Your options for cosmetic dentistry explained

Cosmetic options in Croydon explained

Your options for cosmetic dentistry explained

As you may know, one of the things our Croydon Dentist is passionate about with cosmetic dentistry  is what is known as ‘Minimally Invasive Dentistry’ – this means we do the absolute smallest amount of treatment possible to achieve the desired result.

In years gone by the only way to restore broken down, discoloured or misaligned teeth was to either have train track braces (which many people didn’t like the look of) or to have dental veneers (which can, in some circumstances, remove otherwise healthy tooth tissue). However modern advances in 3 key areas have changed this dramatically.

  1. Our ability to move crooked and misplaced teeth in to the perfect alignment with modern orthodontic techniques that are almost invisible
  2. Modern advances in Teeth Whitening & bleaching techniques to reduce the dark and/or yellow colour on teeth
  3. Advances in materials for dental bonding to restore broken tips and make minor changes to the shape of teeth

This philosophy is known as ‘Align, Bleach, Bond’ for obvious reasons, and so this blog is written in that order to reflect our conservative and minimal approach.

Ways to straighten crooked teeth

Orthodontics

Orthodontics can straighten crooked teeth with a variety of techniques.

  1. Lingual orthodontics – these fit on the tongue side of your teeth so are not visible in everyday use. Not everyone is suitable for lingual orthodontics due to the amount of space required, especially on the top teeth.
  2. Lifestyle orthodontics – these include things like Damon braces which can use clear brackets which are virtually imperceptible.
  3. Almost invisible orthodontics – treatments such as Invisalign have revolutionised the way orthodontic braces are used. Invisalign uses clear aligners rather than brackets and wires to straighten teeth.

What do the different orthodontic braces look like?

Lingual orthodontics
Lingual orthodontics

Lingual orthodontics-notice how the braces cannot be seen from the front

Lifestyle orthodontics
Damon braces

Notice the difference between the lifestyle Damon braces on the front top teeth and the regular train track braces

Almost invisible orthodontics
Invisalign braces

Notice how these braces are completely clear and virtually imperceptible when they are in place

Using veneers or bonding to straighten crooked teeth

Sometimes it can be more advantageous to use dental veneers or bonding to straighten crooked teeth, typically these would be used when:

  • The patient requires a more rapid result, veneers and bonding can usually be done in a few weeks compared to many months for orthodontics.
  • The basic shape and/or colour of the teeth is not desirable. If the teeth would require covering with bonding or veneers in order to alter the basic shape or colour then it may be decided to change the alignment of the teeth at the same time with that veneer or bonding, thereby eliminating the need to have orthodontics.

Many times however, orthodontics and veneers or bonding are used in conjunction with one another. Teeth can be moved to an ideal position and then veneered or bonded to restore the colour and/or shape.

How to whitening dark teeth

The quickest, simplest, easiest and most cost-effective way to white and dark teeth is to have teeth whitening. Teeth whitening is one of the few treatments which almost everyone can have, making it an extremely popular choice for whiter teeth.

If your teeth are particularly dark then you may not be able to whiten them to the desired colour, if this is the case then dental veneers and/or dental crowns may be preferred as they can cover up the dark tooth.

How to rebuild a broken tooth

  • Dental bonding – this can restore broken down teeth, particularly chipped teeth. Dental bonding using a composite resin is applied to your teeth directly by the dentist.
  • Dental veneers – these can be build more severely broken down teeth and tend to last longer than dental bonding as they are made from a stronger material. Dental veneers are made by a highly skilled dental technician.
  • Dental crowns – for the most severely broken down teeth dental crowns may be required. Dental veneers only cover the front surface of your tooth whereas dental crowns, the whole surface. Dental crowns made by a highly skilled dental technician.

Which type of cosmetic dental treatment is right for me?

This is a great question. Many times a cosmetic dentist, such as ours in Croydon, Surrey will use a combination of techniques to achieve the desired result.

The best thing to do is to tell your dentist the outcomes you are looking for, rather than the treatment that you want. The dentist will then have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve and can then give you a range of options.

 

What is cosmetic dentistry and what treatments does it include?

What is cosmetic dentistry and what treatments does it include?

Cosmetic dentistry is often considered a standalone aspects of dentistry however, it possible for all dentistry to be cosmetic and for everything to look good as well as keep your teeth healthy and in great condition.

