Private Services at Blenheim Dental Practice
A dental implant is essentially a substitute for a natural root of a tooth. An implant is a conical shaped titanium screw that is designed to be placed into the bone in order to replace a damaged or missing tooth.
Dental implants can be used in the following ways:
1) A single implant to replace a single missing tooth.
2) Two implants can replace three or four missing teeth.
3) Four to six implants can be used to replace all the teeth in the upper or lower jaw.
4) Implants can be used to anchor a denture.
Dental implants are the most natural way to replace a missing tooth without damaging the existing teeth.
Implants require a good quality and quantity of bone in the jaw for it to be successful. Your dentist will x-ray your mouth to determine if implants are the most suitable option for you.
Once the titanium implant is placed, it requires a period of 2-3 months for the bone to attach to the implant surface. Your dentist will provide you with a suitable temporary restoration during this period to improve your aesthetic appearance. The permanent replacement crown or bridge is fitted in place usually 3-4 months after the placement of the implant. In some cases teeth can be fitted at the same time as the dental implants.
Dental implants generally lasts as long as you care for it.
It requires good oral hygiene and effective cleaning around the implants to ensure the gum and tissues around the implant stay healthy. We advise that you stay under the care of our dental hygienist to enhance the long-term success of your replacement tooth.
Implants are often easier to place than taking out a tooth. The procedure of placing the implant is done under local anesthesia. You will not feel pain at the time, but just like an extraction you may feel some discomfort a few days after surgery.
Dental implants are made to look exactly like natural teeth. It is the option of choice in the replacement of a missing tooth. Please ask your dentist about the suitability of implants to restore your smile.
Tooth whitening is the process of lightening the natural colour of your teeth without removing any of the tooth surfaces.
Tooth whitening is a very popular aesthetic procedure due to the fact that it brightens your smile without damaging the surface of the tooth.
As we get older our teeth are getting darker. This is partly due to getting older, but also due to the food and drink we consume and certain habits like smoking. Drinks like tea, coffee and red wine and certain foods like curries, berries and foods with food colourings will all contribute to a darkening of your natural tooth colour.
We use a type of whitening technique called ‘dentist-supervised home whitening’. The advantage of this type of whitening is that it allows each person to have a greater control over the final outcome of the whitening.
The dentist will evaluate your teeth to determine the correct whitening protocol that is suitable for your teeth. Your dentist will make you a very thin mouthguard after taking impressions for this at the first visit. The dentist will provide you with whitening gel to put in the mouth guard together with a routine to follow at home.
Tooth lightening only works on natural teeth. Dentures, crowns, veneers and fillings will not lighten with this procedure. It is however very effective on individual discoloured teeth in cases of discolouration following root canal treatment.
The duration of the treatment depends on how discoloured your teeth are and the shade you want to get to. The lightening gel is applied only for a short period per day. Tooth whitening takes on average between two to four weeks to complete and lightens the natural colour of your teeth by several shades.
Visiting the Dental Hygienist
Dental hygienists are specially trained to provide care and promote dental health.
The hygienist’s main work is to professionally clean the patient’s teeth. This often referred to as a ‘scale and polish’. The process removes plaque, which a sticky coating that forms constantly on the teeth, and tartar (calculus), which is a hard deposit that builds up on the teeth. Plaque and tartar play an important part in the cause of gum disease.
Gum disease is a process where bacteria cause inflammation of the gums, which may lead to recession of the gums and tooth loss. Early signs of gum inflammation include bleeding of the gums and bad breath.
The hygienist focuses on the elimination of gum infection and works closely with the dentist to promote good oral health. She will demonstrate to you techniques to improve your cleaning routine especially in between the teeth where a toothbrush doesn’t reach. She will show you helpful tools and aids to assist you in cleaning the hard to reach places.
The hygienist will talk to you about diet and other preventative measures to slow down the rate of dental decay and gum disease.
Recent research has shown that smokers get more gum infections and loose more teeth than non-smokers. The hygienist will work closely with smokers not only to remove staining but also to slow down the rate of gum disease. Your hygienist will be able to advise you on several ways to give up smoking.
