Bradley and Partners
St Peters House, 2 St Peters Lane,
Canterbury, Kent, CT1 2BP

Minimising The Risk Of Mouth Cancer

Neglecting your oral health could lead to more serious problems than tooth decay.

Oral health care flossingGood oral health care should, of course, be ongoing and requires us to be diligent in our teeth cleaning and general oral health habits. For most patients this is probably carried out because they want to avoid having to have a tooth filled or even extracted because of tooth decay.

Gum disease too, with its associated smelly breath, can also be prevented in this way. However, there is a more serious issue that diligent oral health care can help to prevent as well, and one that is growing.

Oral cancer

Oral, or mouth, cancer is diagnosed in around 7000 people in the UK each year. Although this represents only around 2% of all cancers that are diagnosed, for those who are affected by it, these small numbers count for little and it can have a devastating impact on their life. Largely though, it is preventable, and where it does occur, can usually be more successfully treated if detected early on.

Our role

The role of Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic in the prevention of oral cancer is twofold. Firstly, there is our educational role. Far too few people fully understand the implications of poor oral health care, with some believing that if they don’t look after their teeth, they can just be ‘filled’ and it isn’t a particularly big issue. To these people, we would have to say that you are making a mistake. Yes, cavities and tooth decay are almost inevitable if you neglect your teeth, and yes, we can usually restore these (though wouldn’t you prefer natural healthy teeth?). The problems don’t stop there though.

Gum disease is also quite likely and this can also lead to tooth loss and the need for replacements in the form of dentures, bridges or, in our opinion, the best option, dental implants. Oral cancer too, is a real risk where poor care and bad habits are present.

What causes oral cancer?

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Invisalign – Practical And Pragmatic Orthodontics

Invisalign braces

Live a normal life whilst having your teeth straightened!

There’s no real other way way of putting it. ‘Old fashioned’ metal dental braces are arguably quite unsightly and can significantly change your appearance whilst you are wearing them. Modern versions are more discreet but are still quite visible and this is one of the reasons why some people avoid wearing them unless they really have to.

With younger people especially being keen to look as attractive as possible, perhaps due to the influence of TV and social media, the stigma often associated with “train track” braces has caused something of a dilemma. Long term benefits for short term ‘pain’ perhaps? But why not have the benefits of straight teeth without the associated hassles? Fortunately this is now possible.

The comfort factor

Wearing traditional braces should not cause pain as such, and if they do you should certainly have them checked out by your dentist. However some types may prove to be a little uncomfortable as the wires and brackets can irritate the soft tissues in the mouth.

To help eliminate this problem, along with that of the visibility of regular braces, more and more patients of Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic are turning to Invisalign orthodontics. This is a great way of having straight teeth with hardly anyone noticing and with very little inconvenience to yourself.

In addition to this, the fact that they are produced using a highly-accurate 3D scan of your own teeth, means that you should not experience any significant discomfort whilst wearing them. You may find it takes a short while to adjust to the feel of them in your mouth, but most patients get used to this very quickly.

Clear plastic

The reason why Invisalign orthodontics are so discreet is that they don’t use wires and brackets at all, but form a tray that fits directly over your teeth. As this is made from a thin medical grade plastic, you are not likely to be greeted by comments such as ‘oh, I didn’t know you wore braces’ when you go to work or meet new people. Those nearest and dearest to you may notice when they are in close contact with you, but otherwise, few people will notice at all.

Most of our Canterbury dental patients who have worn Invisalign acknowledge that this factor was the one that most drew them towards this particular orthodontic treatment. Many though, also found that there were benefits which they hadn’t even really considered.

Keeping your teeth clean

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Bridges Versus Dental Implants

Both of these methods are popular choices for replacing lost teeth, but which option is best for you?

Dental bridgeWe would all like to keep our teeth for as long as we possibly can. Sometimes though, we are faced with a gap in our teeth, whether through needing an extraction, or even when a tooth gets knocked out accidentally.

The most well known tooth replacement method is, of course, dentures. There are benefits to these but some patients may experience  issues with comfort and stability and consequently seek out alternatives.

At Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic, we provide two alternatives to dentures in the form of a bridge and also, as you might guess from our business name, dental implants. There are pros and cons to both of these which we will discuss below for the benefit of our Canterbury patients.

