Our Epsom dentist looks at replacing amalgam fillings with natural looking ones.
Cosmetic dentists play a leading role in helping patients achieve a nicer smile. Whilst good oral home care is essential, some factors, such as crooked or ageing teeth, are beyond the scope of this to a large degree, and need professional dental care to correct them and provide nicer looking teeth for the patient.
Even when teeth have been whitened and straightened though, many patients still have dark coloured fillings, often on the rear teeth where most chewing and grinding takes places. Whilst this is not generally noticeable during conversation, when someone laughs or yawns, it can often reveal the darker fillings that they have.
White teeth fillings
At The Clock Tower Dental Clinic, we have a solution to this problem in the form of natural looking white dental fillings. Whilst there have been some concerns, in the past, about the strength of cosmetic fillings, advances now mean that they are approaching the strength of amalgam fillings in all but the largest cavities. Where a cavity is too large, inlays or onlays may be used for a more natural appearance.
Whereas amalgam fillings are made from a combination of metals, including mercury derivatives; white teeth fillings are created using a combination of resin and glass particles and can be made to match the colour of the remaining natural tooth.
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Our Epsom dentist looks at some of the possible consequences of losing a tooth.
Tooth loss is, quite naturally, a major concern of our Epsom patients, and, at the Clock Tower Dental Clinic, we do all that we can to avoid this final stage, whether through fillings, crowns or root canal procedures.
Sometimes though, a tooth simply cannot be saved and an extraction is the only sensible option available. The question then arises as to what to do next? Let’s take a closer look at your options.
Visible and hidden teeth
If the tooth that has been lost is one of the visible teeth that we reveal when we smile, very few of us will opt to leave a gap there, for obvious reasons. What though, if it is not a visible tooth that has been lost? As no one will see the gap, does it really matter? Although, from an aesthetic viewpoint, these teeth are less important to the patient, there are a number of things that are likely to happen once a tooth has been lost. These may not be immediate, but can have a long term effect on the condition of your teeth.
Once a tooth is lost, it creates a space. Over a period of time, the adjacent teeth are likely to encroach into this space as they gradually move under the stress and strains of eating. With a tooth in place, this movement is blocked by its presence; without it though, the tooth will move more freely. Once this starts to happen, there are a number of potential ‘knock on’ problems that often arise. Firstly, once a tooth moves, that then also creates room for the one next to that to move, and so on. This can eventually lead to a ‘domino effect’, with the result being an uneven set of teeth, potentially including the visible ones.
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Lots can be gained from a simple teeth whitening procedure!
At the Clock Tower Dental Clinic, one of the most popular cosmetic dental procedures that we perform is teeth whitening. Naturally, most patients requesting this do so simply because they wish to have a more attractive smile, with white instead of discoloured or stained teeth.
Whilst this is the most obvious benefit, many of our Epsom patients have reported an additional benefit which they hadn’t expected, and that is a boost in their confidence.
The following are just a couple of possible examples of situations where patients may benefit from with their new whiter teeth and with this new found confidence.
Going to an interview for a new job can be daunting. Employers look for many things at these; qualifications and experience being amongst them. Unless it is entirely irrelevant to the job though, most employers will also take into account the confidence of the interviewee, and also how friendly and sociable they are.
Many of our patients who have had discoloured teeth have told us that that it caused a loss in confidence, especially when it came to conversations, with some even attempting to cover their teeth as much as possible during conversations. Once they had their teeth whitened though, they reported that they felt more confident around people and were happier to smile; two of the qualities that many employers are likely to look for.
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Allaying fears about this effective tooth saving procedure.
Ask anybody which dental treatment they most fear, and the majority will tell you that it is root canal therapy.
This treatment seems to have seeped into people’s consciousness and even the mention of it can cause some patients to almost panic.
The reality though, is that a root canal procedure should cause no more discomfort than most other invasive procedures and is a very effective way of saving a tooth which might otherwise have been lost.
When do i need a root canal procedure?
A root canal procedure is used when the canals of the teeth, which form part of the roots, become infected. In many cases, this will be accompanied by pain, as the nerves of the tooth are stored in this area along with tiny blood vessels. Unfortunately, once infected, it can’t be ‘cured’ as such and the only option to save the tooth is to clean out and fill the canals with a special dental material called gutta percha.
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Is flossing a waste of time, as some reports suggest?
A number of patients at our Epsom practice have asked us whether they should continue flossing in light of reports that suggest that it is ineffective with few proven benefits. For many years, dentists have been trying to encourage patients to floss in order to prevent gum disease. Currently, only around 20% of people do so; but does this mean that the 80% were right all along?
Between the teeth
The fact is that, no matter how well you brush your teeth, it is not possible for the bristles of a tooth brush to effectively clean in the spaces between them. Unfortunately, this is often where problems such as gum disease and tooth decay start. Our view is that patients should continue to pay attention to this, and clean their teeth accordingly to minimise risk of gum disease and other problems. Here are a variety of ways to help your teeth stay healthy and avoid inter-dental problems:
Dental floss – In the light of these reports, some patients may wish to swap from flossing to use inter-dental brushes (see below). Some suggest that these may be more effective than dental floss and we have them available for purchase at the Clock Tower Dental Clinic should you wish to try them. We do still believe though, that dental floss is useful (especially for spaces where an inter-dental brush can’t reach). To be effective though, flossing needs to be done correctly, moving it up and down the space between the teeth, rather than in a sawing motion, as many seem to do.
