Cosmetic Dentistry Frequently Asked Questions Discussed by Bristol Dental Practice
As there are a lot of different areas within cosmetic dentistry, you likely have a number of questions relating to cosmetic dentistry or the various cosmetic procedures that are available. We have compiled some of the most popular questions related cosmetic dentistry and the various cosmetic procedures that are available in this article to help answer any questions that you may have. If you do have any questions regarding cosmetic dentistry then ensure that you enquire with Bristol Dental Practice using a contact form on our website or telephone our team directly now on: 01179 105 929
Can I Have All Cosmetic Procedures Carried Out by Public Healthcare?
No, NHS treatment does not include cosmetic treatments that aren’t clinically required. If you do require cosmetic treatments that aren’t clinically necessary then you will have to have the work carried out privately. This includes procedures such as teeth whitening as this procedure is purely cosmetic and is not clinically required for the health of your teeth.
Can Anyone Have a Cosmetic Procedure Carried Out?
In special circumstances, you may not be able to have a cosmetic procedure carried out. For example, you may not be able to have dental implants if you are a smoker as smoking cigarettes can weaken the jaw bone. Similarly, children’s jaw bones may not have fully developed which means that they would typically not be ready for dental implants until adolescence. If your jaw bones have weakened over time then they may also be unable to support dental implants but there are alternative procedures that are available that do not require implants being screwed into the jaw bone.
How Can I Prevent Dental Phobia?
It’s thought that 1/4 adults in the UK suffer from a fear of the dentist. This is thought to be because of the fact that dental practices in the past involved drills and other instruments. There’s steps that you can take to make your visit to the dentist more stress-free. It’s also important to note that the modern dental practice is designed to be comforting and inviting for nervous patients. There’s also other options available such as conscious sedation which makes time seem to move more quickly and makes you unaware of your procedure. If you have severe dental phobia then you can also seek expert advice to help you overcome this.
When Should I Visit the Dentist?
There’s no official rules in regards to when you should visit the dentist. However a good rule of thumb is to have a dental checkup at least once a year and to visit the hygienist around 3 times a year. This ensures that any dental treatments that you may need are preventative rather than as a reaction to discovering that something is wrong. Although it may seem as if there is nothing wrong with your teeth from a visual inspection, a visit to the dentist involves taking X-rays of your teeth which ensures that there are no underlying issues that cannot be detected by the naked eye.
Is the Teeth Whitening Procedure Safe?
It is illegal for the teeth whitening procedure to be carried out by a non dental professional. Be very cautious and stay away from any beautician specialist that offers cosmetic teeth whitening as it is illegal. The General Dental Council (GDC) governs and regulates this so you must always have a teeth whitening procedure carried out by a dentist that is registered with the GDC. If you have cosmetic teeth whitening carried out by a qualified professional dentist, it is a completely safe procedure.
Why are my Teeth Sensitive After Teeth Whitening?
Your teeth may be sensitive or more sensitive than usual after the teeth whitening procedure. This is because the dentin in your teeth can become more exposed after the bleaching procedure which can caused an increased sensitivity to hot or cold sensations. If you are still experiencing sensitivity a few days after the teeth whitening process then it’s important to see your dentist.
Is Teeth Whitening a ‘One Size Fits All Solution?’
Not necessarily. Should you suffer from severe discolouration then teeth whitening may not work. Should this be the case then do not worry as there are other cosmetic treatments such as porcelain veneers or composite bonding which can make your teeth appear pearly white. Typically if you suffer from slight discolouration, the teeth whitening process will make your teeth up to 6 shades whiter than before the procedure.
How Long Does the Teeth Whitening Process Take?
The teeth whitening process in an extremely fast procedure, taking just over an hour with visible results as soon as the procedure is completed. You will more than likely (as is our procedure) have to undergo a thorough examination before the teeth whitening procedure takes place. This assesses your suitability for the treatment by taking the structure of your teeth into account before the teeth whitening process takes place.
Can Cosmetic Dentistry Replace Missing Teeth?
There are a number of cosmetic procedures that can be used to replace missing teeth. Dental implants can be used to replace missing teeth but need to have a suitable jaw bone in order to ensure correct integration with the implant. Dentures, crowns and veneers can be used should you prefer this method or if your jaw bone is not suitable for dental implants and can restore your confidence in your smile.
