What is tooth whitening?

Tooth whitening can be a very effective way of lightening the natural colour of your teeth without removing any of the tooth surface, resulting in a natural smile.

Why would I need to whiten my teeth?

Through time your teeth become more discoloured as you get older. Also your teeth can be stained on the surface by food and drinks such as tea, coffee, red wine and smoking can also stain teeth.

What does tooth whitening involve?

Professional bleaching is the most usual method of tooth whitening. Your dentist will assess you first to see whether tooth whitening is a suitable option for you. They will tell you about the options you have for tooth whitening and which will be the most suitable for you. We provide both in surgery tooth whitening and dentist supervised home whitening kits.

 

 

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What are veneers?

Veneers are thin layers of porcelain designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve the aesthetics of your teeth. They are very thin and are held in place by a special, strong adhesive, therefore very little preparation of the tooth is needed.

When would I need a dental veneer?

  • Veneers can be used to improve the colour, shape and position of your teeth. A precise shade of porcelain can be chosen to give the right colour to improve a single discoloured tooth or to lighten your front teeth.
  • A veneer can make a chipped tooth look whole again. The porcelain covers the whole of the front of the tooth, with a thicker section replacing the broken part.
  • Veneers can also be used to close small gaps, when orthodontics (braces) are not suitable. If one tooth is slightly out of position, a veneer can sometimes be fitted to bring it into line with the others.

Most people have fillings of one sort or another in their mouths. Nowadays fillings are not only functional, but can be natural looking as well. Many people don’t want silver fillings that show when they laugh or smile because they are more conscious about the way they look, therefore white fillings can be a more aesthetically pleasing and natural looking alternative.

Non-surgical cosmetic procedures, such as botulinum toxin injections (Botox®) and fillers, can be used to alter your appearance without the need for surgery. They are a popular alternative to surgical procedures.

We provide:

Botox® – Botox® injections are used to help relax facial muscles and make lines and wrinkles less obvious.

Dermal Fillers – Dermal fillers are injections used to fill out wrinkles and creases in the skin. They can also be used to increase the volume and definition of the lips.

For further information please speak to a member of our dental team.

We provide a range of oral surgery treatments including routine tooth extractions and wisdom tooth extractions.

What are the main reasons for taking wisdom teeth out?

Far fewer wisdom teeth are now taken out than in the past. If the tooth is not causing problems, your dentist will not want to remove it. They will only remove wisdom teeth:

  • when it is clear that they will not be able to come through into a useful position because there is not enough room, and they are also causing some pain or discomfort
  • if they have only partly come through and are decayed – these teeth will often decay as it will be difficult to clean them as thoroughly as your other teeth
  • If they are painful.

For further details of the oral surgery treatments we provide please ask one of our dentists.

What are dental implants?

  • A dental implant is used to support one or more false teeth. It is a titanium screw that can replace the root of a tooth when it fails. Just like a tooth root, it is placed into the jawbone.
  • Each implant is placed into a socket carefully drilled at the precise location of the intended tooth.
  • Implants are a safe, well-established treatment option and result in a natural smile.

Are implants safe and how long will they last?

  • Implants are a safe, well-established treatment. It’s probably true to say that implants, much like natural teeth, will last for as long as you care for them.
  • How well you look after your implants – and whether you go for your regular maintenance appointments – will have the biggest impact on how long they will last.
  • If you don’t look after your implants they will develop a coating similar to what you get on neglected natural teeth. Left untreated, this can lead to gum infection, bleeding, soreness and general discomfort. You could get all these problems with natural teeth.
  • If your implants are well looked after, and if the bone they are fitted to is strong and healthy, you can expect them to last for many years. However, just as with other surgical implants (such as a hip replacement) there is no lifetime guarantee.

I have some of my own teeth. Can I still have implants?

  • You can have any number of teeth replaced with implants – from one single tooth to a complete set.

Can implants always be used to replace missing teeth?

It depends on the condition of the bone in your jaw. Our dentist will arrange for a number of special tests to find out the amount of bone still there. If there is not enough, or if it isn’t healthy enough, it may not be possible to place implants without grafting bone into the area first.

Do implants hurt?

Placing an implant is often easier than taking a tooth out and is usually done using a simple local anaesthetic. You will not feel any pain at the time but, just like after an extraction, you may feel some discomfort during the week after the surgery. Sometimes we might give you a sedative if you are very nervous or if the case is a complicated one. General anaesthetics are rarely used for implants and are generally only used for very complicated cases.

