1. Bridges

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    Dental-BridgeWhat are bridges made of?

    Bridges are usually made of a precious metal. If the bridge will show, porcelain is then bonded to the base. Sometimes, there are other non-precious metals used in the base for strength.

    Are bridges expensive?

    Although a bridge may seem costly they can be a wise investment that will give many years of good service. It will also improve your appearance and bite. A bridge uses the considerable skill of the dentist and technician, and in this way, it’s similar to ordering a piece of hand-made jewellery.

    How do I look after my bridge?

    You need to clean your bridge every day, to prevent problems such as bad breath and gum disease. You also have to clean under the false tooth every day. Your dentist or hygienist will show you how to use a bridge needle or special floss, as a normal toothbrush cannot reach. For a full list of our treatment prices please click here.

  2. Crowns

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    What is a crown?

    A crown is a cap that is placed over a tooth and held in place by dental adhesive or cement.

    Crowns are used for several reasons:

    • as a protective cover for badly decayed teeth or fractured teeth
    • as a permanent restoration for teeth with large fillings
    • to correct minor problems in natural teeth like spacing and irregular shape or severe discolouration.

    What are crowns made from?

    Crowns can be made from a variety of materials. They can be made from plastic, ceramic or metal alloys. A combination of metal and ceramic is also possible to maximise strength and simulate the appearance of natural teeth.

    How are crowns made?

    crowns_bpdFirstly, a thorough clinical examination is conducted with radiographs, by the dentist. The suitability for crowns is assessed and any preparatory work is carried out. Your dentist will also be able to advise on material choices, treatment sequence and any other concerns you may have.

    At the second appointment, the teeth to be crowned are prepared. This involves reduction of the tooth size (usually under local anaesthesia) followed by an impression or mould of the prepared tooth. This trimming of the tooth is required to create space for the crown to be fitted. The mould taken is then sent to a laboratory where skilled technicians will fabricate the crown. In the meantime, a temporary crown is made and fitted onto the trimmed tooth.

    At the third appointment, the temporary crown is removed and the tooth surfaces cleaned. The completed crown is tried on the tooth for fit, harmony with the bite, and appearance. Finally, the crown is cemented onto the prepared tooth with dental cement.

    How long do crowns last and how do I care for them?

    Crowns are made of inert materials that do not deteriorate over time. However, the underlying tooth is still prone to decay and gum disease.

    Ceramic on the surface may chip or fracture. Avoid chewing excessively-hard substances like ice or bones. Daily brushing and flossing are essential for maintaining good oral health as well as keeping the crown trouble-free. The most vulnerable portion of the crown is the margin or the junction between tooth and crown.

    Regular check-ups will enable your dentist to detect any problems with your crown and recommend necessary treatment.

    For more information please do not hesitate to get in touch with us by email or why not give us a call on 01323 725081.

  3. Dentures – Partial

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    partial_dentureA partial denture is a plate with a number of false teeth on it. It may be all plastic or a mixture of metal and plastic. Both types may have clips (clasps), to help keep the denture in place in the mouth. Depending on where they are, some of these clips may show when you smile or open your mouth.

    Plastic partial dentures are less expensive to make. But unless they are designed very carefully they can damage the teeth they fit against.

    You can also get flexible plastic dentures. These dentures do not need clasps as they are held in place by flexing against your natural teeth.

    For more information please do not hesitate to get in touch with us by email or why not give us a call on 01323 725081.

  4. Fillings – Amalgam

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    bpd2Dental amalgam is the traditional silver-coloured filling we are all familiar with. Although there is mercury in dental amalgam, once it is combined with the other materials in the amalgam filling its chemical nature is changed rendering it harmless. Research into the safety of dental amalgam has been carried out for over a century and to date, no trustworthy controlled studies have found a connection between amalgam fillings and any medical problem.

    Whilst composite (tooth coloured) fillings are becoming more popular, amalgam fillings represent the most durable and long-lasting form of filling available. (Apart from gold fillings which are more expensive.)

    For a full list of our treatment prices please click here.

  5. Fillings – Composite (white)

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    bpd7Most people have fillings of one sort or another but today, because we are much more conscious of our smile, we can choose a natural looking alternative – the composite or tooth-coloured filling.

