Archives for October, 2009

Weybridge dentist diagnoses TMJ during regular check up

TMJ is a disorder that affects the major bones and muscles of the jaw, the area also known as the temporomandibular joint, that is responsible for everyday movements such as chewing, biting and talking. Sufferers from TMJ commonly complain of pain that covers the whole spectrum ranging from constant to intermittent and irritating to severe. As anyone who has experienced pain in this area will tell you, it is no joke and can make the most mundane of activities feel like torture. TMJ can also last for many years if not properly addressed and treated.
Many physicians think that TMJ is caused by stress but recent research has shown that there may be other causes. Teeth that move, either due to a head trauma or natural development, can cause interruption of bite, the way that the top and bottom teeth sit together. This can cause small changes in alignment to the jaw, which, due to its frequent use, can quickly develop into pain.
Rather unfortunately for sufferers of TMJ, the first indicator and major symptom of the condition is pain. This is usually located in the jaw but can manifest itself in the neck and face and can even cause problems with the ears and temporary hearing loss. The diagnosis process usually begins with a clench test, where your Weybridge dentist will examine your bite and ascertain if your teeth hurt when fully closed. This indicates that there has been some change in bite, which may be causing TMJ. The dentist can then carry out further assessment of the teeth and jaw.
Short-term relief from TMJ can be found by using hot and cold packs and over-the-counter pain relief, but this is little more than palliative and does little to address the underlying causes. When fully diagnose by a dentist, TMJ is fully curable with effective treatment. If you are suffering with pain in your teeth, jaw, neck or ears, ask your Weybridge dentist to conduct a clench test as art of your regular six-monthly check-up and you could relief from your painful TMJ.

Invisible Invisalign braces form Molesey dentist

In 1999 Align technologies introduced Invisalign braces and revolutionized the world of orthodontic treatment. Prior to the release of Invisalign, the only options to obtain straight teeth were uncomfortable and unseemly metal braces or ill fitting and ill-effective plastic retainers.

For millions of teenagers the prospect of wearing conspicuous metal braces was a frightening one. After all, no one wants to stand out form the crowd in the difficult teenage years. For adults who wanted to straighten their teeth the idea of metal braces came with the stigma attached about being too old to wear them.

Invisalign offered a genuine alternative to the millions of people who want to straighten their teeth without having to wear metal braces. The one millimetre thick plastic retainers are manufactured with the use of CAD/CAM technology, a revolutionary new process in dental design. Standing for computer aided design/computer aided manufacture, this meant that with the help of the latest digital x-rays and 3D projections, dentists could build up an incredibly accurate three dimensional picture of the teeth on the computer, without the need for laborious and unpleasant dental moulds. Using this imaging they could then manufacture plastic retainers to perfectly fit your teeth. By making small adjustments to each new set of retainers, that a patient receives every two to three weeks, gradual adjustments could be made to the teeth, manipulating them into a straighter position. On average, about 20 sets of retainers are needed to complete the treatment but this depends on the patient and extent of straightening needed.

Invisalign retainers are so discreet that they are virtually impossible to notice unless very close to the patient. They are also removable which means they can be taken out at meal times, unlike more conventional metal braces. This means that certain foods, which would otherwise be off-limits to brace wearers, can still be enjoyed by Invisalign wearers.

Invisalign braces may not be suitable for all patients. For those that need severe corrective treatment, it may still be best to start with metal braces, although these can be substituted for Invisalign during the treatment period. Consult your Molesey dentist about straightening your teeth with Invisalign braces, the most discreet way to straighten your teeth.

CEREC technology from Kingston-upon-Thames dentist saves tooth

In the past having a dental crown fitted was a lengthy process. First of all, the dentist would have to take several moulds of the patients’ teeth and accompanying x-rays. They would then use these moulds to design a crown as accurately as possible before spending days, perhaps even weeks manufacturing them in the laboratory. Then came a trial and error fitting process, which often involved several adjustments. This was a lengthy and expensive process.

