Years of bad habits and irregular visits to the dentist caused this patient’s teeth to deteriorate very quickly. Her top teeth were very uneven and heavily discoloured. Close friends and family always commented on how her teeth looked, which over time, caused the patient’s confidence to drop. She would never smile openly or laugh out loudly. Meeting new people was impossible and having photographs taken was never an option. This had a big impact on her life. She wanted to become the person she was, someone who was full of life and confidence.
After careful thought and planning, the best course of treatment recommended by Dr Dixit was to replace the existing crown and provide new porcelain crowns for the heavily filled and discoloured teeth. The teeth were prepared to the ideal shape for the crowns using custom-made templates to minimise drilling. A soft-tissue laser was used to painlessly recontour the gums enabling the final crowns to be of the ideal length for her face. The new colour was matched to perfection using a special hand-held shade taking device.
The patient was over whelmed with the results. Friends and family could not believe how confident it had made her. She was now able to hold her head up high and smile openly and laugh loudly.
There have often been jokes about the state of the teeth in the UK compared to those of citizens in the USA, but are things changing? Are British teeth finally something to smile about?
“These are my real teeth. You think I’d wear them all the time if they weren’t real? ” Ricky Gervais’ reply to interviewer remarking on his ‘false teeth’. (Source news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7633254.stm)
Over the years more and more Americans have had cosmetic dentistry, teeth whitening and dental veneers have become commonplace, Linda Stradley (1) says:
A recent survey showed 80% of Americans aged 18 to 49 want whiter teeth, with women leading in this area at 85%. 6 out 10 believe a whiter, brighter smile would boost their self confidence especially in the 18 to 24 age range
It wasn’t that British teeth were particularly bad that put us as the butt of many a joke, It was simply that the idea of a perfect smile had become brighter and whiter thanks to the surge in Americans having cosmetic dentistry – British teeth were just more natural!
What we have noticed is that patients looking for cosmetic dentist‘s in the UK, particularly in our location of Harrow, Middlesex has also increased.
Natural smiles vs. Hollywood smiles
When dental companies first started to produce materials that enabled dentists to restore smiles with dentures, dental veneers and bonding the range of colours was very limited. Over the years this range of colours has grown and can be seen in the image below.
What is interesting to notice is that the three whiter Shade taps on the left of the image are additions. When Vita performed their original research to discover the different colours of teeth that existed throughout the populace they reproduced this in their a guide, from the lightest discovery through to the darkest discovery.
Since its original shade guide was introduced the American desire to have a whiter smile has forced the manufacturers to add on these three extra colours from mid-white through to the brightest dazzling white.
This session with having perfect teeth has been reflected in this Quora discussion.
Who is having cosmetic dentistry?
Source – American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Levin Group, Inc study 2013
The distribution of people having cosmetic dentistry is fairly even across all age groups although more than half of the people having cosmetic dentistry are over the age of 40.
This is possibly contrary to what many people think in that cosmetic treatments are only for younger people.
Why do people consider cosmetic dentistry?
This is another extremely interesting aspect to look at, why do people want cosmetic dentistry in the first place?
One might initially think that it’s because people want to look younger however the results of the survey showed that 89% of people asked for cosmetic dentistry to improve their physical attractiveness and/or self-esteem
Source – American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Levin Group, Inc study 2013
What options are people going for to enhance their smiles?
Source – American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Levin Group, Inc study 2013
Why are British teeth now something to smile about?
The first reason is that more people are visiting the dentist. NHS statistics show that 52.3% of the adult population now visit the dentist and 69.2% of the child population visit the dentist. With more people visiting the dentist and having access to healthy teeth this will inevitably enhance the smiles of people in the UK.
One of the biggest problems however is that nearly 100,000 fewer children visited the dentist in the most recent research compared to previously produced statistics.If this trend isn’t reversed then the jokes about British teeth may become true again in years to come!
Campaigns such as this “Is your mouth making you sick?” infographic have also helped raise the awareness of going to the dentist, particularly with its links to heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cancer
Proof that the British teeth are something to smile about
After cosmetic dentistry
This patient had cosmetic dentistry using dental veneers to restore her smile.
The advent of additional treatment styles has also enable more people to access treatments which make their smiles look better. In the past these treatments were not available in the UK but modern orthodontics which allow invisible, rapid and lifestyle treatments to straighten teeth have now become commonplace.
