December 19th, 2009
The Inman aligner is a removable orthodontic straightening device used specifically to straighten the upper and lower front teeth in cases of minor overcrowding and spacing issues. The main benefit of the Inman aligner over its competitors is the incredible speed of treatment that it can offer. Patients using the Inman aligner can have noticeably straighter teeth in as little as ten weeks which makes it perfect for short term treatment before big social occasions or as part of a wider smile makeover process.
The Inman aligner is a relatively new appliance that was only introduced to the UK at the beginning of the new millennium. Since then it has grown in popularity with patients and dentists because of the incredible speed of treatment. Millions of people in the UK are anxious about their crooked or uneven teeth but too afraid or concerned about metal braces to do anything about it. Traditional straightening with braces can take up to two years, which is simply too much for some people. The Inman aligner has finally provided a faster acting solution to the straightening problem.
The aligner works by using discreet titanium wires and coils to move the lateral teeth backwards creating more room for the front teeth, which are pushed and pulled simultaneously into alignment. The Inman is no more uncomfortable than any other orthodontic appliance but because it is completely removable, the impact on the patient’s life is reduced.
The Inman aligner casts between £1,250 and £2,500 depending on the level of treatment needed. A Kingston upon Thames dentist will be able to give you a more thorough idea of suitability and cost at an initial appointment so call today and you may be making the first step towards your perfect smile.
December 18th, 2009
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root placed directly into your jaw to act as a base for an artificial tooth replacement. They are ideally suited to patients with a good general standard of oral health who have lost a tooth or teeth due to decay or accidental damage. Implants do not rely on adjacent teeth for support so they avoid any unnecessary damage to healthy teeth common in other dental replacement surgery.
The man advantage of a dental implant over other replacements such as bridges or partial dentures is the natural looking feel and visual effect they produce. Implants are permanent replacements designed to act just like a real tooth and can carry out all the necessary functions of a real tooth. This creates an increased feeling of confidence in a dental implant that can be missing from other replacements. If properly fitted and cared for, a dental implant can last a lifetime without causing any unnecessary interruption to the patient’s life.
Dental implants are usually made form titanium and come in the shape of small screws anchored directly into the jawbone. Once there they are allowed to fuse with the bone and tissue before having an artificial tooth attached. One implant can act as the base for several replacements and a series of mini-implants can support a whole denture, providing much needed security.
Certain conditions need to be met for a dental implant to be successful, which usually include an otherwise good standard of dental health. Only strong jaws and gum tissue can support an implant properly so consult a Molesey dentist to see if you are a suitable candidate.
December 17th, 2009
A dental bridge is a fixed dental prosthetic used to fill a hole caused by a missing tooth. Unlike many other dental devices used to repair missing teeth, such as partial dentures, a dental bridge is not removable and is cemented to adjacent teeth often using dental crowns.
Bridges are recommended by dentists to fill holes left by missing teeth. Teeth can be lost for a number of reasons ranging from dental trauma causing a tooth to be knocked out to teeth lost due to dental decay. Gaps caused by missing teeth can cause the remaining teeth to rotate and shift into the vacant spaces. This causes an imbalance in bite which can lead to painful jaw conditions known as TMJ.
Bridges are commonly used to replace one or more missing teeth using artificial teeth supported by crowns to span the gap. The adjacent healthy teeth used as a base for the crowns are known as abutments, which support the artificial bridging teeth called pontics. Bridges and crowns can be made from a number of materials but the most authentic is probably porcelain with some composite resin bonding. This is durable and strong and can be matched to the colour of exiting teeth.
A dental bridge from a Surbiton dentist can last a lifetime if properly maintained but they can on occasion break or come loose. It is important to have regular check ups with a dentist to assess the condition of the bridge and address the need for any repairs.
December 16th, 2009
Most people will have heard of dental crowns but many of those might not fully understand just how important and useful they can be. Dental crowns can protect, and in some cases save, damaged teeth and can also completely restore their appearance. New dental technology has also greatly improved the quality of dental crowns and slashed production timer to only a few hours.
So what exactly is a dental crown? In essence it is a cap usually made of ceramic, metal or a combination of the two that is fitted over an existing tooth that has suffered either structural or aesthetic damage. The crown is fixed using tooth coloured composite resin, which also adds another dimension of protection.