However, with the advancements in dental technology over the last twenty years it is now possible to design, manufacture and install a crown in one sitting. This has been made possible by the introduction of CEREC technology. CEREC stands for CERamic REconstruction, and is a state-of-the-art new tool that utilises the very latest in 3D imaging and digital x-rays. The dentist is now able to build up an exact 3D image on the computer which he can use to design the crown. This image can then be manufactured to microscopic levels of accuracy by the computer-aided manufacturing device. This involves milling the crown from a single piece of porcelain, which can take as little as an astonishing six minutes.

This new technology has reduced waiting times and treatment times for patients and heralds the future of dentistry. CEREC technology means that crowns can now look more realistic and natural. Because they are so accurately sized, there is a reduced need for any alteration once in place. The porcelain used can even be matched and stained to most closely resemble the patient’s existing teeth.

If you have a cracked or chipped tooth from an injury, or even a fragile tooth caused by dental problems such as decay or gum disease, a CEREC manufactured crown could help to save your tooth. Because of the levels of accuracy CEREC crowns are particularly useful for cosmetic replacements due to worn or discoloured teeth. Ask a Kingston-upon-Thames dentist if CEREC quality crowns could help bring the smile back to your face.

Weybridge dentist uses ultra-fast Six Month Smile braces to straighten teeth

Having a beautiful smile full of straight white teeth is a desire that we all have in common. The smile is such an important method of communication and can say so much about us. For people not blessed with naturally straight teeth there has always been the option to have them orthodontically straightened with braces. But wearing braces always involved an element of sacrifice as nobody relishes the idea of 18 months spent with a mouth full of unseemly and uncomfortable metal braces.

Finally there is another option for patients who want the perfect smile with the minimum of fuss. The aptly named Six-Month Smile treatment is a revolutionary new orthodontic treatment that can straighten teeth in as little as six months. These incredible results are achieved because the Six-Month treatment focuses solely on the teeth that can be seen when smiling. By using specially designed nickel-titanium wires, overcrowding and spacing problems can be solved by repositioning the teeth at the front into more natural positions. Due to its more focused approach, Six-month smile can reduce treatment time by as much as 75 per cent when compared to regular braces.

Another major advantage Six-Month braces have over conventional braces is that the wires used are all small and tooth coloured, meaning it is a far more discreet treatment. Discomfort levels experienced by the patients are also lower than usually experienced with normal braces and even clear plastic retainer systems, although it must be said that clear retainer systems do compare slightly favourably in the discretion stakes. However, due to the rapidity of treatment many patients are willing to make this trade-off. Six-Month braces require minimal adjustment with only a ten to fifteen minute appointment required each month to adjust the wires.

If you think you have overcrowded or poorly spaced teeth and could benefit form the Six-Month Smile treatment, ask a Weybridge dentist at your next appointment and see how you could enhance your smile in a very short space of time, without the need for fixed metal braces.

Scared Brits put at ease by Surbiton dentist

If you had to compile a list of the things that people are most afraid of, there would be a few things that would instantly spring to mind. Spiders and flying would certainly be up there and not too far behind, I imagine, would come the dreaded dentist. According to a survey of 1,500 people carried out by the Cosmetic Dentistry Guide a staggering 93 per cent of adults in the United Kingdom are afraid of visiting the dentist.

Interestingly it is men that are more likely to be afraid of dentists, and far less likely to actually confront their fears. Women are worried too but it seems they are more likely to take pride in their appearance and realize the importance of looking after their teeth.

Most cases of dental anxiety can be traced to an unpleasant experience in the past. Others attribute the fear to the lack of control and feeling of vulnerability when in the chair. Some people use excuses like the lack of NHS dentists and expected high cost of treatment to justify not going to the dentist, but these excuses often mask a more underlying fear. Many children who fear a visit to the dentist do so because the parent has passed on the anxiety. Many dentists report of instances where parents have said at the end of the appointment ‘That didn’t hurt too much did it?’, and that being the first time the child had associated it with pain.

However, a fear of the dentist is a very real fear for many, and comes in two main forms. Firstly, dental anxiety, a term coined in the 40s, which is a mild fear or apprehension and secondly, dental phobia, which is a much more serious fear affecting about one in ten people.

