Your braces questions answered by our Ashby and Burton dentist.
Of all the ‘invisible’ braces that we provide at Alexandra Dental Care, Invisalign is probably the best known system. Over the years, we have used these modern orthodontic appliances to straighten many patient’s teeth, resulting in nice even smiles.
As you’d expect, along the way, we have been asked many questions. The ones below are just a selection of those most commonly asked.
1. Are they really invisible?
No; that would be impossible to achieve and would leave you unable to find them should you put them down when cleaning! However, Invisalign are very transparent and most patients who have had them fitted say that hardly anybody noticed that they were wearing them unless they mentioned it. They are made from a durable medical grade plastic and we are confident that you will be happy with the way that your teeth look whilst wearing them.
2. How long do they take to work?
This really depends on each patient and their specific needs but we will be able to give you an estimated time frame during your consultation. What we would say is that this is not the fastest method to straighten teeth, and, if you are looking for a quick result, options such as the Six Month Smile or Inman Aligner may be a better choice, where appropriate. The ‘pay off’ in using these though is that they are more visible and use the traditional wire and bracket system to move your teeth. Whilst Invisalign may take longer, many find them more comfortable and convenient which compensates for the extra time taken to achieve the end result of straighter teeth.
3. Are they really easy to remove?
How osseointegration is integral to the success of your implant placement.
As we have our dental implant open day for Burton and Ashby patients coming up on the 25th May, something we we covered on our previous blog, we thought that we would take a look at one of the most important aspects of this procedure; one that essentially determines its success.
Whilst, undoubtedly, the skills required by the implant dentist, and the technology used to determine the exact placement position is essential, it is the part that the human body plays which is critical to the success of the procedure.
Immediately after the dental implant is placed, it is not yet secure enough to complete by adding a dental crown. In fact, it will take approximately three months for it to reach this stage. During this time, a process known as osseointegration takes place. First discovered during a non dental related experiment by a Swedish scientist, Professor Per-Ingvar Branemark, it was found that titanium rods placed into a rabbit, had actually bonded so well with the bone, that they were virtually impossible to remove. Subsequent tests showed that this could be repeated, and so, the idea of using a replacement tooth root made from titanium began.
The first implant placement took place in the 1960’s and, as you would expect, many advances have been made since then which have increased the success rate to close to 100%. Essentially though, the osseointegration period still holds the key to their success.
Take advantage of our dental implant open day offer!
At Alexandra Dental Care, we believe that dental implants are perhaps the best method currently available for replacing missing teeth. There are other options, including dentures and bridges which also perform the task acceptably well but, unlike implants, neither replace the root of the tooth and therefore bone loss in the jaw will occur progressively.
In addition to this, a dental implant offers the most realistic way to replace a tooth, leaving it as strong as a natural tooth and not restricting you in your choice of foods. Even the chewiest toffees can be eaten with an implant in place and few would likely risk that with dentures!
With this in mind, we are holding a dental implant open day for local patients including the Ashby and Burton areas, on May 25th. During this you will discover how we place dental implants and we will take any questions that you have regarding the procedure itself and what to expect. As dentists, we know that there is nothing to fear from this treatment, but we are aware that some people are a little nervous about having it done, despite the significant benefits.
In addition to learning more how implants can be of benefit to you; by attending our implant open day, you will also receive:
- A free initial assessment – Usually costing £99, we will examine your mouth and your general suitability for dental implants. We will take scans to determine the bone density in your jaw and discuss whether you would be able to have an immediate implant placement or whether you might require a bone graft or sinus lift prior to it.
- 10% off implant treatment for those who attend the open day – This is an excellent opportunity to have dental implants at a significantly reduced price. We are aware that dental implants are not a cheap option, but the fact that they could well last for over twenty years means that your money is well spent. Even with the 10% discount, our regular dental payment plans are still available to help you to spread the cost of your implant placement over a period of time, in order to help you with the financial aspects.
Here at Alexandra Dental Care we offer patients smile makeovers options which include teeth straightening, teeth whitening, composite bonding, crowns and veneers. You may have heard of some of these before and we would be happy to explain how they work in detail at your next appointment 01283 216347.
