Frequently Asked Questions
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A: Yes, it can be. If your teeth do not fit together properly then this can stimulate you to clench your teeth and this causes muscle spasm.
Q: What are the signs that there is a problem with the way my teeth bite together?
A: Often you can get headaches especially in the morning. Also your front teeth can appear thin and the edges of the top front teeth chip off.
Q: Do implants hurt?
A: Implants are placed under local anaesthetic and so the placement is painless. We provide analgesia for the recovery period – usually about five days..
Q: How long do implants last?
A:Implants are a new treatment. At the moment the implants are lasting for over twenty years. We expect most implants to last the life of the patient as long as the patient cleans around the implant properly.
Q: How do I care for the implant teeth?
A: We will get you to see our hygienist who will show you how to clean around the implants. This is very important for the longevity of the implants.
Q: I have had lots of lower dentures made and can not wear any of them!
A: Some people are not capable of wearing cover dentures. Having two or three implants placed will hold the dentures still whilst you eat and talk.
Why should I replace missing teeth?
Your appearance is one reason. Another is that a gap left by a missing tooth can mean greater strain on the teeth either side. A gap can also mean that your ‘bite’ is affected, because the teeth next to the space can lean into the gap and alter the way the upper and lower teeth bite together. This can then lead to food getting packed into the gaps which causes both decay and gum disease.
What is an adhesive bridge?
An adhesive bridge is a bridge which consists of a dummy tooth attached to a titanium wing. This wing glues onto the adjacent tooth.
What are the advantages over traditional crown-retained bridges?
Only minimal preparation of the adjacent tooth is required. This is much healthier for the supporting tooth than removing a large amount of enamel and dentine in order to make a retaining crown. Adhesive bridges are also much less expensive than crown retained bridges.
What are the disadvantages of adhesive bridges?
Adhesive bridges can only be stuck onto unfilled teeth or teeth with very small fillings. If a tooth is heavily filled then a crown retained bridge will be required.
An adhesive bridge cannot be fitted where a large number of teeth are due to be replaced. Adhesive bridges do not last as long as crown retained bridges.
How long will the bridge last?
On average the bridge will last around eight years. It will typically need recementing once during this period.
Will the bridge feel normal?
The retaining wing will probably feel very ‘high’ for the first few days. After a week or two the teeth will move slightly so that your ‘bite’ feels normal again.
What is cosmetic dentistry?
Dentistry is no longer just a case of filling and extracting teeth, as it was for many years. Nowadays, many people turn to dentistry as a way of improving their appearance, much as they would use cosmetic surgery or even a new hairstyle. Cosmetic treatments include veneers, crowns, bridges and tooth-coloured fillings.
Can I replace my silver fillings with white ones?
For over 150 years standard fillings have been made out of a silverygrey material called ‘amalgam’. This is still one of the strongest and longest lasting materials available for fillings. However, many people find it unattractive and some are concerned about possible health risks.
There are now alternatives to amalgam fillings. If a tooth needs filling or repairing, white fillings are now replacing many amalgam ones. The new dental materials mean it is much easier to find a perfect match for the shade of a particular tooth. In most cases, it is quite impossible to see that the tooth even has a filling.
What is a composite filling?
Composite filling is resin based and is applied as a putty-like material. This can be moulded to the exact shape of the tooth and is then set using a visible blue light. It can be matched exactly to the shade of your tooth and most are now as strong as amalgam, proving to be a successful alternative. The filling is ‘bonded’ to the tooth. The advantages of this method are that the cavity needs less preparation and in some cases it may not be necessary to numb the tooth first.
What are veneers?
Veneers are thin slices of porcelain. These are precisely made to fit over the visible surface of front teeth, very much like a false fingernail. There are also ‘composite’ veneers and these can be completed in just one visit.
Why might I have a veneer?
Veneers are an ideal way of treating discoloured or unsightly teeth, closing gaps between front teeth, or repairing chips and cracks.
What are veneers made of?
Porcelain veneers are made by a dental technician, using impressions taken by the dentist. The veneers are made in the laboratory and bonded to the tooth to form a strong and natural-looking repair.
Composite veneers can be completed in one visit and involve bonding toothcoloured filling material to the front of the tooth. Although these veneers are slightly more prone to staining and have a shorter life, they are easily replaced.
Can I use veneers to close the gaps between my front teeth?
Yes. Again, using either tooth-coloured material or porcelain, the dentist can change the shape or size of the tooth very slightly, closing the gap between the teeth.
Will my tooth have to be drilled?
Veneers usually need very little work on the tooth itself, and in many cases don’t even need an anaesthetic.
My tooth is badly broken – what can I do?
When a tooth is badly broken or heavily filled, the dentist may need to crown or ‘cap’ it to restore its appearance and strength.
How does the dentist make a crown?
The usual procedure for fitting a crown involves shaping the tooth under local anaesthetic and then taking an impression using a rubberlike material. The impression is then sent to the laboratory along with the details of the shade to be used, where the technician makes the crown.
What happens to my teeth whilst the crown is being made?