    A composite resin is a tooth-coloured plastic mixture filled with glass (silicon dioxide) first introduced in the 1960s. Originally only used for front teeth because of their softer nature, modern improvements to their composition make them generically suitable today.

    Composite fillings are more difficult to place than silver fillings so may take your dentist longer to complete.

    The main advantage of composite fillings is their aesthetic appeal. The main disadvantage is their life expectancy. White fillings have always been considered less long lasting than silver amalgam fillings but there are now new materials available with properties comparable to silver amalgam, and these are proving to be very successful. The life expectancy of your composite filling can depend on the depth of cavity and its position in the mouth; your dentist is best positioned to advise you. For more information please do not hesitate to get in touch with us by email or why not give us a call on 01323 725081.

  6. Gum Disease Care

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    Why might I be susceptible?

    Periodontal disease is the Number One cause of tooth loss amongst adults. This is because a certain number of people (15-20%) have immune systems that overreact to the bad bacteria in their mouths. When this overreaction occurs, the immune system attacks and breaks down the bone and tissue that surround the tooth. This destruction is not predictable and can occur sporadically. None of us knows if we are part of this 15-20% because we can’t usually feel or notice the onset of gum and bone (periodontal) disease. Both adults and children should be routinely checked for gum disease.

    Keeping your gums in shape

    Keep in mind that healthy gums DON’T BLEED. You are the key player on the hygiene team. If you don’t do the essential daily brushing and flossing, the rest of your dental team (the dentist and hygienist) is playing short-handed. And sometimes with everyone fighting the good fight, stubborn plaque and bacteria will require some new maintenance techniques for battling gum infection.


    gum_disease_bpdAre you living at high risk for gum disease?

    Smoking: Numerous studies have shown that smokers have more gum disease. Smokers have increased levels of tartar in the mouth, and experience more tissue irritation, which makes their gums more susceptible to disease. Smokers have more bone loss and heal less quickly than non-smokers.

    Stress: When our immune system is stressed it is difficult to fight off the bacteria that cause gum infections.

    Dental neglect: Avoiding the dentist is a lifestyle choice that puts you at risk of contracting diseases of the mouth, teeth and gums.

    Floss or die! Your hygienist or dentist works to prevent infection in your mouth from entering the bloodstream and reaching vital organs.

    Heart disease: Gum inflammation products and bacteria in gum disease can cause heart disease, and in some cases, double the risk of a fatal heart attack. In addition, bacteria from your mouth may combine with blood-clotting cells called platelets, forming heart-stopping blood clots.

    Stroke: New studies show that 70% of the fatty deposits of stroke sufferers contain bacteria, of which 40% comes from the mouth.

    Diabetics: This group of people are more likely to have gum disease than most people and gum disease makes it more difficult for diabetics to control their blood sugar.

    Premature birth: Pregnant women who have periodontal disease may be as much as seven times more likely to have a baby born early. Some research suggests that gum disease may increase the level of hormones that induce labour.

  7. Implants

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    What is a dental implant?

    An implant is a small part made of titanium, titanium alloy or ceramics. The human body is generally tolerant of these materials. Titanium has been used for many years in surgical procedures, and it has shown to bond well with the human bone.

    Implant Placement

    Our specialist Implantologist surgically inserts the dental implant into the jawbone under local anaesthetic. Once it has healed, the implant acts as a base for the new artificial crown of the tooth.

    How many teeth can be replaced using implants?

    Implants can be used to replace:
    • An individual tooth
    • More than one tooth
    • All teeth

    For further information on implants, visit the ‘Association of Implantology UK’ website below:

  8. Inlays and Onlays

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    1Inlays and onlays are restorations placed usually on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth.

    An inlay fits within the confines of the teeth. An onlay covers the entire chewing surface of the tooth. These can be made of either plastic resin, porcelain or gold.

    The procedure involves removing decayed tooth structure or old fillings, preparing the tooth cavity, taking an impression of the cavity to fabricate a custom-fit inlay or onlay. Two visits are required to complete the treatment.

  9. Root Canal Treatment

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    When Is Root Canal Treatment Needed?

    The crown of the tooth is made up of the hard, white, enamel layer and a thicker dentine layer. Both these hard layers protect the innermost soft tissues of the tooth called the pulp. The dental pulp contains blood vessels and nerves within and extends from the crown to the tips of the root or roots.

