Dental check ups are one of the most effective ways of keeping your teeth clean and healthy and avoiding unwanted dental complications such as decay and disease. Although the majority of oral hygiene is carried out at home with brushing and flossing it is very important that you give your Bath dentist the opportunity to examine your teeth on a six-monthly basis to check for the telltale signs of dental disease.
Brushing and flossing will remove the majority of plaque and bacteria from your teeth and gums if performed correctly but all too often patients miss small spaces between the teeth and around the base near the gums. It is the areas that are hard to reach that your dentist will be able to examine and check for the onset of enamel erosion and tartar. Even the most effective dental hygiene routine can fall foul of decay in the harder to access parts of the mouth. Your dentist will be able to clean these areas and also give advice on how best to look after your teeth in the future.
Dental check ups serve a number of other purposes. Oral cancer is on the increase in the UK. This is a very unpleasant disease that can be treated effectively as long as it is caught early. Early treatment of oral cancer will give you a greater than 80 per cent chance of beating the disease, which otherwise could be fatal. Your dentist will check your mouth for the symptoms of oral cancer as part of a routine check up.
A dental check up should take little more than half an hour, which every six-months is hardly a lot of time. This half an hour could really make the difference to the health of your teeth and prevent the need for plenty more hours in the treatment chair repairing decayed teeth.
Of all the modern technological advances in dentistry, few have been as revolutionary and useful as digital x-rays. They have reduced waiting times and treatment times and also made possible a new series of treatments that are changing modern dentistry.
Digital x-rays produce an immediate and three-dimensional image of the patient’s mouth and teeth onto a computer screen. This has replaced the old style traditional x-rays which produced two-dimensional black and white images. This ;also needed developing that could take up to several days depending on the number of patients.
Swindon dentists can now get an incredibly accurate image of the patient’s teeth almost immediately, which they can then use for further treatment. One of the newest methods of treatment is called Cerec. This allows dentists to produce dental restorations such as crowns, veneers and dental inlays in only one appointment. The process is able to work because of the images produced by the digital x-rays. The dentist can use this image to create a dental crown or veneer on the computer. When satisfied with the size and shape he can then utilise a computer-guided machine to sculpt the restoration from a single piece of porcelain. This takes as little as six minutes per tooth and represents an astonishing leap forward in dental technology.
Digital x-rays have not only improved the time of treatment but they have also improved its quality. The images available now are accurate to microscopic degrees. This has allowed treatments to become more accurate and means dentists no longer need to rely on clumsy and time-consuming dental moulds.
A child’s smile is such a lovely thing to see, the little mites are so full of life that when they smile they don’t care about how they look, although we as parents do. A Bristol dentist is advising their patients on tips to keep that smile healthy; one factor is a healthy diet without too much acid or sugar in the basic ingredients. What we put in our mouths as part of our dietary plan will affect our smiles in two ways, firstly the food has to go into our mouths and then it is consumed by the body, and gets into the blood stream. The vitamins in our system are fed to our gums, the same gums that are still fighting the bacteria that come with the food. It seems that we have to fight attacks on the teeth and gums from inside and out. Baby bottle diets can attack the teeth even before they start growing, bacteria is prevalent in all our food and it needs to be kept under control. Acid is a product of the bacteria that feeds off our food residue, we produce saliva to counteract it, but if we feed our babies with a bottle and then allow them to sleep we are damaging their teeth. Saliva stops producing when we sleep, so baby needs to be kept awake for at least 30 minutes after feeding to stop the build of this harmful substance. Sweet stuff will keep them quiet, but this also produces a lot of acid that attacks our children’s teeth; and in turn their smile. There is a lot more to our children’s smiles than the eye sees, and just a few conscious tips like these will help to keep their little faces smiling; and they won’t also have too many problems with decaying teeth.
Food is the fuel we need to keep our bodies working and we all have our favourites, but do we know which ones are good for our teeth. A Bath dentist has advised patients that although certain foods may be good for us, they are harmful to our teeth, on the top of the list are sugar and acid based foods and that doesn’t just mean sweets, chocolate and candy products. Literally any food that is hard to chew is not good for your teeth or gums, these foods will cause an abrasion on the gums and also at the same time scratch off the enamel that protects the surface of a tooth. Ice is a no-no and should be avoided like the plague, especially if you wear braces. Fruit is good for us and we are advised to eat five a day as apart of our diet, this will also help to keep our gums and teeth healthy through the vitamins they naturally have within them. However, fruit contains acid and it is this acid that harms our teeth. We therefore have to take counter action to avoid this rather than avoiding the fruit itself, and washing our mouths with water afterwards will go a long way to neutralising that acid. A swishing motion is needed to do this, think of it as a mouth wash, and indeed use a mouth wash after eating fruit especially citrus types and apples. Lots of so called healthy bars are also a no-no as they use sugar based chewy substances to hold the bars together. The food content may seem appealing and healthy with lots of natural seeds and nuts, but take a look at the labels to see what else they contain. It isn’t just a case of certain foods being good for our bodies; we need to be careful what they contain as our mouths are also part of our body.
