Half a year to lovely straight teeth

If you would like to get your teeth straightened, but have so far not done so because you can’t face the idea of having something on your teeth for years on end, you will be delighted to know that this may well not be the case.

At Wimbledon Dental Care, we use Six Month Smiles in Wimbledon to straighten the smiles of many of our adult patients.

Six Month Smiles in WimbledonThis is a great system that takes the best of traditional braces treatments and applies them to the problems that most adults have with their teeth: the front six social teeth are mildly misaligned.

Yes, all that heavy-duty ironmongery that we tend to associate with wearing braces is really only needed for serious misalignments of the back teeth or to realign the bite.

If you have made it to adulthood without either, chances are that you don’t need to have ‘train track’ braces on your teeth for two or three years. Most people don’t, which is why Six Month Smiles braces were created.

Pulling power

They use the same pulling mechanics of traditional braces but they are working on teeth with fewer roots and milder misalignments, so the forces can be much gentler.

This means that the brackets can be smaller, and as a bonus, they are made of clear ceramic, which blends in with the teeth rather than dominating them. Also, the wires are thinner and made of tooth-coloured nickel titanium. The whole effect is more like smile jewellery than something a villain from James Bond would have.

Six Month Smiles take somewhere between four and nine months, with an average time of six months, to straighten your teeth. But, after they are in place, you will have to wear a retainer for about a year. This is because the teeth are not yet settled into place and needed to be kept still while the new bone around them hardens.

You can have a retainer bonded to the backs of your teeth, or you can wear one at night. If you’re not very disciplined with things like this, it’s best to opt for the fixed retainer.

Secret dental history

Generally speaking, us Brits are pretty private people. We don’t want other people knowing all about our woes, or our health problems. We’d rather keep that kind of thing to ourselves.

But, if you have amalgam fillings, there is no hiding how many cavities you have had treated by your dentist. The evidence is there in black and white for all to see every time you throw back your head for a hearty laugh. Rows of glistening black metal blobs denounce you as being a sugar fiend in your youth, or just very bad at brushing your teeth. It’s not a good look.

White Fillings in WimbledonThe downside of amalgam

Amalgam, although deemed safe by the General Dental Council, isn’t actually all that great as a filling material. It lies flat within the tooth, which means you lose some of your chewing ability created by the valleys and bumps that molars have. Also, amalgam cannot bond with your teeth, so there is a micro-gap all around the edge of the filling, into which bacteria can sneak and cause more decay. Finally, in order to make a decent amalgam filling work, the dentist has to remove healthy tooth material. This weakens the structure of your teeth and can cause it to crumble away over the years, especially if it’s one of those back molars that take all that chewing pressure day in, day out.

Beauty aside, these are three very good reasons, why at Wimbledon Dental Care, we offer white fillings to our patients.

The difference with white fillings

White fillings are made from a porcelain composite material, which has been improved over the years and is now very durable. It is best suited for small and medium-sized fillings. Larger fillings are better treated with inlays and onlays.

When we use white fillings, we only remove the decayed material, and we fill the cavity with layers of porcelain composite, each of which is bonded to the tooth and cured with a UV lamp before the next layer is added. Once done, we can then shape the filling to recreate the mounds and valleys of your original tooth and give you back full chewing power.

Achieve whiter teeth with teeth whitening in Wimbledon

Are you tired of having yellow, stained teeth, despite your thorough oral hygiene routine? Many people feel like their teeth just become yellow overnight. While this is not quite possible, there are many reasons why teeth become yellow over time.

At Wimbledon Dental Care, we understand how beautiful a healthy, white smile can be, and we are able to help our patients achieve whiter teeth professionally from the comfort of our dental practice. We are proud to offer whitening with Zoom! technology, which has been tested for many years with impressive and long-lasting results.

Teeth Whitening in WimbledonWhy teeth become yellow and discoloured?

Teeth ultimately turn yellow as we age, because enamel gradually wears away from chewing and exposure to acids from food and drink. At the same time, some people are genetically inclined to have yellower teeth than others, while coffee and cigarettes tend to leave stains on your teeth over time. Finally, certain medications and tooth grinding can be responsible for yellow and discoloured teeth, since they weaken tooth enamel to the point of cracking and yellowing.

