You’d have thought by now that the dental profession would have found a way to make braces treatment quicker, wouldn’t you? After all, everything else in the world gets faster all the time. How come it can still take a couple of years for braces in Windsor to straighten teeth?
At The Old Windsor Dental Practice, we get asked questions about the speed of braces treatment all the time. Everyone wants it to be over as soon as possible. Braces are an inconvenience. They interfere with eating. They make brushing your teeth take a whole lot longer. And, let’s face it, they are never going to be a must-have fashion accessory. So, why does braces treatment take so long? Let’s take a look a what’s going on under your gums when you have braces on your teeth.
The components of traditional braces
There are 4 basic components in bracket and wire fixed braces. They are:
- Brackets: made of either metal or ceramic, they are attached to your teeth
- Bonding material: glue or a metal band attach the bracket to your teeth
- Arch wire: a thin metal wire that runs between each of the brackets
- Ligature elastic: this goes around the bracket to hold the wire onto it.
The arch wire exerts a constant pressure on the teeth to pull them into position.
Meanwhile, under your gums…
The pressure from the arch wire pulls the teeth in a particular direction. This is determined by the angle at which the brackets are fixed to the teeth. This pressure affects the membrane surrounding the teeth, stretching it on one side and compressing it on the other. This makes the tooth a bit loose in its socket, and new bone grows in the gap where the tooth is loose to support it. At the same time, bone on the area where the membrane is compressed is resorbed in order to relieve the compression.
This is why you need to come back to the dentist every few weeks for adjustments to tighten the arch wires and get that pressure going again. The younger you are, the quicker this remodelling process but braces in Windsor can straighten your teeth no matter what age you are.
It’s not just the fear of looking like a nerd that puts adults off wearing braces, it’s also the thought of all that extra hassle that comes with wearing a device in the mouth for months on end.
Perhaps teens have time to sit around and pick their last meal out from between the brackets and wires of their braces, but most adults are on the go all day, rushing from task to task and eating is just one more task that needs to be got through before moving onto the next one. They literally don’t have time to take care of their braces, and if you don’t take care of them, you can get into all sorts of trouble with tooth decay and brown patches developing under the braces.
Invisalign renders all of these worries obsolete because you take them out when you eat. You put them in their storage case and then go eat whatever you fancy. No food is off limits for the duration of your treatment, as is often the case with traditional braces.
Once you have finished your meal, you brush your teeth to remove any trapped food and put your aligners back in. It’s that simple.
You also need to remove your aligners if you are drinking anything other than plain water because traces of pigment can discolour your aligners and make them visible over your teeth.
Did we not mention that Invisalign aligners from us at The Old Windsor Dental Practice in Berkshire are invisible? Well, they are. They are made of clear plastic that is only 0.3mm thick. Once you put it on over your teeth, your aligner can no longer be seen.
So not only can you eat whatever you want, you can go through your busy day without having to fend off stares and intrusive comments about your straightening treatment.
Want to find out more?
Invisalign is great for mild to moderate alignment issues. It takes a year, on average, to correct them. Why not come in for a free consultation to find out if they are right for you?
Thinking about what to get yourself for Christmas? How about investing in lovely straight teeth using a system that is hassle-free and easy to use?
Why get your teeth straightened
At The Old Windsor Dental Practice, we regularly see what a difference having straight teeth can make to people’s oral health. We also see what happens to teeth that aren’t straight as the years roll by. Not having straight teeth may not seem like a problem in your early adulthood but as time marches on and plaque repeatedly builds up and is removed from crevices between wonky teeth, you may find that you become more prone to decay and gum disease.
If your misalignments also mean that you put most of your chewing pressure onto just a few teeth, then as you get older, they can start to crumble away through overuse, and then you are faced with a whole new ball game, that of dentures, bridges and dental implants.
You can greatly increase your chances of hanging onto your teeth for life when you have straight teeth.
Want straight teeth, but not braces?
Maybe one reason you have not done anything about getting your teeth straightened is that you don’t want to have to go through months of embarrassment from wearing ugly metal braces as an adult. Well, with us you don’t have to because we can offer you Invisalign, invisible straightening for mild to moderate misalignment issues.
