How does tooth loss occur and how is it treated?

What causes tooth loss?

Tooth loss can be an extremely frustrating, stressful, worrying and disappointing condition. Tooth loss as an adult can have a severe negative impact on your chewing, biting and speaking capabilities. Besides the functional issues, tooth loss is also capable of interfering with your mental health and wellbeing, and it can cause serious issues such as depression, anxiety and rumination over the condition. Moreover, a study also linked tooth loss to an increased risk of cerebrovascular events e.g. stroke. However it is likely that it is not directly a result of tooth loss, but a risk associated with lifestyle factors that can cause tooth loss as well, e.g. smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, high dietary sugar intake and poor oral hygiene. Tooth loss is often caused by tooth decay, which is a result of oral microbial overgrowth. Some of these microbes secrete organic acids, which can aid the degradation of our teeth. Microbial overgrowth can be caused by excessive sugar intake and poor oral hygiene. If the tooth decay reaches the pulp tissue and infects it, the tooth will most likely be lost. Tooth loss can also be induced by dental injuries or untreated periodontal disease. If you would like to get dental implants St Albans, booking an appointment with a reputable dentist could pave the way for greatly improved tooth functionality.

How can you prevent tooth loss?

To help prevent tooth loss it is important to understand its causes. As it is often caused by microbial overgrowth, it is best to focus on this issue. Microbial overgrowth can occur due to two main reasons: one of them is high dietary sugar intake, and the other one is poor oral hygiene. Lower your dietary sugar intake to help prevent oral microbial overgrowth leading to tooth decay and gum disease. It is also very important to maintain good oral hygiene. You can do this by regularly brushing and flossing your teeth and also by occasionally using an antibacterial mouthwash. These measures can help you keep your oral microbiome under control. Another important cause of tooth loss is dental injury. This occurs often as a result of sports, transport or workplace accidents. To prevent dental injuries, always wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth when engaging with high-risk activities.

How is tooth loss treated?

Tooth loss can be treated by dental implants. Dental implants are small appliances which appear to be similar to a regular screw. They are made out of titanium, which has the special ability of integrating into our own tissues, as if it was part of our body, without causing an immune response or rejection. The dental implants are surgically inserted into the jaw, where, through the process of osseointegration, they get integrated into the bone. This makes them very durable, strong and long-lasting. Another benefit is that it prevents the disintegration of the jawbone which occurs slowly after tooth loss. Dental implants serve as an artificial root, upon which the new teeth are attached. If the process is successful, dental implants often last for almost a lifetime.

Discover what a quality dentist in Stevenage could be doing for your smile

Smile, no matter what life throws at you

With seemingly never ending twists and turns, restrictions, and social-distancing measures, it has been a turbulent year that has radically changed the face of the world we all live in. Whilst at times it may seem too much to take on, it is important that we all attempt to smile in the face of it, no matter what the world throws at us.

By choosing to put on a brave face throughout these trying times, we are all actively doing the best we can to make the world a bit brighter and happier. This being said, there continues to be a portion of the country who are unable to do this because they are embarrassed about the condition of their teeth or gums. Those who suffer from cosmetic problems often hide away their smiles – at a time when they are arguably most needed. This is why anyone who feels that the physical appearance or condition of their teeth is preventing them from smiling freely ought to contact a local, quality dentist Stevenage to get the best care they can and help restore their smile, inner confidence, and outward appearance.

What can a dentist do for me?

Many adults, when they consider dentistry, tend to consider it only within the parameters of responsive treatments – such as fillings or root-canal treatments – however, this is only scraping the surface of what a dentist can offer.

Cosmetic dentistry treatments have become some of the most popular treatment options for those who are looking to solve a problem that they have with the appearance of their teeth, such as the shade of their enamel, small gaps within teeth, chips, breaks, or empty spaces. One of the most popular of these treatments is cosmetic dental whitening. This is a procedure that can either be carried out within the dentist’s chair, at home or a combination of both. Cosmetic whitening is designed to brighten and whiten a patient’s teeth and remove any marks or stains, through the application of a specialised peroxide-based bleaching gel.