Teeth whitening services in Wimbledon

If you are considering teeth whitening, it is important to know your options. Our experienced dentists will help you decide which method is ideal for your teeth based on your individual needs and lifestyle. All of our teeth whitening treatments are safe and effective.

Teeth whitening with Zoom!! technology

Teeth whitening with Zoom! at Wimbledon Dental Care is quick and easy. You will come in for a consultation, during which we will examine your teeth and discuss your treatment options. Power whitening with Zoom! technology at the dental practice the procedure will only last an hour or less.

Before your treatment, we will provide customised trays that fit snugly over your teeth and then will take some photos of your smile before treatment. You can decide which shade of white you want to achieve, and we will prepare your mouth for treatment. The power whitening itself takes about an hour or less. When we have finished, we will instruct you on how to keep your teeth whitening results at home with your customised trays.

Clever ways to straighter teeth

In the world of dentistry there has been a huge upsurge in the number of adults seeking treatment for straighter teeth.

There are two main reasons for this. Until the last decade or so, it was unusual for adults to seek treatment because it would mean wearing heavy-duty metal bracket and wire braces. This is no longer the case. As long as the problem is a matter of adjusting only the teeth and not the alignment of the jaw, the forces required are gentler and this means the equipment required can be lighter and smaller.

Six Month Smiles in WimbledonAt Wimbledon Dental Care in Wimbledon, we have a great system that can give people straighter front teeth in an average of only six months.

Six Month Smiles is the name of a system designed to adjust the front six social teeth, which are much easier to move than the molars because they have fewer roots.

How does Six Month Smiles work?

The system works on the tried and tested mechanical principles of traditional bracket and wire braces. The angle at which the brackets are placed on the teeth determine in which direction they will be pulled by the wires, which are progressively tightened throughout the treatment. The difference is that the brackets are much smaller and made of clear ceramic, and the wires are thinner and made of tooth-coloured nickel titanium.

The braces blend in with the teeth rather than dominating them, and because they use gentler forces, Six Month Smiles are much more comfortable to wear.

If you are a good candidate for Six Month Smiles, we’ll take photos and impressions of your teeth and send them off to the Six Month Smiles laboratory, where they will calculate the required position and angle of each bracket and the shape of the wires.

When they come back, we bond them to your teeth, and every four to six weeks make adjustments if necessary.

When your teeth are straight, it’s great to have a mini smile makeover, getting any chips and cracks repaired, and also have a whitening treatment so you can show off your lovely new smile to the world.

You only get one set of teeth

In terms of teeth, the shark has got it made. They never need to worry about decay or gaps because they replace any teeth that get broken or fall out. And fall out they do, because sharks’ teeth don’t have any roots.

People are not like that. We get one set of adult teeth, with roots, and when they fall out, we don’t grow another tooth to fill the gap. We get 32 teeth and that’s our lot. Our teeth are literally irreplaceable and that’s why it is very important that our kids learn to take really good care of them.

Children's Dentistry in WimbledonDecay abound

Sadly, tooth decay among the children of the UK is still very high. This may be due to the amount of sugar in their diets. A survey in September 2014 found that 12% of 3-year-olds had cavities. A particular kind of decay shows up on the front teeth and then spreads rapidly, and is caused by drinking sugary drinks from a spouted cup when children are being weaned.

This is totally avoidable if you bring your child to the dentist for regular check-ups.

Getting a check-up

At Wimbledon Dental Care in Wimbledon, children’s teeth are checked very carefully for decay from the time they first appear. This is when we recommend you start bringing your child in for check-ups. We also recommend that you bring them in before that. Bringing them along to your own appointments will habituate them to the dental environment. They will feel more relaxed in their first check-up, maybe even eager, if they have already seen mummy and daddy and older siblings, if you have any, in the dentist’s chair.

As children’s teeth are so susceptible to decay, we offer 2 treatments that provide extra protection. Fluoride can be painted onto the teeth to mineralise the enamel against decay. We can also paint sealant onto the back molars. This covers the fissures in the chewing surfaces, where decay tends to occur. Seeing young patients also allows us to keep an eye out for issues with the bite and spot teeth that are going to come through out of alignment.

Dealing with sensitive teeth

Do you feel a sudden pain in your teeth every time you eat or drink something hot or cold? Does the thought of biting into ice cream or drinking a cold glass of water make you cringe? Sensitive teeth are a reality for many people and can be caused by several things including dental erosion.