Six month smiles is a great example of this, this modern treatment has allowed more patients to access orthodontic braces than ever before. Orthodontics is generally the preferred way to straighten teeth, rather than have dental veneers. Orthodontics maintains your natural tooth structure which is an optimum treatment for most dentists.
A perfectly straight British smile
If you live locally and would like to visit our dentist in Harrow please complete the form on this webpage to request a free cosmetic dentistry consultation. We are always happy to help you achieve your perfect smile.
Patients frequently travel from around the Harrow area to visit Blue Court Dental Centre for their antiwrinkle treatments, as we are asked so frequently about this type of treatment we thought we would write a blog post specifically around the use of Botox.
It is important to note that this is a prescription drug and may or may not be suitable for use on any individual. We offer a range of antiwrinkle treatments and it is only after a full assessment that we will be able to prescribe the best treatment for you. This may or may not include Botox.
Botulinum Toxin (Often referred to as BOTOX)
Here at Blue Court Dental Centre in Harrow, Middx we like to be able to offer our patients extra services that may not be available locally elsewhere. Botox and fillers are one such service we are very excited about providing.
This is commonly used in the treatment of wrinkles, frown lines and crows feet. Over time these wrinkles will become permanent even when you’re not frowning. The Botulinum Toxin treatment involves using a series of targeted injections that relax the muscles that cause the lines and wrinkles. The result is smoother, younger looking skin and you’ll be amazed when your wrinkles smooth out after a day or so, restoring your face to a more youthful and relaxed look.
Botulinum Toxin works by blocking the nerve impulses to the muscle that trigger wrinkle causing contractions. It is one of the safest and most widely researched cosmetic products available today. The treatment can cause a little discomfort and redness may also appear on the treated area, but this will disappear after an hour or so.
Results can be seen after as little 48 hours and last for around 4-6 months. There is no recovery period, bruising or swelling after treatment. Botulinum Toxin does not cause any loss of facial expressions. Only the treated areas will be affected.
Botulinum Toxin treatment is relatively quick, an initial consultation takes around 30 minutes, and then the treatment itself takes 15-30 minutes, depending on the area to be treated
Is treatment with Botulinum Toxin Cosmetic painful?
Discomfort is usually minimal and brief. Prior to injection, your physician may choose to numb the area with a cold pack or anaesthetic cream. The entire procedure takes approximately 10 minutes. Most patients are in and out of the physician’s office without downtime following treatment.
Side effects associated with the injection include localized pain, infection, inflammation, tenderness, swelling, swelling, redness, and/or bleeding/bruising.
Will I still be able to make facial expressions?
Although the results are visible, a treatment with Botulinum Toxin will not radically change your facial appearance or make you look as if you’ve “had work done.” The muscle activity that causes frown lines between the brows is temporarily reduced, so you can still frown or look surprised without the wrinkles and creases between your brows.
Who should not use Botulinum Toxin?
Do not use Botulinum Toxin if you:
are allergic to any of the ingredients in BOTULINUM TOXIN. See the Medication Guide for a list of ingredients..
had an allergic reaction to any other Botulinum Toxin product such as Myobloc® or Dysport®
have a skin infection at the planned injection site
You should not be treated with Botulinum Toxin if you have:
A disease that affects your muscles and nerves (such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis [ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease], myasthenia gravis or Lambert-Eaton syndrome). See “What is the most important information I should know about Botulinum Toxin in the Medication Guide
allergies to any Botulinum Toxin product
had any side effect from any Botulinum Toxin product in the past
a breathing problem, such as asthma or emphysema
plans to have surgery
had surgery on your face
weakness of your forehead muscles, such as trouble raising your eyebrows
any other change in the way your face normally looks
are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Botulinum Toxin can harm your unborn baby.
are breast-feeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Botulinum Toxin passes into breast milk.
What will happen to the moderate to severe frown lines between my brows if I choose not to continue treatments?
If you do not continue treatments, the moderate-to-severe frown lines between your brows will gradually return to the way they looked before treatment.
Do treatment results differ?
Yes, individual results may vary. To get the best results, it’s important to go to a practitioner who is experienced in administering Botulinum Toxin.
Common treatment areas with Botox
How long does treatment with Botox® last?