During in-practice whitening, through a system such as the Enlighten Whitening process, a custom made retainer is crafted of each patient’s unique dental shape. Into this retainer, a peroxide-based gel is placed, before being worn on top of the patient’s teeth. This gel begins to work almost immediately and clears away any discolouration, marks, stains, or yellowing which can be caused by several factors such as age, smoking, or dietary habits. The results of cosmetic whitening can often leave patients with a massively improved sense of self-confidence, as their teeth are visibly whiter and more impactful.

White fillings

Another popular form of cosmetic dentistry that can have an overall positive impact on self-esteem is to have white fillings. Dental fillings are a common, routine procedure that most adults will have to go through at least once. Traditional metal amalgam fillings, which are covered by the NHS, are made from a combination of metals such as zinc, tin and aluminium. Whilst these types of fillings are effective in their duties, they are often clearly visible within the patient’s mouth – particularly if they are on the lower set of teeth. White fillings are a cosmetic alternative constructed using a white composite filling material and as such blend in perfectly with the surrounding teeth, to the point that the filling becomes invisible. Anyone looking to get a filling which will not impede on the appearance of their smile ought to speak to a professional about cosmetic alternatives such as white fillings.

Dental implants: the next best thing to real teeth

Most of us take the role of our sets of pearly whites for granted, that’s until accidents occur or the toll of wear and tear leaves us with fewer teeth.

Having gaps between our teeth or a gummy mouth can have far-reaching effects, affecting our quality of life immensely. Having one or several absent pearly whites changes how we speak, our biting force, our facial definition and our self-esteem.

Fortunately, dental implants in Maidstone combat most of these issues, leaving you with one or multiple teeth that look and function like real ones.

Are you interested in learning more? Call to make a consultation or read on for more information about these transformative devices.

What are dental implants?

Tooth implants consist of three constituents, a titanium screw, an abutment and a crown.

The screw, small enough to fit inside your jaw bone, is secured into place using a handheld drill. The role of the screw is to act as the artificial root to which your new crown is attached. Over time, the mouth-friendly metal fuses with the surrounding bone tissue.

An abutment connects the screw to your new crown, which is custom-fabricated in a laboratory for a perfect fit, matching your neighbouring teeth in shape, colour, and size.

Together, these three pieces restore your quality of life.

What benefits can I look forward to with teeth implants?

Unlike traditional restorative methods, implants don’t just have a cosmetic purpose, but also improve the quality of your oral health and day-to-day living. How does that work?

Because you’re restoring your tooth from the root, that’s why. By doing so, you’re rejuvenating lost or brittle jaw bone resulting from absent teeth or using dentures for years.

Additionally, with a pearly white drilled into position, your new tooth won’t slip out of place, an inconvenience sometimes experienced by denture wearers.

Enjoy major lifestyle improvements in next to no time!

Are implants more expensive?

At first glance, implants might seem to outweigh the cost of dentures or bridges. However, considering the additional benefits and the longer lifespan of implants, it’s a worthwhile investment that you won’t regret.

The implant can last you forever if you take care of it, while a crown can last up to twenty years!

For those with failing teeth, All-On-4 is a popular, cost-efficient and non-invasive option that can replace an entire arch using four implants.

Am I a candidate?

Unfortunately, implants aren’t for everybody, particularly those with insufficient jawbone or suffering from periodontal disease and uncontrolled Diabetes.

Fortunately, it will still be possible to get implants but will have to undergo bone graft surgery or treatment to eradicate your periodontitis.

However, if you’re reasonably healthy, you’re on your way to a full set of teeth! Implants are tolerated by most individuals and have a low failure rate. If your implant fails, it is possible to try again in a few months once the site has fully healed!

How long do implants take?

If you’re looking for a quick fix, implants aren’t it. The process takes place over three stages spanning five to eight months.

The aligner and ClinCheck; the tool behind the tool

When a patient comes across clear aligners like Invisalign in Wimbledon they go through the normal road map; a consultation followed by the patient deciding if they wish to proceed. Then, they book their assessment, have their teeth scanned and start receiving the aligners in the post.