While your crown is being made, the prepared tooth can be protected with a temporary crown, which is easily removed just before fitting the permanent one. In most cases, the temporary crown is in place for about two weeks later.
What are crowns made of?
There are different types of crown, the most popular being ‘white’ or tooth coloured. These are usually made entirely of porcelain, which can be quite thin and ideal for the front teeth. They can also be made of porcelain bonded to precious metal, which is much stronger and ideal for back teeth.
Crowns can also be made from metal alloy. gold crowns are suitable for back teeth, where they need to be strong enough to stand up to heavy chewing pressure, but appearance is often not so important. Gold crowns have the advantage of being made very thinly and are often used on teeth that bite together particularly closely.
The latest crowns are made from castable glass. They are very natural looking and are stronger than pure porcelain, but not as strong as porcelain bonded to precious metal.
Are whitening toothpastes effective?
There are many commercial toothpastes specially formulated to whiten teeth. They are good at removing any staining on the teeth, but are not strong enough to change the natural shade of the teeth.
I have a gap – should I have it filled?
If a tooth is missing, or needs extracting and the space needs to be filled, there are several ways to fill the gap that is left. In some cases it is important to try to replace any missing teeth in order to balance the way your jaw bites. If you have several missing teeth, the remaining teeth are under more pressure, which can lead to broken fillings or even jaw problems.
How can my dentist fill the gap?
A partial denture is the simplest way of replacing missing teeth. However, some people find dentures uncomfortable and eventually decide to have a bridge or dental implants.
What is a bridge?
Bridges are ideal for people who don’t like dentures or only have one or two teeth missing. Conventional bridges are made by crowning the teeth on either side of the gap and attaching a false tooth in the middle. These bridges are made of the same materials and fixed in the same way as crowns.
What if I don’t want my remaining teeth drilled?
Adhesive bridges are another way of bridging a gap, and less of the tooth needs removing. These bridges are made up of a false tooth with metal ‘wings’ on either side. These wings are made to bond to the teeth on either side, with very little drilling of these teeth. The teeth are roughened and the bridge is fitted using a very strong composite resin.
Can I have teeth screwed in?
‘Implants’ are an alternative to dentures or bridgework, Implants are titanium rods, which are surgically placed into the jawbone, leaving parts sticking out through the gum. These act as anchors for fastening dentures or crowns onto.
What are precision attachments?
Precision attachments are fastenings for certain types of metal-based partial dentures and vary according to your personal requirements. There are two different types of attachments, however both serve the same purpose.
How do they work?
The attachments work by using wires, springs or hinges, which in turn allow the denture to move slightly whilst chewing, reducing strain on the surrounding teeth. In some cases the attachment can be used in conjunction with an implant for example. They are virtually invisible in use and therefore can be an advantage over traditional metal clasps.
Which attachment will be best for me?
Your dentist will discuss with you which type of attachment will be best suited to your needs. He will take into account how your teeth come together and forces of chewing.
How can my crooked teeth be straightened?
This is usually done during the teenage years, when the teeth are going through a period of growth. However, many adults also have treatment to straighten their crooked teeth. We now carry out straightening using an Inman Aligner. Which can be used on patients of any age.
How do I look after my new smile?
To keep you healthy smile, it is important to visit your dentist regularly, clean your teeth regularly and thoroughly, and stick to a healthy diet. Good dental health begins with you. By following this simple routine, you can keep your mouth clean and healthy:
- Brush your teeth twice a day using fluoride toothpaste.
- Have sugary drinks and snacks less often.
- Use a small to medium size toothbrush.
- Use a toothbrush with soft to medium multi-tufted, roundended nylon bristles.
- Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
- Use small circular movements to clean your teeth.
- Change your toothbrush regularly.
- Clean between your teeth using dental floss or inter dental brushes.
- Visit your dentist and hygienist every 6 months.
- Look out for products with the British Dental Health Foundation logo.
- Damage to your smile
- Increased wear of fillings and teeth
- Damage to veneers and crowns
- Failure of dental implants
- Jaw and neck pain
- Increased facial muscle around the jaw
Is clenching my teeth unusual?
Around 30% of us clench our teeth whilst we sleep. This is known as Bruxism. This can unknowingly be the cause of headaches and tension in the neck and shoulders. Common signs of Bruxism are worn down or chipped teeth.
How do I know if I clench my teeth?
Your dentist may be able to see if you clench or grind your teeth, although sometimes it may go untreated for a long period of time. Some of the symptoms include:
- Headaches or jaw/neck pain, especially in the morning
- Notice of wearing down of your teeth
- Damage to dental restorations without any apparent reason, e.g. crowns or fillings
- Tender temple/ jaw muscles
- Discomfort whilst chewing
- Jaw makes a clicking sound
What can I do?
You can wear an occlusal splint.
What are the benefits of an occlusal splint?
treatment is non invasive. The splint is worn at night and will reduce the risks associated with Bruxixm (Grinding).
Why do patients like to use a splint?
There are many reasons why patients like to wear a splint they include:
- Stopping persistent headaches
- Help to relieve neck ache
- Protect crowns and veneers