The results from treatment with Botox® usually last around three to four months. If you did not continue with regular Botox® treatment, your lines would eventually come back to the level they were at prior to your treatment. As lines become softer and the muscles less active, regular clients find they may need Botox® less frequently than every four months.
Does treatment with Botox® hurt?
This non-surgical treatment is done using very small, fine needles and local anaesthetic cream may be applied to the skin to make your experience as comfortable as possible. After having the treatment you will be able to get straight back to your everyday tasks without having to miss out on work or any social occasion.
Is Botox ® suitable for everyone?
Botox® is very safe and has been used by qualified clinicians for many years. However, we are not able to use Botox® in an area where there is a skin infection present or in individuals with known allergies to any of the ingredients in the wrinkle relaxing injection. Patients with neuromuscular disorders such as Myasthenia gravis or Bell’s palsy may be at increased risk of serious side effects and should avoid Botox treatments. We would not advise Botox® treatment to those who are pregnant or breast feeding.
What are the injections like?
We thought probably the easiest way to let you know what the injections are like is to show you! Here’s a video which you may find helpful:
Did you know that your routine six monthly dental health check should include a mouth cancer screening? There is unfortunately no national programme in the UK regarding screen for mouth cancer and it is down each individual to ensure they visit their dentist to be screened every six months.
As part of our oral healthcare information program we have written this blog post to answer your common questions about mouth/oral cancer.
First signs of mouth cancer.
There are a range of signs of mouth cancer which typically include things like:
Mouth ulcers which don’t heal.
Persistent discomfort or pain in your mouth.
Read or white patches in and around your mouth or towards your throat.
Lumps in your neck caused by enlarged lymph nodes.
Difficulty in swallowing which may be accompanied by pain or burning sensation when chewing.
Bad breath otherwise known as halitosis. Bad breath in itself is not a sign of mouth cancer but if you have cancer bad breath can be worse or more frequent than normal.
One of the most important things with mouth cancer is early detection, so in this guide we will talk about how you can examine yourself at home, the risk factors for oral cancer and how you can lower them.Our guide is exclusively available by e-mail so please enter your details opposite for immediate access.
Dr Nishan DixitBDS (Lond) 1994,
LDS RCS (ENG) 1994
GDC Reg No. 70208
Mouth cancer prognosis.
The prognosis for mouth cancer depends largely upon how advanced your cancer is and the type of cancer that you have. It also depends upon exactly where your cancer is located. Cancer Research UK gives the following statistics.
Rates for individual mouth cancers include
Lip cancer – nearly 90 out of 100 people diagnosed (89%) will live for 5 years or more
Tongue cancer – 55 out of 100 women (55%) and 44 out of 100 men (44%) will live for 5 years or more
Oral cavity – this includes all other mouth cancers (not lip or tongue) and nearly 55 out of every 100 women (55%) and 48 out of every 100 men (48%) will be alive 5 years later
The key with improving the prognosis for mouth cancer is early detection. The National Institute Of Dental and Craniofacial Research reports that A five-year survival rate for those with localised disease at diagnosis is 83% compared with only 32% of those whose cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
Steps you can take to lower the risk of mouth cancer.
There are various steps you can take to lower your risk of developing mouth cancer, these include:
Monitoring your tobacco/alcohol use. Many cases of mouth cancer can be linked directly to smoking cigarettes.
Be aware of transmitting sexually transmitted diseases. Human papillomavirus (specifically the HPV 16 type) have been linked also to the increased risk of developing mouth cancer.
Exposure to the sun. You might think that you don’t sunbathe with your mouth open, so how can this increase your risk of mouth cancer? The reality is that mouth cancer can also happen on your lip , which does indeed come into contact with direct sunlight.
Mouth cancer treatment.
As we have already said the prognosis depends upon the type of cancer and how far advanced your cancer is. So long as your cancer has been detected early and hasn’t spread to other areas of your body then a complete cure may be possible with a combination of surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
Once again, the effectiveness of treatment really does depend on early detection.
The NHS has written an excellent introduction to the various treatments of mouth cancerincluding:
This gentleman gives a very positive story of oral cancer and how its early detection impacted him.
Blue Court Dental Centre are a local family dental practice in the heart of Harrow, Middlesex. As well as offering a range of dental treatments to the local people they also offer dental healthcare assessments including routine oral cancer screening.
Everyone should be able to smile with confidence, did you know that 48% of people believe that smile is the most memorable feature after first meeting someone And people are 57% more likely to get a date based on the picture alone if they have straight teeth.
