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Back to basics

Dentistry seems to have a strong focus on lovely smiles created with great cosmetic dental treatments, but don’t forget that your lovely smile isn’t going to last if you have gum disease or tooth decay.

That’s why here at The Old Windsor Dental Practice in Berkshire, we place as much emphasis on preventive and general dentistry as we do on cosmetic treatments. If preventive dentistry is the foundation of oral hygiene, then general dentistry is the backbone of dental care.

General Dentistry  in BerkshireThese are the treatments that have been around since forever. Maybe you won’t ever need them, but if you do, you can rest assured that here at The Old Windsor Dental Practice, they will be of the same excellent quality as the rest of our treatments.

But what is general dentistry? Let’s take a look at some of the treatments now:

Emergency appointments

Emergency dental care is perhaps the main thing. You will need emergency dental care if you develop an awful toothache that won’t go away, or if you have an accident that damages your teeth or knocks them out. We will try to see you on the day you call. In the case of knocked out teeth, if you bring them along, we will try to put them back. In every case, our first priority will be to get rid of any pain, then to clean up the area so we can take a look at what’s going on. If we can, we will treat you on the spot. If not, or if there is more to do, we will agree a treatment plan with you.

Root canal therapy

If you have a tooth that is infected or diseased, we may be able to save it by removing the infected or diseased pulp from the tooth. This stops the infection spreading into your jawbone or into other teeth. It also means you can continue to use that tooth, and it’s always better to save a tooth than to replace it.

General dentistry also covers dealing with snoring and jaw joint disorders, as well as special care for pregnant women, extractions and oral surgery.

The importance of good dental hygiene

Dental hygiene is vital for your oral health. If you have good dental hygiene, you dramatically reduce your chances of tooth decay, gum disease and infections. Maintaining a healthy mouth is a discipline that involves a few minutes every day, plus some time each year at The Old Windsor Dental Practice in Berkshire.

Dental Hygiene in BerkshireYour daily dental hygiene routine

A good routine is vital to the health of your teeth. You need to get a good soft-bristled brush; it’s up to you whether you use a manual brush or an electric one. Modern electric brushes time your brushing into 4 30-second sections to help you do the correct amount of brushing. Whichever kind of brush you choose, you need to brush your teeth for 2 minutes, twice a day, using a fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride helps mineralise your teeth against decay.

Don’t forget to also clean your tongue, either with a toothbrush or with a tongue scraper.

Have a good rinse and, once a day, finish off by flossing around each tooth. You need to use a sawing motion along the sides of the tooth and up under the edges of the gum. You are trying to remove plaque as well as any trapped food. Some people also use interdental brushes for this.

Some people also like to finish with a mouthwash.

Your twice-yearly visit to the hygienist

As diligent as you are with your routine, you will never be able to get rid of all the plaque. The hygienist does this for you using special tools designed to also remove plaque that has hardened into a chalk-like substance called tartar or calculus. After the hygienist has removed all the plaque and tartar, they will polish your teeth with a special paste. This acts to shine up the surfaces of the teeth so that plaque will find it harder to cling to them.

Your hygienist can also give you tips on brushing your teeth. The methods are different depending on what type of toothbrush you are using. You can also find out more about when to brush and what types of toothpaste are best for your teeth.

Find someone in the know

If you are looking for dental implants in Windsor, come and talk our implantologist at the Old Windsor Dental Practice. Ian Seddon is a highly experienced clinician who has been fitting dental implants for 25 years. Ian qualified as a general dentist back in the late 1980s, before deciding to focus on implant work. We are happy to have a dentist of his skill and knowledge taking take of our implant patients.

Dental Implants in WindsorBecause the thing is, with dental implants in Windsor, you want to make sure you’ve got someone in the know on your case. The procedure can be a complex and lengthy one, so always look for an implant dentist with a proven track record.

There are several stages to the treatment. First is the consultation. Here, Ian will check your suitability for receiving dental implants in Windsor, and take x-rays, scans and photographs of your teeth to build up a detailed picture of your jaw.

These investigations may reveal that you need additional work such as a bone graft to augment the jawbone, if it has lost density. Ian will talk you through what this involves, so you can make an informed decision about whether you want to go ahead with the implant or not.

If you do want to have dental implants in Windsor, then the preparation work is carried out. This could also mean having gum disease treated to make sure your mouth is in good health before implant surgery,

Then the implant is fitted in a minor surgical procedure under local anaesthetic. You may feel some discomfort, and if you are anxious, you can opt for sedation to help soothe your nerves. Afterwards you may feel a little drowsy, so do ask a friend to help you get home.

The implant healing process takes from a few weeks to a few months, depending on your health and lifestyle. You’ll need to be gentle with your new implant during this time, and Ian will give you a post-surgery plan to help you take good care of it.

Once the healing is complete, you can have your new replacement tooth fitted, restoring your smile to its full brilliance.