At Wimbledon Dental Care, we understand that sensitive teeth can cause problems for many people. We encourage our patients to have their teeth thoroughly checked so that we can identify and treat the problem.

Sensitive Teeth in WimbledonWhat causes tooth sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity is one of the most common dental problems experienced by patients worldwide and occurs when the hard tooth enamel is worn down or gums have receded. Sometimes, however, tooth sensitivity can be the result of other factors, such as cavities, cracked or chipped teeth, old fillings or cosmetic procedures such as teeth whitening.

Treating sensitive teeth

If you are in pain because of your sensitive teeth, visiting your dentist will help identify the underlying cause of your tooth pain. Depending on the conditions, your dentist might recommend a special toothpaste and solution, fluoride applications, desensitizing treatment or in more severe cases, a surgical gum lift and a root canal.

Once treated, to prevent sensitive teeth from recurring, they will also offer tips and advice on how to take good care of your teeth. It is essential to brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. However, be careful to avoid vigorous or harsh scrubbing or abrasive toothpastes that can actually harm your teeth more. If you grind your teeth, ask your dentist to provide you with mouth guard. Tooth grinding can fracture teeth and is a leading cause of sensitive teeth.

Your dentist will also suggest limiting acidic foods and drinks, such as soda drinks, oranges and other citrus fruit, wine and yogurt. Make sure you drink lot of water to balance the acid levels in your mouth. Finally, it also helps to avoid brushing your teeth directly after eating acidic foods and drinks, since acid can soften the enamel and leave your teeth more vulnerable to erosion during brushing.

Replace your missing teeth with crowns and bridges in Wimbledon

We often fail to acknowledge that teeth function as a whole, therefore, missing one can have consequences for our oral and overall health. In reality, all our 32 teeth work together to help us chew, speak and bite properly. When one of them goes missing, we gradually begin to lose oral function and suffer other health problems. Luckily, modern dentistry has developed considerably in recent years and we now have many options to replace missing teeth.

At Wimbledon Dental Care, we use crowns and bridges to replace one or several missing teeth in a row. Our experienced dentists will help you decide which treatment suits your individual needs.

Replace Missing Teeth in WimbledonWhy you should replace your missing teeth

The most obvious reason to replace missing teeth is aesthetic. Missing teeth can destroy your confidence and stop you smiling and laughing in public. More importantly, missing teeth are responsible for the gradual deterioration of the jawbone and can even lead to further tooth loss, since they allow your healthy teeth to move into the gaps. Finally, teeth play an important role in your diet. With missing teeth, your diet options are very limited and you are unlikely to be able to eat chewy and hard foods such as fruit and vegetables.

Tooth replacement options

If you have a broken, decayed, loose or missing tooth, then crowns are an ideal solution for restoring its function. Crowns essentially fit over the remaining part of the prepared tooth and make it stronger, while at the same time they provide protection against tooth decay. Crowns are usually made of high-quality, tooth-coloured porcelain that looks just like your natural teeth.

Another option you can consider for tooth replacement is a bridge. Traditional bridges are very sturdy, hard-wearing and rest on your neighbouring teeth for support. It consists of a metal bases that’s attached to the teeth and gums, topped by high-quality porcelain crowns that look like your natural teeth. In some cases, your dentist may add a bit of porcelain to the base of the bridge to make it look more natural.

Bridges helps to strengthen the prepared teeth and restore chewing and eating power, because they are permanently fixed to your mouth.

Fillings that blend in

For many years, the only option available if you needed fillings to repair your teeth was amalgam. While this is effective, the material is grey and very visible in your mouth. This can make you feel self-conscious when laughing or speaking as amalgam fillings can be very obvious. Modern materials mean that we can now offer a great alternative in the form of white fillings, which are durable and extremely discreet. Unless your mouth is examined closely, it is very hard to see them at all. At Wimbledon Dental Care in Wimbledon, we have found that they are a popular choice with children and adults who prefer a more natural look.

White Fillings in WimbledonWhat are white fillings?