How long does the treatment take?

Our dental team will be able to give you a rough timetable before the treatment starts as each case varies. Some false teeth can now even be fitted at the same time as the implants (these are called ‘immediate implants’). Check with our dental team to see whether these are suitable for you. Usually the false teeth are fitted 3 to 4 months after the implants are put in. Sometimes treatment takes longer and our dental team will be able to talk to you about your treatment time.

What about aftercare?

Our dental team will give you instructions on how to look after your implant. They may give you some painkillers after the surgery – or make sure you have some at home – to take over the next few days if you need them.

What happens next?

After your implants have been placed, the bone in your jaw needs to grow onto them and fuse to them. This usually takes a few months. Sometimes the implants may be stable enough when they are placed for the false teeth to be fitted sooner than this.

Are the implant teeth difficult to clean?

No. But aftercare is important if you are going to have a long-lasting, successful implant. Our dental team will give you detailed advice on how to look after your implants. Cleaning around the teeth attached to the implants is no more difficult than cleaning natural teeth. However, there may be areas that are difficult to reach and you’ll be shown how to clean them. You may need to make dental hygiene appointments more often but our dental team will be able to talk to you about this.

If I had gum disease when I had my own teeth, will I get it with the implants?

Yes, if you don’t care for them well enough. If you keep them clean and have them regularly checked by your dental team you should not have any problems. Smoking also affects the health of implants. So, if you smoke, you may need to look after your implants more carefully. Some dentists will not place dental implants in people who are smokers.

Can I take the teeth out if they are fixed to implants?

Most teeth attached to implants can only be fitted and removed by the dentist. However, if you have removable dentures attached to the implants, you’ll be able to take them out for cleaning.

Do the implants show?

Most implants look exactly like natural teeth.

What is a dental crown?

A crown is an artificial restoration that fits over the remaining part of a prepared tooth, making it strong and giving it the shape of a natural tooth.

 When do I need a dental crown?

A dental crown can be used for a number of reasons:

  • To restore a broken down tooth
  • Provide support for a weakened tooth due to decay or a large filling
  • Provide support and protection for a root canal treated tooth
  • Form the basis of a dental bridge

How is a crown prepped?

The dentist will prepare the tooth to the ideal shape for the crown. This will involve removing a layer of the outer surface, leaving a strong inner core. The amount of the tooth removed will be the same as the thickness of the crown. Once the tooth is shaped, the dental team will take an impression (mould) of the prepared tooth, one of the opposite jaw and possibly another to show the way you bite together. The impressions will then be given to a dental technician, along with information about the shade to use and any other information they need.

What will happen between visits?

A temporary crown will be made so that you can use the tooth while you wait for the crown to be made

How is the crown fitted?

When you and your dentist are happy with the fit and appearance of the new crown, it will be fixed in place with special dental cement or adhesive. The cement forms a seal to hold the crown in place.

Does it hurt to have a tooth prepared for a crown?

No. You will have a local anaesthetic and the preparation work should feel no different from a filling. If the tooth does not have a nerve, and a post crown is being prepared, then you may not need a local anaesthetic.

Will the crown be noticeable?

The crown will be made to match your other teeth as closely as possible. The shade of the surrounding teeth will be recorded, to make sure that the colour looks natural and matches those teeth

How do I care for my crown?

It is important to keep the crown just as clean as you would your natural teeth. The crown itself cannot decay, but decay can start where the edge of the crown joins the tooth. Brush last thing at night and at least one other time during the day with a fluoride toothpaste, and clean in between your teeth with ‘interdental’ brushes or floss.

Why should I replace missing teeth?

There are many reasons why patients want to replace missing teeth:

  • To Improve their appearance
  • To Improve the way they ‘bite’ as a space between teeth causes the teeth to drift over time into the space and change the way the upper and lower teeth bite together
  • To stop food packing between the space which causes tooth decay and gum disease

What are dental bridges?

A dental bridge is a fixed dental appliance made by putting crowns on the teeth on either side of the gap, then joining these two crowns by placing a false tooth in the space. They care cemented into place with special adhesives.

What are bridges made of?

Bridges are usually made of porcelain bonded to precious metal. Sometimes other non-precious metals are used in the base for strength. There are also new bridges made entirely of a special type of strong porcelain.

Can I always have a bridge to replace missing teeth?

You can have a bridge only if you have enough strong teeth with good bone support. Your dental team will help you decide which the best way of replacing missing teeth is.

