The Professional Way To Improved Smile Aesthetics!

The work of Dr Ravdeep Dhami at Clocktower Dental in Epsom.

Whilst some people may only visit their dentist for essential care, such as check ups and the occasional filing; an increasing number of patients are seeking out ways to improve the way that they look. At the Clocktower Dental Clinic, I am proud to offer my range of skills to help you achieve a great looking smile.

Teeth improvements

Before we start to work on improving the look of your teeth, you will need to have your teeth checked for problems such as decay and gum disease. There is little use, for example, in fitting a dental veneer to a decaying tooth. Doing so would render it less than effective and almost certainly result in a short lifespan for the restoration.

Once your teeth are suitably healthy, or where the cosmetic procedure to be used, such as a crown, would act to restore the tooth, we will review the best ways to give you a smile to be proud of.

Common cosmetic procedures

There are many cosmetic procedures that can be used, and I will offer advice on the best approach once you have had your initial consultation.

Amongst the cosmetic services that I provide are:

Porcelain veneers

These are attached to the front of the teeth following the removal of an equivalent thickness of the natural tooth enamel. They can be used for purely cosmetic purposes, where the teeth are heavily stained, or can be used to restore a chipped or cracked tooth. In some cases veneers can also be used to close gaps in the teeth and improve alignment.

Dental crowns

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Teenage Oral Health Care

straight white teeth

Looking after teeth and gums during the ‘independence’ years.

Keeping our teeth and gums in good health can be an ongoing challenge for most of us, but when the teenage years arrive and hormones start to change our behaviour, adequate oral health care can be difficult to maintain. This can be a worrying time for parents, not only about their children’s general behaviour, but also how well they are looking after themselves.

Providing that you have brought your children up to be diligent about cleaning their teeth, and supervised them during their earlier years, they will hopefully be well equipped to continue to look after their teeth. The rise of ‘selfies’ may also encourage some to maintain a nice smile so that they can present the best photos of themselves to others. The teenage years do throw up some specific challenges though.

Independence

The teenage years are often rebellious years to some degree. This is natural and in many ways essential for their personal growth. It does mean though, that parents start to lose control over some aspects of their life, including their teeth cleaning regimen. Appointments at our Epsom dental clinic, which should be every six months, may be cancelled or skipped altogether because they have ‘better things to do’. As adults, we know the consequences of these actions and obviously want our children to avoid the pitfalls of neglecting their teeth and gums.

Whilst all teenagers will be different, gentle encouragement should still be maintained to help them have a healthy mouth both during their teenage years and onwards into adult life.

Bad habits

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Root Canal Treatment Aftercare

Comfortable and problem free care of a newly treated tooth.

When the root canals of a tooth become infected, it can typically only be saved using a root canal procedure. The treatment itself  is only a part of the story though, and how you look after the tooth following your treatment, is equally important.

In today’s Clock Tower Dental Practice blog post, we offer some advice to our Epsom patients on how to look after and make the most of your root canal treated tooth.

Immediate aftercare

Like any invasive dental treatment, it is almost inevitable that there will be some minor residual soreness following the procedure. If this is uncomfortable, you may wish to use your usual painkiller until it eases. It is important to note, that, if the discomfort continues for any length of time, you should have it checked by one of our dentists, but in most cases, patients should suffer no discomfort after the first few days. Even in these early days though, you can also help to alleviate the problem by taking care regarding what you eat. It is best to avoid very hot or cold food or drinks as your tooth may be sensitive. You are also advised to eat softer foods too, in order to avoid putting pressure on the tooth.

Getting the most from your teeth

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Adverse Oral Consequences Of Drinking Alcohol To Excess

dental check

How our teeth and gums can be affected by this popular social habit.

Drinking alcohol has been a mainstay of social occasions in the UK for many years. Although awareness of healthier lifestyles, along with religious and other lifestyle choices, means that perhaps fewer people now drink than used to do, many of us still like a few drinks when we are out with friends.

Whilst any alcohol will have an effect on the body, significant and regular consumption of alcohol can have a devastating effect not only on our livers and heart, but on our teeth and gums too.

