Dental anxiety is very common – but we can help!
If you find that you are becoming increasingly anxious when your dental appointment is due, don’t worry, you are most certainly not alone. It is thought that around half of the UK has similar feelings, with a significant few experiencing them to such a degree that they may cancel an appointment unless the pain is unbearable.
Whilst we may be able to understand exactly why we need to receive dental treatment, deep-seated, often illogical concerns can prevent us from doing so. Whatever the reason though, the team at Elmfield House Dental Practice are here to help you have as stress-free an appointment as possible.
A few facts
Before we discuss how we can help you, there are a few pieces of information which you may find useful. Firstly, one of the biggest fear factors is the idea that treatment will be painful. Modern local anaesthesia means that you will not feel actual pain during a procedure, although some minor discomfort is possible. In most cases, what people experience is the anticipation of pain, and very rarely pain itself.
The ‘injection’ can be off putting for some patients but it is necessary to numb the area, for obvious reasons. Some patients may believe that it hurts when the needle is inserted into the gum, but this brief discomfort is mainly caused by the anaesthetic entering the bloodstream and not by the needle itself.
The high pitched sound of a drill is probably the one which causes the greatest anxiety amongst dental patients. This whining sound though is caused by the high rotational speeds of the drill, but it is this that allows procedures to progress quickly and effectively. Less noise would mean lower speeds and more discomfort.
Our friendly dentists and sedation options
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With just a little planning, you can have great looking teeth for your big day!
With the ‘Harry and Meghan’ wedding still fresh in our minds, many people will be starting to turn their thoughts to their own forthcoming wedding day.
There are a lot of things to organise, from the venue, to the guest list and the cake of course. In all the hurry, it is quite possible to forget some of the finer detail that can make a big difference, especially to your memories of the day.
The wedding dress will probably be at the top of most bride’s list of priorities, followed closely by hair style and make up. There is one little detail though which can be easily overlooked; your teeth.
A beautiful smile
A wedding day is about more than the big day itself, memories of the day will live on not only in our minds, but in the photographs and videos of the day. Many of these will not simply remain in the photo album of the day but will, of course, be shared widely amongst friends and family over social media.
With this in mind, it is worth paying more attention to the quality of your smile. Dull looking, or even stained teeth, will do little to enhance a smile and brides to be are encouraged to consider having a teeth whitening procedure at Elmfield House Dental Practice. This is a straightforward and non invasive procedure that can make all the difference to a great photograph or video. Especially compared to the overall cost of a wedding, this treatment is very affordable and will really bring out the best in your smile. For your convenience, our Teddington practice offers a choice of a custom home whitening kit, or a fast acting in house whitening procedure.
It is probably best to have the treatment so that it is completed a week or so before the big day, as although many people have no side effects, it is possible that you may notice a little extra sensitivity for a few days until it returns to normal. You obviously want to feel at your best on your big day, so completing the treatment a little in advance makes sense.
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Using Invisalign to help Teddington patients enjoy great-looking, straight teeth.
In an ideal world, we would all have nice even teeth. For most of us though this isn’t the case and if we wish to have straighter teeth, then the use of orthodontics (braces) is necessary to correct them.
One of the most popular orthodontic systems that we provide at our Teddington practice is called Invisalign. Before we move on to how this works, and what makes it so special, let us take a look at some of the benefits of having even, straight teeth.
The main reason that patients of Elmfield House Dental Practice want to have straight teeth is to improve their appearance. Aside from improving how we look, improving our teeth can also have a positive influence on how we see ourselves, helping to boost our confidence and perhaps even our sense of self worth.
If teeth are crooked, not only do they not look as nice as even teeth, but may lead to other dental problems too. For example, where teeth overlap, it can be very difficult to clean the area where they do so. Whilst toothbrush bristles and even dental floss may struggle to reach these areas, bacteria will always find a way and tooth decay may follow.
Uneven teeth may also lead to uneven pressure being put on certain teeth when we eat. This increases the risk of teeth breaking due to excessive wear and tear.
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Our Teddington dentists look at why you may be disappointed, or even at risk with DIY whitening
You will almost certainly have noticed an increasing number of adverts on TV, offering toothpastes that purport to whiten your teeth. This seems like a ‘win win’ situation, keeping your teeth healthy and also whiter than they currently are. There are also home whitening kits that are available from chemists and some other outlets which offer an alternative route, but how effective and safe are these?
On the surface of it, having whiter teeth simply by brushing your teeth with a special toothpaste is a great idea. The reality though, is somewhat different. To understand why, there are a few things to consider.
Firstly, some staining is caused by foodstuffs that stick to the enamel of your teeth. Much of this is limited with regular brushing with any toothpaste. Some will stick though, and if these whitening toothpastes remove more than standard ones, it is possibly because they have additional abrasives in them. Unfortunately, this will not only remove staining but is likely to cause more damage to your tooth enamel too – particularly if you brush too hard. As this protects the teeth, this is most definitely not a good thing.
