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General Dentistry

Dental decay – how to tell if you need a tooth filling

Posted on 30.05.2017 by perfectsmile

Dental decay is a serious issue. If left untreated, it can become a serious threat to your dental hygiene and cause you a lot of pain.

Tooth fillings can be used to help solve this problem, and help you achieve your perfect smile.

Could you need a tooth filing? To help you find out, we’ve put together this guide on dental decay and tooth fillings.

What is dental decay?

 Simply put, dental decay is the process of sugary food dissolving teeth.

Whenever sugars in the food we eat and drink react to the bacteria in plaque, it forms acids that soften and dissolve the enamel and dentine of a tooth. The acid is eventually neutralised though natural salts in your saliva, but can attack your teeth for up to an hour after eating and drinking.

Overtime, the sugary food will make a cavity (hole) in the tooth. There are three types of cavities dental decay can cause:

  • Coronal cavities. This is the most common type and is located on chewing surfaces or between the teeth. This type of cavity is common in both children and adults.
  • Root cavities. Our gums recede as we age, which leaves parts of our tooth roots exposed. Since there is no enamel covering tooth roots, these exposed areas are more susceptible to dental decay.
  • Recurrent decay. This type of cavity is located around existing fillings and crowns which have accumulated a build-up of plaque.

Without treatment, dental decay can destroy your tooth and kill the delicate nerves at its centre. It can also cause the area at the root tip to become infected. Once this part is infected, it the tooth can only be treated with root canal, surgery or by extracting the tooth.

If the decay is not too serious, it can be removed. The tooth can then be restored with either a white or silver filling. The silver fillings contain mercury, while the white fillings are made from a durable white material that matches the colour of your teeth.

If caught early enough, sometimes dental decay can also be treated with a fluoride varnish to help stop more decay.

How to tell if you need a filling

Unfortunately, dental decay does not have a lot of symptoms in its early stages.

However, if you experience any of the following symptoms, contact your dentist for a consultation.

  1. Tooth sensitivity. Does one of your teeth feel sensitive when exposed to certain foods, such as hot or cold temperatures, or sweet, sticky and sour foods.
  2. Flossing string tears. When you floss, does the string tear each time you floss a particular tooth?
  3. Damage to a previous filling. If a previous filling is cracked, broken or missing, you may need to replace the filling.
  4. A chipped or fractured tooth.
  5. Food stuck between teeth. When you eat, does your food always get stick on or between certain teeth?
  6. Dark spots. Can you see or feel a dark spot or a hole on your tooth? Does your tooth feel rough?
  7. This could be a throbbing or sharp pain in your mouth, or pain in your tooth when you bite down or chew your food.

It’s important to understand that even if you don’t have any of these signs or symptoms, you can still be at risk of dental decay.

Conclusion

Dental decay dissolves your teeth, creating cavities. If left untreated, it can lead to serious dental hygiene problems, infections and may even require surgery to fix. Tooth fillings are used to treat dental decay in common cases, but your dentist will be able to tell you if you need fillings or not.

Dental decay spreads fast, so if you have any signs or symptoms contact your dentist as soon as possible. Unfortunately, dental decay doesn’t always have symptoms until it’s too late, so it’s important that you go for regular check-ups.

Ready to achieve your perfect smile? Book a consultation today.

What is baby bottle tooth decay and how can you prevent it?

Posted on 14.05.2017 by perfectsmile

Baby teeth are incredibly important for your children. Helping permanent teeth come in correctly, it’s vital that baby teeth are looked after.

Common in children under five years of age, baby bottle tooth decay can seriously harm your child’s baby teeth. But what exactly is baby bottle tooth decay and how can you prevent your child from getting it?

What is baby bottle tooth decay?

Baby bottle tooth decay is caused by sweetened liquids clinging to children’s teeth for a long time. Bacteria in the mouth will feed on the sugary liquid, creating an acid that dissolves your children’s teeth.

The risk of baby bottle tooth decay is increased when your child drinks from a baby bottle, has a lot of sugary food or drinks or uses a pacifier (dummy) that’s dipped in sugar or honey.

Baby bottle tooth decay will dissolve your children’s teeth and can cause severe pain or tooth loss. Damage to baby teeth can cause your child to develop poor eating habits, speech problems as well as crooked or damaged permanent teeth.

How can you prevent it?

There are many tips you can follow to reduce the risk of your child getting baby bottle tooth decay.