What’s the best way to take care of your adult braces in Windsor?

Depending on your outlook, wearing braces as an adult can be a positive or a negative experience. No matter why you need braces, you can now undergo teeth straightening and keep smiling with adult braces in Windsor.

Braces in WindsorAdult braces at The Old Windsor Dental Practice are discreet and versatile. Adult braces in Windsor are also easy to maintain and if you are unsure about how to take good care of them and protect them, our dentists can give you extra tips. And remember to schedule frequent appointments for cleanings and check-ups.

Be careful with the foods you eat

If you are having Invisalign braces, then you already know that you are not bound by any dietary restrictions. However, always make sure to remove your aligners every time you eat or drink anything than water. If you have fixed braces, your dentist may give you a list with things you can and can’t eat and it’s important to follow these guidelines in order to avoid expensive and painful damage to your brackets and wires. In general, stay away from sticky and hard foods and you will be safe. Also, it is advised to eat fewer sugary foods, whether you have braces or aligners, because you are more prone to cavities and tooth decay.

Protect your teeth when you are playing sports

If you are an athlete or have a job that puts your mouth at risk of getting hit, you may wish to consider a mouthpiece of other protection with the help of your dentist. Even if you wear Invisalign aligners, remember that they are not mouth protectors and they can get easily damaged if you get hit on the mouth. Your Windsor braces are strong but accidents happen.

Don’t try to fix things on your own

If you suspect that there is a problem with your braces or aligners, don’t try to fix it on your own because you will end up making things worse. Instead, contact your dentist and explain to them in detail what happened. They will be able to help you before your entire teeth straightening treatment is compromised.

Discover the exciting benefits of dental implants in Windsor

If you are researching dental implants, you will soon start discovering benefit after benefit. Eventually, this will make you feel more confident about your choice of dental implants to replace your missing teeth.

And if you are still uncertain about dental implants in Windsor, we encourage you to get in touch with a dentist at The Old Windsor Dental Practice.

Dental Implants in WindsorDid you know that dental implants are very durable?

Chances are that you have read somewhere that dental implants can last forever. Sadly, this claim is not true. While they might not be around for that long, dental implants in Windsor can certainly last for many decades with proper care and maintenance. And if you ask how this is possible, it is because they made of titanium, a metal that has the ability to fuse with bone tissue as one organic entity. Unless you neglect them completely, there is no reason for your dental implants in Windsor to fail anytime soon.

Caring for dental implants is not as complicated as you may think

We have already established that taking good care of your dental implants will keep them strong and healthy for longer. And taking good care for them is easy to accomplish since they don’t need special treatment. Simply brush and floss them daily along with the rest of your natural teeth, being careful to remove any food remains from around the implant areas. We also encourage our implant patients to visit our practice every so often for routine cleanings and maintenance. Keep up these good habits and your dental implants will last for a long time.

Dental implants will never damage your natural teeth

If you choose to replace your missing teeth with a bridge, you will soon find out that the only way for it to be stabilised is to rely on your healthy, natural teeth. Unfortunately, your dentist will need to remove some of the tissue from the teeth and this can cause their subsequent deterioration. Dental implants, on the other hand, do not need support from your teeth – instead, they rely on your jawbone for stability.

Teeth straightening by stealth

If you’ve always wanted to get straighter teeth but have not been able to face the idea of wearing braces fixed on the front of your teeth, then you will be delighted to know that there is another way.

Invisalign has been one of the most popular ways for people to get their teeth straightened since it first came on the market in the late 1990s. Since it first appeared, more than 4 million people have used Invisalign to straighten their teeth.

Invisalign in BerkshireYou may not have noticed because Invisalign is so discreet that it’s pretty much invisible. Instead of metal brackets glued to your teeth with wire strung through them, you have a series of aligners. These aligners resemble very thin clear plastic mouth guards; so thin, in fact, that once they are in place, they hug the teeth so well as to become very, very hard to spot.

The difference is that inside each aligner are very carefully placed bumps and ridges. These press on your teeth and in so doing, persuade them to shift out of the way to relieve the pressure. It takes 7-10 days for your body to respond by dissolving and rebuilding bone around the tooth to stop it being pressed on. What you will experience is that the aligner doesn’t fit when you first put it in, but that feeling gradually wears off over the next week to 10 days. Once the aligner feels like it fits perfectly, it’s time to start the wearing next one, which will feel like it doesn’t fit again. And on you go, moving from discomfort to comfort over and over again until you have worked your way through the entire series of aligners.

Once you reach the end of your treatment, you will have beautifully straight teeth. In order to keep them that way, you will have to wear a retainer for some time afterwards. This holds your newly moved teeth in place while the new bone settles down around them. You can have a retainer bonded to the back of your teeth, or wear one that looks like a mouth guard at night.

What to expect on the implant journey

Getting dental implants has all sorts of horror stories attached it, but, in reality, it is a pretty simple process and not very painful. As with all other things that you have yet to experience, it’s the anticipation of the unknown that’s making you feel nervous.