Invisalign does not use brackets and wires. Instead you receive a series of very thin, clear plastic aligners that look like mouth guards. Each one has carefully placed pressure points inside it that press on your teeth. You start with aligner #1 and wear it until the pressure wears off, which takes about 10 days. You put in aligner #2 and so on until you have worked through the whole series.
Invisalign aligners can’t be seen once they are on your teeth, plus you take them out for eating and cleaning, which gets rid of a lot of the hassle associated with wearing braces. Come in and find out if Invisalign will work for you.
If you are heading towards tooth loss, you want to start thinking about how to replace those teeth now. Don’t kick back and think this is something that you can deal with this year, next year, sometime or never. Here’s why, at The Old Windsor Dental Practice, we encourage our patients to get the ball rolling as soon as possible:
Tooth loss means bone loss
When you lose a tooth, the bone and gum in the area of the jaw it is gone from start to shrink back almost immediately. It can take as little as one year to lose as much as 25% of your jawbone size and density in the gap where your tooth was. If you are losing a lot of teeth, you are looking at a shrunken jaw and a pointy chin in the not-too-distant future. This bone loss is because there is no tooth root sending down vibrations from impacts with opposing teeth. These vibrations tell the bone your teeth are still in action. Without them, your jawbone dissolves itself.
What does this mean for replacement teeth?
Bone loss is an important factor to bear in mind when you are deciding what kind of replacement teeth to go for. Only dental implants in Windsor replace the roots of your teeth. Dentures and fixed bridges only replace the crowns. So, when considering which method of tooth replacement to go for, it’s very important to think about your jawbone and facial structure.
Another important factor is your ability to chew and bite. Dental implants in Windsor give you back your full chewing power. This is important because it’s often the more difficult to chew foods that contain the most nutrition. Think nuts, raw vegetables, fresh fruits, meats.
Keeping your restorations clean is also very important. Dentures require removal and overnight soaking. Dental implants just need your usual twice daily oral health routine.
Dental implants last for at least 15 years, and often for life. Dentures and fixed bridges need to be replaced every 3-10 years. When you factor in replacement costs, dental implants can often work out the same price.
Most people secretly wish never to hear from their dentist that they need braces. If the thought of having your teeth straightened with metal brackets and wires makes you cringe, you should do some research – modern braces are not impractical and unattractive.
At Old Windsor Dental Practice, we appreciate that many people view braces in Windsor as a way to improve the aesthetics of their smile. However, braces are much more than that. Crooked and misaligned teeth can create numerous oral health problems and for this reason they should not be ignored, no matter how old you are.
Straight teeth don’t attract as many problems
If you dread going to the dentist for cleaning your teeth because of your misaligned teeth, we hear you. Crooked and overcrowded teeth tend to accumulate more plaque than straight teeth and if this plaque is not removed by a dentist frequently, it can lead to cavities and gum disease. Regular brushing and flossing does not help misaligned teeth massively, since bacteria and food remains tend to hide into all the crevices created by your misshaped teeth. Ignoring your crooked teeth will only lead to more serious problems in the long run, therefore invest into braces in Windsor and keep your natural teeth for as long as you can.
Straight teeth can improve your quality of life
Braces in Windsor won’t only improve your oral health, they will also improve your quality of life. A lot of people with crooked, gapped, overcrowded and misaligned teeth experience problems with their speech and bite. This can lead to social embarrassment or an inability to eat and speak properly. Moreover, research has shown an interconnection between misaligned teeth and an increase in headaches, earaches and jaw pain.
Straight teeth can make you feel good about yourself again
If you can’t remember the last time you stood in front of a mirror and admired your teeth, maybe it’s time to consider braces in Windsor. Straight teeth can boost your self-confidence, improve your self-esteem and make you see life in a more positive way. Wouldn’t it be great not to hide your teeth every time you wish to smile?
Losing your natural teeth can be quite overwhelming, whether it’s a single tooth or several. From conventional solutions to innovative alternatives such as dental implants, the choice is plenty and it can be hard to weigh the benefits and the disadvantages of each treatment.