Oral cancers

Perhaps the most serious potential consequence of drinking alcohol is oral cancer. Although smoking is widely recognised as increasing its risk, alcohol can also have a similar effect, especially when drunk regularly. Making sure that you see one of our Epsom dentists will enable us to monitor your mouth health, and, where unusual signs are noted, allow us to refer you to your GP for further examination and early intervention where necessary.

Gum disease

One of the most common problems exacerbated by alcohol is gum disease. This is largely due to the fact that alcohol can often cause a dry mouth, leading to an increase in ‘bad’ mouth bacteria which can lead to gingivitis and periodontitis. Seeing our dental hygienist is a great way to diagnose and help prevent gum disease problems before they become more pronounced. Patients with dental implants should also be aware that both periodontitis and peri-implantitis are more likely to occur in heavy drinkers and smokers, which can lead to implant failure as the jaw bone structure becomes compromised.

Oral health care

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Four Reasons For Dental Implant Failure

Despite excellent success rates, it is still possible for implants to fail

At the Clock Tower Dental Clinic, we have successfully placed dental implants for a number of years now. Providing that the procedure is performed expertly and that sufficient aftercare is given, your implants should give you 20 years or more of excellent service as replacement teeth.

This outcome is not a given though, and dental implants can, and do, fail under certain circumstances. In today’s Epsom dental practice blog, we look at some of these situations.

Poor initial placement

Your dental implant placement always starts with a conversation between dentist and patient. This will then be followed up by scans to make sure that there is sufficient bone to place the implants into, and to determine their exact positioning. This is what our Epsom implant dentists do for every patient that we see. Unfortunately, we have heard of some cases where people have cut corners and travelled abroad for cheap and less well-regulated treatment. This can have disastrous results, as we shall see.

Poor quality implants

In addition to often being unable to determine the skill levels of most dentists abroad; if the implants offered are much cheaper than in the UK, there is every chance that cheaper and inferior materials are being used. As the osseointegration (bone bonding) period requires high-quality, precision titanium implants to be used, a cheaper material may well mean that the implant will not bond with the bone correctly and may well fail.

Smoking and drinking

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Plaque – Causes and Management

How to minimise the impact of plaque on your teeth and gums.

It is widely understood that sugar is a problem for teeth, and will eventually lead to tooth decay, particularly if they are not properly cleaned.

Although sugar does play a major role in this, it is not actually the sugar that is directly harmful for your teeth, but the acidic bi-products that are produced by the bacteria that feed off the sugars.

These erode the enamel of the teeth, often leading to decay if not cleaned away in good time.

Plaque

The name ‘plaque’ generally sounds relatively harmless, but it is actually a collection of bacteria that forms a film on your teeth. The more sugars that you consume, the faster the number of bacteria will grow. It should be noted that whilst products such as fizzy and sugary drinks are especially harmful, these are not the only source of sugar and even carbohydrates such as found in bread and pasta will form sugars as they break down. As you can see, even if you eliminated sugar from your diet entirely, you would still need to clean your teeth regularly.

Plaque not only causes tooth decay but will also lead to gingivitis, and, if left untreated, periodontitis. The latter especially is very harmful for your teeth as it damages the bone which holds your teeth in place.

Home and professional teeth cleaning

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Regular Or Electric Toothbrush?

Our Epsom dentists discuss which is more efficient for cleaning your teeth.

More and more people are switching to electric toothbrushes from standard ones.

In today’s blog, we look at which, if any, are better for cleaning your teeth and try to break through the confusing varieties which are currently available in your local supermarket or pharmacy.

Armed with a little knowledge upfront, you should be well-placed to make an informed decision.

Standard toothbrushes

These have been around for a very long time, with very rudimentary ones being found in archeological digs. These early toothbrushes commonly consisted of twigs instead of bristles. We can only be thankful for our predecessors that much less sugar was eaten then than now, given the inevitable inefficiency of this method! Modern toothbrushes are obviously much better, with most designed for efficient cleaning. Many of us will have grown up using these and no doubt still do, despite the range of new electric and electronic versions on offer.

