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.

 

Dr Lage has a special interest in Implant Dentistry, Mercury free Dentistry, Root Canal Treatments (Endodontics), and Cosmetic Dentistry (crowns, bridges, veneers, teeth whitening).

He is very calm and very good with children and nervous patients.

Jose speaks English, Portuguese and Spanish and is trying to improve his Italian and French.

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

 

 

Dr Lage has a special interest in Implant Dentistry, Mercury free Dentistry, Root Canal Treatments (Endodontics), and Cosmetic Dentistry (crowns, bridges, veneers, teeth whitening).

He is very calm and very good with children and nervous patients.

Jose speaks English, Portuguese and Spanish and is trying to improve his Italian and French.