The core of Invisalign services is that they are completely hidden and in a true computing style, you could say it’s in the back end- if there was a back end! ClinCheck software which is written and maintained by Invisalign has moved to the cloud increasing access with less hardware and via mobile devices.

Why is ClicCheck important?

If you were to take a dental mould and cast an aligner from it, you would not have an aligner- you’d have a very thin, well-fitting gum shield.

The method by which aligners alter tooth position is by almost but not quite fitting over the teeth. Applying pressure to a different part of each tooth surface to coax them into a new position. Over time, the teeth compromise and move, that’s when the patient moves on to the next aligner. But the necessary forces and how they ought to be applied are not intuitive. ClinCheck builds a digital replica of the patient’s mouth from their oral scan and, assuming healthy gums and normal bone density can predict how the teeth will move over time.

It is then up to the dentist to move the digital teeth to their optimum position. From this ideal endpoint and the scanned starting point, ClinCheack calculates the minimum necessary movement and the minimum forces to achieve this movement. These calculations are not trivial; to ensure the model had high fidelity a great deal of anatomical detail is required. In ClinCheck Pro 6.0, moving all this heavy lifting to the cloud is a big step in protecting this work from being lost to a hardware failure, and giving orthodontists who use ClinCheck the freedom to work anywhere that has an internet connection.

On top of this, the new “In-Face” rendering feature is an attempt to mix the ideal tooth arrangement model with 3D digitalised photos of the patents face, allowing them to see a representation of how the treatment should look upon completion.

There has also been a rehaul of the interface based on user feedback. Increasing the intuitive aspects of the user experience, and streamlining the workflow for greater productivity.

The cloud service provided runs the software via a web portal which clinicians log into. There is no need to install clients or executables to the device interacting with the CliCheck servers, and patients data is securely stored. This has given the dentists using CliCheck much more flexibility and options to work from home.

Back to the aligner

Not that the patient will ever know the number crunching and hard work of dentists and programmers let alone the computer-aided design and manufacturing that went into their aligners, as they go about their day forgetting that they are even wearing one.

How the dental industry came to be!

The local dental clinic did not just pop out of the ground fully formed. From the start of the dentist in Brentwood it was a long journey with many up and down’s. Pre-19th dentistry was more established than you might think. There has always been a pressing need as anyone with dental distress will tell you. A healthy set of teeth has always been prized; there was a compensation rate set across the Roman empire for those who knocked out the tooth of a free man.

The important changes of the 19 century were the increase in income of the general population, giving them access to high-sugar food and the disposable income to pay for dental treatment.

The work of ‘operators for the teeth’ as they were referred to, was a trade learned from a long apprenticeship, with no official license to practice. The result was a highly variable quality of care and competence. There was little recourse in the event of malpractice and even the length of the apprenticeship was totally up to the masters of the practices.

The first respectable institution to take dental education seriously was Guy’s hospital, starting intermittent lectures in the last few years of the 18th century. With the dental hospital of London and the National Dental Hospital founded in the 1850s, both provided private care for the wealthy but had integrated surgeries who would carry out free treatment for those in need.

In 1860 the Royal College of surgeons wrote the first Licentiatiates in Dental Surgery (LDS). This had no legal power but complying with the licentiates was a source of prestige when competing for wealthy patrons. LDS diplomas could be obtained by surgical colleges across Great Britain by the 1870s, showing that graduates had a grounding in all the basic techniques to practice.

The start of law and regulations in dentistry

None of the qualifications associated with the fledgeling industry was mandated, and qualified practitioners were a rare sight outside of Harley Street. The majority of people would see an apprentice but these days were numbered with the calling of the dental reform committee of 1870. The committee was charged by Parliament to write legislation on the practice of dentistry.

This formed The Dentists Act of 1878 which forced the adherence to the LDS and registration for practitioners to refer to themselves as dentists.

This did not have the desired effect. Rather than raising the quality of care, it divided it into two camps. The Dentist, fully qualified with an LDS surgery, who would provide a high-quality service for the rich and powerful minority, versus the ‘not-dentists’ who had gained their experience from apprenticeships, but were affordable and served the vast majority of the population. Generally, it was seen as a triumph and parliament saw no need for further legalisation.