Most people need fillings because their enamel and the underlying tooth has been decayed by plaque acid, creating a cavity. Fillings are used to plug the gap after the weakened areas have been removed from a tooth. This stops infection getting in, strengthens the tooth and prevents further damage. The material used in white fillings is a composite resin. This is slightly more expensive than silver amalgam, but has the obvious benefit of being almost invisible. We use tried and trusted composites such as Heraeus Venus and TPD Spectra which are well known for their very high performance qualities. They last well and enable us to repair your teeth reliably to keep them healthy in the long-term.

Why choose white fillings?

In addition to the obvious benefit of matching the tone of your original teeth, white fillings are also less damaging because of the way in which they are fitted. With amalgam, healthy tissue has to be removed along with the decayed area. The technique for white fillings is different so only the damaged tissue is removed. This means that you can retain as much of the original tooth as possible which keeps it strong. Some people who already have them choose to have their metal fillings replaced with white ones due to aesthetic reasons or because they are worried about mercury in amalgam. Whatever your reasons, we are happy to discuss your concerns, outline treatment options with you and create a plan which will give you the results you want.

Dental hygiene and preventive dental care in Wimbledon

Proper oral care is really important to the health of your teeth, gums and mouth. Maintaining good oral hygiene habits is critical to maintaining optimal oral health and avoiding tooth decay and long-term gum disease. Poor oral health, on the other hand, can actually have a direct impact on your overall health with known links to diabetes and heart disease. Gum disease is also the number one cause of tooth loss in Great Britain. Even if the connection between oral health and general health problems is not valid, oral diseases can be unattractive, painful and cost you a lot of money.

At Wimbledon Dental Care in Wimbledon, we offer not only a range of aesthetic and restorative dental treatments, but oral health advice, and a range of treatments and services that will help you keep dental problems at bay. Tooth decay and gum disease are the most common oral diseases in the developed world and we are here to help you treat them and prevent them, if possible.

Dental Hygiene in WimbledonWhereas tooth decay is usually the result of poor dental hygiene, gum disease can affect a wider range of patients including pregnant women and people suffering from diabetes. Because it is not painful during its initial stage, it is really difficult to spot the symptoms without the help of your dentist. Sometimes, gum disease is characterised by swollen, sore or infected gums, and possible bleeding during brushing. If left untreated, it can lead to severe gum issues and even tooth loss. Our dentists are trained to look for the early signs of gum disease and advise you of preventive treatment.

Having your teeth cleaned professionally is one of the best treatments for gum disease. Our dental hygienists will scale and polish your teeth, removing any plaque build-up even from below the gum line. Polishing will smooth out your teeth and prevent plaque from sticking to them.

With regular cleanings and good oral maintenance, we can almost always prevent plaque build-up and related diseases like tooth decay and gum disease. It may be a cliché, but prevention is always better than cure. Call in, phone us or send an email to book an appointment today.

What are veneers?

Veneers are very thin shells that are commonly made out of a durable material like porcelain. They are placed over the top of existing teeth in order to change something about them. This could be the size, shape or colour.

If you have a gap in your teeth that you would like to close, for example, veneers can be useful for this. They could save you having orthodontic treatment to correct the issue. If the gap is small enough, a veneer can be fitted that is slightly larger than the tooth next to it. This extends the reach of the tooth to cover the gap.

Veneers in WimbledonWe offer veneers in Wimbledon at Wimbledon Dental Centre for a range of issues. You need to have healthy teeth in order to have veneers, as each one is supported by the tooth underneath. Come for a check-up and consultation with us and we can check your suitability and make recommendations.

How are they fitted?

Veneers are held in place by a very hard dental cement. Once they are in position, they cannot be removed.

The first step in fitting is to remove a thin area of enamel from your tooth. This allows the veneer to sit flush with the other teeth. Your dentist will take an impression of the area so that a dental technician can shape any veneers that you need and return them to the practice. At you next appointment, the veneer will be slotted into place using the adhesive. It can be moved around to get the position exactly right before a special light is shone on the area to harden the cement. The dentist will finish off by removing any excess material.

How do you look after them?

Once they are in place, your veneers can be treated like normal teeth. They are designed to last around 5–10 years.

You need a diligent dental hygiene routine to care for your teeth. You can still get tooth decay in teeth that have veneers fitted. If they start to deteriorate, it can affect the longevity of your dental enhancements.

Veneers will not discolour over time so you can enjoy a bright smile for as long as you have them. This is why some people consider getting a full set of veneers for an attractive uniformity.