At Old Windsor Dental Practice, we firmly believe that dental implants in Windsor are the best solution for tooth loss – however, we suggest scheduling a consultation with our implant dentist to ensure that this is the right treatment for you. Many of our patients have questions about the practical function of dental implants, including their maintenance. In general, dental implants do not require special care in order to remain strong and healthy, but you may wish to consider doing some things differently if you want to stay on top of your implant care maintenance.
Explaining the function of dental implants
Dental implants are tiny, biocompatible, titanium posts which are surgically inserted into the upper and/or lower jawbone. Over time, the bone tissue fuses with the implant through a process known as ‘osseointegration’. This process is made possible because of the natural integration of the bone to the titanium. Once this process is over and the dental implant has healed, your dentist will restore the visible structure of your teeth by inserting crowns, dentures or bridges on top of your dental implants in Windsor.
Caring for dental implants – should I be doing things differently?
After your implant surgery, your dentist will give you specific instructions on how to take good care of your implant sites until you receive your restoration teeth. These instructions are easy to follow and ensure that your dental implants will integrate into the jawbone without any problems. Once you receive your replacement teeth, you do not need to change your oral hygiene routine. However, you need to be very careful and practice diligent oral hygiene. Although dental implants in Windsor, cannot be affected by tooth decay, they are still prone to gum disease, which can lead to implant failure. Establishing a good oral hygiene regime and visiting the dentist frequently, will help you stay on top of your oral health.
Throughout the year you will see awareness months that highlight calls to action for your health. As a dentist, one of our calls to action is Mouth Cancer Action Month and one we take very seriously. Prevention is so much better than the cure, and with this in mind, we recommend regular check-ups to ensure you are receiving all the oral health and general health information, support and advice we can offer you. However, we have a very important call to action and this is to book your yearly Mouth Cancer Screening as soon as possible.
It may surprise you that a dentist would offer Mouth Cancer Screening, however we are uniquely placed to provide a thorough investigation and screen for you. Since we have all your oral health information we can look at risk factors and key indicators that inform your screening.
Early detection is best all-round
Attending regular check-ups can take the worry out of taking care of your oral health. Gathering information across the year we will then encourage you to book your yearly screening.
During the screening a thorough examination of your head, mouth and throat is given, including around your tongue and gums. Any long-term ulcers or lumps will be examined using a hand-held scanning device, this ensures anything abnormal is treated immediately or we can refer you for treatment if necessary. Early detection dramatically increases chances of recovery, so it’s incredibly important to come see us.
If you find before your screening that you are concerned or worried about anything you have discovered in your mouth or in the mouth of a partner or child, do not hesitate to contact us and we will screen you.
Giving up smoking – stop for your mouth’s sake
Smoking is closely linked to mouth cancer and because we take your health seriously, we can also offer you support and information about giving up.
As your dentist at Old Windsor in Berkshire, mouth cancer screening ensures you and your family are fully taken care of. Should we find something that we are not sure of, we can respond to it quickly and make you receive the treatment you need to deal with it.
Dentures, as we all know, do not act the same as our natural teeth. Although modern denture look great and mimic your natural teeth, they are removable and can take time getting used to, they will need maintenance to prevent bad breath or gum disease. However, dentures can now be fixed in place due to advances in dental implant technology.
Dental implants are small screws that are placed in the jawbone during simple surgery, normally under local anaesthetic. They are made of surgical grade titanium, which is treated by the body as natural bone. This means your bone, gum and even blood vessels will grow around the implant. They provide a durable, strong base for your dentures to be fixed onto. This means your dentures act like your natural teeth, no longer requiring removal for cleaning.
Dentures are used for replacing several or all your teeth, however if you’ve lost only one, a crown will be fitted instead. Either way, your crowns or dentures will be matched to your natural teeth and no one will know that you have false teeth. What’s more, because they are fixed in place securely to your jawbone, dental implants will function as your natural teeth. This means you can eat and drink anything you wish, and you don’t have to compromise your lifestyle due to missing teeth. It’s a second shot at having a natural smile and if you follow a good dental oral hygiene routine, including brushing and flossing, and you come for regular dental check-ups, there’s no reason they wouldn’t last you a life time.