March of progress

Only after the first world war did the era of the un-qualified practise come to an end with The Dentists Act of 1921. Today, you can look up the license of any dental practitioner if you wish on the General Dental Council’s website.

Invisible braces in 2020

2020 was the year dentistry went back to basics; the red tape around aerosol-forming activity has been intense, the tiny droplets generated from dental drilling could have a significant range, posing an infection risk to dental staff and other patients. With orthodontics considered a non-emergency procedure, many people are pursuing at home (via the post) solutions to orthodontic treatment; mostly being clear aligners.

How does at-home orthodontics work?

Well, it starts with a dental mould; you may have had one in your local clinic, if not it’s a bit like having a gum shield fitted. You’ll be sent a kit with detailed instructions on taking a mould of your own teeth with a return address. The service provider will make a plaster cast from that mould and scan it.

The scan will be digitally re-aligned by a medical professional and a set of models with gradual progression will be made from your current tooth position to the re-aligned position, like a flip-book of your orthodontic journey. From these, a set of clear aligners can be digitally formed and 3D printed. They are sent right to your front door in the post, with no breaching of social distancing even if you’re self-isolating.

The methods used at Clear Braces Direct in London involve attending an appointment for a mould to be taken or having an inter-oral scan. This eliminates the need for mould taking or any aerosol-forming work to be done.

How effective are aligners

The British Orthodontic Society BOS considers them to be effective for mild to moderate dental issues, including crowding and mild spacing. Where the dental arch requires expansion or tooth slenderising is required, this is best assessed by your dentist, who will happily inform you if clear aligners are suitable for you.

How long might treatment take?

The length of the course varies significantly between patients and would have to be assessed before a reasonable prediction could be made. You could complete treatment in 6 months but it may be longer. However, the initial results will be apparent after two weeks of continually wearing an aligner.

Aligners need to be worn as often as possible to be effective, throughout both the day and night. They’re very thin and close to the teeth therefore rarely obstruct normal talking. Although it is possible to eat and drink in aligners, with very hard foods you would risk damaging them and getting food caught under them, so removing your aligners to eat is highly recommended.

I already have braces or have had braces – could I switch to aligners?

Quite possibly, if your teeth have started to revert to there original positions after a brace has been removed, an aligner could help to correct that. If you’re still in braces, the options are either to use both to reduce your treatment time or switch entirely to an aligner. The option to switch would depend on the severity of your condition and how close you are to completing the brace part of treatment and moving on to a retainer.

What are ossified dental prosthetics?

A dental prosthetic is a false or artificial tooth or teeth. For it to be ossified, it must be fused to the jaw bone, anchoring it in place.

Today dental implants in Bromley and elsewhere are common. But the origin of dental prosthetics is very old, with ancient graves found with wooden or ivory false teeth, some of which have been very expertly carved. What is less well known is that attempts to ossify them into the jaw are almost as old. Findings like a skull of a Peloponnesian woman in her late thirties which had the front four lower incisors replaced with pieces of shell, which appeared to have been hammered into the jaw and then sculpted to shape!

Modern implants

The first of the modern implants are over a hundred years old; it was an iridium alloy peg which acted as an artificial root for the placement of a crown.

The big breakthrough was in the 1950s, with research being done in the USA on which metals were most appropriate for surgery. One of the metal rods being tested had a strange effect when placed in or next to living bone.

Osseointegration

Titanium had the strange effect of integrating itself into bone over time, with new bone-forming such a close association with the metal, it was described as integrated. From that point on, titanium would become the default surgical metal.

The anatomy of the implant

An implant consists of three components; the section below the gum line which is osseointegrated with the jaw bone called the implant. Above this is a connector, which sits at gum line level. To this is attached a dental prosthetic which could be an individual tooth, much like the first iridium based crowns. In fact, as many as four or five implants can be used to anchor and immobilize a set of dentures fixing them permanently into the mouth.

