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Why general dentistry appointments are essential to your health and wellbeing

Regular visits to your dental practice for general dentistry check-ups should be as much a part of your healthy living routine as visits to the gym and ensuring you have a varied and nutritious diet. Dental health problems can have an impact on your general health and wellbeing, so ensuring your teeth and gums are in tip-top condition has many benefits.

Gum-diseaseAt Old Windsor Dental Practice we welcome new patients of all ages who are in need of general dental care. We have a skilled collection of professionals at our Old Windsor clinic, so whether you require a general dental check-up or more extensive care, we are able to provide it all under one roof at our modern dental practice.

We have a firm focus on preventative dentistry at Old Windsor Dental Practice, stopping problems before they start or treating them promptly if they do arise.

When you come in for a general dentistry check-up, your dentist will perform a thorough examination of your teeth, gums, and surrounding structures. This will include an oral cancer check as standard; if anything suspicious is spotted you will be referred immediately to a hospital consultant for further investigation.

Your dentist is also in a prime position to spot the early signs of both gum disease and tooth decay – often before you have even experienced any symptoms that are noticeable at home.

Teeth can look healthy on the inside but have problems on the inside. X-rays will be used to check the true health of your teeth, as well as to check around and beneath any existing restorations such as crowns, fillings, and bridgework.

Gum disease has been linked in some studies to general health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, and stroked. Again, your dentist is often able to spot the very early warning signs of this condition even before any of the traditional symptoms – such as blood in the sink after you brush your teeth – show themselves. Early intervention from your dentist and/or hygienist can treat gum disease before it becomes serious, restoring you to full oral health.

General dentistry explored: root canal therapy

Root canal therapy, or endodontics to give it its official name, is one of the most common procedures in general dentistry. It has something of an undeserved bad name; even the bravest of patients may feel slightly anxious when their dentist utters those three words.

root-canal-therapyHowever, thanks to modern dental techniques and materials, combined with the skill of the clinicians at Old Windsor Dental Practice, the procedure is pain-free and feels much the same as having a regular filling – although it may take longer, because of the delicate nature of the procedure. It is also worth bearing in mind that root canal therapy is essential to maximise the chances of saving an infected tooth.

The need for root canal therapy

Root canal therapy becomes necessary when the pulp or nerve at the centre of a tooth becomes infected with bacteria. This may happen because of untreated dental decay, or because of an accident or injury involving your teeth/mouth.

Once it enters the tooth, this infection may spread through the root canal system. Untreated, this can lead to a painful dental abscess, and may even result in tooth loss.

Root canal therapy is designed to prevent this from happening, and to save your tooth.

Treatment is carried out under local anaesthetic, so you won’t feel any pain. Once you are numb, your dentist will use the drill to access the root canal system of your tooth, and will use a series of special instruments to cleanse all traces of infection from the root canals. Different teeth have different numbers of roots and root canals, so the length of your procedure will depend upon the nature of the tooth affected.

Once the root canals have been thoroughly cleansed, your dentist will temporarily fill your tooth and let it settle. You will be asked to schedule a second appointment approximately a week later, at which your dentist will check that all traces of infection have gone before permanently filling your tooth.

In most cases a crown will be fitted to your tooth after root canal therapy, both to provide reinforcement and to ensure your tooth has both natural appearance and function.

What Is the Easiest Way to Get a Straighter Smile?

Lots of people have a slightly crooked smile as orthodontics was probably less common when many adults were growing up. Nowadays increasing numbers of people are seeking dental advice on how to get a more cosmetically perfect smile. While it’s nice to retain a little bit of individuality in the way your teeth appear, straightening out particularly crooked teeth can help oral health. This is something that’s easy to overlook when thinking about ways to get a straighter smile, but it’s a factor that will be taken into account by your dentist in Berkshire . There are several different ways to get a straighter smile and it all depends on whether or not your teeth are quite out of alignment, or if you have any substantial problems with the way your teeth bite together.

six-month-smileIf your teeth are only slightly crooked possible treatments could include dental veneers or cosmetic braces. Cosmetic braces are designed to work quite quickly, often within just a few weeks or months but do not make any major changes to the way the teeth are aligned. Instead they work on the teeth that are visible when smiling and talking with others, producing an effect that is cosmetic rather than having any impact on oral health. Cosmetic braces are extremely good if you happen to have teeth that are slightly overcrowded or which are overlapping, or if you have one or two teeth that are slightly out of line. Dental veneers can also help bring slightly crooked teeth back into line but this treatment does mean removing a small amount of tooth structure, and once it’s been removed you will need to commit to having dental veneers for the rest of your life. Dental veneers are a quicker treatment which can make them very appealing, and they can also be especially good for hiding any minor discolorations or imperfections in teeth. Otherwise your dentist in Berkshire might recommend cosmetic braces to straighten the teeth as much as possible before placing just one or two veneers to help perfect the final results.

