Seven Commonly Asked Questions About Tooth Crowns

Tooth crown

Bedford dentist, Dr David Nolte, answers your queries.

After fillings, dental crowns are perhaps the most commonly used treatment for a broken or badly damaged tooth.

They are an excellent way to provide a sufficiently strong repair in this type of situation. They are also commonly used as part of both a dental implant procedure and a root canal treatment.

Although generally fairly well understood, there are a number of questions that we hear from time to time at The Dental Centre Bedford, and we address these questions below.

Why do I need a crown?

To some patients, it might seem as though a crown is used to restore the appearance of a tooth, rather than for any practical purposes. This is generally more widely asked where a tooth has broken but is causing no pain and has no uncomfortable sharp edges. It is true that a crown will improve the appearance of a tooth, but this is rarely the sole reason why it is needed.

Any tooth that has broken to the extent where a crown is required, will almost certainly have exposed the less well protected areas of the tooth, such as the dentin layer. This needs to be protected to prevent inevitable tooth decay. Where a filling would not work or be insufficient, a crown will be needed. If this was not applied, you would almost certainly suffer from toothache in the not so distant future and it may eventually result in the need for an extraction.

Will it look natural?

This applies particularly to the front teeth where any difference in the colour could appear obvious. You can be assured that any crown that is produced for you will be made in a shade to match the colour of your natural teeth. If you are planning to have your teeth whitened at any stage though, please discuss this with us, as this procedure will whiten your natural teeth but will not affect the crown.

How many appointments will it take?

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Children And Dental Emergencies

Family dentist Bedford

Dentist, Dr Sarah Nackasha, offers parents guidance when a young child is in need of urgent dental care.

Anyone with children will be all too aware of the ongoing likelihood of accidents at any time and falls, scrapes, collision etc are all part of one of the more worrying aspects of parenthood.

Most of us will probably already have marvelled at how resistant children can be when they fall or collide with an obstacle. Unfortunately, this won’t always be the case and there may be occasions when injuries are a little more serious than a grazed knee.

As children often fall, or bang their mouths against tables or floors etc, there is an ever present risk of damage to their young teeth. In today’s blog, we will take a look at what to do when a dental emergency strikes for a young child.

Be supportive

The first thing to do if a child comes to you, probably crying, with an obvious dental injury is to try to stay calm. This will not only help to reassure the child but will enable you to make a quick decision as to the next step to take. One serious issue that must be decided is whether the collision may have also caused a head injury. If you didn’t see the accident and are unable to get sufficient information from them, you may wish to pay a visit to the local A&E just to be on the safe side.

Once you have been there, or if you were able to clarify that there wasn’t the need, the next step is to call The Dental Centre Bedford for an emergency appointment. Do make sure to explain the nature of the situation to the receptionist. They will do everything that they can to make sure that your child is seen at the first opportunity available.

First teeth

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Dermal Filler Facial Restorations Now Available At The Dental Centre Bedford

Dr Nackasha

Smoother and younger looking skin is now achievable with our experienced and fully qualified team.

Our facial aesthetic team at The Dental Centre Bedford are pleased to announce that Dermal filler facial restorations are now available from our practice.

As we age, lines and wrinkles gradually appear on the face and neck, and the signs of ageing are usually accompanied by other symptoms such as thinning of the lips, as well as sagging cheeks and jowls.

Whilst some lifestyle elements such as a healthy diet, regular exercise and not smoking can help in reducing the effects of ageing on the face, as well as using moisturiser daily, facial ageing is still inevitable. But we can help you!

We offer our patients a range of safe and effective facial filler restoration treatments using approved dermal fillers applied by our fully-qualified team.

What are dermal filler facial restorations?

Essentially, these facial aesthetic treatments at our Bedford dental centre involve the injection of medically-approved fillers to reduce signs of ageing effects. Quick, easy and relatively painless to administer, dermal filler facial restorations are typically delivered within 15-60 minutes and have long-lasting benefits and effects. Our patients are delighted to see younger looking skin as a result.

What problems can dermal facial filler restorations treat?