What follows is an overview of treatment is normally assigned to the category of cosmetic dentistry, we’ve listed them by dental problem rather than by specific treatment, this allows you to find the best cosmetic solution for you.

How can I straighten crooked teeth?

Straightening crooked teeth can be done with a variety of different treatments depending upon the level of correction required, timeframe and cost.

  1. Dental bonding
    1. Timeframe: immediate, dental bonding can be applied in the dental chair whilst you wait.
    2. Level of correction: usually only suitable for a couple of teeth at a time, mild correctional changes only can be made.
    3. Cost: Low – from £99/tooth
  2. Dental veneers
    1. Timeframe: usually 2 or 3 weeks from start to finish.
    2. Level of correction: dental veneers can treat fairly extensive crooked teeth, but because the teeth are not moved bodily this is still limited.
    3. Cost: medium/high Depending on the number of teeth to be corrected – from £598/tooth
  3. Orthodontics
    1. Timeframe: anywhere from six months to one year
    2. Level of correction: Orthodontics give the highest level of correction and can be achieved with orthodontics as the teeth are moved bodily from their crooked or misaligned position to their new position.
    3. Cost: medium/high. Treatments typically start from £1650

How can I whiten dark teeth?

Whitening dark teeth can also be achieved with a variety of treatments, depending upon the amount of whitening required.

  1. Air abrasion and/or polishing
    1. Regular dental hygiene appointment can remove surface stains of teeth quite quickly, particularly good for smokers stains.
    2. Cost: from £50 per appointment
  2. Teeth whitening
    1. Teeth whitening can whiten teeth to your desired colour, usually in a couple of weeks.
    2. Cost: from £259 per arch (top or bottom)
  3. Dental bonding
    1. Bonding can lighten a single tooth if that tooth has become dark, perhaps due to an underlying problem with the tooth, decay or root canal treatment. This is often only possible if the tooth is set back from the other teeth as the bonding will form a liar over the surface of the tooth.
    2. Cost: Low – from £99/tooth
  4. Dental veneers
    1. Dental veneers can lighten extremely dark teeth which cannot be lightened adequately with teeth whitening.
    2. Cost: from £598/tooth

How can I replace missing teeth?

Missing teeth are unsightly and can affect confidence, they can also be a trap for food which can lead to dental decay. Adjacent teeth can also drift into the gap meaning that, over time, your bite can be affected.

The options to replace missing teeth will depend upon the convenience, cost and number of teeth to be replaced.

  1. Dentures
    1. Convenience: usually the least convenient option as the teeth are not fixed permanently and the dentures can become loose overtime requiring continuous maintenance. Dentures can have a tendency to fracture if not maintained although repair is usually quite simple.
    2. Cost: usually the cheapest option with acrylic dentures starting from £400
    3. Number of teeth: Dentures can be used to replace a single missing tooth right way through to replacing all missing teeth.
  2. Dental implants
    1. Convenience: the treatment can take up to one year to complete but once done, so long as the dental implants are looked after they can be an exceptionally good way to replace missing teeth as they support the teeth either side and can help to prevent further bone loss.
    2. Cost: From £949 per implant to have a dental implant placed and then from £629 per tooth to have the implant restored with a crown. Pricing can be a little complex due to the number of variables.
    3. Number of teeth: It is not always required to have one implant her tooth which need replacing, for example often six teeth could be replaced with two dental implants. Implants can replace anything from a single missing tooth up to a full mouth.
  3. Dental bridges
    1. Convenience: treatment usually takes approximately 2 weeks and once done, so long as the bridge is maintained can last many years.
    2. Cost: from £498 per tooth
    3. Number of teeth: bridges require standing teeth as this is where the new. It will be attached. Therefore in order to have a classic dental bridge (without implants) you need to have existing teeth either side of the gap. To replace a single missing tooth is easy with a dental bridge. In order to replace multiple missing teeth it’s usually only possible to replace three standing teeth in a row, a healthy tooth needs to be at each end of these three teeth. If this is not the case then either a denture or dental implant may be required.