Invisible Braces

If your teeth are more substantially misaligned their adult orthodontics could be a wise choice. Popular systems such as Invisalign can straighten teeth within a year to a year and a half. This might seem like quite a long time but the results can make it well worth the effort. Invisalign are what’s called invisible braces, and this means treatment consists of wearing clear plastic aligners that fit tightly over the teeth and which will gradually move them into the correct positions. Each set of aligners is worn for two weeks for approximately 22 hours each day before being exchanged for a fresh set that will continue the tooth movement. It’s a very easy system to use and you’ll probably only need to pop in to see Dr Utpalendu Bose or another dentist at Old Windsor Dental Practice every six weeks or so. During treatment you’ll be able to clean your teeth as normal as the braces are taken out at meal times and whenever you drink something. This means there’s no need to avoid hard or especially crunchy foods that could damage fixed braces.

There are a lot of different options when thinking about straightening your teeth, but your dentist in Berkshire will be able to discuss all the treatments available so you can choose the procedures that will give you the healthiest and straightest smile.

Make Sure Your Dental Implants in Berkshire Are a Complete Success

Deciding to go ahead with having dental implants can be a big step to take, so it’s understandable that you’d want to do everything possible to ensure treatment is a complete success, especially as your new replacement teeth should last a very long time if not for the rest of your life. So what are the factors that can influence dental implant success?

dental-implants-berkshireHaving a successful dental implant relies largely on picking the right dentist for the job. It’s important to choose a dentist with plenty of experience in placing dental implants, preferably someone like Dr Utpalendu Bose who has taken the trouble to complete extra training in this field. Experience really does count for a lot, as your dentist in Berkshire needs to be able to decide whether or not the implant can be placed correctly so that the final crown, bridge or denture can function properly while still looking beautiful. In addition your dentist will need to assess if you have sufficient bone to support the implant, and if the bone is in exactly the right place for the implant to be inserted. The planning stage is absolutely critical and is part of the reason why dental implants are generally extremely successful.

While part of the success lies in the hands of your dentist, another part is wholly down to you. It doesn’t matter if you’re getting on in years, but it can make a difference if you have poor health as this could make it harder for your gums to heal once the dental implants have been inserted. Smokers will almost certainly need to quit, at least until implant treatment is completed as smoking can slow down healing, increasing the chances of implant failure. It’s better for oral health to give up completely, and perhaps dental implants could be a great incentive. When treatment is completed then it’s down to you to look after your dental implant. Some people think there’s no need to take any special care of dental implants in Berkshire, as after all they are made from completely inert materials. What they fail to consider is that the implant post is surrounded by living bone and living gum tissue and it’s vital to keep these healthy as they are supporting your implant. If these tissues become diseased and then you could well lose both bone and gum tissue, and this will mean your implant will gradually become less stable could eventually need removing completely.

It is pretty simple to take care of dental implants and your dentist in Berkshire will give you full instructions on how to look after them. It’s important to make sure you floss around them each day, or that you use interdental brushes or some other method of removing plaque from in between your teeth. Regular dental check-ups will help your dentist in Berkshire to see if any problems are developing, while regular cleanings will remove any tartar that might’ve built up around the implant. If you notice the gum tissue around the dental implant becoming swollen or sore at any stage then there’s a chance it could be infected and it’s important to seek help soon as this will help improve the likelihood of being able to save the dental implant.

Using dental implants to replace missing teeth

Dental implants are the only permanent way for your dentist to replace one or more of your natural teeth. At Old Windsor Dental Practice in Berkshire, our skilled implantology team can replace one, some, or even all of your missing teeth with the help of dental implants.

dental-implantsHow it works

Missing teeth must always be replaced, in order to preserve your general and dental health, not to mention your self-confidence. Dental implants are the only way to replace the roots of the teeth, and as well as giving you back your beautiful smile they also restore full functionality to your jaw, and help to prevent bone resorbtion (shrinkage).

Dental implants are placed in direct contact with your jaw bone in a minor operation, carried out here at our Berkshire dental practice under local anaesthetic or conscious sedation, depending on your preference.