These statistics led let us to create the following infographic helping you understand more about straight teeth treatments with Six Month Smiles here at Blue Court Dental in Harrow.
We find that many people are looking for options to restore their smile but simply don’t know what those options are. This blog post has been written to allow you to understand what the options are available, possible prices, the procedures and what to expect from cosmetic dentistry.
Cosmetic dentistry is broadly broken down into 4 main areas.
Straightening crooked teeth.
Whitening dark teeth.
Restoring broken down teeth.
Replacing missing teeth.
Let’s look at each of these areas in turn.
Options to straighten crooked teeth.
As with many areas of dentistry there is in one simple way of doing this, which actually works as an advantage as it means that you can choose the best approach for you. We thought one of the easiest ways to break these treatments down Is to look at treatment time is and how quick you could have straight teeth again.
Straight teeth in around 2 to 3 weeks
If you’re looking to have straight teeth in the quickest time possible them possibly dental veneers are the way forwards. Dental veneers are a precision made thin-layer which fit over the surface of your existing teeth. They made from a high-strength dental ceramic by a highly skilled dental technician and so often come with a higher pricetag than many other options.
Dental veneers can also be used to restore broken down teeth and whiten dark teeth, so at the same time straightening them you could end up with a perfect Hollywood smile at the same time!
One of the big disadvantages with dental veneers are that they often require some form of reduction of your natural teeth underneath. Many dentists prefer to work on a minimally invasive nature, whilst dental veneers are relatively minimally invasive they do still often require drilling of your natural tooth.
If your natural tooth is otherwise healthy then you need to know that some of this may be reduced in order to accept the new dental veneer.
One of the disadvantages of dental veneers is the fact that they often require a small amount of reduction of your natural tooth. Whenever possible we prefer to keep your natural teeth fully intact and so this is where the next treatment to straighten teeth comes in, it involves moving them with orthodontics and the technique which is fastest is known as the Inman Aligner.
The Inman aligner is a revolutionary new technique whereby a removable orthodontic appliance is used to push and pull your teeth in the correct direction. You need to be committed with your Inman aligner and wear it for at least 20 hours per day, removing it only for cleaning and eating.
Here’s a video of how the Inman aligner works by pushing and pulling at the same time.
Many people dislike the fact that the Inman aligner, whilst being rapid, is a removable appliance. Some people prefer to have a fixed appliance. Fixed appliance orthodontics are generally able to move teeth slightly more than a removable appliance and the one that we prefer is Six Month Smiles.
This orthodontic system uses fixed, tooth coloured brackets to move your teeth around six months, this is much faster than conventional orthodontics which often takes between one and two years. The reason we can move the teeth quicker is down to a revolutionary type of bracket and the fact that we are often only moving the front teeth.
Teeth whitening is one of the most easily accessible treatments in dentistry as it can be offered to almost anyone. So long as you have natural teeth (dental veneers or crowns cannot be whitened) and you are in good dental health then you are more than likely candidate of teeth whitening.
As with any dental treatment it is absolutely vital that you are in good dental health before embarking on any programme of whitening. This is one of the reasons it is important to visit your dental practice to have your whitening treatment, if your gums are unhealthy or perhaps bleed on contact then this can affect the whitening process and inflame any gum disease you may already have.
The clear teeth whitening tray
Teeth whitening works by placing a small amount of peroxide gel in contact with your teeth. This peroxide whitening gel is held in place by close-fitting and precision made bleaching tray which is the spoke to you and cannot be used with anybody else. These trays need to be made with absolute precision.
They need to seal around the age of your tooth/gum margin to ensure that none of the peroxide gel touches your sensitive gums. This is another reason why we recommend going to see your dentist for whitening, they can accurately make sure that this tray fits precisely prior to beginning any treatment.
You will typically wear your teeth whitening bleaching trays overnight for approximately 2 weeks. The good thing with the treatment is that if you experience too much sensitivity or you reach your desired tooth colour then you can stop treatment immediately.
Dental veneers for whitening teeth
If your teeth are extremely dark, perhaps because they have died then we may find that whitening is not adequate to get them to the shade required. If this is the case then dental veneers can be used to cover up the dark teeth underneath.