    Root canal treatment involves the removal of the pulp tissues from the tooth in the event that it gets infected or inflamed. The pulp can be infected or inflamed due to either deep decay or an extensive restoration that involves the pulp, cracked or fractured tooth due to trauma, excessive wear of enamel and dentine exposing the pulp, and sometimes as a result of severe gum disease.

    Signs of pulp damage may include pain, prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, discoloration of the tooth, swelling, tenderness of the overlying gums or a bad taste in the mouth. On the other hand, there may be no symptoms at all. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can eventually cause pain, swelling and loss of the supporting bone.

    What Are The Advantages Of Root Canal Treatment?

    Root canal treatment saves teeth that would otherwise have been extracted.

    After root canal treatment the tooth is pulp-less i.e. it has no vital tissues within. However, there are vital tissues surrounding the root e.g. the gum, periodontal membrane and supporting bone. A root canal treated tooth can function normally and can be maintained with routine dental care and oral hygiene measures.

    Is Root Canal Treatment Painful?

    Root canal treatment procedures are relatively comfortable and often painless as the tooth is anaesthetised during treatment. After treatment, the tooth may be sensitive or tender for a few days due to inflammation of the surrounding tissues. This discomfort can be relieved by taking mild analgesics or painkillers available over the counter at the pharmacy. However, if the pain persists and is severe, or a swelling occurs, you should contact your dentist.

    bpd_root_canal_treatmentHow Is Root Canal Treatment Carried Out?

    Removal of the infected or inflamed pulp is the first step in saving the tooth. Under local anaesthetic an opening is made in the crown of the tooth to get access to the infected or inflamed pulp within.
    Using small, specially designed hand or rotary files, the root canals are cleaned and shaped to a form that can be sealed. Debris within the canals is removed by flushing with an antibacterial solution.
    The canals are finally filled or sealed with an inert material called gutta-percha. The tooth should be restored to full shape and function by either a permanent filling or a crown, depending on how much of the tooth is left. This should be done as soon as possible as there could be a risk of tooth fracture due to biting forces.
    All root canal treatment procedures are performed by isolating the tooth with a rubber dam to provide a clean and saliva-free environment. Root canal treatment may be done in single or multiple visits depending on the complexity of the tooth. In between treatment appointments, medicaments may be placed within the canals and the tooth is covered with a temporary filling. Often, X-rays are taken to determine the length of the root and to monitor the various treatment stages.

    Care Of The Root-Treated Tooth

    As far as possible, avoid chewing or biting on the tooth being treated until you have it permanently restored with either a filling or a crown. Excessive pressure at this stage may crack or fracture the tooth. Therefore, it is very important to restore the tooth properly as soon as possible. Most endodontically treated teeth last as long as natural teeth following permanent restoration.

    Practise good oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing at all times, as root-filled teeth are as prone to decay as natural teeth. It is also important to have your treated tooth reviewed regularly by your dentist.

  10. Sedation

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    We aim to provide dental care without fear, pain, or anxiety for our patients.  We use a wide range of techniques to provide the most comfortable dental care possible.  Some patients find that dental care with intravenous anesthesia may be the most comfortable and relaxing solution to their dental problem.

    Here we try to answer some of your questions.  If there is something that you would like to know that is not covered by this information please contact the practice.














    What dental treatments are available under Intravenous Sedation?

    We can use sedation techniques for any level of dental treatment from simple hygiene treatment to more advanced surgical procedures and cosmetic dentistry.


    What is IV (intravenous) sedation?

    Conscious sedation is a form of anxiety control that makes treatment more pleasant for the patient.  It is effective, predictable and safe and is the modern alternative to general anaesthesia for most dental procedures.

    Sedation Dentistry is an ideal solution for those patients who suffer from dental phobia.  It is used by dentists to perform dental surgery on patients in a stress and worry free way.  It helps many patients overcome their fear of visiting the dentist, as they do not feel the stress and
    anxiety that they may usually feel prior to visiting the dentist.

    Intravenous sedation (aka “IV sedation”) is the most commonly used form of sedation in adults.  Intravenous Conscious Sedation is where a drug, usually of the anti-anxiety variety, is administered into the blood system during dental treatment.  Conscious sedation will make you feel sleepy and relaxed.  Most patients can remember little or nothing of the procedure, but it does not affect any part of your memory before the drug is given.


    What does it feel like?  Will I be asleep?