Crowns are used when teeth are cracked or broken due to some kind of head trauma or when the structure is undermined because of dental decay. The dentist will repair any damage as best as possible before removing some of the top layer of enamel to create room for a dental crown. Modern crowns are incredibly thin limiting the need for enamel removal, which is irreversible. The surface of the tooth is then etched to allow for greater grip before the crown is cemented over the top. A well fitting crown should cover all parts of the tooth that are proud of the gum offering complete protection from further damage and strengthening the tooth so the patient’s life is not adversely affected.
New computer technology available at Sunbury dentists has significantly improved the quality of treatment as crowns can be manufactured and designed using the amazing accuracy of three-dimensional imaging. This has also reduced appointment and treatment times for surgery making a dental crown a perfect solution to a variety of dental problems.
December 15th, 2009
Damon braces are the latest development in fixed orthodontic teeth straightening providing fast and low friction straightening with a greater degree of comfort. Damon braces use the latest self-ligating wires to reduce the physical impact on the patient’s mouth and also reduce the number of appointments needed at the dentists. The Damon treatment also lasts on average four to six months less than conventional orthodontic straightening.
The self-ligating wires mean that there is no need for elastic or metal ties, which can act as a breeding ground for bacteria and irritate the soft tissue of the lips and gums. Because Damon brackets are smaller it also means that teeth are much easier to clean during treatment, a major concern when wearing traditional braces.
The smaller brackets used with the Damon treatment combined with the use of tooth coloured and see-through plastic make the Damon brace far more discreet than many other fixed metal braces. In fact, the majority of the bracket is manufactured from reinforced ceramic material making it durable, resistant to staining and hardly noticeable unless standing very close to the patient.
Crucially though, the Damon system will involve no extractions or palate expanders prior to treatment as it aims to produce a natural and healthy looking full smile at the end. This greatly reduces the levels of discomfort experienced by patients, as anyone who has undergone a tooth extraction will tell you.
The Damon brace represents the first legitimate attempt to make fixed metal braces fit around the life of the patient rather than the other way round. Great care and attention has been taken to reduce the level of discomfort and visual impact yet still to produce beautiful teeth at the end of treatment. Ask a Kingston upon Thames dentist about Damon braces and you could straighten your teeth with the minimum of pain and fuss.
December 14th, 2009
In the past, dental crowns required at least two visits to the dentist to fix. During the first visit the tooth would be filed down and an impression taken so that a crown could be manufactured in the laboratory. A temporary crown, usually made of plastic would be fitted to protect the tooth until the next appointment, which could be up to two weeks later. However, new technology means that dental crowns can now be designed and fitted in only a single visit to the dentist.
The leading exponent of this new technology is a company called CEREC. They are leading the way in single-visit technology, reducing appointment times for patients needing dental crowns and improving the overall quality of treatment. CEREC works by using three-dimensional imaging made possible by digital x-rays. These images can be produced instantly on a computer without the need for conventional developing. Using the images, a Surbiton dentist can then design a dental crown and visualise exactly how it will look when fitted.
The next step is then to manufacture the crown from a single piece of porcelain using a computer-guided mill. A single dental crown can be produced in less than ten minutes and because it is made from a single piece of porcelain it will be incredibly strong. It also means that crowns no longer need to be manufactured form part metal and part ceramic to provide the necessary degree of strength.
CEREC technology is revolutionising the way dental crowns are fitted and greatly improving both the level and time of treatments. CEREC can also be used to manufacture porcelain veneers and filling inlays to produce aesthetically stunning and durable dental repairs.
December 13th, 2009
TMJ is a condition that affects the temporomandibular joint and other muscles located in and around the jaw. It is a painful condition that can make everyday activities such as talking and chewing an agonizing experience. The pain associated with TMJ can range from mild to very severe and can be either intermittent or constant.
It was commonly believed that TMJ was a stress related condition but recent reserach has lead many clinicians to believe there are multiple causes for TMJ. One of the most common causes however, is a problem affecting bite. Bite is the way the upper and lower teeth sit together and can be interrupted by alterations to teeth structure, possibly from a lost or broken tooth. When the bite is altered it can force a displacement of the lower jaw forcing the muscles to overcompensate for the change.