Fear, as we all know, is mostly irrational. Most people’s fears are based on experiences 40 years out of date. Dentistry has advanced to such a degree that many procedures now are almost painless. Dental surgeries have become more like health spas than the funny smelling institutional buildings they once were. Visit a Surbiton dentist to see how they’ve changed and put aside your anxieties. There really is nothing to be scared of.

Brighter smile with teeth whitening from Molesey dentist

As we get older our teeth will start to lose their natural colour. A lifetime of eating foods rich in colouring stains the enamel meaning that we lose the naturally white appearance of our teeth. This affects some people more then others and is also dependant on lifestyle choices. Some food and drinks such as coffee and red wine stain teeth quicker, as does the use of any kind of tobacco product.

Fortunately there is a way to slow down discolouration and even reverse it by undergoing tooth whitening procedures. This in involves bleaching the teeth to remove stains and make them appear whiter. This is a relatively simple cosmetic dentistry procedure that is practised by most dentists in surgery. Some dentists will also offer take home whitening kits with prepared treatments in trays so that the patient can whiten their teeth in the comfort of their own home.

The active ingredient in teeth whitening is a peroxide bleaching agent. The strength of the peroxide in the whitening gels varies from three to 30 per cent, depending on the level of bleaching needed and who is carrying out the procedure. Greater strengths of peroxide can cause damage to soft tissues so are only really used by dentists in surgery. Patients with home treatments will have lower strength kits.

When a dentists is performing an in-house whitening procedure they can use larger strength peroxides because they are also able to use protect equipment to cover the patient’s soft tissue areas. Although most home whitening kits have a lower strength of peroxide, some kits that can be purchased off the internet can be very strong so it is always advised to consult your dentist before applying any whitening gels to your teeth.

Just like some people’s teeth discolour at faster rates than others, some patients respond to whitening much better. For some patients, the results can be dramatic whereas for others, after several treatments the teeth will only appear slightly whiter. It really depends on the nature of your teeth and the type and strength of gel you are using.

Tooth whitening is a very popular procedure and one that if performed safely is relatively pain-free. Some patients experience sensitive teeth for a few days after whitening but this usually passes without any further problems. Consult your Molesey dentist today about having the natural colour of your teeth restored.

Surbiton dentist protects your teeth and gums

If you’ve ever been unfortunate to suffer any kind of dental health problem you’ll know full well that it’s no laughing matter. Toothache doesn’t have a bad reputation for nothing after all, and with over 90 per cent of people in the UK admitting some kind of fear of the dentist, it would seem our teeth are something we should be keen to look after.

The key to good dental health is prevention. Although the advances in technology have meant that modern dentistry is able to cure most dental concerns relatively painlessly, the procedures are often costly and can still be unpleasant. The only way to avoid dental problems is to prevent them occurring in the first place. This is easily achievable by following three easy steps. Firstly, by brushing correctly twice a day using an appropriate toothbrush for your teeth (your dentist will be able to recommend a suitable brush) for three minutes. Secondly, by flossing at least once a day you will be able to clean the parts of the teeth that conventional brushing is unable to reach. This includes between the teeth and below the gumline. Flossing also removes food particles that get stuck in the teeth which are one of the main causes of plaque and bad breath. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, is by having regular six-month dental check-ups. Even though many people are afraid of the dentist, by visiting regularly there really will be nothing to fear. In fact, the more you visit the less likely the chance of any problems occurring, the less scary your check-ups will be. It really does make sense.

There are other things you can do to protect your teeth and gums, such as drinking water after meals, eating the right foods and not snacking in between meals. These will all help to maintain good oral hygiene but will only work in tandem with effective cleaning.

The alternatives to protecting your teeth and gums is a lifetime of tooth decay, gum disease and costly dental procedures that doesn’t bear thinking about. A Surbiton dentist will be able to offer you regular check-ups and offer you advice about the proper cleaning methods.