Before restoration with veneers to whiten teeth
After restoration with dental veneers
Restoring broken down teeth in cosmetic dentistry
We’ve already discussed the ability for dental veneers to straighten crooked teeth and white and dark teeth, they can also be used to restore broken down teeth. Because we’ve already spoken about dental veneers we’re going to focus our attention now on dental crowns.
A dental crown is a precision made and highly aesthetic replacement for the natural crown of your tooth. The most aesthetic ones are made from pure high-strength dental great ceramic which is extremely long lasting and can withstand the force is exerted when you eat and chew.
Your dentist will remove any decayed area of tooth, prepare the remaining teeth and take an impression which will be sent off to the dental technician. The dental technician, who was a highly skilled member of the dental team will then make your new crown to fit exactly over the stump which the dentist has prepared.
This whole process takes approximately 2 weeks from start to finish, was the technician is making a new crown you will be supplied with a temporary crown.
Replacing missing teeth in cosmetic dentistry
We’ve written blog post in the past offering top tips for people wanting to replace missing teeth, so we’re not going to spend too much time here talking about this. What is important to know is that replacing missing teeth can also be done in conjunction with other forms of cosmetic dentistry.
If you have missing tooth it may be that in order to replace it we need to create more space, if this is true then we may use orthodontics to move the surrounding teeth around to create enough space. You may also want to restore broken down teeth and white and other teeth at the same time as replacing missing teeth. This then becomes a more complex form of cosmetic dentistry with complicated procedures.
If you’re going to have these more complex procedures we recommend you search for your cosmetic dentist on the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry website, in the search facility if you type in Nishan Dixit and enter the area as Harrow you will find that he is a full member of the Academy who has been qualified for more than three years, demonstrated a commitment cosmetic dentistry by fulfilling their strict requirements which include attendance at meetings and ongoing postgraduate education in subjects relevant to the practice of cosmetic dentistry.
Dr Nishan Dixit runs a dental practice in the heart of Harrow offering cosmetic dentistry to the local people. The practice offers a free cosmetic dentistry consultation with the treatment co-ordinator, please complete the relevant form here
“Please make me look nice for my daughter’s big day!” These were the words of a loving mother who desperately wanted nice teeth for what was going to be one of the most important days of her life, her daughter’s wedding. For most of her life, she had lived with a smile she was very unhappy with. Her top teeth were very uneven and discoloured. The old existing crowns towards the back of the mouth had began to deteriorate, as well as a tooth which had become very stained and unsightly. The gap in between her front two teeth always seemed to draw attention to her not so great smile. This made her feel very self conscious and even embarrassed. She would never smile in front of the camera, and even in general conversation, she would raise her hand to cover her mouth. Friends and family always thought she was very quiet, but in reality, she lacked so much confidence that smiling, laughing and even talking was something she found very difficult. She wanted a smile that would make her look and feel great.
With careful thought and planning, Dr Dixit achieved this transformation by using a combination of all ceramic crowns and veneers. To make the teeth brighter , the teeth were whitened using the home whitening system. The heavily filled teeth were protected with new crowns and the new veneers helped to improve the shape and position of the teeth. The colour was matched exactly to the patients new teeth colour. The crowns and veneers were made to look as natural as possible.
The patient was very pleased with the results. It had given her so much confidence that she felt like a new woman. She looked and felt amazing. The discoloured front tooth and filling had gone and the visible black lines were no longer there. She finally had the smile she always wanted.
Many people are looking for that brighter, whiter smile but did you know that research (1) seems to indicate that it’s not actually a white smile which people find attractive, rather, it is a yellow smile which people find unattractive.
The researchers found that:
Whitening had no effect beyond that produced by natural colouration. This indicates that these colour induced alterations in ratings of attractiveness are mediated by increased/decreased yellowing rather than whitening per se.
As we get older our teeth yellow with age and whitening them back to their natural colouration is all that is required to achieve the most attractive smile, so what is the best way to whiten your teeth?
The best way to whiten teeth.
Here’s a simple list:
Good oral hygiene.
Over-the-counter teeth whitening products.
Home teeth whitening.
Restorative treatments such as immediate veneers, dental veneers dental crowns.
Good oral hygiene.
The first step to enjoying whiter teeth is to maintain good oral hygiene. Firstly this will help keep your natural teeth as white as possible, if plaque (2) is kept at bay then staining is less likely to build up on your teeth. Secondly, before you have any of the other teeth whitening treatments you’ll need to ensure that your teeth and gums are in good condition. Most dentists will not offer any form of cosmetic or whitening treatment if you’re oral hygiene is not up to scratch!
