Care

dental check

NHS dental care has provided for many patients over the years, but increasingly, it is unable to offer what many patients want.

The Clock Tower Dental Practice is privately run. Like NHS practices, all of our dentists have to adhere to guidelines and regulations laid down by bodies such as the General Dental Council.

By offering private dental care though, we are able to offer our Epsom patients a much wider range of treatments than can be found in NHS only practices.

Over the years, funding for NHS dentistry has arguably not kept up with some people’s expectations and covers, more or less, only the basic essentials. Indeed, in the government’s announcement of £20bn for NHS funding yesterday, there was no mention of any being allocated to dental care (reference). If this comes to pass, this can only put an additional squeeze on NHS dental care, perhaps restricting options even more.

The benefits of private dental care

Although NHS dental care does offer patients ease of access to essential services, it also denies access to many newer treatments that may have superseded older ones. A classic case in point would be the use of dental implants to replace missing teeth, rather than using dentures. The difference in experiences of both of these restorative methods indicates that NHS patients are missing out on an opportunity to have what many consider to be the best tooth replacement system possible.

Private dental care also means that there is more money available to spend on the practice facilities too. Whilst we have no doubt that NHS practices have their patient’s best interests at heart and provide a safe service, funding constraints often mean that things like the waiting room are somewhat basic. Whilst this isn’t the most important thing when choosing a dentist; at the Clock Tower Dental Practice, we like to offer our patients the best overall experience possible. Whilst we try to keep waiting times to a minimum, we also like to provide a pleasant and relaxing environment whilst waiting for an appointment. This has particular relevance for nervous dental patients, with a relaxing environment hopefully helping to take their mind off their appointment a little.

Treatments – some differences

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A Brighter Smile For The New Year Ahead

Zoom teeth whitening

Christmas will be over before we know it. Plan now for your New Year smile!

With all of the preparations necessary for a successful Christmas, you have probably barely had time to think much beyond the next week or so.

Before we know it though, Christmas will be over and the New Year will be upon us, with all the usual resolutions that are made.

Although many of these do fail, for one reason or another, there is no doubt that the new year can be a good time to ‘reinvent’ yourself, perhaps treating yourself to some new clothes, for example.

There is also another way that you can make a big change to your appearance, without the stress of fighting through the new year sales. At The Clock Tower Dental Clinic, we offer a very fast acting treatment that whitens your teeth on average, by eight shades. Start 2019 with a confident, whiter smile!

Zoom2 Teeth Whitening

Whilst many dental practices offer teeth whitening treatments that use a custom made home whitening kit, which can take a couple of weeks to be effective, patients at our Epsom practice can take advantage of the Zoom2 system that whitens your teeth in as little as one hour. You can come to our practice with dull looking teeth, and then leave an hour later with a dazzling new smile!

Like the home whitening kits, Zoom2 is a non invasive treatment that causes little inconvenience. Patients are welcome to bring music or other practical entertainment to help pass the time whilst the treatment takes effect.

A prior check

Before we discuss the treatment itself, it is important to point out that this treatment should only be carried out on a healthy set of teeth, with gums also being in good health. To this end, you will need to see one of the team at our Epsom dental clinic for a thorough check up to make sure that there are no signs of decay or gum disease that need treating beforehand. Once your oral health has been given the all clear, your tooth whitening treatment can commence.

What happens in the one hour?

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Why Might You Need A ‘Deep’ Teeth And Gum Clean?

When gum disease progresses, this procedure offers the chance of saving your teeth.

Gum disease is a very common oral health issue and relatively few of us will go through life without having it to some degree. In many cases, we will probably be completely unaware and the problem may actually be short lived.

This can happen, for example,  when we are ill and perhaps temporarily neglect our teeth cleaning regime a little. For most of us though, we will probably need to have treatment to manage or try to reverse the problem, particularly where it has progressed.

Hygienist cleaning

Before we look at a ‘deep clean’, let us take a look at why we recommend that our Epsom patients see a dental hygienist at the Clock Tower Dental Clinic on a regular basis.

Over time, mineral deposits build up on the surface of our teeth. Whilst these are relatively harmless in themselves, they create a rough surface which not only makes staining more likely, but also allows bacteria to collect more easily. As bacterial deposits build up on the tooth surface, and especially just below the gum line, these become harder to remove and gingivitis is likely. At this stage, the problem can often be treated in a straightforward manner using a scale and polish procedure together with improved care at home. This involves the removal of the majority of  bacteria and tartar using a manual tool, before shattering the rest with a sonic dental implement. A final clean using a high speed brush, means that your mouth can hopefully remain free of gum disease with a short, comfortable and straightforward maintenance procedure.

Advanced gum disease

Although the above procedure can be carried out with little or no discomfort, too many people avoid this stage of oral health care and may, consequently, suffer from a more advanced form of gum disease, known as periodontitis. This type of gum disease may not only lead to the same problems as gingivitis, including sore or bleeding gums and halitosis, but can actually threaten the survival of your teeth.

Periodontitis attacks not only the soft tissue of the gum, but also the underlying bone. As this weakens, the tooth may start to become loose, and, if not treated, eventually fall out. If too advanced, a clean by the hygienist is unlikely to offer sufficient benefit and a ‘deep’ clean may be necessary.

What is a ‘deep’ clean?

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Dentin Hypersensitivity

tooth pain

The extremes of sensitive teeth.

Common sense says that if you bury your teeth into an ice cream and leave them there for some time, you might expect to experience some level of discomfort caused by sensitivity. The level of this will depend, to a certain extent, on the health and thickness of the enamel on your teeth, amongst other things.

Most patients of the Clocktower Dental Clinic, of course, will rarely do such extreme things and tooth sensitivity will not be an issue in their day-to-day lives.

