Missing teeth doesn’t necessarily mean dentures are your only option
Tooth loss can happen for a number of reasons. These include neglect but also from the result of an accident such as a fall or a blow to the mouth. Especially if a front tooth is knocked out, or lost otherwise, it can have a distinct effect on our appearance and more often than not, we need to do something about it.
Any of our patients who are wondering what to do about their gappy smile would do well to look beyond dentures as the only available solution. It is true that modern dentures look reasonably realistic and have improved over the years, but they can’t match the stability of dental implants and if the denture starts to move around when we are talking to someone, it could cause some embarrassment.
Why dental implants?
The reason that we feel that teeth implants are often the best option available for patients of The Dental Centre Bedford is because they are not only very strong and secure in the mouth, but also last for a long time. Indeed, the first ever implant placed was still intact 40 years later when the recipient passed away. You can probably deduce from this that the 20 years of longevity that we suggest as an average for dental implants, providing that they are looked after correctly, is probably a conservative estimate and many will last even longer than that.
For most patients; even though the initial procedure is a fairly complex one, the biggest advantage is that it allows them to eat, speak and laugh normally without concerns about stability. No special cleaning beyond what you should do with your own natural teeth is needed too.
Prior to your treatment
To place a tooth implant, we first of all have to determine if there is sufficient jaw bone to accommodate it. This is determined through the use of x-rays and scans. Whilst a healthy mouth should ensure that this is the case, bone loss can occur for a number of reasons including old age, periodontal disease and where the bone has been damaged if a tooth has been knocked out. It can also occur if a tooth has been missing for a while as the minerals which make up the bone in that area are reabsorbed by the body.
In most cases, there will be sufficient bone structure but in cases where there isn’t, we can discuss options such as bone grafts which will allow the implant to be placed. Finally, because periodontal diseases pose a real threat to implants, it is essential that we make sure that your mouth is healthy and free of gum disease. Once we are happy with this, the procedure can begin.
The dental implant procedure
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We are now pleased to offer the popular Invisalign orthodontic system at our Bedford dental practice
In our blog you will find several articles about the treatments we have available to help you have whiter teeth. These are very popular, but for some patients, there can be drawbacks in that they can actually highlight other ‘flaws’ in your smile; one of the most noticeable being where a patient has crooked or uneven teeth.
Unfortunately, there is no ‘quick fix’ for this particular problem and the fact that dental braces have to be worn, often for lengthy periods of time to correct it, means that a significant number of people decide against this treatment and miss the opportunity to have a really great looking smile.
One of the biggest issues for people when it comes to wearing teeth braces is that they are quite noticeable. Patients of The Dental Centre Bedford then, will be delighted to hear that we now offer one of the most discreet orthodontic systems available; namely Invisalign.
What are Invisalign braces?
When you think about dental braces, you probably think of the more familiar wire and bracket types that have been standard for many years. These are often very visible and as they may have to be worn for a year or more, it is probably not surprising that this is a deterrent for some people. Whilst there are systems that still use this approach for relatively minor corrections that may only take a few weeks, and which may be tolerable for this short period of time, the idea of wearing unsightly braces for a year or more can be a big ‘no no’ for some people.
Instead of using this approach, Invisalign teeth braces instead use a series of transparent plastic trays that fit securely over the teeth. The plastic used is of medical grade quality and is not only transparent but offers a high level of strength as well. The trays are produced from impressions and scans that we take of your own teeth. This ensures not only that they are effective but they offer a good degree of comfort too.
How do they work?
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With limited dental appointments currently available, the risk of a rise in mouth cancer cases is very real
As many of our Bedford patients will be aware, routine dental appointments have not been as widely available as they used to be. The reasons for this are well known.
With a limited number of patients able to be seen by the dentist each day due to Covid restrictions, it is only logical that we should see and treat those who are most in need. We are sure that this is widely understood and anyone who has a dental emergency will be seen as soon as we possibly can, with priority given to those most in need.
These restrictions do mean that some of you may not have had your regular six monthly check ups at The Dental Centre Bedford. This is unfortunate, but hopefully most of you will have taken as much care as possible to limit the risks of tooth decay in these difficult times. There is another area of concern which has been raised following a study by the Oral Health Foundation ( https://dentistry.co.uk/2020/12/01/covid-mouth-cancer-referrals-fallen/ ) which notes that oral cancer referrals have dropped during the pandemic by a third.
This is unlikely to be the good news that a quick glance might indicate. This doesn’t mean that less people have oral cancer but that a large quantity are no longer being picked up as they normally would be during routine dental check ups. There is a serious concern that cases are going undetected and may reach a more advanced stage before they are noticed.
What can patients do?