Over-the-counter teeth whitening products.
There are many products available to buy over-the-counter in your local pharmacy, However, the Daily Mail (3) says:
Experts warn that some products which claim to whiten could actually harm your teeth, gums and even your stomach lining.
While some of these products may work their effectiveness and safety isn’t monitored by a dental professional and therefore they come with some risk if you use them at home.
Another trend in teeth whitening is to go to beauty salons or other establishments other than a dental practice. Whilst this may be cheaper than going to a dentist it is also illegal! Teeth whitening falls under the category of “the practice of dentistry”, the General Dental Council (4) says:
The practice of dentistry is limited to GDC registrants. It is the Council’s view that applying materials and carrying out procedures designed to improve the aesthetic appearance of teeth amounts to the practice of dentistry. So too does the giving of clinical advice about such procedures. Therefore all tooth whitening procedures, including bleach and laser treatment, are seen as the practice of dentistry by the General Dental Council.
It is important to know the teeth whitening products contain an amount of peroxide, this peroxide can be dangerous if not used correctly and it is for this reason that we recommend you only visit a suitably qualified dental professional for your teeth whitening.
Home teeth whitening.
When you have home teeth whitening you will be provided with a custom made and closed fitting bleaching tray, into this tray you will apply the bleaching gel which is held against your teeth.This bleaching tray has some unique features:
It will be extremely close-fitting ensuring that you use the minimum amount of gel with each application, this means the gel goes further and lasts longer.
The tray is customised for you, it can only be used by you.
It will put a very slight amount of pressure around the tooth/gum margin. This is to create a seal in this area to prevent the peroxide gel from touching your sensitive gums.
These design features are extremely important to ensure that the treatment is not only effective but safe too, only a qualified dental professional is able to prescribe one of these trays.
Something to watch out for, the bleaching tray is made from a thermoplastic, this means you will need to keep tray away from hot/warm water as it could distort.
Restorative treatments such as veneers or crowns.
In some extreme cases with very dark teeth conventional teeth whitening is not able to lighten the teeth enough.
As you can see from the case above these teeth were particularly dark and the patient wanted them particularly liked, there was also another complication, and existing Crown on the front tooth. Dental crowns and veneers cannot be lightened with teeth whitening techniques, so if you have an existing restoration then this will need to be replaced as part of the whitening process.
This lady wanted to improve her smile, have it more natural looking and whiter than it was before so we prepared her teeth for porcelain crowns to achieve an excellent result, what do you think?
Many times a combination of treatments can be used to whiten your teeth, you may have a single tooth which is too dark to whiten using the bleaching method, but we may be able to whiten the surrounding teeth and then use a single dental veneer or crown on the very dark tooth to whiten that the same shade.
The cost of teeth whitening treatments will also vary enormously depending on the complexity of your case. To give you an idea of dental fees please visit our fee guide. By far the cheapest way of maintaining unnaturally bright smile is to keep your teeth in excellent dental health. This will keep plaque at bay and ensure that the buildup of any staining on your teeth is kept to a minimum. The next most cost-effective method is to consider teeth bleaching however this is not always suitable for the reasons already stated.
Teeth Whitening References:
“Evidence to Suggest That Teeth Act as Human Ornament Displays Signalling Mate Quality” Colin A. Hendrie, Gayle Brewer Published: July 31, 2012DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0042178 http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0042178 site accessed 18/12/14
Information on Plaque From Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dental_plaque site accessed 18/12/14
The Daily Mail: DIY dazzlers: High Street tooth whiteners put to the test Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1282977/DIY-dazzlers-High-Street-tooth-whiteners-test.htm site accessed 18/12/14
General Dental Council : Tooth whitening Q and A’s. http://www.gdc-uk.org/dentalprofessionals/standards/pages/tooth-whitening.aspx site accessed 18/12/14
Blue Court Dental Centre is a local dentist in the heart of Harrow, Middlesex. They offer a range of dental treatments including teeth whitening, dental veneers and oral hygiene programs to help keep your teeth looking fresh and bright for life.