Unfortunately for some, this is not always the case as dentin hypersensitivity is far from uncommon, causing discomfort and distress to those who suffer from it.

What is dentin hypersensitivity?

Better known to most patients as ‘tooth sensitivity’, it is a condition which causes discomfort when the teeth are exposed to either hot or cold temperatures, as well as exposure to acidic food and drinks. Breathing in very cold air will also often have the same effect.

The discomfort caused by sensitive teeth can be quite severe and cause the patient to wince with pain when it happens. It can be very unpleasant and may also restrict choice when it comes to certain food and drinks.

What causes it?

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Oral Cancers Are On The Rise. Should You Be Concerned?

Dentist Dr Ravdeep Dhami

Epsom dentist, Ravdeep Dhami, looks at the facts behind this recent rise.

We have discussed oral cancers before on our blogs, and explained that  this is something that we check for during your six monthly examinations. Our role here, because we routinely closely examine the oral cavity, is to observe if there are any unusual signs that should be further examined by a doctor.

These symptoms can vary but include red or sore patches, unexplained bumps or lesions and tongue pain, amongst others. In effect, your six monthly dental check at the Clock Tower Dental Clinic in Epsom means not only that your teeth and gums are more likely to remain healthy, but that any potential signs of oral cancers will be spotted early on, helping you to receive any necessary treatment as soon as possible, should it be needed.

On the rise

As with many illnesses, there can be a tendency to dismiss them as things that happen to other people. Unfortunately, sometimes we are those ‘other people’, and, with a new report out recently that indicates that oral cancers are on the rise, we shouldn’t be too blase about this serious issue.

In fact, the report not only says that oral cancers are on the rise but that there has been a sharp increase, which is especially worrying. There are now 8,300 people each year diagnosed with mouth cancer, nearly a 50% increase from ten years ago (and 135% from 20 years ago). With just over 2,700 people dying from this disease last year, and many more suffering life changing problems because of it, it is time that patients take this seriously.

Lack of awareness

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Renew Your Smile

new smiles with cosmetic dentistry

Tooth neglect? We’re here to help!

At the Clocktower Dental Clinic in Epsom, Surrey, we firmly believe that everybody deserves a second chance.

Some of us have probably been guilty of neglecting our health, to some extent,  when we were younger; perhaps through poor diet, smoking or drinking too much alcohol.

Whilst it appears that as far as drinking and smoking go, the younger generation are generally living healthier lifestyles, it is fair to say that, for those in their middle ages and beyond, cigarettes and alcohol probably played an important role in their social life when they were younger.

Times change, and our understanding of what certain practices can do to our health evolves. As it does so, we may gradually change our diet and habits, though the legacy of these lifestyles can linger for many years. This is especially the case when it comes to the health and appearance of our teeth.

Too young to understand

As children, our teeth are just our teeth. We probably think very little about them apart from how much we really don’t want to clean them. It possibly isn’t until our first bad toothache that we start to understand a little more about why we should look after them. Even though our knowledge may have expanded by our teens, our lives are developing at such a rapid pace at this time of life that we often simply don’t worry about our teeth much at all.

As things settle down and we become a little older, and some may also say a little wiser, we may sit down and take stock of the harm that we have done to our health. It is often at this stage that we take up jogging, join a gym or eat a healthier diet. Whilst these things are all potentially good for our health, you can’t really take the same approach with your teeth.

Maintenance

When we arrive at the point that we think we should take better care of our teeth, this is certainly a good thing. However, starting to brush your teeth more diligently at this stage, will only really help to delay the decline but issues such as tooth decay can still progress.

The reality is that if you have neglected your teeth and gums up until this point, professional intervention will likely be necessary to restore them. In addition to any improvements in their health and appearance that this brings, many studies also now link common problems, such as gum disease, with other serious conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. By taking the initial step to see one of our Epsom dentists, you may improve your chances of avoiding other health problems, as well as dental ones.

How we can help

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Common Misconceptions About Dental Veneers

A cosmetically enhanced smile

Despite their popularity, common misunderstandings about teeth veneers still exist.

Porcelain dental veneers are widely used in cosmetic dentistry. They can be used where teeth are chipped or cracked, as well as being an alternative to a teeth whitening procedure where the teeth are very badly stained. They have long been used by ex smokers to restore the colour of their teeth, once they have managed to stop smoking.

They are also useful for people whose enamel has eroded, perhaps through excess brushing, and can be used not only to restore the appearance of their teeth, but also to help protect against sensitivity.

Despite their wide use, there are still some common misunderstandings about veneers. In today’s Clock Tower Dental Clinic blog, the team takes a look at some of these and tries to dispel the myths.

Veneers become easily detached

There is a small element of truth in this, although it is wrong to say that they become ‘easily’ detached. In fact, this is a relatively rare occurrence and is nearly always due to the patient’s lifestyle. The most common way of a veneer becoming detached is through actions such as nail biting, or using the veneer covered teeth to tear open packets etc; which clearly should be avoided.

Veneers should last for approximately ten years but as time progresses, the adhesive used to attach your veneer to the natural tooth may weaken and need to be replaced. Do make sure to have this done by one of our dentists, and please don’t attempt to do so yourself.

Good oral health care is also essential as tooth decay may also weaken the bond between your tooth and the veneer.

The procedure is painful

Having veneers placed is an invasive procedure as it involves the removal of a small layer of enamel from the front of your teeth. As with all procedures of this nature, you will be given a local anaesthetic to prevent any significant discomfort. You should not find the procedure itself at all painful, although some residual sensitivity might be present for a short while afterwards, but should soon subside.

They look artificial

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