Multiple Uses Of Dental Veneers

Bedford dentist, Dr David Nolte, discusses this versatile cosmetic treatment.

One of the key aims of cosmetic dentistry is to help the patient to have the best looking smile that they possibly can. There are many ways to achieve this and much will depend on the current condition of the patient’s teeth, along with what they want to achieve.

The most popular cosmetic treatment is to have the teeth whitened; which is understandable as it is non-invasive and largely affordable for many people. This treatment works best when the teeth are in reasonably good condition, but of course this is not always the case. One of the most widely used ways to resolve this, and indeed quite a few other dental problems, is the use of porcelain veneers. In today’s blog, we take a look at the many ways that this versatile treatment is used at The Dental Centre Bedford.

Teeth whitening

This is one of the most common uses. Although a teeth whitening procedure offers great benefits for many people; where the teeth have become very badly stained or discoloured, as can happen if you smoke for example, it will probably not achieve a level at which the patient would be entirely happy. In these situations, we are pleased to offer veneers as an alternative. Although it does usually require a minor invasive treatment, it is an excellent way of achieving great looking, white teeth. Porcelain which is often used to make the veneers, is non-porous and therefore unlikely to stain significantly with good care.

Sensitive teeth

Where the enamel of the teeth is eroded, it exposes the dentin layer beneath it. This is porous and allows temperatures, both hot and cold, to reach the nerves in our teeth more easily. When this happens, the sensitivity of our teeth is increased and can cause either sharp or continual pain at times. This can happen when we eat either hot or cold food and drinks or even when the weather is cold if we breath through our mouths.

Unfortunately, enamel will not grow back on its own and dental veneers are an excellent way of replacing the damaged or eroded front surfaces of our teeth. Once fitted, patients usually find that their sensitivity problem is resolved.

Cracks and chips

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Dealing With Tooth Loss

A Bedford dentist looks at how this impacts our life and the options available for replacement

Implant bridgeWith good care, and perhaps a bit of good luck too, it is entirely possible to go through life never losing an adult tooth.

Few people are this fortunate though and most of us will probably lose at least one tooth at some point in our life. This can happen through neglect or even an accident that we have no control over. Whatever the reason, it can have a big impact on our life.

Where a front tooth is lost, the gap will be visible for all to see. Few people will leave this gap and will look at ways to replace the missing tooth. But even the loss of a rear tooth can have an effect and can cause us to use other teeth to perform its role, potentially causing premature wear elsewhere in the mouth.

Whether your missing tooth leaves you with a ‘gappy smile’, potentially affecting your confidence, or means that you find eating some foods more difficult than before, it is always advisable to replace the tooth using artificial means. In today’s post, we will look at some of the treatment options that are available at The Dental Centre Bedford

Dentures

Dentures have been the ‘go to’ method of tooth replacement for some time now. Over the years they have improved, both in comfort and in appearance. Although they do not usually require dental surgery to be fitted, a factor which may tempt more anxious patients, it is not uncommon for wearers to become dissatisfied with them as they can cause soreness of the gums and may also move around in the mouth a little, creating problems when eating or speaking.

For this reason, a growing number of people are moving away from wearing dentures and opting for more secure methods instead.

Bridges

A more secure option than dentures is the bridge. As the name suggests, this allows the fitting of a replacement tooth ‘bridged’ between the adjacent teeth. This does secure the replacement tooth and makes eating much easier. It does have a few potential drawbacks though, for example, a bridge can typically only be used where there are teeth adjacent to the gap. This means that one of the most common teeth to be lost, the very back teeth which take a lot of strain and are more difficult to clean, can’t be replaced using this method.

To fit the crowns that will secure the bridge, the teeth have to be shaped so that the crowns will fit securely. Understandably, some patients are reluctant to have this done to teeth that are otherwise healthy.

As with dentures, cleaning the replacement tooth and surrounding areas can be a little tricky, but it is of course, still very important.