If you have missing teeth then there are a variety of reasons why you might want to replace them. Indeed, some people may not want to replace missing teeth and just leave the gaps so we are going to start this short article by explaining why you should consider replacing missing teeth. If you understand the reasons why replacing missing teeth is important (other than the obvious cosmetic reasons) then you may also be better placed to make the best decision about which option is right for you.
Preventing adjacent teeth from drifting.
Your teeth are all in fine balance with one another, each tooth gently supports its neighbour which prevents it drifting. If you have a gap then that support is lost and the teeth either side of that gap can actually begin to move and drift into the space.
Preventing opposing teeth from over erupting.
The same applies with teeth on the opposing jaw. Having your teeth meet together on a regular basis during the day helps to keep them in the right place. If you have a tooth missing then it’s opposing tooth will have a tendency to over erupt and drift down into the gap.
The image to the right shows how both of these processes work. The black arrows show the drifting of the adjacent teeth and the opposing teeth, but why does this matter?
Drifting of teeth like this causes a few problems:
Cosmetic. Take a look at the gum line on the top jaw around where the tooth has moved in the image. The natural contour (known as gum architecture) of the gum line has changed which can cause aesthetic issues.
Bite problems. Your teeth are in fine balance with one another as you chew and eat. As you slide your jaw to the left and right the cusps of your teeth work in unison with one another. If you’re teeth move out of this fine balance the muscles of your jaw may have a tendency to overwork in order to compensate, by moving your jaw in a slightly different trajectory in order to eat.
Problems restoring the teeth later on. As the teeth move in the direction of the arrows the gap can become smaller and smaller. The adjacent teeth can drift and end up at such an angle that restoring them with either crowns or bridges at a later date can become difficult. Whilst this isn’t an immediate problem it can cause problems later on if you subsequently decide to replace the missing tooth with either a dental implant or bridge.
Your options to replace a missing tooth.
The replacing missing tooth is important as it prevents the problems above from occurring, but what is your best option? Let’s look at them in turn, your primary options are as follows:
Dental bridges have been around for many years now and are an excellent solution to replace missing teeth. They have an excellent lifespan, look fantastic and with modern techniques, should be indistinguishable from a natural teeth. There are however two problems with dental bridges.
They often require reduction of the teeth either side of the gap. If these are healthy then reduction of healthy tooth tissue is required. Many dentists dislike doing this as they preferred to keep your natural teeth for as long as possible.
The bone around where your tooth has been lost will continue to resorb over the years. Sometimes, this bone loss means that a gap forms underneath the false tooth of the breach. This can create a problem with speech, cosmetics and may become a food trap. In many instances remaking the breach to extend down to this new gum line is required, This can be an expensive option.
Dentures can also be used as a highly cost-effective way to replace missing teeth. They are often the cheapest option which makes them attractive to many people. Modern techniques can also make dentures look highly aesthetic and like dental bridges, be almost indistinguishable from your natural teeth.
The biggest disadvantage with dentures is that people often don’t like to have to remove them to clean them, they can affect the surrounding gum and cause ulcers if they don’t fit particularly well. Dentures need to be regularly maintained and so frequent visits to your dentist are required in order to ensure that your dentist days in excellent condition.
A dental implant is essentially a replacement for your natural tooth root. Once the dental implant is placed into your jaw a crown can be placed on top. These can look highly natural and be completely indistinguishable from your natural tooth. Whilst dental implants tend to have the highest initial outlay of all of the options to replace missing teeth they can be the best value solution over their lifetime.
Because a dental implant is actually placed into the bone the bone is supported. This means the bone loss which occurs with dentures and dental bridges does not happen, with the dental bridge or denture, when this bone loss occurs you may need to have the bridge or denture replaced. This can add to the cost of the overall tooth replacement. With a dental implant this doesn’t happen.
Many dental practices also offer interest-free finance for treatments such as dental implants allowing you to spread the cost over an extended period, this also makes the treatment much more affordable.
Further resources for dental implants.
The British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry have a website with further information about dental implants and the likely costs. www.bacd.com
The Association of Dental Implants (ADI) Have a large resource library for patients, it includes answers to the most common questions and can be accessed here www.adi.org.uk
Blue Court Dental Centre is a local dentist in the heart of Harrow, Middlesex offering a range of teeth replacement options including dentures, dental bridges and dental implants. They offer a free consultation for dental implants and have a free guide for immediate download which offers information and advice about replacing missing teeth.