How can I receive my dental implants
In Berkshire, dental implants can be discussed during a consultation at The Old Windsor Dental Practice. We will assess the health of your jawbone and ensure that implants will work effectively for you. Any preparation work will be carried out, including addressing any gum health issues and your surgery will be set. You’ll then have surgery, and once the implants are in place, your dentures can be fixed in place and you can get on with enjoying your life, although you will need to be careful about what you eat for several weeks while your implants integrate.
There are ways to improve your dental alignment with minimal fuss and a good deal of comfort. People seeking braces in Windsor will find many contemporary options here at The Old Windsor Dental Practice. We can provide you with highly effective and personalised treatments that enhance the appearance of your smile as well as the performance of your teeth.
Enhancing your alignment
Even small adjustments can have a major effect on your dental experience. You might want to adjust one or two teeth at the front of your mouth. Once you improve these teeth with braces in Windsor, you’ll have a visibly more appealing smile.
Alternatively, you might have a more complex set of adjustments to make. A crooked smile can make good oral hygiene difficult to maintain. When there are spaces in your mouth that your toothbrush has a hard time reaching, bacteria can build up. Thus, your risk of gum disease and tooth decay is increased. Braces in Windsor, therefore, might improve your dental cleanliness as well as your cosmetic appeal.
Adults who want to avoid the visual disruption associated with realignment work might benefit from Invisalign. This is a highly discreet and user-friendly treatment for people seeking braces in Windsor. It involves several stages.
First, we take detailed measurements of your mouth using 3D imaging software. A dental laboratory then produces, a series of aligners especially for you. These aligners are made of transparent plastic and fit comfortably over your teeth.
You wear a pair of the clear aligners for around 7-10 days, before swapping it for the next pair in the series, and so on until the end of treatment. The slightly different shape of each subsequent aligner puts gentle pressure on your teeth, until they are moved into improved alignments.
Invisalign allows you to eat meals and clean your teeth as your normally would, because it doesn’t require any attachments. You simply remove it from your mouth whenever you need to. Meanwhile, it maintains a low-key presence in your mouth because it’s entirely transparent. You won’t attract quizzical glances or intrusive questions while your treatment is ongoing.
When you experience a missing tooth, it can come as a shock. It feels different, and perhaps more significantly, it can significantly alter the look of your smile. Here at The Old Windsor Dental Practice, we offer dental implants that will restore your smile and provide many long-lasting benefits to your oral health.
More than just a confident smile
Going for dental implants doesn’t just boost your confidence in your appearance, it’ll put faith back into the ability and health of your teeth.
The teeth work as a set, and when one is missing, it can risk weakening the remaining teeth. Going for dental implants in Windsor can improve your ability to chew and properly digest food, prevent problems with your surrounding teeth, avoid a ‘shrunken jaw’, and generally improve your oral health and overall well-being.
Why dental implants over other treatment?
While dental implants in Windsor aren’t suitable to everyone, they are a popular option for those who are looking to fix a gap in their smile, as they hold benefits over other treatments such as bridges and dentures, for example:
- They are often more predictable than other treatments, allowing you to have a sense of the overall result and knowing what to expect
- They don’t affect the healthy remaining teeth by using them for stablity
- They protect healthy bone by preventing bone loss
- They allow you to eat and speak without having to think about uncomfortable removable dentures
- They look natural, as the implant acts as the root of the tooth, providing a solution that most closely mimics the natural teeth
- They provide a long-lasting solution, lasting upwards of 25 years.
How to dental implants work?
The journey of going for dental implants in Windsor goes as follows:
- Appointment: an in-depth consultation to see if you are suitable and plan your treatment
- Surgery: the implant is inserted into the jawbone under local anesthetic
- Healing: it is then left to heal and mesh with the jawbone, taking around 3 months
- The tooth: finally, the crown is placed on the tooth by means of an abutment. It is made to match the rest of the teeth in size, shape, and colour.