It’s important to point out that dermal facial filler restorations are used to treat the natural signs of ageing, mainly around the face. These facial aesthetic treatments are not permanent, although they can offer long-lasting results.

Many of our patients are unhappy with crow’s feet around the eyes, sagging cheeks and jowls, wrinkles around the general face area, as well as looking tired or older. Our team of facial aesthetic experts can guide and advise you.

What are the risks of using dermal fillers?

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Periodontal Disease, Prevention And Treatment, And Why It Matters

Dentist at work in Bedford

Keeping your gums healthy is as important as your teeth say our Bedford dental team.

From a very young age we are taught to take good care of our teeth, making sure to brush them twice a day and as far as possible, trying not to overindulge in sugary food products. This is good general advice and it is also very helpful when parents encourage their children to look after their gums better too.

Of course, there is every likelihood that some parents do not fully understand the importance of looking after their gums. If this is the case, they are unlikely to pass this important information on to their own children.

The dangers of periodontal disease

The two main stages of gum disease are gingivitis and periodontitis. The first of these is relatively common, and it is likely that we will all have it at some point in our lives, at least to some degree. When we are ill, for example, we may not clean our teeth as well as we usually do, and bacteria may increase during this time. In many cases though, things will return to normal once we resume brushing correctly.

Gum disease can present a number of different symptoms, although these do not have to be present and you could have symptom free problems. Some of the most common though, are sore gums, or gums that bleed when you brush your teeth. Bad breath is also commonly associated with both gingivitis and especially, periodontitis.

Avoiding gum disease

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Charcoal Toothpaste – What Is It Good For?

Dentist in a surgery

Amongst the trends for ‘alternative’ toothpastes, charcoal seems to be a top choice, but why?

Back in the day, as some like to describe the past, if you went to the shop to buy a toothpaste, you were usually faced with a choice of just a handful of different brands. These were all pretty similar in quality and preference largely depended on whether or not you liked the taste of a particular toothpaste.

Anyone who walks down the dental care isle of a supermarket now though, will know that this limited choice is very definitely a thing of the past.

There are now toothpastes for almost every occasion. Some of these offer very positive benefits, whereas others, such as teeth whitening toothpastes, are often quite restrictive in the benefits that they offer (hint: check the small print). One of the more unusual ones that seems to be fairly popular though, is charcoal toothpaste.

Why charcoal?

It should be noted that the charcoal used in these toothpastes is ‘activated’ charcoal and not just any old charcoal that you might find on a barbeque, for example. This means that it has been heated to a very high temperature. This changes its structure and produces a very fine powder which is non toxic, and is both tasteless and doesn’t give off any odours. Strangely enough, charcoal has been used for cleaning the teeth for a long time. The Romans used to use the bark of a tree, combined with charcoal to clean their teeth. We are, however, pretty sure that they wouldn’t have done so if minty toothpastes had been around at the time!

What is it used for?

Those that claim charcoal toothpaste to be beneficial argue that it is an excellent and natural way to whiten the teeth and also freshens the breath. The latter argument is based on the evidence that charcoal can absorb toxins and other substances. In fact, it is widely used for treating some stomach complaints and can be used to treat certain types of drug overdoses. The logic therefore, is that it will also cleanse any toxins etc from the patient’s gums. To date though, there has been little research into whether this is actually true for problems such as gum disease, so the jury is currently out.

The problem with charcoal

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Practical Oral Health Tips For Parents With Toddlers

Family dentist Bedford

Helping to keep your children’s teeth strong, healthy and pain free.

Some of us may have suffered from dental problems when we were children. This may well have entailed a number of visits to our local dental practice and some, perhaps, unpleasant memories.

Whilst this may not have been a very nice experience for us, it does mean that, as parents, we are probably extra determined to ensure that our own children don’t have to go through the same thing.

Although young children can be quite wilful, parents are, by and large, in control of what they can and can’t do. This puts us in an excellent position to help them keep their teeth nice and healthy.  With this in mind, the team at The Dental Centre Bedford offer some useful tips for parents with young children.