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Bedford Endodontist, Dr Joseph Masih, explains how this dental condition is treated
In today’s blog, we will take a look at a treatment that some of you may fear being told that you need to have. We are, of course, talking about a root canal procedure. There are many theories why there is more anxiety surrounding this treatment compared to others, but whatever the reason is, there is little doubt that it is one that patients hope to avoid. But fortunately those concerns are overstated.
The good news for those that do need to have it is that most of the rumours you may have heard about it are not really true. This procedure should cause you no more discomfort than other treatments and, of course, you will have a local anaesthetic to keep any discomfort to an absolute minimum. At The Dental Centre Bedford, we will also check for the presence of abscesses and if any are found, they will be treated before we start treatment.
What causes infections in the root canal?
How do the root canals become infected? That is a good question as the canals are situated in the roots of the teeth which are seated in the jawbone. The problem arises when we get tooth decay, or the enamel of our teeth become cracked or chipped to the extent that it becomes compromised and enables bacteria to enter into the dentin layer below it. This part of the tooth is much more porous than the external enamel and allows bacteria to enter the root canals, causing the infection.
As the nerves of our teeth are located in the root canals, it is not uncommon for an infection to be quite painful and even the most nervous patient will usually contact our Bedford dental practice when this happens.
Root Canal Treatment
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Bedford dental surgeon, Dr Sarah Nackasha, looks ahead to the new year and the cosmetic treatments available to give a flagging smile a boost
It won’t be long before we are saying goodbye to the old year and welcoming the new. This year, the goodbyes are more likely to be ‘good riddance’ and few of us will recall this year with fond memories in the years to come.
Hope is on the horizon though with the rollout of vaccines having already started, and, although there may be hiccups along the way, we should try to remain optimistic that things will slowly start to return to normal in the coming year.
If 2020 has seemed like a ‘holding’ year, perhaps we can look to 2021 to make some changes to our lives? After all, a lot of us will have had time to think about things that we would like to do differently once the pandemic recedes.
Some things, like getting fitter, are outside of our scope, but for anyone considering improving the appearance of their teeth, and consequently their smile, The Dental Centre Bedford is here to help!
Assessing your smile
If you are unhappy with your teeth as they are at present, you might be confused as to which treatments you might need to improve them. There are a number of procedures available that can help you have a great looking smile, but rather than simply ‘Google’ them, wny not make an appointment in the New Year to discuss your requirements with one of our Bedford cosmetic dentists ?
This is the most appropriate approach as there are a number of factors to consider. Not only which treatments you need but also whether any restorative work needs to be carried out beforehand, and of course, the financial aspects of your treatment, including your budget and a discussion of our treatment payment plans. Your initial consultation will allow us to put a treatment plan in place that is designed specifically for you, and tailored to your precise needs.
Aesthetic dental treatments
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Some timely oral health guidance from our Bedford dentists
As many of you will already be aware, The Dental Centre Bedford is open during the second lockdown. This is just one of the many changes from the first lockdown and it’s important as it enables us to continue to help patients who may have had their appointments cancelled due to the disruptions over the last several months. It is still a difficult time for a lot of us though, especially as it seems likely that there will be some significant restrictions in place even after the lockdown is planned to end early in December.
The other question on a lot of people’s mind of course is what will happen at Christmas?
As nobody really knows what will happen yet, we can’t really give any specific thoughts on that, but we felt that it would be an appropriate time to offer some general oral health guidance for both the lockdown and Christmas period, in the hope that it will reduce the cases of tooth decay and other damage to our teeth and gums.
Lockdown number two
It is probably fair to say that even if the first lockdown didn’t bother us too much, the second one has been more difficult. This may partly be down to the fact that we hoped the first one would be all that was needed. In addition, the weather for much of the first one was reasonably nice and although we were limited, we could at least go for local walks. We still can of course, but as the weather turns colder, damper and wet, more and more of us are probably spending a lot more time indoors.
Boredom and finding a coping mechanism can sometimes lead us towards habits that can have a negative impact on our teeth and gums. Although it might be hard, do try to keep to good habits during this time to help protect your teeth and gums.
Cigarettes, sweets and alcohol
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Controlling your weight can help lead to a healthier mouth
There are a number of reasons why people might become obese. For the unfortunate few, it can be caused by a medical condition and for some it may be at least partially hereditary. For most of us though, obesity stems from eating too much and exercising too little. Most of us will be aware by now that this can contribute to a number of medical conditions, but it may well be less known that being overweight can also make a difference to your oral health as well.
As part of our preventative strategy, helping our Bedford dental patients to have as healthy a mouth as possible, The Dental Centre Bedford team takes a look at how obesity impacts oral health and what you can do to help control it.