The connector was not used in earlier implants, forcing a dentist to extract the implant if the prosthetic became damaged or required replacing. But with connectors, it is relatively trivial to remove the prosthetic and replace it, leaving the titanium component undisturbed.

Popularity

Dental implants have been growing in popularity over the last decade or so due to the convenience and affluence of older populations. The relative obscurity of implants compared to dentures is due to the subtlety of the finished product. With implants often going unnoticed, the patients who receive them often prefer a natural appearance over a veneered Hollywood smile.

With this more dental clinics are investing in staff training and equipment to meet demand.

Maintenance of implants

After an integration process, up to six months dependent on the health and lifestyle of the patient, the maintenance of an implant is very similar to natural teeth; with regular brushing and standard checkups. Often, this is a big motivation in patients to pursue implants, as it is the closest option to their natural teeth and is therefore often considered restorative as opposed to cosmetic dentistry.

Could a dentist in Richmond be helping your smile?

Find your smile

During these testing and difficult times, it can be challenging to remember to smile. By approaching life with a smile – albeit mostly hidden under a facemask – your brain releases chemicals called serotonin, dopamine and endorphins. These combine, and can give you a feeling of elation and happiness.

That being said, there are a number of people up and down the country who struggle to smile in the face of life, because of one or more cosmetic dental problems standing in their way. Those who suffer from cosmetic dentistry concerns, such as stained or poorly coloured teeth, chips and breaks or large spaces, can often find themselves refraining from smiling out of embarrassment or fear of exposing their oral problems to the world.

Anyone who feels this way is fundamentally impeding on their own potential wellbeing and happiness – at a time when it is more crucial than ever. As such, those who feel that one or several cosmetic dental problems are impacting their daily lives should speak to their dentist Richmond about the cosmetic treatments which are available to them to get their smiles back.

Common cosmetic concerns

One of the most common cosmetic dental concerns which patients regularly voice to their local,  dentist, is having stained or discoloured teeth. There are numerous ways in which the enamel of your teeth can become less white or vibrant in colour, such as natural ageing, as well as lifestyle choices like smoking tobacco or drinking red wine. Having teeth which are stained or discoloured can have a negative impact on the self-confidence of a number of patients, but it is thankfully something which is easily treated through cosmetic whitening treatments.

Typically there are two forms of cosmetic whitening which are available to patients in Richmond. The first of which is called ‘in-practice whitening’ and achieves almost instantaneous results through the application of a peroxide-based bleaching gel to the patient’s enamel in the dental practice. The second option is ‘at-home whitening’ which initially involves the creation of a unique mould in the dentist chair, before patients are given the tools (including a bleaching-gel) they need to carry out their treatment at home over the course of two or more weeks.

Dental implant treatment

Another common concern which patients regularly have about the aesthetics of their smile emanates from having untreated spaces or gaps within their mouths where one or more teeth are missing. Whilst treatments such as dentures and bridges are most regularly sought out in such instances, these treatments are not without their shortcomings as they are not permanent and often cause discomfort over time as the patient’s natural existing teeth gradually shift out of place.

Dental implant treatment is one of the most effective cosmetic dentistry solutions for those who suffer from missing teeth or gaps within their mouths, as they offer a permanent solution which not only solves the problem on a cosmetic basis, but also on a structural one. This is done by surgically embedding a false-tooth root made from a titanium-alloy metal. In doing this, the implant will become fused permanently within the patient’s jaw and bone tissue, and therefore can be used as an anchor-point onto which a denture can be sturdily fixed. Anybody who is looking to replace or fill in a gap within their teeth ought to speak to their dentist about dental implants and arrange a consultation to determine whether or not they could help.

Some types of dental treatments we offer

A new smile can be so important for our patient’s self-confidence, and we deliver an array of different treatments to try and help them achieve this. We will do the best we can to give you the most comfortable and happy experience possible.

 

Teeth whitening

Our dentists at St John’s Wood offer one of the most effective forms of teeth whitening, Enlighten. This involves you having an impression of your teeth taken in order to create a mould for your teeth. This takes a couple of weeks, and during this time, you will brush your teeth with the Enlighten toothpaste, which is made out of the same thing your enamel is, which will help improve the whitening of your teeth.