Providing that you take your time to clean your teeth well, angling the bristles to make sure that you clean under the gum line, there is no reason why you can’t keep your teeth clean using a standard brush. Some people however, have a habit of brushing too hard. Over time, this will cause the enamel to erode and may also cause gum recession. As the gums recede, the less well protected roots of our teeth are exposed, and decay and sensitivity may soon follow. Our advice is to follow the guidance of our hygienist and learn the correct way to brush – and try to stick to it!

Electric toothbrushes

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Late Night Oral Health Care

Brushing before you go to bed is essential for healthy teeth.

Cleaning your teeth on a regular basis is the very foundation of healthy teeth and gums. Our Epsom hygienist also encourages the use of dental floss and providing that you do this correctly both morning and night, along with regular hygiene sessions, there is a good chance that you will avoid many dental problems.

Most people will willingly clean their teeth in the morning, partially as it refreshes the mouth after a night’s sleep. When it comes to night time cleaning though, some people are less diligent about it than others.

Correct night time cleaning

There are a number of reasons why people may not clean their teeth at night. Tiredness is one obvious reason, and, if you have been out socialising, alcohol consumption may also play a role. As we have discussed before on our Clocktower Dental Clinic blogs, consumption of alcohol increases the likelihood of a dry mouth, heightening the risk of gum disease; so special care should be paid to cleaning your teeth after a night of socialising.

Getting it right

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Five Bad Habits To Avoid For Healthier Teeth

Everyday actions can damage our teeth without us realising.

Many modern dental practices, including our own Clock Tower Dental Clinic, now have very advanced ways of restoring or replacing a damaged or missing tooth. Although these offer an excellent option should the need arise, it is obviously far better to avoid the need for such treatments in the first place.

Whilst some treatment may be needed for wear and tear or damage caused by an accident, many dental problems arise through our own bad habits; many of which we probably don’t even recognise that we are doing. For the purposes of this post, we have assumed that you are already aware of the dangers of sugar and smoking with regards to your oral health, and in today’s blog our Epsom family dentist looks at some of the other things that you might be doing that could damage your teeth.

Acidic foods

Many patients are gradually becoming aware of the risk of eating or drinking too many acidic foods and drinks. There has been quite a lot of information in the press regarding the link between this and enamel erosion. Because fruit has always been considered to be healthy though, some people are eating citric fruits in the belief that they are good for them. It is true that they do contain high levels of vitamin C but care should be taken not to eat them in excess and to look after your teeth well if you do eat them.

Teeth grinding

This is a habit that can be difficult to control as most people who do this, do so in their sleep. It is thought that this action may be linked to stress, so if your dentist tells you that your teeth are wearing down due to bruxism (teeth grinding), it may be time to consider a change in lifestyle to try to reduce personal levels of stress. Your GP will also be able to offer advice here.

Brushing too hard

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Visiting The Dentist During Pregnancy

white teeth smiles

Keeping up regular dental appointments when expecting a child

Although some people seem to sail through pregnancy, for others it can be a struggle and functioning on a daily basis is about as ambitious as it is possible to be.

During this time, some things are likely to slip as you focus on your pregnancy and paying a visit to the dentist at this time may well be one thing that you might consider postponing until after the birth.

However, there are many good reasons why you should see the dentist, especially during pregnancy, when hormones change and gum disease is an increased threat to your oral health.

Is it safe to see the dentist?

One concern of many parents to be is the safety of the unborn child, especially if x-rays need to be taken. Over the years, x-rays have become more refined and a much lower dose of radiation is necessary than used to be the case. If the x-ray is just a part of your regular check up at the Clock Tower Dental Clinic, it can be postponed until after the birth if you wish. However, for necessary procedures such as root canal treatment, x-rays are essential and still safe.

The same can be said for local anaesthetics and if you need to have an invasive procedure, we will very likely need to numb the area. To date, there is no evidence of any negative effects for the child from routine dental aesthesia. It is also important to remember that poor oral health may also affect your general health, potentially creating additional challenges for the baby.

If you are thinking of starting a family

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