Can I have teeth which attach to the jawbone?

Yes, this can be achieved by having dental implants. This technique means that you are able to replace missing teeth without crowning other teeth. For further details see our ‘Dental Implants’ section.

What is root canal treatment?

Root canal treatment is needed when the blood or nerve supply of the tooth (called the ‘pulp’) is infected through decay or injury. You may not feel any pain in the early stages of the infection. In some cases your tooth could darken in colour, which may mean that the nerve of the tooth has died (or is dying). This would need root canal treatment.

Why is root canal treatment needed?

If the pulp becomes infected, the infection may spread through the root canal system of the tooth. This may eventually lead to an abscess. An abscess is an inflamed area in which pus collects and can cause swelling of the tissues around the tooth.

What does it involve?

The aim of the treatment is to remove all the infection from the root canal. Initially the infected pulp is removed and any abscesses can be drained. The root canal is then cleaned, shaped and filled to prevent any further infection.

Will the tooth be safe after treatment?

Yes. However, because a ‘dead’ tooth is more brittle, you may need to have a crown to provide extra support and strength to the tooth.

What does it involve?

We provide professional cleaning of your teeth with the use of specialised equipment and materials to remove plaque, tartar and superficial stains.

During these hygiene appointments we also will discuss with you how to look after your teeth and give you advice on brushing techniques and the use of interdental cleaning aids such as dental floss and interdental brushes. This is very important especially if you have dental bridges, dentures or a dental implant. Also dental hygiene forms part of the treatment of gum disease and bad breath.

Why is this dental treatment important?

Regular professional cleaning to remove plaque and tartar, combined with looking after your teeth and gums properly at home, will help keep your mouth healthy. A clean and healthy mouth will improve your appearance, help you to keep your teeth and give you fresh breath.

Helps to:

  • Treat gum disease
  • Reduce bad breath
  • Remove stains
  • Provide deep cleaning if you have bridges, dentures or dental implants
Why should I replace missing teeth?

There are many reasons why patients want to replace missing teeth:

  • To Improve their appearance
  • To Improve the way they ‘bite’ as a space between teeth causes the teeth to drift over time into the space and change the way the upper and lower teeth bite together
  • To stop food packing between the space which causes tooth decay and gum disease

What are dentures?

Dentures are a removable dental appliance used to replace missing teeth. People wear dentures to replace lost or missing teeth so they can eat and smile with confidence. Dentures are made of either acrylic (plastic) or metal.

  • A ‘Complete denture’ is one which replaces all natural teeth in the upper and lower jaw.
  • A ‘partial denture’ replaces the spaces left or lost by missing teeth. A partial denture may be fastened to your natural teeth with metal clasps.

Why should I wear dentures?

Full dentures – To replace all your own teeth which fit snugly over your gums. They will help you to eat comfortably and speak clearly, and will improve your confidence and self-esteem.

Partial dentures – To replace teeth that are missing, and can sometimes be supported by the teeth you have left. If you have gaps between your teeth, then your other teeth may move to take up some of the space, so you could end up with crooked or tilted teeth. This could affect the way you bite and could damage your other teeth

Are dentures my only option?

No. Bridges and dental implants are other options to consider. Please go to our Bridges and Implants section for more information or speak to a member of our dental team.

What is a mouthguard?

A mouthguard is a specially made, rubber-like cover which fits exactly over your teeth and gums, cushioning them and protecting them from damage.

When would I need a mouthguard?

It is important to wear a professionally made mouthguard whenever you play sport that involves physical contact or moving objects. This includes: cricket, hockey and football – which can cause broken and damaged teeth; and American football, boxing and rugby – which can all cause broken or dislocated jaws. A mouthguard will help protect against these happening.

Where can I get one made?

Our dental team will be happy to make you a custom-made mouthguard, which will fit your mouth exactly and protect your teeth and gums properly. Custom-made mouthguards can prevent damage to the jaw, neck and even the brain – helping to prevent the concussion and damage caused by a heavy blow.

How long do custom-made mouthguards last?

Depending on your age, your mouthguard may need replacing fairly regularly. If you are still growing, new teeth will come through and move into position. So the mouthguard may become too tight or loose, and will need to be remade to fit the new shape of your mouth.

Adults may not need to have their mouthguards replaced quite so often. But they are like any other form of sports equipment and will suffer from wear and tear. It is recommended that you take your mouthguard along to your dental appointments, so it can be checked.