At The Old Windsor Dental Practice in Berkshire, we have seen the way dental implants have transformed the lives of our patients who need teeth replacing. They are once again able to eat whatever they like. Patients who have been living with dentures are delighted to no longer have to live every day with a background level of anxiety about their teeth wobbling around just when they least expect it.

Dental Implants in BerkshireThe dental implant process has a few stages to it.

The consultation

We need to take a really good look at your mouth and your jawbone to make sure that we can fit dental implants. If your jawbone has degenerated it won’t be able to support the implants. There are ways to regenerate it though, using bone grafts and a technique called a sinus lift. If it’s your upper jawbone that’s causing the issue, we may be able to use extra-long implants to anchor through the jawbone and into the cheekbone above it.

If you need a bone graft, you will need to add in some extra time while the bone grafts integrates.

The procedure

People worry that this will be painful, but, with fewer nerves in the jawbone, a local anaesthetic is ample to numb the pain. Anxiety is another matter altogether. The procedure takes a while, so you may want oral or intravenous sedation to help you deeply relax.

Healing

You need to allow 2-6 months for the implants to fuse with your jawbone before you can expect to chew crunchy or chewy foods. This is the case even if you have crowns fitted immediately (same day teeth).

Afterwards

All you need to do to look after your implants is make sure you don’t get gum disease. Twice-daily brushing for 2 minutes, with daily flossing and regular trips to the hygienist is enough for this.

What age should a child get braces in Windsor?

One question many parents around the world ask is, ‘When should my child get braces?’. While there is no definitive answer to this question, and 2 different dentists may give 2 different answers, it is generally a good idea for your child to visit a dentist specialising in braces around age 7. At this age, most children have their adult teeth forming inside the gums, giving dentists a better overview of what is going to happen in the mouth during the following years.

Braces in WindsorAt The Old Windsor Dental Practice, we advise parents to bring their children for a teeth straightening consultation as soon as possible, since early intervention can prevent problems down the road. Our practice offers a wide range of braces in Windsor, including Twin Block, a novel teeth straightening treatment that repositions the jaw.

Screening is the first step

If you suspect that your child has crooked or misaligned teeth, you should book an evaluation with your dentist. Dentists specialising in teeth and jaw straightening problems can diagnose and correct various tooth issues and are also able to assess whether your child needs braces. Our experienced team of dentists at The Old Windsor Dental Practice will offer the best solution possible.

What are the benefits of an early examination?

Examining your child for braces in Windsor early on has numerous benefits. Firstly, your dentist can determine what the best treatment is, since oral problems are identified earlier. Moreover, the younger your child wears braces in Windsor the better, since young children’s teeth are guided easily for braces. As a matter of fact, children who start teeth straightening treatment at a young age are more likely to spend less time in braces overall. Braces will also improve your child’s oral hygiene and enhance their self-esteem. Not to mention that they will introduce them to a lifetime of great oral habits.

No need to be nervous

Many children are nervous about wearing braces. However, modern braces are more comfortable than they used to be and they are less bulky, meaning they are not unattractive. Plus, they can be customised with colourful bands for an individualised touch.

Teeth you won’t remember aren’t yours

It may sound odd but people often find that once they have been fitted with replacement teeth on dental implants in Windsor, they can sometimes forget they aren’t their natural teeth. It’s unlikely that will ever happen to anyone wearing full or partial dentures, what with all the overnight soaking and pulling them out to rinse off bits of food that have got stuck under them.

Dental Implants in WindsorBut with dental implants in Windsor, from us at The Old Windsor Dental Practice, it’s a different story. Crowns on dental implants stay in your mouth once they have been fitted. They are screwed into the dental implants and the dental implants are embedded into your jaw.

Osseointegration

They are held in place by new bone tissue. This grows all over the outer surface of the dental implants, which are tapered posts or screws made of titanium. Titanium has that effect on the body. It thinks this metal is body tissue and grabs onto it rather than rejecting it. Once the jawbone has integrated with the dental implants, they have all the chewing power of natural teeth, unlike dentures which only have about a quarter of the power.

Cleaning and maintenance

The great thing about this form of tooth replacement is that you can treat it like natural teeth. This means you just carry on with your diligent twice-daily 2-minute brushing routine, along with daily flossing and regular trips to the hygienist for a deep clean. What you are trying to do is make sure that there is no build up of plaque to cause gum disease. Gum disease is the big enemy of dental implants as it can attack and erode the bone surrounding the dental implant, causing it to loosen and fall out.

Can you have dental implants in Windsor?

It all depends on the strength and density of your jawbone. The best way to find out if your jawbone can sustain a dental implant is to come in for a consultation and let us take a look at your jawbone with x-rays and scans. If there is an issue, a bone graft or a sinus lift might solve it.

How do braces in Windsor work?

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?

Braces in WindsorAt 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.