Dental implants

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Looking After Our Teeth In Middle Age And Beyond

Time can take its toll on our teeth. Here’s some advice on how we can help overcome it…..

white smilesWhen does middle age begin? It’s a very good question and the answer seems to change every few years. A quick search of the internet says that it currently starts at around 35 years of age and ends not long before your 60th birthday. Whatever the exact dates, the fact is that the years before will have brought challenges for your teeth and some of them may be showing the effects of time.

As we tend to be socially active until later on in life these days, it isn’t surprising that many middle aged people want to have not only healthy teeth but ones that look great too. A warm and attractive smile is a great way to introduce yourself to a new social group and can make winning new friends that little bit easier.

At The Dental Centre Bedford, we are able to help you have nicer looking teeth in your middle age and beyond using a variety of the latest dentistry techniques. We look at some of these below, but first, some advice on general oral care.

The basics are important

It doesn’t matter whether we are 8 or 48, the reality is that a good teeth cleaning regimen is essential. This will not only help you keep your teeth nice looking but will help to avoid problems such as cavities and tooth loss. Make sure that you brush your teeth well using a fluoride toothpaste both morning and night. Use dental floss too as this helps to remove bacteria and food particles that can get trapped between teeth and in the gum pockets. This will help to prevent gum disease.

We also recommend that you see a dental hygienist. In addition to helping you improve how you look after your teeth, they will provide a professional clean that removes any hardened bacteria and mineral deposits that both detract from the appearance of your teeth and which can also contribute to gum disease.

Cosmetic improvements

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2020 – A Year To Change Your Smoking And Drinking Habits

Make this the year to improve your health and minimise two serious threats to your teeth and gums.

dental checkWe hope that all of our Bedford patients had a fantastic Christmas and New Year, and with January now fully underway, some of you may have already made a start on your new year resolutions as well.

For those that haven’t, and indeed those that have, we would like to add a couple of suggestions to your list for consideration too.

Our prime concern for our patients here at The Dental Centre Bedford is for them to have a healthy set of teeth and gums. Diligent cleaning and a sensible diet play important roles in this, but there are a couple of other things that can have a serious effect, and it is these that we would like you to consider adding to your list of resolutions.

Smoking and alcohol consumption

Both of these are habits that are hard to break. Most people who have smoked and given up will acknowledge how difficult this can be. Alcohol can also be addictive but can also be the result of peer pressure too.

We will take a look at each of these in turn and at how they can negatively affect your oral health.

Smoking

Whether it is cigarettes, cigars, a pipe or even chewing tobacco, any tobacco product is harmful to your oral health and cutting down or preferably stopping altogether is likely to start to improve the health of your teeth and gums. Although fewer people now smoke than has been the case in the recent past, there are still approximately 4 million people in the UK who currently smoke. This is an awful lot of people that are putting many aspects of their health at risk for what is very often simply a habit.

This doesn’t mean that stopping smoking is easy and indeed, some people will find it very difficult. It is advisable for anyone considering stopping to seek out support from friends, family and even professionals where needed.

The reality though is that if you smoke, you are greatly increasing the risks of both serious gum disease and oral cancers. These can be life changing and in the case of oral cancers can even cause disfigurement and, in a worst case scenario, death. Stopping smoking may take some time, perhaps with a few hiccups along the way. With help and a little determination though, you can kick this habit and improve your oral and general health.

Alcohol

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Your Dental Care Plan For The New Year

Keeping your teeth healthy and looking great in 2020!

Caring for teethWe will soon be coming to the close of yet another year, and one that has probably been challenging for many of us. There has certainly been plenty going on that will have caused a few of us to grind our teeth in frustration, hopefully without causing any damage!

Soon, we will be looking forward to the start of a new year, possibly setting targets and making resolutions to change certain aspects of our lives.

As we are in the business of family dental care, our Bedford dentists decided to take this opportunity to look at some of the opportunities for our patients to have healthier and nicer looking teeth in the new year ahead.

