Even teeth offer more than just a nicer looking smile.
Our teeth can become crooked for a number of reasons. Sometimes this may be due to habits as far back as our childhood, such as thumb sucking, but can also be caused by genetics or overcrowding. Unfortunately, when one tooth moves slightly, others may well follow; moving into the new space which is available.
The end result of crooked teeth can be that it spoils what may be an otherwise attractive smile. Equally important though, is that it can make keeping your teeth and gums healthy, that little bit more difficult.
Clean and healthy teeth
An essential part of keeping our teeth in good condition is to brush and floss them on a daily basis. This helps to remove tiny food particles, along with bacteria, which can damage both teeth and gums. In order to keep the teeth really clean, it is essential to be able to clean between the teeth, where food and bacteria become more easily trapped.
Where teeth are straight, this is relatively easy to do. When teeth have become crooked, possibly overlapping, this creates a tight space that even dental floss may struggle to reach into. The eventual result of this is that debris and bacteria can build up in these areas over time, potentially causing tooth decay, and the need for treatment.
Modern ‘invisible’ dental braces
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Giving your new implants the best possible start.
As we have mentioned in previous Mike Allen Blogs, dental implants are an excellent way to replace missing teeth, and can last for twenty years or more providing that you take good care of them. Whilst this is important throughout their life, the first few months especially can be critical.
In today’s blog, your local Burton implant dentist offers some advice on how to get your implants off to the best possible start and ready for a long and useful life.
There is no need to join a gym or exercise class, but keeping your body in good condition will help the area of the implant procedure to heal. Exercise improves blood flow around the body, including the gums. A healthier body means that healing may be faster and infections more easily avoided. Even walking more and taking the stairs instead of elevators can contribute positively towards this.
Avoid alcohol and cigarettes
Both alcohol and cigarette smoking increase the risk of gum infections and this is one of the biggest challenges to a successful dental implant placement. Both periodontitis and peri-implantitis can cause your newly placed dental implant to fail. Please follow our advice and avoid smoking and drinking (other than in small quantities), for a period of time both before and after your procedure at Mike Allen’s Dental Practice in Burton.
Watch what you eat
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A look at causes and possible treatments of tooth sensitivity for our Burton patients.
Whilst most of us probably associate tooth pain with a toothache; for some people, persistent tooth sensitivity is also a debilitating problem. With healthy enamel, our teeth should be resistant to extremes of temperature, but, when the enamel becomes damaged, it exposes the dentin layer of the tooth. As this is porous, the nerves, within the inner tooth are able to detect temperature more easily and this may cause some significant discomfort.
In today’s blog, we take a look at some of the reasons why the dentin can become exposed and how we are able to treat the issue at Mike Allen’s Dental Practice.
A leading cause of tooth sensitivity is when the enamel of our teeth become worn and eroded. There can be a number of reasons for this including
- Failure to keep our teeth clean with regular home care
- Excessive brushing that causes the enamel to wear away
- Exposure to high amounts of sugar. Fizzy sugary drinks are especially bad for this
- Exposure to citric acids such as lemon or orange juice
Preventing this from happening in the first instance is obviously the best way to prevent having sensitive teeth. Once the enamel has worn away though, one option to restore the teeth to a comfortable state is to replace damaged surface enamel with porcelain dental veneers.
Cracks, chips and loose fillings
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Some useful cosmetic dental advice from our Burton dentist.
Discoloured teeth are one of the most common reasons for people to seek cosmetic dental treatment here at Mike Allen Dental in Burton. Whilst both our in house and ‘at home’ teeth whitening treatments are excellent at reversing this problem in most cases, it is still worth considering how we can delay the onset of discoloured teeth for as long as possible.
It should be said that some discolouration is inevitable as we grow older, as the internal parts of our teeth will darken however well we look after them. This occurs naturally, and is unrelated to any external staining that might also otherwise occur.
Good oral care
The most basic, but essential, thing that patients can do to keep their teeth looking bright and healthy is to look after them. Regular brushing and flossing are essential to prevent tartar build up and staining on the teeth. Not only is tartar harmful to your gums, but also provides a rough surface on the enamel that staining food and drinks can easily stick to.
A number of foods that we might regularly consume, such as soy sauce and some dark fruits, are likely to stain our teeth. However, it is drinks that appear to contribute the most towards tooth discolouration. Some drinks, such as tea and red wine, stain the teeth due to the high levels of tannins that they contain and strong coffees too, are very staining. High sugar carbonated drinks may also contribute towards discoloured teeth due to the damage that they can cause to the enamel surface. Sugars and acids in these drinks can erode the surface, creating tiny pits and cracks that tannins and the like can become trapped in.
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Teeth straightening no longer means unsightly metal braces!
Whether you have teeth that overlap or appear crooked and uneven, there is a strong likelihood that you would prefer them not to be this way. Unfortunately, many people believe that this type of problem can only be corrected through the use of traditional metal dental braces.
Whilst metal dental braces do offer a very effective solution to this problem, their high visibility may well deter a number of people from having their teeth straightened, often resulting in them living with crooked teeth throughout their lives.
Advances in modern orthodontic systems means that this older type of dental brace is now not the only option available. At Mike Allen’s Burton dental practice, we offer a selection of modern cosmetic orthodontics that can straighten patient’s teeth without the high visibility of traditional dental braces.
There are different types of modern braces available that serve different purposes. Some are designed to work where many teeth, including side and rear need to be straightened, and these can take fairly lengthy periods of time to work. Others though, are designed to straighten only the ‘social six’ teeth; that is the top and bottom six teeth that show when we smile. These are sometimes described as cosmetic orthodontics as they largely perform an aesthetic function.
Benefits of straighter teeth
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The varied uses of this popular cosmetic dental procedure at our Burton practice.
