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Cosmetic Dentistry

 

Teeth Whitening

 

Everyday life takes its toll on our teeth. Drinking too much tea or coffee, smoking or even eating strongly coloured foods can stain and discolour them. There are toothpastes available that will help remove these stains, but they can’t change the actual colour of the tooth underneath.

 

The colour of your teeth is determined by your DNA, just like the colour of your hair or your eyes. As we get older, the dentine – the soft, pulpy substance below the enamel that protects the nerves and the blood supply to the tooth – changes colour, becoming more yellow. This is something which a stain-removing toothpaste alone cannot help.

 

Dentists can, though. By applying a bleaching agent to the teeth, they can whiten the teeth, giving you a sparkly white smile. This procedure is simple, harmless and practically painless.

It is important, though, to do it under your dentist’s supervision. Don’t be tempted to buy kits over the counter or on the Internet. Not only are they not made to fit your mouth exactly, it may be that bleaching isn’t suitable for you, especially if you have gum disease or crowns.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Veneers

Not all of us are happy with the way our teeth look. Maybe one of them is discoloured or chipped or perhaps it’s slightly crooked. Although the tooth may well be healthy, the way it looks can make us really self-conscious. Your dentist can help by applying something called a veneer.

 

A dental veneer is a thin layer of tooth-coloured material – usually porcelain – which the dentist attaches to the damaged or discoloured tooth. Once it’s been attached, it will look just as natural as your other teeth.

 

Applying the veneer is a relatively simple procedure and can be done in a couple of visits to the dentist. The dentist will remove a tiny amount of the tooth’s surface so that when the veneer is applied it doesn’t feel bulky and umould – of your mouth so that a technician can make a veneencomfortable. They will then take an impression – a r that will match the size and shape of the rest of your teeth. On your second visit, the newly-made veneer will be stuck on with special glue.

 

Veneers can also be made out of the same material that makes white fillings. Your dentist will simply apply a small amount of acid to your tooth to make it a rougher surface and then gradually add layers of filling material to get the right look for you.

 

Orthodontics

 

Having crooked teeth or large gaps between your teeth can cause problems. Food and bacteria could get stuck between the teeth which could cause decay. Similarly, if your teeth stick out, this could cause problems with mouth ulcers and decay, or with speech. Your dentist might suggest that you have your teeth straightened through orthodontics – by wearing a brace.

 

The majority of orthodontics are carried out on teenagers, but increasing numbers of adults are opting for orthodontics too. Your dentist may refer you to a specialist – an orthodontist – who will take examine and probably x-ray your teeth to see how best to straighten them.

 

We can also provide adult tooth straightening in the surgery, usually within weeks. Your dentist will advise you on suitability.

 

 

 

 

Dental implants

 

Dental implants are one way of replacing missing teeth. The way they are mounted onto posts and inserted into the jaw during surgery means that they look and feel just like ordinary teeth.

 

Although there are many advantages to having implants, they are not suitable for everyone. You need to have healthy gums and be in good general health. You also need enough jawbone to take the posts and support the replacement teeth. Some chronic diseases, such as diabetes, osteoporosis or chronic sinus problems could interfere with healing and make implants more likely to fail.

 

If you choose to have implants, you will undergo surgery twice or more over a period of several months. Because they are a complicated form of treatment, implants can also be expensive.

 

Your dentist will go through each stage of the treatment with you before it begins and also give you a timetable for completing treatment. You might be referred to a specialist.

 

The dentist will expose the bone in the jaw where the tooth is missing. Then he will drill a hole and insert a metal post into the bone. This is usually done under a local anaesthetic, but sometimes sedation or, if you are in hospital, a general anaesthetic is used. The gum is then stitched over the post and it’s left to heal for several months, while the bone grows around the post, making it secure.

 

After this period, there will be second operation, in which replacement teeth are mounted onto the metal post. This requires a small cut in the gum above the implant. The replacement teeth might be single or in a group, and possibly as a ‘bridge’, attached to neighbouring natural teeth. They may be fixed permanently or attached in a way that lets you remove them for cleaning.

 

After surgery, it’s absolutely essential to maintain good mouth hygiene and visit your dentist regularly.