 

7 Celebrity options for a brighter smile

With so many people wanting a brighter whiter smile it’s quite common to turn to celebrities to see what they are doing. Celebrity endorsement counts for much these days and this blog post looks at some of the best tips and tricks that celebrities are using to enjoy their brightest, whitest smile.

Hacks for whiter teeth without a dentist

#1 Dark Skin

Yes, you guessed it, tanning can actually help your teeth to look whiter. It’s all about the contrast, if your skin is darker then your teeth will have a tendency to look whiter by comparison. It’s a classic trick that many celebrities use.

#2 Red Lipstick

Red lipstick also has a tendency to make teeth look much whiter. Your lips form a perfect frame around your teeth and your smile, when slightly yellow teeth are framed by red, the contrast between red and yellow means that the yellow has a tendency to look whiter. Again, this is a common trick used by celebrity make-up artists to make teeth look much whiter instantly.

#3 Whitening Toothpaste

Whitening toothpastes are now on the market and can offer a slight improvement in the colour of your teeth. It’s important to know the whitening toothpastes can only remove very minor surface staining due to the restrictions on any active ingredient which are in force with regards to toothpastes. You will need to use a whitening toothpaste twice per day for an extended period of time in order to see any noticeable change in the colour of your teeth.

Celebrity dentist treatments for a brighter smile

#4 Air abrasion

Air abrasion involves using a micro blaster which gently blasts extremely fine sand (aluminium oxide) against your teeth. This gentle air/sand abrasion then removes any surface staining present.

The technique can be done in approximately 20 min and if your dark teeth are due to surface staining then this technique can be really effective. It’s particularly good if the teeth are stained due to something you have consumed (perhaps red wine or some dietary supplements) it’s also very effective to remove staining caused by smoking.

#5 Teeth whitening

This is the most obvious solution for a brighter, whiter smile. Teeth whitening will only work on natural teeth and can’t be used if you have restorations such as dental veneers, crowns, bridges or bridges. Teeth whitening works by having a small amount of released hydrogen peroxide as an active agent in the teeth whitening gel, the teeth whitening gel is held against your teeth by a close-fitting and precision made bleaching tray, this ensures the whitening gel does not touch the delicate gum area around your teeth.

Teeth whitening should always be undertaken by a dentist to ensure that your teeth and gums are in a good enough condition to accept the teeth whitening without causing any further damage. The whitening/bleaching trays made by a dentist will also be custom-made and precision fitting ensuring you get the whitest smile in the safest manner.

Before Teeth Whitening

Before Teeth Whitening

After Teeth Whitening

After Teeth Whitening

#6 Dental veneers

Sometimes teeth whitening is not able to whiten teeth adequately enough, perhaps your teeth are exceptionally dark naturally or have darkened down with age or due to the tooth having root treatment. If this is the case then a dental veneer can be placed over the surface of the tooth to completely cover it thereby changing the shape and colour of the tooth itself.

Many celebrities have dental veneers to completely transform their smile. The procedure takes approximately 3 weeks from start to finish including all of the preparation work by the dentist and having the dental veneers manufactured by a highly skilled dental technician.

Celebrity white smile

image source: flaxdental.com

Celebrity dental veneers

Image source: huffpost.com

#7 Teeth straightening

Whilst teeth straightening is not directly related to whiter teeth it can help to give a much brighter smile. Teeth which are twisted and rotated can fall into the shadows in your mouth, these shadows have a tendency to look dark. If your teeth are straight the shadowing disappears and the overall effect is that your smile looks brighter.

When teeth straightening is coupled with teeth whitening a dramatic difference in the brightness of your smile can be achieved.

 

If you would like that celebrity brighter smile with cosmetic dentistry we recommend talking to your local Croydon dentist today.

 

 

Emergency dentist – FAQs

“I need to find an emergency dentist near me, can you help?”

Emergency dentistry

Before we go into the details of what constitutes a dental emergency and whether you need an emergency dentist or not, it’s worth noting that we offer an out of hours dentist up until 7 PM Monday to Thursday and all 9am – 4pm on Saturday. If you have a dental emergency outside of these hours please call the practice and our answerphone will have instructions of what to do.

 

What to do in a dental emergency

A dental emergency will either have extreme pain or blood loss around the tooth and/or gum.