Sometimes, new teeth can be attached at the same time as your implants are placed, while in other occasions it is best to leave your implants to heal for a few months before permanent new teeth are attached to them.

Once adequate healing has taken place, your dentist can replace your missing teeth with crowns, a bridge, or dentures, which once attached to your dental implants will remain firmly in position, with no danger of them becoming loose or falling out unexpectedly.

For one missing tooth, your dentist will probably use a crown with a single dental implant. For several or all missing teeth, we may use an implant-retained bridge or denture, depending on your clinical need and your personal preference.

With proper care and regular follow-up appointments with your dentist and hygienist, your dental implants and the new teeth attached to them should last you for many years – perhaps even your whole life.

Why you should always replace missing teeth

Ask any dentist and they will tell you that missing teeth should always be replaced. There are several reasons for this, not least the obvious aesthetic concerns caused by gaps in the mouth. At Old Windsor Dental Practice in Berkshire, we offer several options to replace your natural teeth, and will work with you to find the perfect solution to suit your needs.

missing-teethWhy missing teeth should be replaced

The first reason to replace missing teeth is that having gaps in your mouth can make you too self-conscious to smile. This can affect your personal and professional life, and can leave serious dents in your self-esteem. If you don’t smile at all in public, people can easily get the wrong impression about you.

When teeth are missing, any remaining teeth are likely to move into the gaps, getting crooked and twisted in the process and becoming more difficult to clean effectively. This means that your chances of developing tooth decay and gum disease are increased as there are more tricky-to-reach areas in which plaque can build up, thus ultimately increasing your chances of further tooth loss.

If you have lost all or most of your natural teeth, you may find that your speech and your ability to eat a healthy and balanced diet is affected. People restricted to a soft food diet may struggle to get proper nutrition, which can have serious detrimental consequences for your general health.

How missing teeth can be replaced

We offer a number of tooth-replacement options at our Berkshire clinic, and your dentist will work with you to find the perfect one to suit your needs.

Options include:

Dentures

Either standard removable dentures or dentures affixed to dental implants, used to replace some or all of your teeth.

Bridges

Bridges replace one or two teeth. They may be supported by adjacent teeth, or by dental implants.

Dental implants

The only permanent way to replace missing teeth, these bionic tooth roots can support dentures, crowns, or a bridge.

Dental Implants for patients who have experienced bone loss

Common questions about dental implants in Windsor, can you wear dentures if you have bone loss? not enough bone for dental implant? and thought about using dental implants to stabilise your dentures. This procedure is known as denture stabilisation or implant over-dentures, and has helped scores of people to regain their ability to eat, speak and smile with confidence.

dental implantsHowever, in some cases – particularly if you have been wearing dentures for several years – your dentist may have told you that you are unsuitable for dental implant treatment because you do not have enough bone density in your jaw.

Bone loss is a very common side effect of tooth loss. This is because, without the roots of the teeth in place, the jaw bone slowly starts to resorb or shrink back – it’s part of the reason that your once snug-fitting dentures can become loose and uncomfortable, and also often leads to a prematurely aged, sagging appearance to the skin around the jowls.

When dental implants were first introduced this was a problem. However, techniques have advanced greatly in the past 30 years, and it is now possible for most patients who have experienced bone loss to have dental implants; you might just require another procedure first.

Huge advantages in implantology mean that in most cases it is now possible to rebuild your jaw bone. In the lower jaw this is called a bone graft, while in the upper jaw the procedure is known as a sinus lift.

A bone graft uses donor bone from elsewhere in your mouth or from other tissue sources (which may be human, animal or synthetic) to rebuild your lower jaw bone and increase its density to the point where it can support dental implants. This commonly adds a few months to implant treatment, but is worth it in the long-term as it increases the chances of your implants’ success.

A sinus lift uses the contours of your face to provide a second chance at the functionality and reliability of dental implants. It involves lifting the lining of the sinus cavity and packing the space with bone or synthetic material. After a healing period, your implants can then be placed.

Using dental implants to replace missing teeth

Have you lost one or more of your natural teeth? At Old Windsor Dental Practice we see many patients who have lost a tooth or teeth for a variety of reasons, from gum disease and tooth decay to accident and injury. Whatever the reason, if you have missing teeth you are likely to have lost confidence in your smile – as well as, in many cases, the ability to enjoy a full, healthy diet because you can only eat soft foods.

dental implantsDental implants are the only permanent way to replace missing teeth. They are small screws made of titanium that replace the root portion of your tooth. A dentist places the implants directly in your jaw bone in a minor operation. Special fixtures on top of the implants then enable your dentist to attach new teeth – crowns, bridges or dentures – on top.