The most obvious issue surrounding obesity and poor tooth health is the likelihood that sugars play a significant role in the diet of someone who is overweight. Whilst other factors such as a high fat intake can also contribute, cakes, biscuits and other sweet things are often found in the shopping basket of someone with this health condition. As we know, sugar is a major contributing factor to tooth decay, feeding, as it does, the potentially harmful bacteria in our mouths which then produce the acids that eat away at the enamel of our teeth. Once the enamel has become sufficiently compromised, the bacteria can then enter the softer part of the tooth leading to tooth decay (and often toothache) as well as further complications such as root canal infections.
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With new Covid restrictions coming into place, patients ask if further closures are likely
As many people have predicted, it appears that a 2nd wave of the Covid-19 virus is on its way or already here.
This has widely been thought likely to happen for some time and the government has acknowledged this with it’s latest set of restrictions to help contain the spread of the virus. Some scientists are arguing, however, that these are not significant enough, triggering the possibility of a further lockdown of some sort.
Understandably, some patients of The Dental Centre Bedford have expressed their concern that we may have to close our practice again. Whilst we can’t predict the future, we thought that we would use today’s blog to look at this possibility and what our patients can do to maintain a healthy mouth ‘just in case’.
Will our practice close again?
As we have said, we can’t 100% predict what might happen in the future but, at the moment, there appear to be no indications that this is part of the plan. The aim of the government seems to be to try to keep the economy going as much as possible. In addition to any direct financial implications from closing dental practices, it could also have a knock on effect on people’s health and morale, not something that any government would want at a time when we need to pull together.
Given the health and safety and cross infection controls that have been put into place or improved since the first lockdown, dental practices are actually safe environments and with this new additional protection, this lessens the likelihood that dentists would be a priority for closure. Indeed, as knowledge of the virus expands, it appears that it spreads most easily in poorly ventilated areas where a lot of people are present; for example, pubs. This is unlike the controlled environment of a dental clinic and as such, we believe that it is unlikely at this stage, that further closures will happen.
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Did lockdown habits take their toll on the colour of your teeth?
As the peak of the pandemic has passed, at least for now, most of us are coming out of our ‘lockdown mentality’, even if very cautiously. Whilst some of us may have been raring to get going again, others will have been more cautious and perhaps even fearful in some cases.
As time goes by though, people will start to socialise again with friends and family and, to some degree, try to get back some sense of normality.
Naturally, there will be changes in the way we do things but some patients of our Bedford dental clinic may have noticed another change too; that of the colour of their teeth.
Changed habits and discoloured teeth
Over the last few months, many of us will have been spending a lot more time at home, possibly even working from there. This may also have driven a change in our eating habits in many cases. Although it may have provided an opportunity to do more home cooking for some, others will probably have spent a lot more time snacking, especially as a way of coping with the stress and boredom that some will have felt.
As we lie on the sofa catching up with our favourite soaps or box set, it is far more likely that we will have reached for sweets than healthy alternatives. This may have led to a degree of enamel erosion which causes a rough tooth surface, making it easier for staining to occur.
Add to this the likely increase in cups of tea and coffee drunk throughout the day and it isn’t hard to see why we expect to treat many patients with discoloured teeth over the coming weeks and months.
How can we help?
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Why dental implants may be your best choice for replacing lost teeth
There is no getting away from it; lockdown has been tough for some people and this is especially true financially. Small business owners that have had to close their premises for a few months will almost certainly have taken a large financial hit.
Even when businesses reopen, it is likely to be some time before the economy recovers enough to be called ‘normal’ again. This has affected many people, dentists included.
This is not true for everyone though, and those who have managed to keep regular employment during this time may have even found themselves financially better off than before. With the same salary coming in and a lack of opportunities to spend it at restaurants and shops etc, some of those more fortunate may have managed to save a reasonable amount of money. The same may also be true of those who had put money aside for a holiday abroad this year but have decided to postpone it due to the current situation.
Those of you who live in the Bedford area and find themselves in a position where they have managed to save, may like to take a look at the cosmetic dentistry treatments that we offer at The Dental Centre Bedford. There are many treatments to choose from, including the ever popular teeth whitening procedure. The one that we want to focus on today though is dental implant placement, a treatment which, whilst excellent, does require an investment of a reasonable amount of money. This is simply due to the cost of the material used and the experience and training required to do it.
If you have saved money during these last few months, this could offer an excellent opportunity to have implants placed to replace any missing teeth that you have. If you currently wear dentures, you will also probably be all too aware of their limitations and occasional inconveniences. By swapping dentures for implants, you can have very strong, secure and functional replacement teeth that are straightforward to look after, often for 20 years or more.
Individual and multiple placement
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