Here are five things we would like you to know about smile makeovers:
1. Improving your smile
Dentists use the term ‘smile design’ to describe the process of creating the smile that you dream of. This is because there are various elements that come into play with an enhanced smile, it’s not just all about looks. It’s a very clever process that takes into consideration the aesthetics and symmetry of the whole face in order to provide balance and harmony as a whole. Not only that, there are also factors like function that have to come into play; what’s the point of beautiful looking teeth that cant chew or bite properly?
2. Techniques used
Smile design can incorporate a number of techniques in order to achieve your goal. This can include short-term orthodontics to move the teeth into the desired position in a relatively quick period of time. There are many different brands available for this such as [insert ones used at practice including hyperlinks], many of which are so discreet they are almost invisible. These systems can also be used with other methods of smile enhancement to provide a straighter basis to work from. For example, veneers or composites can then be used to make the final perfections to a smile. Veneers are very thin layers of porcelain that fit over the front of the tooth, a bit like a false fingernail. Composite is a dental material that can be used to build up teeth in a similar way. Both treatments can be used where gaps need to be closed or if a tooth has been broken. We also use Boutique whitening tooth whitening in conjunction with most treatments because it gives that extra enhanced and healthy looking edge to any smile.
Helping nervous patients receive essential dental care.
Anxiety about receiving dental treatment is quite common amongst the general population. Whilst some people have severe levels of anxiety, it would probably be fair to say that most of us feel at least a little anxious when we know that we are about to have an invasive dental procedure, even a relatively straightforward one such as a filling.
At Alexandra Dental Care, we really do care about our patients and, whilst we don’t expect them to actually ‘enjoy’ a procedure as such, we ensure that we do all that we can to enable them to approach it with confidence and in a reasonably relaxed state of mind.
Our lead dentists, Yogi Savania and George Savva, have years of experience in treating patients of all ages and have developed skills to help people feel at ease whilst they are receiving treatment.
When it comes to the treatment itself, you can be sure that the experience and ongoing training of the dentists at our dental surgery near Burton ensures that you are in good hands. We are always happy to discuss any concerns that you may have about the procedure before it starts. Should you feel that you need to rest or are experiencing any discomfort and need to take a break, we simply ask you to raise your hand (the one on the opposite side to the dentist so that you don’t knock the hands treating you).
We will always remove as little of the natural tooth as is necessary in a “minimally invasive” manner. This not only means less actual work on the tooth, but also helps it to retain as much strength as possible.
What to do if a swelling develops in your mouth.
If you notice some swelling in your mouth, it is likely to have been caused by an infection. It may not happen overnight or even be painful initially, but it will almost certainly worsen over time. Whether the swelling is caused by dental decay or even an abscess, you should not ignore it and seek an emergency dental appointment as soon as you can.
We will always try to see our patients from the local Burton and Ashby areas as promptly as possible if they are in pain. Often this will be the same day, but, as anyone who has been in this position will know, even a few hours can seem a very long time when you are in pain.
Below, the team at Alexandra Dental Care, offer some advice about the immediate steps you should take to be as comfortable as possible if you find yourself in this situation.
Make your emergency dental appointment – Even before you reach for your painkillers, you should call us straight away to make an appointment to have your mouth checked. If you delay, somebody else may beat you to a vacant appointment spot and you may have to wait slightly longer before we can see you. There is also the risk that if the painkillers are effective, and especially if you are a little dental phobic, you may decide that it is not too painful after all. This is taking a “head in the sand” approach though, and is likely to result in more severe pain as well as a longer wait for treatment. So please don’t delay getting in touch with us.
Take painkillers – Once your appointment has been made, you should take a suitable painkiller. This may help to reduce the swelling as well as ease the pain. Your regular painkiller should suffice, but we are happy to offer advice about appropriate medication when you ring for your appointment.