The boundaries around what is possible in dentistry are increasingly being pushed back as technology finds ways to improve treatment quality, shorten appointment times and find more efficient ways to deal with age-old dental problems. These technological advances have gathered momentum over the past two decades with treatments available now that could only have even been imagined thirty years ago.
These advances have impacted on every level of dentistry and it is useful to give a few examples to highlight the changes. Dental crowns are artificial caps that fit over damaged teeth to protect them from further damage. In the past, crowns were painstakingly manufactured in laboratories using a series of dental moulds and x-rays. Using a combination of metal and ceramics, the crowns were built up layer upon layer until they were the satisfactory shape. The dentist would then need to remove substantial amounts of natural enamel to allow the bulky crown to fit over the damaged tooth. Today’s technology means a crown can be sculpted from a single piece of porcelain in as little as six minutes. This has been made possible by the advent of digital x-rays and 3D imaging which allow the dentist to create an incredibly accurate and immediate image of the patient’s mouth. A computer-guided mill can then whittle the tooth to a similarly accurate degree. This technology can also be used in the manufacture of veneers and dental inlays.
Teeth whitening procedures have also developed significantly to be more effective and much safer and orthodontic straightening has seen a similar improvement. It is now possible to straighten teeth in a fraction of the time previously thought possible, and this can be achieved more discreetly and with less discomfort to the patient.
These are just a small selection of the incredible dental technologies available to all patients at Bristol dentists. Whatever the problem or dental concern there is a quick, affordable and aesthetically pleasing technology available to give you the best possible treatment.
Teeth have a very hard enamel exterior that is very durable and strong, but poor standards of oral hygiene or dental trauma can breech this tough exterior exposing the extremely sensitive dental nerve within the tooth. This can cause pain ranging from a mild sensitivity due to extremes of temperature in the mouth from eating and drinking to very severe pain caused by dental infections and abscesses.
Tooth enamel is commonly broken down by plaque acids and tartar in the mouth which, if not repaired with a filling or crown, can expose the pulp and nerve of the tooth to bacterial infection. If the nerve or root becomes infected the body will produce an excess of white blood cells to fight the infection. This can build up on a pocket around the tooth leading to a painful, pus-filled abscess. These can be very painful and can also lead to a spread of the initial infection.
Dental pain can also come in the form of erupting teeth or wisdom teeth buried beneath the gum. These can cause interruption to bite and painful irritation that is very uncomfortable. One of the common features of all dental pain is that it is very hard to control. For someone suffering dental pain it can seem there is little they can do to stop it. In most cases over-the-counter painkillers will be effective but patients should always see a dentist even if the pain appears to have disappeared. In cases of extreme infection or serious gum disease patients may require anti-biotics and more serious pain relief. It is important to remember in all cases of dental pain to see a Bristol dentist as soon as possible.
For some people, just the mere mention of the word dentist is enough to get the heart racing and a feeling of nausea overwhelming the whole body. Dental phobia is one of the most common phobias in the UK but most sufferers don’t realise they are far from alone in their fear.
A phobia is officially classified as an irrational or severe fear that causes an immediate anxiety response or complete avoidance of the stimulus. Boiled down for dental phobics this means their fear of the dentist is so great they will avoid going at all costs. The cruel irony of the situation being that avoiding the dentist is likely to lead to an increased need to see one for emergency treatment in the future.
Dental phobia can be caused by any number of circumstances but research has shown that several reasons crop up time and again. For many patients a previous traumatic experience at the dentist, possibly during childhood, can be the cause of lifelong associated fear. For others, it is the fear of embarrassment because of their teeth and let’s not forget the classic anxiety over pain.
Whatever the cause of the phobia it is important that patients are able to confront these fears and receive the necessary treatment. First and foremost it is important to talk to a dentist. Bristol dentists are specially trained to deal with anxious patients and often just talking about the treatment will be enough to allay some of the fear. Other options include breathing exercises or self-hypnotism to control fear during appointments, and many dentists are now experimenting with aromatherapy techniques to help clam patients. Above all, it is just important to remember that you are not alone and that the dentist will be able to help you to overcome your fears with your help.