  1. Reduce use of baby bottles – Teach your children to drink from cups as soon as possible. Drinking from cups reduces the risk of liquid collecting around the teeth and makes it easier for them to wean off a baby bottle. At night time, try to stop your child taking a bottle to bed as drinking from bottles overnight can be particularly harmful. If your child does take a bottle to bed, make sure it is filled with water instead of milk or other sugary drinks.
  1. Swap sugary drinks for water – Limit the number of sugary drinks like milk or juice your child has through the day. Encourage your child to drink water outside of meal times to prevent baby bottle tooth decay.
  1. Give your child clean pacifiers – If your child has a pacifier, do not dip it into sugar or honey. It’s also important to avoid cleaning pacifiers with your mouth, as bacteria from your mouth can be transferred to your child.
  1. Encourage a healthier diet – Encourage a healthier diet for your children and avoid giving them sweet, sugary foods. By avoiding sugary foods, your child reduces the risk of bacteria forming harmful acids and causing baby bottle tooth decay.
  1. Clean your infant’s gums after meals – After meals, use a wet cloth or gauze to wipe your child’s teeth and gums. This helps remove any bacteria-forming plaque and excess sugar that have built up on the teeth and gums.
  1. Brush their teeth – Once the first tooth starts to show, it’s important that you start a daily brushing routine. Brushing your child’s teeth will not only help with baby bottle tooth decay, but encourage great oral health.
  1. Get your child used to regular dental appointments – From the time their first tooth arrives or they reach one year old, you should start booking regular dental appointments for your child. These appointments will get your child used to visiting the dentist and will ensure that their teeth develop correctly without any problems.

Conclusion

Baby bottle tooth decay is caused by sugary liquids and foods that cling to children’s teeth. The sugary liquids react with bacteria in the mouth to create acids which dissolve teeth.

Left untreated, tooth decay can cause many problems for your children including severe pain, tooth loss, damaged to their speech and permanent teeth. Yet, baby bottle tooth decay can be prevented by regular brushing, limiting your child’s bottle use and encouraging them to eat and drink less sugary foods and drinks.

Want your children to find their perfect smile? Book a consultation today.

Dentures and dental implants – which are right for you?

Posted on 09.04.2017 by perfectsmile

Missing teeth don’t just harm your self-image, but can also damage your remaining teeth, impair your speech and lead to bone loss.

Thanks to modern dentistry, missing teeth can be fixed with dentures or dental implants.

But how do you know which option is right for you?

To help you decide, we’ve put together this guide on dentures and dental implants so you know what treatment will help you achieve your perfect smile.

Dentures

Dentures are a removable plate of false teeth. Usually made from plastic, the plates are available in either full or partial sets.

Without adhesive, dentures can move or dislodge in your mouth while you are chewing and eating. For some people, dentures will be uncomfortable to wear and can even cause difficulty with eating or speaking.

Dentures also need to be removed overnight, as wearing them for prolonged periods can cause fungal infections.

Dentures are a quick and easy solution to missing teeth. After taking an impression of your mouth, the dentures are made and fitted right away.

Although Dentures are a cheaper and quicker option, they aren’t long lasting. They will be refitted and aligned as your gum and jaw structures change while ageing and need to be replaced every five to seven years.

Dental implants

Dental implants are custom-made teeth replacements that are permanently attached to your jawbone.

Commonly made from a titanium screw with a tooth crown on top, dental implants can be used for multiple or single teeth.

Unfortunately, dental implants have a longer and more evasive procedure than dentures.  After the implants are surgically inserted into your jawbone, they need between eight weeks and six months to heal and allow the bone to grow around the implant. During this time, you’ll have a temporary crown to wear until your perfect, custom-made crown is made.

Although the procedure is longer than Dentures, dental implants look natural, let you eat and speak as normal and can last a lifetime.

Missing teeth can lead to bone loss. This is because your jawbone needs chewing action of your teeth to stimulate it and keep it strong. Without this action, the bone will begin to disappear and cause premature ageing and further dental problems.

As dental implants are attached to your jawbone, they are the only treatment that can stimulate chewing action and prevent bone loss.

Overall, dental implants are more natural, easier to care for and allow you to eat, talk and live your life as normal.

Conclusion

Dentures are a quick and easy fix for missing teeth. Yet, they can cause problems with eating and speech, have short lives and can be uncomfortable for many people.

On the other hand, dental implants are long lasting, let you live your life as normal and are the only treatment that can prevent bone loss.

Ultimately, your dentist will be able to discuss all the options and help you choose the best one based on your unique needs.

Ready to achieve your perfect smile? Book a consultation today.