In other cases TMJ can be the result of a head trauma involving a sudden jolt or blow to the head or face. This can cause damage to the muscles which will slowly manifest itself as TMJ. Other common causes for TMJ include sub-conscious teeth grinding called bruxism, teeth clenching or uneven surfaces on the teeth.
The most common symptom of TMJ is, unfortunately, pain. This pain can be very unpleasant and can affect all areas of the head and face and can even travel into the neck and shoulders. Sufferers often experience clicking, popping or locking during jaw movement. It is also common for areas of the face to swell making any kind or jaw movement very difficult.
A dentist will diagnose TMJ by conducting a simple clench test. If the patient experiences pain when the jaw is firmly shut it could be an indicator of TMJ. More extensive testing includes making dental moulds and mounting the impressions on a machine called an articulator to mimic jaw movement and discover the problem. Some relief form TMJ can be had from over-the-counter medication, but only a long-term cure will bring an end to the pain completely. Long-term solutions can include physiotherapy, dental treatment or having a dental appliance fitted to prevent any bite alteration or grinding. If you are suffering with pain in any part of your face or jaw, make an appointment with a Molesey dentist to have a test done for TMJ and you could bring an end to your suffering.
December 12th, 2009
One of the most popular and widely available cosmetic dentistry procedures is teeth whitening. This is a process of removing stains and discolouration from teeth by bleaching using specially formulated whitening gels.
Most teeth whitening procedures use a combination of in-surgery and pre-prepared take home treatments in custom-made trays. In both forms teeth are bleached using a peroxide-based gel that can be varied in strength for safer home whitening kits. Using gels with high compounds can have damaging effects on the soft tissue of the gums and lips and is only used with the necessary safety equipment by a dentist. It is possible to buy whitening kits from the internet but this practice is discouraged because of the dangers of highly concentrated whitening gels.
Teeth become discoloured for a variety of reasons. In some patients it is the result of medication or a medical condition. More commonly it is the result of various lifestyle choices such as drinking coffee and red wine or using tobacco products. It is also a fact of life that teeth lose their colour over time just as hair turns grey. Enamel becomes stained over the years and begins to turn a yellow or even a brown colour, depending on the patient. Whitening kits aim to bleach the discoloured enamel, returning it to its former, whiter colour making the patient look younger and healthier as a result.
It is possible to make teeth look up to ten shades whiter using whitening kits but this does vary from patient to patient. It is also true that some patients respond to treatment much faster than others. In some cases it will take several treatments to notice any discernable change in colour. If performed by a dentist there are few side effects to teeth whitening. Some patients report having slightly sensitive teeth for several days after treatment but this pain soon fades naturally. There are many different whitening systems on the market, each promising exceptional results but it is a good idea to discuss treatment with a Surbiton dentist to assess which product would be most suitable for your teeth.
December 11th, 2009
A dental bridge is an artificial dental substitute used to fill a gap in the dental arc caused by a missing tooth. It is constructed using a dental crown on either side of the gap attached to an artificial tooth, known as a pontic, which bridges them together.
Missing teeth can be the source of great embarrassment and can cause patients to suffer a loss of confidence and self-esteem. Missing teeth can also have a negative physiological impact. Hollows left by missing teeth can be breeding grounds for bacteria because they are difficult to clean with conventional brushes. Gaps in the dental arc can also cause other teeth to move about and lean altering the bite. This can cause painful jaw conditions known as TMJs and sub-conscious teeth grinding called bruxism.
Teeth also act as rigid supports for facial tissue, so if one or more teeth is missing it can cause sagging, which makes the patient look much older. This sagging becomes irreversible if not remedied within a certain time. Dental bridges can help maintain facial structure and limit alteration to voice and profile.
There are three types of dental bridge known as the traditional fixed bridge, the resin-bonded bridge and the cantilever bridge. Each bridge has a specific use depending on the condition of the existing teeth and position of the missing tooth in the arc. Bridges are made of a combination of metal, resin bonding and porcelain. For the more extroverted patient there is also the option of a silver or gold dental bridge.
A dental bridge is a natural looking alternative to a real tooth that can last up to ten years if properly maintained. Bridges should be brushed and flossed daily like normal teeth. It may also be necessary to avoid certain hard foods which may cause damage to the bridge. A dental bridge can usually be fitted in two appointments by a Worcester Park dentist and costs significantly less that some other dental substitutes such as dental implants.