Whilst some cosmetic dentistry treatments, such as teeth whitening, serve one purpose only, i.e. to provide you with whiter teeth; some other cosmetic procedures offer a wider range of benefits and can be used flexibly to help restore both the structure and appearance of your teeth. One such treatment is the use of dental veneers.
Dental veneers are fine layers of tooth shaped porcelain which are attached to the front of damaged or discoloured teeth once an equivalent thickness has been removed from the front surface enamel. Dental veneers can perform a number of functions.
Perhaps the most common use of porcelain veneers is in the restoration of the appearance of a patient’s teeth. This is a particularly useful procedure for ex smokers who have badly stained teeth from the tar in cigarettes or other tobacco products. Whilst some improvements can be made using a teeth whitening procedure, dental veneers are more likely to be beneficial in situations such as this. At Mike Allen’s Dental Practice, we have restored the colour of a number of heavy smoker’s teeth, greatly improving their smile.
Cracks, chips and enamel wear
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Getting older does not mean having to accept poor quality teeth.
When we are young, most of us probably had strong and healthy teeth, perhaps with a few fillings due to an over enthusiasm for sweets. These teeth tend to serve us well, but, as we approach middle age, dental problems can start to appear. Whilst some of this is due to wear and tear, it can also be down to long term neglect.
In today’s blog, we look at what Mike Allen’s Dental Practice can do for our older Burton patients to help them have healthy and attractive teeth well into old age.
It goes without saying that seeing your local dentist on a regular basis is key to good oral health, along with the regular care that you take of your teeth at home. We will inspect your mouth and treat any problems which may have arisen in their early stages. We will also advise you how to care for problematic teeth and also check for other problems such as potential oral cancers.
Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss, and regular visits to the hygienist will help you to improve how you look after your teeth and gums to prevent problems arising. Our hygienists will also thoroughly clean your teeth, removing hardened bacteria from the teeth and gum line.
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Avoiding and treating gum disease problems at our Burton dental practice.
Gingival bacteria are ‘ever present’ in our mouths, along with approximately seventy other types of bacteria. Kept under control with good oral care including brushing, flossing and regular, professional dental care, these bacteria present few problems. Where oral care is neglected though, and the number of bacteria increases, the likelihood is that gingivitis, and possibly periodontitis, may follow.
At Mike Allen’s Dental Practice, we not only inspect our patient’s teeth, but also their gums. We check for possible symptoms of gum disease, including redness and any recession that may be taking place. Some symptoms, such as spitting blood after cleaning your teeth, are more easily noticed by you, the patient, and we ask you to report anything unexpected like this.
We currently have two dental hygienists working at our Burton dental practice and if you are not already seeing them regularly, we strongly recommend to do so. This should not be seen as an ‘add on’ in dental care, but an essential part of it. Appointments with the hygienist give you the opportunity to discuss all aspects of your oral health care; they will examine your gum health and may make recommendations as to how you can improve your own regimen. Demonstrating how to use dental floss correctly, for example, can make a big difference to the health of your mouth. Lifestyle choices and diet may also be discussed as part of our holistic approach.
Scale and polish
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Burton dental implants – quality, stability and longevity.
On first hearing about dental implants, there are generally two reactions. The first is a worried look when people hear about certain aspects of the procedure, and the second is the cost of the dental implant treatment. As we have noted previously, the implant procedure, despite how it might sound to some, is actually no more uncomfortable than most other invasive dental procedures and should not be feared.
The cost implications do, of course, impact on people’s budgets and, in today’s Mike Allen blog, we take a look, at whether dental implants really do represent good value for money.
Why do they appear expensive?
Dental implants are a very precisely engineered object made from an expensive metal – titanium. Whilst it may be tempting to use cheaper metals to produce them, the fact is that titanium bonds best with the jawbone; a critical part of the process. In addition to this our Burton implant dentists undergo additional years of training in order to place implants as the procedure requires a high level of skill and precision for a successful outcome.
Although the implant procedure does take a few months to fully complete, once fully integrated with the jaw bone, dental implants can be expected to last for twenty years or more, providing that they are looked after correctly. Thankfully, this takes no real extra effort than you should already make with your natural teeth. Quality brushing, flossing and regular visits to the dentists and hygienist at Mike Allen’s Dental Practice in Burton should be all that is necessary to have strong and long lasting dental implants.
So, providing that sufficient care is taken of your new implants, they should provide you with many trouble free years of use.
Value for money
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A Burton patient asks about the safety aspect of this popular cosmetic dentistry procedure.
From time to time, we receive general queries from patients about an aspect of dental care that we feel is worth sharing with others. This is an enquiry that we recently received at Mike Allen’s Dental Practice.
Hi … I’m thinking of having my teeth whitened as they are looking a bit dull these days. A friend of mine had this done a few years ago though and said her teeth felt extremely sensitive for some time afterwards, and, as it’s not an essential dental treatment that I urgently need, I’m now undecided. Are there are any risks to this treatment?
Thanks for the question. We obviously can’t comment on individual cases such as that of your friend but we can offer some general information though which will probably help you to decide whether to have the whitening procedure or not.
Government legislation relatively recently banned anyone but registered dental clinicians from performing this procedure. Prior to this, it was often available in beauty salons and high street boutiques. Whilst most of these erred on the side of caution when performing this treatment, unfortunately too many did not. To achieve the best (i.e. whitest) results, some used very high concentrations of the bleaching agent. This may have resulted in white teeth but extreme sensitivity often followed. It maybe possible that this is what happened to your friend.
However, some patients do find that their teeth are a little more sensitive after this procedure, even when performed by a local registered dentist. This should be temporary though and usually goes away within a few days. But it is worthwhile understanding the small risk before proceeding.
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