Everything you need to know about Children’s Braces

Posted on 30.03.2017 by perfectsmile

As your children grow, their teeth may become crooked.

Crooked teeth can cause self-image problems, particularly at young ages. On top of this, crooked teeth can also cause many future dental problems for your children.

Braces are the key to treating crooked teeth and unlocking your child’s perfect smile. That’s why we’ve put together this guide on everything you need to know about children’s braces.

 

When do children get braces?  

There’s no straightforward answer to this question.

The ideal age for children to get braces is between 12-13 years old. But this depends entirely on your child.

Some children may need to start dental treatment from easy ages of six or seven, before they have even lost all their baby teeth.

The goal of early treatment is to prevent further dental problems from developing. Early treatment will also help aid the proper alignment of their teeth by creating a better environment for the new teeth to grow into.

The sooner your child can begin treatment, the less treatment they may need.

 

What types of braces are available?

When it comes to braces, there are three main types to choose from.

Traditional braces – These are the most common and thought of treatment for teeth.

Made from metal brackets and bands glued to your teeth, these braces will slowly pull teeth into position.

They are the most obvious and difficult to maintain braces to have, requiring a great deal of upkeep and maintenance. This includes regular check-ups every three to eight weeks, alongside adjustment and repair procedures.

Lingual and ceramic braces – These are the less visible versions of traditional braces. They also need the same amount of maintenance.

Ceramic braces are designed to match the colour of your teeth, blending more seamlessly into your mouth.

Lingual braces are glued to the back of your teeth instead of the front. However, lingual braces can only be used on the bottom set of teeth.

Invisalign braces – Invisalign braces are sets of ultralight plastic aligners. Custom-made to your teeth, each set is designed to slowly and painlessly shift teeth into their perfect position.

Unlike other braces, Invisalign are completely removable and need less check-up appointments. With less upkeep and maintenance, Invisalign will allow your children to live their life as normal.

 

What maintenance is required?

When your child has braces, it is important that they take care of them.

Traditional, lingual and ceramic braces will be harder for your children to care for. With these braces, it is important that they avoid sticky, hard, chewy and sugary food that could get stuck in and damage their braces. They also need to avoid bad habits like chewing on pens or biting their nails, as this could also damage the braces.

It is also extremely important for them to maintain a great dental hygiene routine. Braces make children more prone to many dental hygiene problems, including serious issues like gum disease.

Poor dental hygiene and maintenance can also extend your child’s treatment time.

As Invisalign braces are completely removable, your children can take them out before eating and drinking and cleaning their teeth. This makes them a lot easier for your children to maintain while reducing the risk of poor dental hygiene.

 

Conclusion

If your children’s teeth are growing in crooked, they will need straightening treatment to prevent dental problems.

There are many braces options that your child can choose from. Ultimately, your dentist will be able to make sure your child has the perfect kind for them.

Is your child ready for their perfect smile? Book a consultation today

Posted in: General Dentistry

How to Maintain Dental Hygiene

Posted on 09.03.2017 by perfectsmile

How to maintain dental hygiene with braces

Straightening your teeth through braces is great for your self-image and preventing many dental problems in the future.

But the downside of braces, particularly traditional ones, is that it can be hard to maintain dental hygiene.

That’s why we’ve put together a guide to help you understand the importance of good dental hygiene and some tips for maintaining it with your braces.

 

What are the risks of bad dental hygiene?

Braces make dental hygiene harder to maintain, and are more prone to several common dental problems such as gingivitis, tartar, and demineralisation. In some cases, these can even lead to more serious issues such as gum disease, through a build-up of plaque.

Not only are these problems unpleasant for you to deal with, they may also prevent your braces being removed on schedule.

Being more susceptible to cavities and sore, swollen gums can cause your regular adjustments to be paused. In severe cases, your orthodontist may even have to remove your braces while you heal.

Maintaining good dental hygiene is also important to prevent staining.

The last thing you want to do is end up with whiter, visible unstained squares on your newly straightened teeth.

 

Tips for maintaining your hygiene with braces

The first step to maintaining good dental hygiene is making sure you have the right equipment to do the job.