Worcester park dentists use lasers in dentistry to prevent pain

Despite some initial criticism and skepticism, lasers are playing an ever more important role in modern dentistry. It is hard to believe that lasers have now been widely used for nearly 20 years, but they still have a key role to play in the future. The increased accuracy a laser provides is a priceless tool in modern cosmetic dentistry.

Lasers can be used for a wide variety of purposes in the dentist’s surgery. Their uses include: as activating agents in whitening procedures, to remove tissue samples for biopsy, reshaping gums, and for more general bacteria fighting and hardening purposes. Lasers work by delivering a high-intensity form of energy as light and can be controlled to microscopic degrees

As an added benefit, because of the intense levels of heat focused in a laser it acts as a sterilizing agent during procedures which reduces the risk of any post-procedural infection developing. They are also increasingly popular because they are relatively painless. This can greatly reduce anxiety for many patients who aren’t fond of visiting the dentist.

Worcester Park dentists use lasers because of these obvious advantages and because of the all round precision that a laser can offer. Lasers are the dentistry tool of the present and the future. Ask your dentist if laser treatment could make your next trip a pain-free one.

Interdental cleaning stops bad breath says Worcester Park dentist

It is the contact points between teeth and chewing surfaces that are most prone to tooth decay, because food particles and plaque easily get stuck in those areas. Plaque is the filmy substance that coats our teeth attacking the enamel. An accumulation of mucus, decaying food matter and bacteria, plaque increases the acidity of the pH in the mouth which gradually erodes tooth enamel causing cavities and gum disease (also known as gingivitis). Food particles and bacteria in the mouth are also one of the man causes of halitosis, or bad breath, as it is more commonly known.

This happens because the food particles that get stuck, in and between teeth, are decayed by the bacteria present in the plaque. This causes the release of foul smelling sulfurous deposits that are expelled when you breathe out. Worcester park dentists recommend brushing your teeth twice a day with an appropriate toothbrush and flossing at least once a day to combat bad breath and tooth decay. Brushing and flossing helps to fight plaque, which can eventually turn into tartar and removing by a dentist.

Brushing and flossing are the two most important weapons in the war against plaque, but some conventional toothbrushes find it hard to get to those hard to reach places. This is why flossing is so vital to get to those tricky between teeth areas. There are several types of floss including dental tape and superfloss. Your dentist will be able to recommend the most suitable kind for you.

You might also consider using an interdental brush. These brushes are designed to get to the parts that other brushes can’t reach. Single tuft brushes are particularly good at removing trapped food particles from between the teeth. A Worcester Park dentist can show you how to effectively use interdental brushes. Toothpicks and sticks are also useful to remove any unwanted particles.

As with most areas of oral hygiene, prevention is the key to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Effective brushing and just a few extra minutes of care a day to clean between your teeth, could save you a lifetime of appointments and painful procedures.

Kingston-upon-Thames dentist explains facts about traveling abroad for dental treatment

More and more people are being attracted by the promise of cheap dental treatment abroad, but are they fully aware of what they are getting themselves into? For every story you hear of successful and cheap dental surgery in Hungary or Bulgaria there are two horror stories about botched treatment and follow up appointments in the UK to repair the damage. A recent survey of Irish dentists found that 76 per cent had had to repair work done on patients in other countries.

Things to think about before considering going abroad are that all dentists in this country are properly regulated and must be registered to work as a dentist in the UK. Standards and regulations cannot be guaranteed in other countries so you don’t really know who might end up working on your teeth. You might have to do a great deal of research to be sure about who will be performing your treatment in another country.

When enquiring about dentistry abroad it is necessary to check that any claims about the quality of treatment and professional qualifications can be proven before agreeing to any treatment.

Whatever the situation, receiving dental treatment abroad is going to be a risk. It might work out well, it might not, and surely the latter is enough of a deterrent. The health of your teeth can play a huge part in your general well being and surely it is not worth taking the risk. If you are unsure about any dental problems or sconsidering treatment abroad a Kingston-upon-Thames dentist will be able to answer any of your questions. It is always better to know the facts.