Baby teeth care

There may be some parents who consider baby teeth to be relatively unimportant as they will eventually be replaced by adult teeth. This is a mistake though, and, in addition to not wishing your child to have toothache and be in pain, keeping their baby teeth is important too. These first teeth act as ‘placeholders’ for the adult teeth, and their premature loss can affect how the adult teeth come through and may well lead to bite problems in later life. Make sure that you help them to look after their first teeth, as well as when the adult teeth finally erupt.

Use fluoride toothpaste

It is important to use a fluoride toothpaste both for our own and our children’s teeth. Fluoride helps to strengthen the enamel of our teeth and consequently helps to protect them from issues such as tooth decay. You should use a pea-sized quantity of toothpaste on the brush and make sure to keep the tube out of reach of inquisitive little hands. Some children will quite happily eat toothpaste from the tube if allowed. This could be potentially harmful and should be avoided at all costs.

Depending on the age of the child, you should either brush their teeth for them, or, if they are old enough to be encouraged to do this themselves, you should make sure that you supervise them whilst they do it. This will ensure that they do brush their teeth well and not simply suck on the brush as some young children are inclined to do.

Avoid sugary drinks, especially at bedtime

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Do You Have ‘Runners Teeth’?

Dental surgery in action

Bedford dentist, Dr David Nolte looks at why some people who run, complain of less than comfortable teeth.

Running is probably the UK’s number one exercise when it comes to keeping fit. It requires little more than a decent pair of trainers and somewhere to run.

Even in large cities, it isn’t unusual to see someone, water bottle in hand, pounding their way down the streets, almost oblivious to the busy shoppers around them.

Whilst sore and stiff muscles, and perhaps the odd sprained ankle, are some of the most common complaints from regular runners, one of the more unusual ones is that some complain of their teeth hurting when they run. This can make this type of physical activity a less than pleasant experience, and can be caused by a number of different factors that we will take a look at now.

Bruxism/teeth grinding

When we grind our teeth together, it is almost inevitable that they will become damaged if this is something that we do on a regular basis. It is widely thought that stress is a major cause of this, with many people grinding their teeth in their sleep, perhaps working off the stress of a busy and difficult day.

Although teeth grinding is less common when we are awake, it is not entirely uncommon in runners, or anyone going through significant physical exertion. If you run, think about when you come up to that tricky hill on your route, when you really have to push yourself to get up it as fast and hard as you can. The chances are, that when you do that, you may ‘grit’ your teeth together, grinding them as you push yourself to reach the very top.

Even when we run hard on the flat, perhaps sprinting or doing intervals,  we may well lock our teeth together. Even if we don’t actually grind them when we do this, the pounding of your feet on the pavement will reverberate through your teeth if they are locked together. This can cause some discomfort as our nerves in the teeth pick up the pounding sensation which is transferred via our feet.

Although this is a relatively common habit in runners, it can potentially also have a negative effect on performance. For the muscles to function to the best of their ability, the blood needs a regular supply of oxygen. This is more easily attained if you relax your jaw, allowing the oxygen to be breathed in more easily, and reducing potential damage and discomfort to your teeth as well.

Sensitive teeth

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Should You Have A Chipped Tooth Treated Or Can You Just Ignore It?

Dr David Nolte

Bedford dentist, Dr David Nolte looks at the options available when a tooth is chipped.

However well we look after our teeth, there is always a risk that they can suffer some damage, however minor. The better we look after our teeth though, the stronger they are likely to be.

However strong they are though, minor damage can still occur and one of the most common types of damage that we see is when a tooth becomes chipped.

If this happens to a patient and their next regular appointment at The Dental Centre Bedford is some time away, it can leave the patient with a bit of a dilemma; whether to simply leave the chip or make an additional appointment to have it looked at.

Always play it safe

The first piece of advice that I would give a patient who this has happened to is to be on the safe side and have it looked at by a professional. Although it may appear to you that just a tiny piece of tooth has been lost; with closer examination, it is possible that more of the enamel may have cracked with it. If left untreated, this could allow bacteria to enter the tooth through the cracked enamel and lead to infection and decay. Catching problems like this at an early stage will mean that you are less likely to need more extensive treatment later on.

