It is becoming more acceptable and effective to invest in your appearance. After all, in an ageing society, why not look good for longer? Cosmetic dentistry can be used to straighten, lighten, repair and reshape teeth.
At Alan Barnes Dental Care, we offer a range of cosmetic and more advanced treatments to help you to improve your smile:
Composite fillings are tooth-coloured (NOT silver!) and usually made from a resin mixed with powdered glass quartz, silica or other forms of ceramic.
They may not be as strong or hard-wearing as silver amalgam fillings but they are virtually invisible. Your dentist will choose a shade to match your existing teeth.*
*Although, please note that discolouration may occur over time.
An inlay is a small setting within the biting surface of the tooth. Onlays are used to cover larger areas.
Ceramic is usually used because it is durable, long-lasting, does not tarnish and is tooth coloured.
An impression of the cavity (prepared and taken by your dentist) will be sent to a laboratory, where a dental technician will make your inlay or onlay.* Meanwhile, we will provide you with a temporary filling until we can repair your tooth.
*Due to the materials used and the longer treatment process, this type of filling is more expensive.
A crown (sometimes called a ‘cap’) covers and strengthens chipped, broken or weakened teeth. It can also be used to protect the space left from a root filling, help to hold a denture or bridge in place, or even hide discoloured fillings. They can look very natural and can be made to match the shade of your surrounding teeth.
Your tooth is usually shaped, under local anaesthetic, and an impression will be taken by your dentist. This is then sent to the laboratory, where your crown will be custom-made out of porcelain or porcelain bonded to gold.
Sometimes, especially with root fillings, it is necessary to set a post before fitting the crown. This supports the crown and adds stability and strength. Your dentist can cement them directly into the root canal, ready for the crown to be fitted over the top.
A bridge is used to fill the space left by a missing tooth, restoring your smile. They are only possible if your surrounding teeth are healthy and strong, as these support the bridge. A bridge is usually made from a porcelain and precious metal blend.
It is important to replace missing teeth – not only to improve the appearance of your smile – but to prevent the weakening of the teeth either side, decay and gum disease caused by trapped food particles, or alterations to your bite.
Your dentist will help you to choose the best method to replace any missing teeth you may have.
Removable dentures are one of the most common ways of replacing missing teeth. Dentures can replace either a few teeth (a partial denture) or a whole set (complete dentures).
If you have lost some teeth, dentures can improve the way you look, bite, chew and speak. The teeth that are left are protected from wear and tear. Without dentures, the natural teeth may move or tilt, stopping your teeth biting together properly.
The quality and appearance of today’s dentures is far better than ever before. To make sure that the dentures fit your mouth properly, the dentist uses a putty-like material to make moulds – called ‘impressions’ – of your mouth. A dental technician uses this to make your denture, which your dentist will fit once ready.
Your dentist will explain the difficulties of wearing dentures, as well as the benefits and how you should look after your new dentures and the teeth you have left.
Visiting the dentist regularly helps to keep your mouth healthy. If ignored, dental problems can lead to severe pain, discomfort and expensive treatment.
Common problems include:
In instances when problems do occur, we offer our patients effective treatments to restore your dental health.
Plaque is the soft and sticky substance that accumulates on the teeth from food debris and bacteria. Plaque can be removed by brushing and flossing thoroughly. If plaque is not removed, it can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
Regular visits to your dentist, brushing twice a day, flossing daily and a healthy diet will help to prevent plaque from forming on your teeth.
Bleeding gums can be a sign that you are at risk of, or already have, gum disease. It is important to follow the instructions from your dentist in order to maintain healthy gums. Improper brushing and flossing technique may actually irritate or traumatise the gum tissue.
Bad breath has an unpleasant odour, it’s also known as halitosis. This odour can strike from time to time, or it can be long-lasting, depending on the cause.
Bad breath caused by dental problems can easily be prevented with regular visits to your dentist and a good daily routine of brushing, flossing and rinsing.
Tooth decay is the most common problem that we treat at the practice. The British Dental Health Foundation believes that most of us have a 95% chance of suffering from some form of it. There may not be any obvious symptoms but you should consult your dentist if you suffer from toothache, sensitivity to hot or cold foods, or swelling of the jaw.
By visiting the dentist regularly, tooth decay can often be prevented.
Gum disease is caused by a build up of plaque, and can be avoided if you brush and floss your teeth twice a day. There are various symptoms of gum disease, including swelling, redness, soreness and bleeding during brushing, but there are only two main forms of it. These are known as gingivitis and periodontal disease.
Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums, causing the symptoms described above. Over time, gingivitis can turn into periodontal disease, which affects the tissues supporting the teeth. This can eventually lead to the deterioration of the bone that teeth are anchored to in the jaw, causing teeth to become loose or even fall out completely.
Periodontal disease causes more tooth loss than tooth decay, so you should ensure you maintain your regular visits to your dentist and a daily routine of brushing and flossing to prevent the build up of plaque.
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