Although some will be down to your personal preferences, here’s what you will need:

  • Don’t forget the most important part to great dental hygiene! A normal, soft-bristled toothbrush works great for braces. When using your toothbrush, make sure not to press too hard. Tip your toothbrush at an angle so it reaches the surfaces of your teeth, and brush using a smooth, circular motion. Braces can cause extra wear on your toothbrush, so it may need replacing more often.
  • Inter-dental brush. These brushes are used to clean between your brackets and under wires and are great at removing large pieces of debris. This brush should be used every single time you brush your teeth to make sure nothing will get stuck.
  • Four-tuft interproximal brush. These brushes aren’t for everyone, but can really help clean between your teeth if you have any gaps or spaces. They are also good for cleaning around your brackets and fixed retainers.
  • This process is incredibly important to stop a build-up of plaque and should be done once a day. If you’re struggling with the floss, you can get special floss and threader made for braces to help get the floss between your teeth.
  • Check your teeth after brushing and make sure you haven’t missed a spot.

The key to maintaining great dental hygiene with braces is to build a routine.

Start off with the inter-dental brush and remove all pieces of debris from your braces and wires. Then thoroughly brush your teeth (with the help of a four-tuft interproximal brush if required), taking care not to press too hard.

You will need to brush your teeth several times a day, particularly after big meals. It’s also important that you remember to floss once a day.

Take things as slow as you need and make sure you don’t miss a spot.

 

Conclusion

Maintaining good dental hygiene with braces is difficult, but incredibly important for your health and treatment.

If you struggle with maintaining dental hygiene, you may want to consider opting for Invisalign braces instead. As Invisalign are completely removable, you can easily take the braces out while you maintain a normal dental hygiene routine.

Need more information on your braces? Book a consultation today.

Posted in: General Dentistry

Are Veneers Right for your Teeth?

Posted on 09.03.2017 by perfectsmile

Are veneers right for your teeth?

Your perfect smile can do wonders for your self-image.

Smiling should be a happy, enjoyable experience. No one should be stressed or embarrassed by their smile.

With veneers, hiding your smile can be a thing of the past. They can be the fast, painless answer to answer to unlocking your perfect smile.

 

What are veneers?

Veneers are wafer-thin shells that are cemented to the front of your teeth. Made from either porcelain, ceramic or composite bonding material, veneers are custom-made to fit your teeth.

They provide an immediate makeover to your smile, changing the size, shape, colour or position of your teeth while maintaining a natural look.

Many dentists use the analogy that dental veneers are for your teeth what false fingernails are for your hands.

 

Why choose veneers?

Strong, relatively stain-resistant and long-lasting, veneers are a fantastic long-term solution to a number of cosmetic problems.

Custom-made to your teeth, they hide a variety of problems, including:

  • Badly-stained teeth – allowing you to achieve a brighter, whiter smile. Porcelain veneers are particularly resistant further staining.
  • Damaged, chipped or broken teeth – giving the appearance of full and heathy teeth. Small chips on a tooth can be quickly repaired with composite bonding veneers, while larger chips and damages can be covered with a veneer with the same characteristics and colour as your natural teeth.
  • Space, or gaps in teeth – allowing you to achieve a fuller, more even smile.
  • Crooked teeth – Giving the appearance of straighter teeth. Severely crooked teeth would need longer braces or Invisalign treatments to straighten the teeth.

The process of attaching veneers is quick, easy and does not require any anaesthesia. Veneers are also easy to care for and don’t impact on your everyday life. They can give you your perfect smile while letting you live your life as normal.

 

Conclusion

Veneers are the quick, easy and long-lasting answer to many cosmetic problems.

Ultimately, your dentist will be able to discuss whether veneers are the perfect fit for you, depending on your unique needs.

Ready to achieve your perfect smile with veneers? Book a consultation today.

Posted in: General Dentistry

Ten Celebrities Who Transformed Their Smiles

Posted on 17.03.2015 by perfectsmile

If you open a newspaper, turn on the television or go to watch a film at the cinema, the chances are that you’ll find yourself looking at the faces of celebrities all boasting perfect smiles. Straight teeth which are dazzlingly white and perfectly even are the rule when it comes to actors, presenters and other celebrities, but the days when they were the only people who could claim this are long gone. Thanks to advances in know-how and technology it is now possible for ordinary people to seek out cosmetic dental treatment capable of completely transforming the appearance of their smile. Having the smile you’ve always dreamed of isn’t simply about looking good, it’s about feeling good. The knowledge that your smile looks as appealing as possible will fill you with confidence in a huge variety of work and social situations. More importantly, not having to worry about your teeth being discoloured, damaged, crooked or missing will mean you can simply forget about them altogether and concentrate on expressing your personality, being relaxed in a manner which will mean those you interact with are also at ease.