Should I Worry About Missing Teeth?
Missing teeth can cause several issues such as the sagging of the cheeks, structural weaknesses in other teeth and issues when eating or talking. It’s therefore highly recommended to seek the help of a dental professional should you have suffered from missing teeth.
What Causes Missing Teeth?
There’s a number of reasons as to why your teeth may fall out. This could be due to an accident, trauma, medical condition, smoking or other lifestyle choices. Alcohol and illegal narcotics are also accredited to causing teeth loss.
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a small titanium screw which is used to act as a replacement tooth or replacement teeth. The titanium fuses with the jawbone to form a strong foundation in which the tooth can be supported. Although often thought as a last resort treatment, this is not the case.
When are Dental Implants Appropriate?
Dental implants are appropriate in a wide range of cases in which a titanium screw can be supported in the jaw. They are however not appropriate for young adults or children as their jawbone may not be fully developed. They also may not be appropriate for older patients or patients with a weakened jawbone and this will be assessed during your initial consultation.
What Happens if a Missing Tooth is Not Treated?
Your jawbone can begin to shrink due to lack of stimulation and this can cause aesthetically premature ageing of the face. This is why it is recommended to seek treatment should you suffer the loss of a tooth or teeth.
When are Dental Implants Recommended for Use?
In almost every case, dental implants are recommended for use to replace missing teeth. We consider dental implants to be the standard of care for replacing missing teeth and we therefore recommend them for almost every situation. If dental implants are inappropriate then we also offer a range of additional procedures.
General Healthcare of Teeth
How Often Should I Brush My Teeth?
If possible, you should aim to brush your teeth 1 hour after every meal for maximum protection & prevention against tooth decay. If this is not possible, then you should brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss your teeth after brushing for 2 minutes.
Does Chewing Gum Actually Help Keep My Mouth Healthy?
Sugar-free gum is a great way to keep your teeth healthy. This is because of the fact that chewing gum produces excess saliva in the mouth. Saliva contains minerals and proteins that protect the enamel of your teeth so chewing gum can help protect your teeth from tooth decay.
Which Foods Should I Avoid in Excess?
A variety of foods in excess can be damaging to the enamel of your teeth or cause discolouration. Acidic, starchy or sugary foods can all cause plaque to form around teeth or the wearing down of enamel. Drinks such as red wine & coffee and foods such as curry and tomato sauces can cause discolouration of your teeth.
How Can I Stay on Top of Personal Dental Care?
Ensure that you are brushing your teeth and flossing regularly. If you are eating specific types of foods that may damage your teeth then eat these in moderation. Consider lifestyle changes if you are smoking or drinking alcohol excessively as these can also cause damage to your teeth and mouth cancers. Regular visits to the dentist are also important to make sure that there are no underlying issues with your dental health.
Does Using Mouthwash Help?
Mouthwashes are a great way of keeping your breath fresh and providing cavity protection along with regular brushing and flossing of your teeth. Be careful of using mouthwash for children that are under 6 years of age as there is a risk of swallowing the mouthwash. When visiting us we can recommend the mouthwash that is ideally suited for you and your requirements.
Straightening Teeth & Changing Your Smile
Are There Procedures If I am Generally Unhappy With My Smile?
There are a number of procedures that can improve your smile regardless of if your concerns are not clinically related. You can carry out straightening of your teeth using the innovative Inman aligner or Clear Smile Invisible Braces which make it difficult for individuals to tell that an orthodontic system is being used. Teeth bonding and contouring can also be used to change the appearance of your smile. This is where restorative materials can be bonded to teeth or shaping of the enamel for tooth contouring. Tooth bonding is the quickest and least expensive method of improvement but is not always a suitable alternative to crowns and veneers.
Do I Have to Go Through a Painful Treatment to Straighten My Teeth?
Many individuals prefer not to go through with traditional train-track braces. These can be very painful when they are adjusted, make it difficult or even impossible to eat certain foods (as they can damage the braces) and is a significant lifestyle adjustment usually for a number of years. If you do not have a severe issue that needs to be rectified, Inman Aligners or Clear Smile Invisible Braces can be used as an effective alternative. These are much faster than traditional train-track braces and do not need significant adaptations to your lifestyle to use everyday.
Sarah Wirth works for The Bristol Dental Practice specialising in Marketing and Trend-Analysis