New year, new toothbrush!

A good place to start improving our oral health is to make sure that our toothbrush is good enough. For those of you still using a manual toothbrush, we recommend that you switch to an electric one. These are more efficient and are especially good for those with mobility issues and for younger children too.

Whether you currently use a manual or electric toothbrush though, do make sure that the bristles are in good condition. You should change your brush or brush head at least every three months or risk a build up of bacteria on the teeth and gums.

Learn to floss

We hear a lot of patients say that they can’t floss. The truth is that most of us can; it just takes a little practice. Dental floss is cheap and is a great way of removing food that has become trapped between the teeth and in the gum pockets. Buy a packet of floss and watch a reputable video that shows you how. If you still get stuck, please do ask a dentist or hygienist at The Dental Centre Bedford to show you how to do it correctly. This simple addition to your daily routine will further improve your oral health.

Check your appointments

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Sensitive Teeth – A Year Round Problem

Tooth sensitivity can cause a lot of discomfort and may be a sign of future dental problems.

Dentist in a surgeryHaving sensitive teeth in winter can cause problems as the cold wind blows, leaving many of us to cover our mouths with scarves which soon become damp and uncomfortable.

If we then have a nice hot cup of tea to warm us up, we also suffer discomfort from the other end of the heat spectrum.

Although we may not have a problem with a cold wind so often in summer, those ice cold drinks and ice creams can certainly be a challenge and may cause us to wince in pain if we have sensitive teeth.

The fact is that this is a year round problem and not one that is going to go away anytime soon without corrective treatment. In today’s blog, The Dental Centre Bedford takes a look at what causes tooth sensitivity, how to prevent it and some possible solutions.

What causes sensitive teeth?

Whilst some people do naturally have thinner enamel on their teeth than others, in many cases, tooth sensitivity is caused by a problem with the tooth itself. This is often down to erosion of the surface enamel, caused by a number of things which we will take a look at in the next section.

Any damage to the tooth, such as a crack or small break, will also increase the risk of tooth sensitivity, especially where it has then exposed the porous layer containing the nerves beneath. As we eat or drink hot and cold foods and drinks, the temperature is picked up much more easily by the nerves within the tooth if the enamel has been compromised.

Prevention

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Root Planing – What Is It?

When gum disease is left untreated, you may need this treatment to save your teeth.

endodontist in BedfordAs we have mentioned previously, some people appear to think that tooth decay is the only reason why you might lose a tooth. Whilst this can certainly happen if decay isn’t treated early enough, there is another factor which plays a big role in a large number of lost teeth, and that is gum disease.

Gum disease is progressive and if treated early enough, can be reversed and/or managed in a relatively straightforward manner. When it is left to advance though, it starts to not only affect the gums but also the underlying bone structure. As this plays a key role in teeth stabilisation, you can see that as bone degrades, the teeth can become loose and may eventually fall out.

Detecting gum disease

Seeing a dental hygienist at The Dental Centre Bedford on a regular six monthly basis is the best way to help keep your gums healthy and to treat any gum disease at an early stage. The dentist may also recommend that you see one too if they detect a build up of tartar, a hardened form of bacteria and mineral deposits on your teeth.

Providing that any problems are noticed early, most tartar can be removed using a non invasive treatment called a ‘scale and polish’. This, combined with following any advice given to you by the hygienist, should enable you to keep your gums healthy.

The trouble arises where early stage gum disease (gingivitis) has advanced and becomes periodontitis, where the roots of the teeth and supporting bone structure are affected. At this stage, a scale and polish will not be as effective and a more extensive treatment will likely be necessary.

Having a ‘deep clean’ procedure

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Three Tell Tale Signs That You Might Be Grinding Your Teeth

Stress may be causing us to grind our teeth and we don’t even realise it!

Bruxism teeth and jaw painBrexit, elections, the weather … there seems to be no end to the number of situations that can cause our stress levels to rise.