The other type of discolouration occurs inside the teeth. The inner part of our teeth naturally darken with age, and currently anyway, there is nothing that we can do to prevent this. The only way to whiten teeth affected in this way is to use a form of clinical bleach. At Elmfield House Dental Practice in Teddington, the teeth whitening procedure that we provide will do this both safely and effectively. Because safety is a concern however, manufacturers of whitening toothpastes are limited, by law, in the amount of the active ingredient allowed. Whilst this does make the toothpastes safe, it also significantly limits the results too. You are unlikely to notice much difference at all if you use these toothpastes. They may, however, help to extend the effects following a professional teeth whitening procedure at our Teddington practice.
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Gum disease can lead to the loss of teeth and is increasingly being linked with serious medical problems.
Most patients of Elmfield House Dental Practice probably take pride in the care that they take in looking after their teeth. Of course, the same care should also be extended to the gums; something which some patients may not realise.
If you do not take good care of your gums, keeping them clean, you are likely to notice symptoms which may well prove to be indicators of gum disease.
Sore, inflamed, or gums that bleed when you brush your teeth are all potential signs that you may have gum disease. Although prevention is preferable, if you do notice any symptoms such as these, or any others which concern you, please contact our Teddington practice as soon as possible to see your local dentist. Gum disease is nearly always effectively treatable if caught in its early stages.
Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease. Symptoms such as those mentioned above, along with bad breath, means that you need to have your oral health restored, usually by the hygienist, in conjunction with better personal care. Even though you may think that you brush and floss well at home, there are nearly always areas which collect bacteria and food debris that you can’t reach. Gradually, these bacteria harden, forming plaque and then tartar, making it near impossible to remove using a toothbrush.
To clean teeth and the gum line affected in this way, the hygienist will perform a cleaning procedure known as a ‘scale and polish’. This involves scraping away excess tartar (the hard bacteria) before shattering the rest using a sonic tool. Finally, your teeth will be cleaned using a high powered special brush.
Even if you are not exhibiting any symptoms of gum disease; seeing the hygienist at our Teddington practice every six months or so is a great way of keeping your mouth in excellent health.
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Our Teddington dentist explains the process that makes implants such a great choice for replacing missing teeth.
When a tooth has been lost and needs to be replaced, traditionally the best known method for doing this is the use of dentures. Whilst these have become more natural looking and comfortable over the years; for many patients they are not an ideal solution. For some patients, dentures can become unstable and move around in the mouth, making eating certain foods more difficult.
Increasingly, our patients from the Teddington are are turning to dental implants as a more secure alternative to dentures. Unlike dentures, these are firmly held in place by the titanium implant which is placed into the jawbone; the final component being a crown that is attached to the implant, leaving it both looking and feeling natural.
To the uninitiated, it may seem that implants are simply screwed into the jawbone and that is that. The reality is much more complex. Once placed into the bone, a process known as osseointegration starts. During this process, the bone in the jaw forms around the titanium implant, eventually fully bonding with it. It is this process that gives dental implants their incredible stability and strength.
This process takes around three months, although this ‘waiting period’ is less relevant when same day implants are placed. We will explain that in a future blog. It is critical, during the osseointegration period, and beyond, to keep your oral health in the best condition possible. To this end, the implant dentists at Elmfield House Dental Practice in Teddington will require patients who are having implants to commit to not smoking or heavy drinking for a period of time both before and after the treatment. Failure to do so greatly increases the risks of periodontitis and peri-implantitis, both of which may cause the implant to fail.
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The truth about this sometimes feared dental treatment.
We start our look at some of the treatments offered at the Elmfield House Dental Practice with perhaps one of the most feared; the root canal procedure. Most of our Teddington dental patients will, no doubt, have heard tales about how ‘painful’ this procedure is, so it is time to put that myth to bed once and for all.
Why do you need a root canal procedure?
A root canal procedure is necessary when the pulp matter, which includes tiny blood vessels and nerves, within the root canals of the teeth become infected. As you can imagine, this can be very painful and needs to be treated promptly. Without this procedure, the only other option would be to extract the tooth altogether.
What happens during the treatment?
In order to have a root canal procedure, you will be given a local anaesthetic which will minimise any potential discomfort you might feel. The top part of the tooth may then be removed so that we can access the root canals. The infected material will be removed and the now hollow canals thoroughly cleaned to avoid possible re-infection.
The cleaned root canals are then filled with a special type of filling known as gutta percha. A dental crown will then be added to complete the tooth, restoring its appearance and providing additional strength.
Does it hurt?
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A brief introductory overview of treatments we offer for our Teddington patients
Welcome to the first in a regular series of blogs that we will be posting on our website.
In today’s blog post, we provide a brief look at our practice and some of the treatments we offer patients from Teddington and close-by locations in Middlesex. In future blogs, we will look in more detail at individual treatments, along with general oral health advice and news about dental care.
Our practice is housed in a beautiful Grade 2 listed building; in itself something that many patients appreciate. Most important though, is the care and experience of our team, along with the many procedures that we are pleased to offer at Elmfield House Dental Practice, whether preventative, restorative and cosmetic.
General dental care
The most important role of any dentist is to help keep patient’s teeth and gums as healthy as possible. This starts with advice given by ourselves and the dental hygienist at our practice, along with regular professional cleaning and any restorative procedures that may be necessary.
Whilst avoiding problems is the ideal, where treatment is needed to restore a tooth, there are a wide range of dental procedures available to do so. From a straightforward filling, including tooth coloured versions, to more complex treatments such as dental implant placement, our team are able to help.
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