  • If you have severe dental pain then this can be considered an emergency.
  • If you have knocked or banged a tooth and either the tooth is checked and bleeding itself or there is excessive bleeding around the tooth then this is a dental emergency.
  • If you have knocked a tooth out (avulsed) a tooth then this is a dental emergency.

If you have simply chipped the tooth and there is not severe pain and/or bleeding from within the tooth or around the tooth then this would not be normally considered a dental emergency.

Losing a crown, veneer or other dental restoration is also not considered a dental emergency unless there is severe pain associated.

Gum bleeding around one tooth

If your gum is bleeding around the tooth it can be for a couple of reasons:

  1. Your dental health is compromised which means the gums are particularly sensitive, puffy, red and bleed easily.
  2. You have had some form of trauma which has caused bleeding.

Poor dental health causing bleeding

Poor dental health can cause your gums to bleed due to the buildup of tartar around your teeth. Your teeth have a sticky layer (plaque) which forms over the teeth, this layer is rich in bacteria. The bacteria feed on sugar in your diet and as they do they excrete acid, it is this acid which attacks your teeth causing decay. If you do not remove the plaque from your teeth at least twice per day then it can form into hard areas, in particular in between your teeth.

As it forms into these hard areas (tartar) it can irritate the gum and it is this irritation which causes the gums to become inflamed, red, puffy and ultimately bleed upon light contact.

This is not a dental emergency and the only way to resolve it is to improve your oral health by visiting your dentist and dental hygienist.

Bleeding around the tooth caused by trauma

This can be considered a dental emergency. If your tooth is still in place and has not been knocked out, rinse your mouth out with warm water to dislodge and clear away any broken sections of the tooth (warm water is far kinder to your teeth if they are sensitive). If there is pain then use a cold compress on the cheek, you may also find that over-the-counter painkillers can help.

Mild bleeding around the tooth will usually stop quite quickly on its own. If it doesn’t then use some clean gauze to apply pressure to the bleeding area.

If the bleeding is excessive or does not stop then either call your emergency dentist in Croydon or visit your local accident and emergency.

Bleeding after tooth extraction

The heaviest bleeding usually occurs in the first couple of hours after a tooth extraction, however bleeding usually stops much quicker than this. Everyone is different and everyone takes a different time to stop bleeding. You might find you need to keep gauze over the extraction site for up to 5 hours to ensure the bleeding has stopped completely.

Biting gently on the gauze will ensure you have adequate pressure to stop the bleeding.

It’s important not to rinse away any blood clot which has formed, we therefore recommend not rinsing your mouth out for 24 hours in order to ensure the bleeding has completely stopped.

Sometimes people find that using a teabag instead of gauze can help, this is because the tannic acid in the teabag helps to form a clot by constricting bleeding vessels.

blood clot after tooth extraction

Unless you have a medical condition or are taking drugs to prevent clotting (always remember to tell your dentist if this is the case prior to any extraction) then the blood clot will begin to form immediately after the extraction.

In rare cases a dry sockets can form, this is where the blood clot is lost and exposes underlying nerves which can be exceptionally painful. If you look into the socket, rather than seeing a dark red clot you will probably see whitish bone. Other symptoms can include pain which radiates down the side of your jaw and into your ear as well as bad breath or nasty taste in your mouth.

A dry sockets typically appear 2 days after a tooth extraction and can only be treated by a dentist who will apply a special dressing.

If you believe you have a dry sockets then this would be considered a dental emergency and you should visit an emergency dentist.

 

NHS dental emergency line

There is not unfortunately an NHS dental emergency helpline. In the event of a dental emergency please do not contact your GP, your first port of call should always be to contact your own dentist. If you do not have a dentist you can call the NHS number 111 who may be able to help find an out of hours dental service near you.

Image source: freedigitalimages.net

 

 

How to find a good dentist

Finding a new dentist in Croydon can be a daunting and difficult experience, follow our top tips for finding the best dentist near you.

Questions to ask a new dentist

Relaxing at the dentistAre you focused on whole-body health?

A dentist that focuses on the entire body is far more likely to ensure that your dental health is looked after in the same holistic manner.

No one wants a dentist that simply pulls out a single tooth and takes no time to consider the implications on the other teeth or indeed the whole body.

With the use of amalgam now being clearly understood to have a detrimental effect on the body finding a dentist that is amalgam free could be important to you.