In a recent survey in the UK, over 90 per cent of people admitted to having some fear of the dentist. The level of fear obviously differed from person to person and let’s face it, no one actually enjoys going to the dentist but most of us are able to overcome our fears because we realise the importance of our dental health. For others there is more of a significant fear but they are still able to overcome it. This more low level reluctance to visit the dentist is commonly known as dental anxiety.
However, for some people, the fear of the dentist is so great that they are simply not able to rationalise their dental health against their fear. This is a more serious problem known as dental phobia. They are unable to visit the dentist even for a simple check up. The irony of course is that by not visiting the dentist they are increasing the likelihood of needing more complicated dental treatment in the future.
There are many reasons why people suffer from dental phobia. It may be due to a bad experience with a dentist in the past, possibly during childhood. For others it is the lack of control when in the dentist’s chair. Some people find having dental implements in their mouth very invasive. Recent research has found that many patients suffer from a transferred phobia. This is when a parent has imposed their own phobia onto their child.
Whatever the cause of the phobia it is important that the patient is able to overcome it for the sake of their health. The first thing phobic patients need to do is simply talk to their dentist. Dentists are trained to deal with anxious patients and will be able to allay any particular fears they have. The dentists will also be able to explain what other tools are available to anxious patients such as self-hypnosis techniques. It has also recently been found that lavender oil is successful in calming patients before an appointment. Whatever the extent of your anxiety, a dentist in Chepstow will be able to talk you through the procedures and offer you helpful advice on how to overcome your fear and receive the dental treatment that we all need on a regular basis.
For anyone who has experienced the pain of a knocked out, cracked or chipped tooth from an injury sustained while playing sport, they can tell you just how painful it is. More importantly they can tell you how long and difficult the dental repair work is for such injuries. Dental injuries like these can cause severe long-term damage to the teeth and dental health in general. Often overlooked is the psychological damage losing teeth can have, especially on a younger person. The stigma of wearing a partial denture in your early twenties is something you probably want to do without. It is also important to remember that many of the dental treatments you will require will be very costly.
For people who regular play dangerous contact sports such as rugby, high impact sports such as skiing or anything involving a hard ball such as cricket, it is recommended by dentists that to prevent dental trauma you wear a mouth guard. A well-fitted mouth guard could protect you from the kind of dental injury mentioned above that could have a long-lasting unpleasant effect on your life. It may sound like over caution but over half the dental trauma seen by dentists involves some kind of sporting activity. It really does happen a lot and a few pounds spent on a mouth guard now could save you thousands in the future. We all know that a mouth guard isn’t exactly the coolest apparatus in the world but it’s probably cooler than having to wear false teeth in your late teens.
It is possible to buy mouth guards in sporting goods shops but these mass-produced guards do not offer an effective level of protection. An ill-fitting mouth guard is only slightly more useful than not wearing one at all. A Bristol dentist will be able to fit a mouth guard in a small half hour appointment that will offer you the necessary level of protection. The dentist will either take a mould or digital x-ray of your teeth and use the 3D projection to construct a perfectly fitted guard. For younger patients it is important to have your mouth guard refitted every six months because developing teeth change very rapidly.
Do not underestimate how important a decision wearing a mouth guard could be for your teeth. It might be the best one you’ll ever make and by wearing one, hopefully you’ll never find out.
In the war against dental decay, after effective brushing and flossing, the most important weapon is a regular dental check up every six months with a dentist. Brushing and flossing are crucial for maintaining a high standard of oral hygiene. They help to control plaque, a bacteria rich substance that is responsible for enamel erosion and tooth decay. But even the most dedicated teeth cleaner can still suffer from dental conditions they will not be able to spot.
For example, even effective brushing and flossing may not be enough to prevent gum disease or tooth decay. Some people are more susceptible to these conditions than others and tooth decay especially develops in areas that are hard to clean and therefore impossible to see. Areas in between teeth and below the gum line can be very difficult to clean and so dental decay can occur without the patient knowing. A dentist will examine all the hard to reach places as part of a thorough check up.
Dentists recommend that you make an appointment every six months. Not only will they be able to carry out a thorough check for the signs of tooth decay and gum disease but they can also examine your diet and cleaning regimes and give you advice on more effective dental care. They will also be able to give your teeth a thorough clean or refer you to a dental hygienist. Dentists can also give advice about the natural discolouration of teeth that occurs with age and the most effective ways to control it.
For patients with certain conditions it may be necessary to visit a dentist on a more regular basis. Smokers and pregnant women are particularly at risk and need to make more regular appointments. A Bristol dentist will be able to further advise you on the need for regular check ups and can carry out a thorough check up for any dental problems.