    During IV sedation, you will remain conscious and will be able to understand and respond to requests from your dentist.  After treatment, you may not remember much about what went on.


    Will it be necessary to be numbed with local anaesthetic, if so will my dentist numb my gums before or after I am sedated?

    The drugs used for IV sedation are anti-anxiety drugs, not painkillers.  They will relax you and make you forget what happens, but you will still need a local anaesthetic before treatment begins.


    If I have a fear of injections how will the anaesthetic be administered?

    If you have a fear of injections, administration of the anaesthetic occurs after the IV sedation has fully kicked in.  You will probably be relaxed enough not to worry by this stage.  Before starting any procedure your dentist will wait until the local anaesthetic has taken effect (ie until you are numb).


    How is IV sedation given?

    “Intravenous” means that the drug is administered into a vein.  An extremely thin needle, wrapped up with a soft plastic tube, is put into a vein close to the surface of the skin (either in the arm or in the back of the hand).  The needle is then removed leaving the soft plastic tube in place.  The drugs are administered through the tube.  The tube stays in place throughout the procedure.


    What drugs are used?

    The most commonly used drugs for IV sedation are benzodiazepines.  These are anti-anxiety sedative drugs.  The most commonly used drug for IV sedation is Midazolam, but occasionally Diazepam is used.
    Midazolam is the first choice because of its relatively short duration of action (meaning that it will be out of your system faster).


    Valium is longer acting and a bit “harder” on the veins, so you may feel a burning sensation in your arm/hand when the drug first enters.


    Diazepam can be mixed with a local anaesthetic solution to make things more comfortable.  The latest IV Diazepam is an emulsion, which is claimed to be easier on the veins.


    Is it safe?  Are there any contraindications?

    IV sedation is extremely safe when carried out under the supervision of a specially trained dentist.  Purely statistically speaking, it is even safer than local anaesthetic on its own.


    Contraindications include:

    • Pregnancy
    • Known allergy to benzodiazepines
    • Alcohol intoxication
    • CNS depression
    • Some instances of glaucoma

    Cautions (relative contraindications) include:

    • Psychosis
    • Impaired lung, kidney or liver function
    • Advanced age
    • Sleep apnoea


    Heart disease is generally not a contraindication.


    Inform your dentist if you have been taking benzodiazepines for many years, as your tolerance may be very high.


    What are the main advantages of IV sedation?

    • IV sedation tends to be the method of choice if you do not want to be aware of the procedure.
    • It allows the patient to visit their dentist without any pre-visit nerves.
    • The dentist is able to complete the course of treatment in fewer visits than would normally be necessary for phobic patients.
    • It is both highly effective and highly reliable.
    • The gag reflex is hugely diminished – people receiving IV sedation rarely experience difficulties with gagging.
    • Unlike General Anaesthesia or Deep Sedation, Conscious IV Sedation does not introduce any compromises per se in terms of carrying out the actual procedures, because people are conscious and they can cooperate with instructions, and there is no airway tube involved.


    Are there any disadvantages?

    It is possible to experience complications at the site where the needle entered, for example hematoma (a localized swelling filled with blood).

    Recovery from IV administered drugs is not complete at the end of dental treatment.  You will need a responsible adult to escort you home.

    You should want to be sedated.  If you are unwilling to “let go”, (eg because you are terrified of not being in control) it will be more difficult to be successfully sedated.


    Can I take Valium tablets or other Benzodiazepines beforehand?

    Yes.  If the medication has not been prescribed by your dentist, you must notify him in advance that you will be taking these.


    What about eating and drinking before sedation?

    Your dentist will advise you beforehand whether you are able to eat or drink prior to treatment.


    Advice for post IV Sedation care:

    • A responsible adult will need to escort you home, either by private car or by taxi.  Do not travel on public transport.
    • An adult must stay with you until you are fully alert.
    • Rest for the remainder of the day.
    • Do not perform any strenuous or hazardous activities.
    • Do not drive a motor vehicle for the rest of the day.
    • Do not eat a heavy meal immediately.  If you are hungry, eat something light (eg liquids and toast).
    • If you experience nausea, lie down for a while or drink a glass of coke.
    • Do not drink alcohol or take medications for the rest of the day, unless you have contacted your dentist first.
    • Take medications as directed by your dentist.
    • If you have any unusual problems, call your dentist.