Hygienists are experts at teaching you to look after your teeth and gums. Regular professional cleaning, combined with looking after your teeth and gums well at home, will keep your mouth healthy. A clean and healthy mouth will improve your appearance, help you to keep your teeth and give you a fresh breath.
Headache, Neck Pain and Backache
The Jawbone is connected to the – Entire body?
If you have pain at several locations throughout your body, you probably would not consider that the source of the pain might be connected to the jawbone.
Many jaw joint problems are related to the way our teeth meet when we close our mouths to chew and swallow. Conversely our jaw joints can affect the way our teeth meet.
The jaw is attached to the skull by strong muscles and ligaments, so when for example, poor tooth alignment (due to past trauma, dental work or orthodontic braces) pushes the jaw to one side or backwards, the jaw muscles can become unbalanced and this imbalance can then have a detrimental effect on the delicate balance between the head and upper neck. This can then lead to jaw pain and discomfort in other areas of the body such as the head, shoulders, mid and lower back and other joints eg. the knees and feet, which have to compensate for even, slight changes in the body’s centre of gravity.
In the same way blood vessels and nerves connect the brain to the entire body. These vessels carry ail messages and essential elements that allow you to function as a human being.
On the way from your brain, these nerves and blood vessels travel right behind the jaw joint that connects the jawbone and the temporal bone of the skull. Located in this joint is a small protective disc that plays a very important part in maintaining good health. This disc, made of fibrous tissue, keeps your jawbone (mandible) from coming into contact with the skull. This disc also keeps your jawbone from impinging on the large number of nerves and blood vessels running behind the joint and in front of the ear.
If this small disc becomes misaligned or displaced, the jawbone retracts and can pinch the nerves and blood vessels once protected by the disc. This can cause numerous reactions throughout the body. Because there are multiple nerves involved, the reactions can be complex.
How does the mandible become misaligned? Some of the most common causes are: 1) Natural misalignment where the lower jaw is too far back, causing an anteriorly displaced disc; 2) Deep dental overbite; 3) Teeth clenching or grinding; 4) Missing teeth causing an incorrect bite; 5) Trauma to the head or neck; or 6) Extraction of wisdom teeth.
Unfortunately, most dentists are not trained to identify this problem because dysfunction of the jaw joint (TMJ) is rarely taught in dental schools.
How do we treat this problem? The good news is that there is a non-surgical, non-medicinal and predictable treatment that is proven to work 95 percent of the time. The objective is to stabilise the lower jaw in its correct position to reduce symptoms and improve jaw movement. This can be done simply with a non-invasive, custom-fit “mouth appliance” (anteriorly repositioning appliance or a mandibular orthopedic repositioning appliance).
If you are considering the jaw joint as a possible cause of your symptoms, ask yourself a couple of questions: Do you hear or feel a clicking or popping noise when you open your mouth? Are you unable to open your jaw fully to 52mm (approx. 3 fingers)? If you answered yes to either question, book yourself in for an evaluation with a dental practitioner that is trained in the complexities of the jaw.
Teeth may not last forever even with the advances of modern dentistry. Fortunately dental professionals have many options for replacing lost or extracted teeth – among them, implants, fixed bridges, removal partial dentures and combination appliances.
The Valplast Flexible Partial is an unbreakable, removable partial that many people find extremely comfortable. Valplast is a lightweight partial denture that is practically invisible and completely eliminate the need for unsightly metal clasps.
In fact, most Valplast Flexible Partials are fabricated without the use of a metal frame – made instead from a strong durable plastic that snaps securely and comfortably into place around existing natural teeth and gums.
The plastic used is so strong that the partial made from it can be very thin, eliminating that heavy, bulky feeling that make wearing normal acrylic partials so unpleasant.
The colour, shape and design of Valplast Flexible Partials blends in well with the natural appearance of the gums, making the partial virtually invisible.
The Valplast Denture is not available as a NHS treatment and costs from £499.00 per denture.