Once the two weeks are over, you will receive your custom bleaching trays and the home teeth whitening kit, this will include the gels needed to put into the tray. As well as still brushing your teeth twice a day with the specific toothpaste, you will whiten your teeth using the kit every night for two weeks. You will see that your teeth are a few shades brighter after this period is over.

Finally, you will have a 40-minute treatment with us to lighten the colour a bit more, as well as making sure the colour is even and looks natural.

Emergency Dentistry

When your teeth or gums are in a lot of pain, it is good to know that we have emergency dentists here in St John’s Wood to help as much as possible. The most common reasons for emergency dental appointments are:

 

Loose teeth

Unstable teeth can mean that there is a more serious dental issue at play, such as certain diseases and tooth decay. But you might have also knocked your tooth somehow if either of these is the case, it could be a good idea to have an emergency appointment to prevent further damage.

 

Toothache

If you are experiencing chronic tooth pain, it can be very debilitating, and can sometimes cause you to not be able to work or live your day to day life. Like the loose tooth, this could also mean that you have a more serious underlying dental problem.

 

Broken tooth

If you have chipped or broken your tooth, this can be painful when you chew on things or put pressure on the teeth. This can make it difficult to eat food and can lead to further oral diseases, so it would be recommended to get it seen as soon as possible.

 

Invisalign

Another popular dental treatment we offer is Invisalign, which straightens teeth and usually takes 6-12 months to complete depending on your oral health.

When you get Invisalign, you will be given a set of customised aligners which you will need to wear for at least 22 hours a day, it is made out of a soft, clear plastic material which looks very similar to your natural teeth. You will only need to visit our dentist every 6 weeks to ensure everything is going smoothly, so it will not impede on your schedule.

Looking for a dentist for your children? 5 things to enquire about during the search

When you have children, your world utterly changes.

Whether you have just added you first or your fifth child to your family unit, you will undoubtedly want to ensure that all of their needs are met. And, as many parents are aware, very few children are overly eager to attend a dental check-up, so it is important to choose this aspect of their healthcare wisely.

It is easy to assume that child based dental care and adult based dental care are the same, but they aren’t; children’s teeth generally have thinner enamel and are more prone to issues such as tooth decay. Of course, as ‘baby teeth’ are not permanent, they require a different level of care to ensure that when the adult teeth emerge, they are healthy.

But if you are new to looking for a Coorparoo family dental practice, what should you look for in a dentist? And, more importantly, what services should they be able to provide for your child? Read on to find out!

 

Fluoride

As mentioned before, children’s teeth have a thinner layer of enamel, which can lead to a higher incidence of tooth decay.

When searching for a family dental practice, ensure that the dentist is able to offer fluoride sealants. In layman’s terms, if your child’s dentist spots an early indication of decay, they should be able to offer the application of a fluoride sealant, which creates an invisible barrier between the tooth and any decay-causing bacteria. This will protect your child’s tooth against decay, without the need for fillings.

 

Brushing tips

While brushing your teeth comes naturally to adults, it can be tough for younger children to get the technique right.

When you and your partner choose a family dental practice, ask the child dentist if they are able to provide your child with brushing tips. This may involve the use of an oversized, resin tooth and a large toothbrush, but it should be a fun experience which is also educational.

 

Advice on diet

Every parent knows that children like sweets.

While all parents want to provide their children with a balanced, varied diet, visits from grandparents and other relatives can get your children chomping on chocolate more than you would like!

One way to choose a suitable dentist for your child is to enquire about how they offer dietary advice to your child and if, like the brushing technique, they make it fun!

 

Knowledge

While it may seem that all dental professionals are the same, it is important to choose one who has expertise in child based dentistry.

This will ensure that your child undergoes all of the required assessments (such as orthodontic) and has access to the most suited treatments, in a compassionate, fun setting.

 

Friendly!

Aim to make sure that the dentist you choose for your child is friendly!

Early childhood experiences of dentists with a poor chairside manner can have a lasting impact on your child’s perception of this health professional later in life, so choose them carefully!

 

DISCLAIMER

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.