Because they form a direct connection with your jaw bone and because they are osteoconductive (supportive of bone growth), dental implants help to prevent the problem of bone loss that often occurs when teeth are missing. They also perform a very firm anchorage for your new teeth, which means they both look and function just like natural teeth, enabling you to enjoy all your favourite foods and to smile and laugh with confidence once more.

An increasing number of denture-wearers are also opting to stabilise their dentures using dental implants. Over time, many people find their dentures become loose and uncomfortable as their jaw bone recedes. Dental implants prevent this, and the good news is that you won’t need as many implants as teeth.

Precision planning enables your dentist to place the minimal number of implants (commonly between four and six, depending on which jaw they are in) which can support a full set of dentures and withstand the forces generated by biting and chewing.

Why you must see a dentist for teeth whitening treatment

Teeth whitening treatment is increasingly popular. At Old Windsor Dental Practice we use the popular and reliable Zoom teeth whitening system, and are offering a discount of £100 off the standard price of Zoom treatment until the 30th of April 2016.

teeth-whiteningWe offer two teeth whitening options: home whitening, or power whitening here in the practice. Whichever option you choose, the results will be teeth that are several shades whiter, with everyday staining removed.

Treatment involves the use of special dental bleaching gel, which combats stains caused by such things as red wine, cola, tea and coffee, as well as by smoking and by taking certain medicines and medicated mouthwashes.

If you have been searching online for teeth whitening treatment, you may have seen offers from beauty salons and other online retailers promising to whiten your teeth. However, these should be avoided; whilst they may initially appear cheap, many come with hidden costs.

By law, teeth whitening treatment should only be carried out by a dentist, or a hygienist on a dentist’s prescription. Partly this is because whitening should only be carried out on healthy teeth, as cavities or enamel erosion can increase your chances of developing sensitivity during treatment. Dentists can spot and treat these problems before starting whitening treatment.

In addition, the products used in dental surgeries are subject to rigorous testing and have been proven to be both safe and effective. Treatment delivered by unqualified practitioners in beauty salons or bought from the internet or high street are unlikely to have been tested to such high standards. In the best case, they won’t have any effect and you will have wasted your money. However, in the worst case scenario these products can actually damage your teeth and gums, leading to pain, discomfort and sometimes the need for expensive restorative treatment.

At Old Windsor Dental Practice we use the Zoom system, which is safe, predictable and effective. Whether you opt for power whitening here in the practice or home whitening using custom-made mouth trays, we look forward to welcoming you soon.

How to get straighter teeth without the world knowing

Straighter teeth are one of the most common requests in cosmetic dentistry. At Old Windsor Dental Practice in Berkshire, we understand that while many adult patients would like to straighten their teeth, they would like to do so without the whole world knowing they are having treatment – in other words, they would like to avoid traditional metal braces.

orthodoticsOrthodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with the alignment of teeth, and with the bite (how the teeth/jaws meet together). For many people, the word “orthodontics” conjures up pictures of teenagers wearing obvious metal braces. Whilst braces remain the best way to straighten teeth in many cases, affording your orthodontist precise and maximum control over the movement of your teeth, there are other options available besides metal train-track braces.

The best course of treatment for you will depend upon your individual clinical needs, and your first step should be to book a consultation here at Old Windsor Dental Practice. Here are some of the discreet orthodontic options we offer. . .

Lingual braces

Lingual braces act in exactly the same way as standard braces, with one major difference: they are fitted to the back (or lingual) surfaces of your teeth. This means that while your orthodontist will still have precision control over the movement of your teeth, nobody will be able to see your braces in everyday life.

At Old Windsor we use Incognito lingual braces, which offer the very latest in invisible orthodontic treatment. Because of Incognito’s unique low-profile bracket design, these are also one of the most comfortable lingual braces available.

As with traditional braces, treatment can take up to two years, but most patients start to see a noticeable improvement in just a matter of months.

Invisalign

Invisalign comprises a series of removable clear aligners that fit comfortably over your teeth and gently guide them into a better position. We use the latest 3D computer technology to create bespoke aligners just for you, and you are able to see what results to expect before starting treatment.

You change your aligner every few weeks as your teeth move, and the exact number of aligners required will depend on your individual needs. Your dentist will advise you how many you will need and how long treatment will take at the treatment planning stage.