Give Your Mum a Perfect Smile on Mother’s Day

Posted on 10.03.2015 by perfectsmile

March 15th is a special date in the UK this year because it marks the day upon which Mothering Sunday (usually known as Mother’s Day) falls, and, as such, is the day upon which children of all ages get to repay just a little bit of the debt which they owe to their mother. Celebrating this special day is a way of saying thanks for everything that your mum has done for you over the years, and helping her to transform her smile would represent a gift that vastly improves her life in a dramatic and permanent manner.

A Guide to Denture Stabilisation

Posted on 20.02.2015 by perfectsmile

Despite the best efforts of dentists and their patients, there sometimes comes a time when the only viable form of treatment is for the patient in question to be equipped with a set of dentures. Modern dental technology means that the dentures in question are bound to be a world away – in comfort and aesthetic appeal – from the cumbersome dentures of times past, but that still doesn’t preclude the problems inherent in denture instability. If your dentures aren’t firmly attached, you may feel anxious that, at any time, they could come loose and shift within your mouth, something which would cause embarrassment and the fear of which would stop you being able to relax and enjoy yourself, especially when involved in social situations. Loose dentures can also cause problems with speech, and can make it impossible to eat and enjoy a vast range of foodstuffs, as well as patients running the risk that the movement of the dentures could cause irritation and pain within the sensitive soft tissue inside the mouth. All of this adds up to an excellent range of reasons why patients who need to wear dentures should investigate the possibility of denture stabilisation. This is a technique which utilises dental implants – the placing of a metal pin which acts as an artificial root into the bone of the jaw – as a means via which to anchor the dentures firmly in place. Implants of this kind will offer an unrivalled combination of reassurance, comfort and convenience.

Posted in: General Dentistry

Selecting the Perfect Dental Practice for You

Posted on 10.02.2015 by perfectsmile

Your health is, quite literally, the most important thing in your life and the lives of your family members. Without good health, nothing else really matters, and that’s why it’s so important that you take the time and trouble to select the medical practitioners who are just right for you. This is just as true when dealing with dental matters as it is with any other medical issue. Looking after your teeth isn’t just a question of worrying too much about how you look, since a healthy smile will allow you to fully engage with other people in a relaxed and confident manner, assured of a the good impression you’re creating. Besides this consideration is the fact that healthy teeth and a healthy mouth are key indicators of all round general good health, since problems such as gum disease and excess plaque have been linked to conditions such as heart disease and arthritis, whilst a dentists is also almost bound to be the first person to spot serious problems such as oral cancer. Good general health often lies in building a strong long term relationship with your dentist, and making just the right choice in the first place will mean this is far more achievable.

Perfect Smile Launches 8 New Clinics in Newcastle

Posted on 23.12.2014 by perfectsmile

Perfect Smile Surgery are proud to announce the launch of 8 new branches on their family tree, in the form of 8 brand new state of the art clinics to be opened in the Newcastle area. If you live in the area and would like to access dental treatment that is expertly delivered, friendly and able to boast access to the latest technology and cutting edge treatment plans then why not come along and pay us a visit. Even if you feel your teeth are currently in pretty good condition, let us cast our expert eye over them and let you know about any potential problems before they develop and become unsightly or painful. It isn’t just about seeking relief from dental problems, of course, or taking pre-emptive preventative steps, since our Newcastle clinics can offer the full range of cosmetic dentistry treatments aimed at giving our patients the perfect smile they’ve always dreamed of. Amongst the cosmetic options we can offer are treatment s such as Invisalign teeth straightening, dental implants and teeth whitening (in surgery and at home). No matter what the scale of your problem, whether you need a little tweaking or a complete revamping, we’ll be able to put together a plan to achieve the transformation you’re looking for.

Sedation to Beat Fear of the Dentist

Posted on 13.12.2014 by perfectsmile

Despite the fact that dental treatment is now quicker, simpler and less painful than it’s ever been, there are still very many people who find the thought of a trip to a dentist’s surgery absolutely terrifying. In some cases, this may be due to an unfortunate experience when they were younger, or perhaps the fear is simply an irrational feeling bordering on a phobia. Whatever the reason behind it, this kind of fear can stop people visiting their dentist, even for a check-up, and this can have long term ramifications on the state of their teeth and even on their general health and well-being. For people such as these, local anaesthetic is not an option, since merely being able to feel and hear the work being carried out will be enough to unnerve them. The good news, however, is that there is now a type of sedation which can be accessed by nervous patients, one which will ensure they remain conscious throughout treatment but in a state of deep relaxation. This is known as conscious sedation, and is a method whereby the patient is put into a state of deep relaxation whilst still being able to communicate with the dentist carrying out the treatment.

Posted in: General Dentistry