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Emergency dental appointments are available at our Epsom dental practice.
It goes without saying that the best oral health care consists of quality home cleaning, along with regular examinations by one of the dentists at the Clock Tower Dental Clinic in Epsom. With this, and a reasonably healthy diet, most patients should be able to maintain healthy teeth, perhaps with just a minor procedure or two.
Accidents do happen though, and, of course, unfortunately not everybody follows the above regimen. In either case, dental emergencies can arise and it is inadvisable to ignore them when they do.
When do I need an emergency appointment?
Some people consider it a dental emergency when they are experiencing severe toothache. Whilst this certainly should be classed as such, a dental emergency can also be when prompt treatment is needed to prevent further harm or damage to the teeth, gums or mouth.
For example, if a large section of a tooth has broken off, perhaps because of a fall, or biting on something harder than expected, this can be classed as a dental emergency, even if no pain is experienced. Ignoring a case like this is likely to result in further damage to the tooth, possibly resulting in its removal. On the other hand, prompt action may mean that the tooth can be saved. Sometimes a simple filling is sufficient but where damage is more significant, dental crowns or other treatments may be used instead.
How quickly can you see me?
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How the revolutionary ‘All On 4’ implant procedure can provide a new set of teeth in relatively few hours.
At the Clock Tower Dental Clinic, we are a long-established dental implant studio, well known not just in Epsom, but across Surrey too. With our highly skilled and experienced team, we have provided many happy patients with implants to replace missing teeth.
Whilst many now recognise that implants are the best option for replacing an individual missing tooth, offering both longevity and strength; fewer people perhaps, realise that they can also be used when a full arch of teeth need replacing.
Dentures or implants
The standard method of replacing teeth, where a full arch is needed, has long been use of dentures. A dental bridge is not an option as it needs adjacent teeth to be attached to. Whilst dentures have certainly improved greatly over the years, and now look more natural and offer a greater degree of comfort, they are not without their problems.
The two key concerns that patients sometimes express when discussing dentures is that they are tricky to keep clean and that they can move around in the mouth. It is this latter issue which often persuades patients to opt for the ‘teeth in a day’ option. The fact is that dentures move around, not because of what they are, but because, over time, with no teeth roots to hold in place, the jawbone gradually thins and loses density, causing it to change shape. When this happens, dentures can become less stable and move around.
All On 4
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How we make your dental experience as pleasant as possible.
It is indisputable that many people have a genuine fear of visiting the dentist.
Whilst, for some, this is at a manageable level, for others it can deter them from keeping their dental appointments, sometimes for years without seeing a dentist.
At the Clock Tower Dental Clinic, we see our fair share of nervous dental patients. Some simply need a reassuring friendly dentist to help put them at ease whilst they receive their treatment, but for others, it is not enough. For these patients, we have gone the extra mile to offer additional help.
Below, we take a look at some of the techniques and equipment available at our Epsom practice to assist anxious patients.
The Wand and INJEX
Both of these are relatively new methods of administering local anaesthetic. For some people, it is the ‘needle’ that they fear much more than even the most invasive procedure. This is obviously a problem as procedures without anaesthetic would prove to be painful. The Wand is the more established of these new methods and works by first of all ‘freezing’ the gum with a topical anaesthetic before the local anaesthetic is administered using a very fine needle, which is not felt due to the topical anaesthetic.
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Straightening teeth without unsightly traditional dental braces.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, a large number of people are thought to have avoided having dental braces in their teenage years, despite their teeth being uneven. The result of this is that many of us probably now look at our teeth and wish, in retrospect, that we had put up with them so that our teeth were now nice and even.
The good news is that it is not too late. Modern orthodontics, such as those that we offer at the Clock Tower Dental Clinic in Epsom, offer adults a way to have even teeth again, but this time with greater comfort and less visibility. Whether you simply have minor misalignment issues with your visible front teeth, or your teeth are generally crooked, we have a solution for you.
There are two main methods of teeth alignment which we use at your convenient Epsom dental practice. The first of these that we will take a look at is the revolutionary Clear Aligner system. This system offers orthodontics in a manner probably unfamiliar to most people. Gone are the wires and brackets approach of most orthodontic systems, and, instead, a series of transparent trays or ‘aligners’ are used. As with all orthodontic systems, this system is manufactured following scans and impressions to produce optimal results.
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CEREC – The ‘one visit’ solution for crowns and veneers.
At the Clock Tower Dental Clinic, we continually monitor new developments in the dental industry, assessing their benefits for our patients. One of our acquisitions from this research is CEREC technology which is a computerised means of producing dental crowns, veneers, inlays and onlays without the need for impressions to be sent to an off-site laboratory.
This method offers a number of benefits for our Epsom patients, who, like many people these days, lead busy lives and would prefer to spend as little time at a dental practice as possible.
Using a dental laboratory has always meant that procedures such as the fitting of crowns or veneers has needed two visits to our practice; one to take impressions and then another a week or two later, to have them fitted. Using CEREC however, digital impressions are taken which are then loaded into the advanced milling equipment. The CEREC technology starts to prepare the crown or veneer from a solid piece of ceramic and is usually ready within approximately one hour.
By using this technology, we can often preserve more of the natural tooth than is sometimes the case when using the traditional method of laboratory made restorations; another worthwhile benefit.
No temporary replacements
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