When added to any personal stresses in our lives such as relationships or financial concerns, it probably isn’t surprising that some of us will start to exhibit visible symptoms of stress.

These symptoms will often depend upon each individual and can include comfort eating, depression and high blood pressure amongst other things. There is also one that we dentists often see, and that is bruxism, or the grinding of teeth.

As this habit often happens whilst we sleep, we may not even know that we are doing it; but during your regular six monthly check-ups at our Bedford dental clinic, we will look for three likely signs that you might be.

Worn and damaged teeth

The most obvious sign of bruxism, and one that you may have noticed yourself, is where the teeth have become worn down from grinding together. In more severe cases, this may also lead to fractures and even breakages. As the enamel on our teeth should remain healthy in order to protect the inner tooth, it probably won’t come as a surprise to know that when enamel has been damaged in this way, other dental problems such as decay and root canal infections become much more likely; the latter requiring endodontic treatment to restore the tooth.

Patients may also find that their teeth become more sensitive when eating or drinking hot and cold food or drinks where enamel damage has occurred. If you notice an increase in tooth sensitivity, whether this comes on gradually or suddenly, you should arrange for one of the team at The Dental Centre Bedford to examine your teeth to determine the cause.

Jaw pain and headaches

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Dental Implant Failure – What Causes It?

Bedford dentist, Dr David Nolte, explains how to minimise the risk

Dr David NolteThe success of dental implant placement is very high and failures are rare, particularly where the procedure has been completed by trained and experienced professionals.

However, failures can result where implant procedures and materials are less stringent, for example in some countries overseas.

Due to the strict regulations surrounding implant placement in the UK, this is unlikely to happen, but it still makes sense to do your research and seek out clinicians with a proven track record.

Although implant failure is very rare, it can be distressing when it does occur. Dental implants are a significant but very worthwhile investment when it comes to replacing missing teeth, so it makes very good sense to take good care of them when placement is complete.

Planning

An important part of dental implant treatment is the planning stage. This requires a thorough examination and a discussion with the patient about their lifestyle and even their eating habits. Not everybody is immediately ideal for implants, although with some lifestyle changes, this can change. A good example of this would be a patient who smokes but agrees to stop smoking for a period of time either side of the treatment. However it should be stressed that starting again increases the risk of periodontal diseases and will put the implant at risk.

Where oral health issues are detected during the initial examination, it is usually necessary to treat these. For example, where gingivitis or periodontitis is present, there is no point in placing the implant without treating it first as there is a high chance that the osseointegration of implant and bone would be unsuccessful and failure would occur.

Occlusion problems

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First Dental Visit For Years?

What to expect upon your return to our Bedford dental practice

As we have mentioned numerous times before in our blogs, receiving regular dental care is essential if you want to have a healthy mouth. Most of our patients maintain this routine, but events can happen that throw us off course.

A cancelled appointment, especially for something that is causing upheaval in your life, can sometimes lead to us forgetting to make a new one. The same can apply when a patient who has dental phobia hits a real wall over it and simply avoids seeing the dentist at all, sometimes for many years.

Although this is far from ideal, we are always pleased when someone who hasn’t seen a dentist for some time decides that now is the right time to start getting their oral health back on course.

What should you expect?

First of all, it is important that patients of The Dental Centre Bedford know that they will be treated with respect by all of our team, from receptionist to dentist. There will be no lectures about neglecting your teeth and gums and no ‘tutting’ as we examine your teeth. We know how difficult making that first step can be and the last thing that we want to do is discourage any returning patients.

The first physical step that we take to start the restoration of your teeth is to examine them thoroughly. This will be done both visually and through the use of x-rays. Although many dental problems can be observed by the dentist, we can’t see below the gum line, and x-rays are therefore necessary to investigate issues such as root canal infections and any bone deterioration caused by gum disease. From the results of this examination, we will discuss an appropriate treatment plan with you.

Possible problems

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A CARING FAMILY DENTIST YOU CAN TRUST