Are you a member of a professional organisation? If so which one?

Professional organisations such as Denplan or  Society for the Advancement of Anaesthesia in Dentistry (SAAD) can help to demonstrate that your dentist is keen to learn, develop and stay up-to-date with the most modern dental techniques. Who wants to go to a dentist that hasn’t been out of the dental practice for years and is still stuck in the 1970s?

Do you have recommendations from friends & family?

Asking a dentist to see recommendations from happy patients, their friends and family is one of the best ways to know if your dentist is a good one. If the dentist you have chosen cannot show these recommendations it might be the time to ask why!

Questions to ask once you have been to the dentist

Once you actually get to visit your new dentist it’s good to review the treatment and process, here’s what we recommend you think about.

Was everything explained to me in a manner that I found acceptable?

When you initially went the dentist did you complete your medical history and questionnaire form in a confidential manner and what it all explained to you. Did the dentist communicate with you in a way that you found relaxing and calming?

Was the dentist wearing magnification equipment?

When working in your mouth a dentist should really be using some form of magnification, in order to be able to see the finest details in your mouth and spot the earliest signs of gum disease and dental decay magnification loupes are a vital accessory.

Was I comfortable?

Were you made to feel comfortable in the dental chair? Did they ask if you were warm enough? Were you offered head and neck rests? Did you get to choose the music you listen to or were you even asked?

Relax at the dentist

All of these things can help you relax and feel calm and whilst not crucial to the dentistry itself can help you feel more comfortable.

Did the reception team welcome me to the practice?

When you initially arrived did the reception team look up from the work they were doing and welcome you? If they were on the phone did they politely asked the person on the phone to wait one moment whilst they spoke to you? Or were you completely ignored for some considerable time?

Was the treatment explained prior to going ahead?

Every good dentist should explain treatment beforehand, many times you should also be given a full treatment plan explaining what will happen with associated costs… Did you receive this?

Personality traits to watch out for in a good dentist

A good communicator

Being able to communicate with you is a vital trait of a good dentist, a dentist that can speak to you in words that you can understand and in a way that makes things simple and easy to follow and comprehend.

a person that is easy to talk to

If you have found a good dentist and wish to stay with them in the long-term you may find that sometimes treatment can be uncomfortable. You may also be anxious or nervous about a particular treatment, so having a dentist that is easy to talk to and approach about your concerns can help set your mind at rest.

trustworthiness

If someone says they are going to do something it’s good to know that they are going to do it. A dentist that you can trust to do what they say and keep to the timings they promise will also help to keep any anxieties at bay.

someone that focuses on detail

Teeth are rather small and tiny and are a little detail in our body… You will therefore want a dentist that focuses on this tiny detail. Sometimes when people explain things they go into extreme detail, this is actually a good trait for a dentist to have and it will be worthwhile looking out for this.

artistic and creative

If you have to have some natural tooth structure removed due to disease or decay you want to have a dentist that has a creative and artistic side in order to rebuild that tooth in a natural and holistic way. Even looking out for then natural creativity and artistic flair with paintings on the wall could be a good way to understand if your dentist is artistic.
excited about what they do

Yes, it is possible for people to get excited about teeth! If your dentist talks in an excited manner about helping you maintain your dental health then you may just found the best dentist!

Image source: freedigitalphotos.net

Welcome to our dental advice blog

Welcome to our dental advice blog

Welcome to the new blog of Natureza Dental, so what is it all about?

As many patients of ours in Croydon know, we are passionate about helping the local people improve their dental health and help them understand the connection between their dental health and whole-body health.

Our blog will be published approximately monthly and will go through a variety of issues such as.

  1. How to reduce the risks of oral cancer.
  2. How to spot the early warning signs of oral cancer.
  3. How to reduce stress in normal living and how does this impact our teeth?
  4. What to do if your gums bleed whilst brushing.
  5. What is the link between diabetes and gum disease?
  6. What is the link between heart disease and gum disease?
  7. What is the best diet to protect your teeth?

We will also be taking a walk through the various dental treatments on offer for a range of problems such as:

As you can see, we will be covering a considerable amount of ground with the forthcoming blog posts… But what concerns do you have with your teeth?

We’d love to hear, why not comment below and let us know your own dental concerns and questions, we can then cover that in a future blog post.