Treating a chipped tooth

There are a number of options available to restore a chipped tooth. We take a look at some of these below, starting with the least invasive; no treatment at all.

Leave the chip

If the chip in the tooth is very tiny and has not compromised the enamel to any significant degree, it may be perfectly possible to leave the chip as it is. This will depend on a number of factors though, such as does it have a sharp edge that is causing discomfort and whether it weakens the structure of the tooth.

Smoothing the enamel

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Millennials, How Well Are They Looking After Their Teeth?

Reports suggest that this generation is failing to brush their teeth as well as they should.

‘Millennials’ is a word that seems to be bandied around quite a lot these days. For those who don’t know, it means those born from 1981 to 1996 (or who are now 22-37 years old). Life, it is claimed, is going to be harder for this generation, whilst others ‘mock’ them for expecting things to simply fall into place.

We are not going to look at those aspects of a millenial’s life however, but address another concern that has been raised following research carried out in Germany. It should be said, of course, that the same results may not be found in the UK, but working on the assumption that similar results might be expected, here is what it had to say. Of course, this won’t apply to everyone one, but on average, the research does suggest that the millenial generation hasn’t quite got it right when it comes to personal oral care.

A random sample of around  100 people of this generation were asked to perform their daily oral health cleaning in front of a camera so that they could be recorded. The results were then studied to see how well they actually cleaned their teeth on a daily basis. Although this group seems to have taken on board the 2 minute rule and brushed their teeth for longer than a previous study of a similar age group in 1992, both groups tended to ‘scrub’ their teeth rather than use the gentle circular action which is now widely recommended. It was also noted that both groups tended to brush the front surfaces of their teeth, neglecting, or only giving a cursory brushing, to the rear of their teeth.

What can millennials expect?

Whether front, back or side, the enamel surface of our teeth is always vulnerable to attack from acids and plaque that builds up on the surface. Wherever it is, if not cleaned properly, it is more than likely that tooth decay will soon set in. It would seem that this age group are storing up problems by not cleaning their teeth correctly.

This is also a generation that possibly consumes more convenience food, drinks more and also possibly smokes more too. Combined, the prospect for their oral health does not look too good.

Investing in the future

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Looking After Your Teeth During The Cold And Flu Season

dental check

Colds, flu and other winter viruses can have an adverse effect on our teeth.

Despite the fact that winters seem to be generally milder than in the past, cold spells are still quite possible. In addition to the cold weather, this is also a time of the year when many of us will be struck down with colds, or even worse, with the flu.

There are a number of ways that you can reduce the risk of these, including the flu vaccination and making sure that you wash your hands regularly. Even then though, the risk of colds and flu are still ever present.

There is no doubt that we feel rotten when we are ill with these viruses, and even our teeth can be affected by them. In today’s blog, our Bedford dentists look at how you can avoid the worst effects of both colds and flu on your teeth.

Stay hydrated

They old saying used to be that you should drink plenty of water to help ‘flush away’ the virus. Whilst this has since been challenged, it is still a wise and valid point when it comes to your teeth. Illnesses can make us dehydrated and lethargic. We have mentioned before that water is great for helping to avoid gum disease and for flushing food debris from the mouth. Given that you may be more easily dehydrated when you are ill, and your oral bacteria probably also affected, drinking plenty of water is definitely a helpful thing to do.

Sensitivity and discomfort

It isn’t unusual to feel a little discomfort in your teeth when you are ill. This can lead some patients to suspect that they have a cavity, an abscess or other dental problem. Whilst this may sometimes be the case, it is often due to pressure building in the sinus cavity, or inflammation. As a general rule of thumb, a tooth cavity usually leads to a throbbing kind of discomfort, whilst discomfort caused by sinus cavity inflammation is likely to be a constant level of discomfort. If the discomfort persists after you have recovered from your illness, you should have the issue checked at The Dental Centre Bedford.

Throw away your toothbrush

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