Here at Alexandra Dental Care our goal is to ensure your dental health and wellbeing. We do this in a number of ways, including making our practice a warm and inviting environment for all our patients. Some people may find a trip to the dentist quite distressing, and we are geared towards helping anxious patients. Our team of dental professionals have anxiety managements techniques to help nervous patients through their appointments. We are also regulated to carry out intravenous sedation in a safe environment. See below out nervous patient story and how Alexandra Dental Care help him overcome his dental phobia, click on the image to make it see larger;
We also offer oral cancer screening to all our patients because early detection is crucial in a successful recover. A typical screening lasts a few minutes and involves an examination and inspection of all soft tissues in the mouth such as cheeks, lips, tongues etc. Physical examination of the outer neck/face, lymph nodes and TMJ. In additions to this a visual inspection for facial signs and symmetry. A discussion about lifestyle habits such as smoking and drinking alcohol would be carried out. We recommend that every patient has a screening every six months as part of your routine dental examination and see this as another important way in which we can help you to remain in optimal oral and general health.
Offering individual oral health guidance for our Burton and Ashby patients.
At Alexandra Dental Care, we take our patient’s oral health very seriously and endeavour to do all that we can to help them keep their teeth and gums healthy and in good condition. Where problems do arise, we offer a wide range of dental treatments; but of course, we would rather avoid the need for these in the first place.
Good oral health depends on a combination of good care at home, along with professional supervision and advice. Each individual patient from Burton or Ashby may need different guidance, according to age and lifestyle choices and our experienced dentists and hygienists will be delighted to help.
Most people know how to carry out regular and effective brushing of their teeth at home but even these basic skills can often be improved. ‘Scrubbing’ your teeth hard with a well worn toothbrush will, for example, be far less effective at removing food particles and bacteria than if a toothbrush that is less than three months old is used in small circular motions. Even the choice of toothpaste can make a difference. Whilst there are many reputable brands of toothpaste available, care should be taken to use one that includes fluoride as this helps to strengthen the enamel layer of our teeth which, in turn, protects the softer layer underneath.
Every six months or so, we advise patients to have their teeth examined by one of our experienced dental team. Whilst we always hope that our patients will have healthy teeth; where small amounts of decay are detected, these can be filled early on rather than allowing the decay to spread, possibly creating the need for more invasive treatment to save the tooth later on. As well as checking your teeth and gums, we also monitor the general health of the mouth, specifically checking for any potential symptoms of oral cancers amongst other things.
Here at Alexandra Dental Care in Swadlincote we see patients regularly for their scheduled hygiene appointments in order to keep their gums and teeth healthy. We tailor all hygiene appointments to the needs of our patients, as some require specific help, for example denture wearers, children and teenagers with braces.
Helen our hygienist works on the majority of our hygiene treatments and has given many a patient a fresher healthier smile. Helen is qualified to deliver this treatment, she qualified as a hygienist as Manchester Dental School and has been a part of the practice for 20 years. Here are a few questions Helen has answered for us:
Question: Do I really need to floss daily?
Helen: To achieve optimum oral health, you need to floss your teeth every day. Lots of people ‘don’t like it’ or find ‘that it hurts’ but if you floss correctly it shouldn’t hurt, it’s just about making it part of your daily routine. There are also lots of different flosses and tools you can try if you find it awkward, and we are happy to advise you on finding the product that works best for you. My tip would be to choose a time of day that suits you; if you’re too tired at night then do it in the morning. We should begin flossing when two teeth touch. That means that even young children need to floss but you’ll have to do this for them until they can master the dexterity it takes to do it themselves.
Here at Alexandra Dental Care in Swadlincote we often see patients who have concerns about the appearance of their smile because they have some teeth missing. Often these patients lack the confidence to smile in public because they feel so self conscious about the gaps between their teeth. Over the years we have helped many patients by replacing their missing teeth with dental implants using the well-known Nobel Bio Care brand.
To show you some of the results our patients have seen with their teeth, we want to share a recent case with you. This patient was unhappy about the large gap center of the smile and the treatment she chose was an Implant retained Bridge.
Simply scroll down to see the full case study, and use the zoom tools to make it larger or smaller.