Dental bridges

After dentures, a bridge used to be the most common way to replace any missing teeth. It is, in essence, a series of false teeth that are held in place, often using dental crowns. It is a tried and tested method and works well for many people. As with most treatments though, there are benefits and downsides.

Benefits

  • Bridges typically offer a more secure option than dentures for replacing missing teeth.
  • Patients will be able to chew a wider range of foods more easily.
  • Whilst often being more expensive than dentures, they are a cheaper option than dental implants.

Downsides

  • A bridge can only be used for individual spaces or where consecutive teeth are missing.
  • They can’t be used for the very rear teeth, as there are no teeth behind them for the crowns to be attached to.
  • They can be a little fiddly to keep clean as it is necessary to clean under the bridge as well as around the replacement teeth.
  • To fit the crown means preparing, by reshaping, what are likely to be healthy teeth on either side of the gap.

Some of these pros and cons will be more important than others to different people and we are always pleased to offer unbiased advice to our patients so that they can make an informed decision as to whether this is the best option for them.

Dental implants

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Should You Ignore ‘Minor’ Dental Issues, Or Delay Treatment?

Dentist with x-ray

Not bothering to see the dentist? Why it’s likely a mistake!

When do you visit the dentist? For most people it is for their regular six monthly check up appointments or when they are in pain from a bad toothache or perhaps have knocked out or broken a tooth.

Situations such as the latter can be classed as dental emergencies and when they occur, we will always try to see our local Canterbury patients as soon as we possibly can in order to alleviate the discomfort and restore the tooth where possible.

Visiting the dentist for the above makes sense and where pain is involved, most people are spurred into action. There are other ‘grey areas’ though, where patients are sometimes not sure whether they should visit, or simply feel that things are not bad enough to ‘bother the dentist’.

Head in the sand

Most of us have probably experienced mild discomfort from our teeth or gums. Perhaps our gums felt a little sore, or a tooth was throbbing a little, but not enough to be painful or affect our day to day life. These are the type of situations when we might tend to put our head in the sand and ignore it for as long as we possibly can. This may be especially so when a routine dental appointment at Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic is just a few weeks or so away and we grin and bear it in the interim. Unfortunately, taking this approach could backfire.

Below, we take a look at some of the more commonly ignored dental problems and why getting attention quickly is usually a better plan!

Sore gums

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Are You Tempted By Cheap Dental Implants?

Diagram of a dental implant

Special offers, often abroad, may be tempting, but is taking them up a wise move?

Dental implants are now becoming an increasingly popular alternative to dentures when a patient loses a tooth, or a number of teeth. There are many reasons for this including longevity and stability of the system.

At Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic, we are pleased to offer both individual implants as well as multiple implants to replace a full arch of missing teeth.

Because of the materials used in the procedure and the skills required to place implants, they are more expensive than dentures and despite the fact that we offer a number of treatment payment plans at our Canterbury practice, some patients may still be tempted by the special offers for cheap implants which are widely seen online.

The cost of dental implants

Whilst there may be small differences in the cost of dental implants amongst UK dentists, especially where time limited special offers are in place, prices are, by and large, fairly similar across the whole of the UK.  The online offers that you see are almost always at dental clinics in other countries. This doesn’t necessarily mean that taking up these offers will result in failure of your implant; indeed there are many excellent dentists all over Europe and beyond, some of whom may have also been trained in the UK. There are significant risks though, and we take a look at some of these below.

Know your dentist

One of the reasons that many people don’t take up this type of offer is that they want to know the dentist who will be performing the procedure. Trust can be very important when you are allowing someone to perform an invasive treatment in your mouth. Our dentists are highly skilled and trained, and our friendly team can make what is a longer treatment seem much easier for patients. This may well not be the case if the procedure is carried out by a complete stranger.

There is also the issue of skill levels and training. Different countries may have different regulations and standards of oral health training and it can be difficult to ascertain just how skilled and experienced the dentists are if you elect to be treated abroad. Many of you may already have seen the horror stories on TV where ‘dental holidays’ have gone badly wrong?

Communication

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The Risks Of DIY Teeth Whitening Treatments

tooth pain

Professional teeth whitening is very affordable, why risk attempting to do it yourself?

Perhaps the most well known and popular cosmetic dental treatment is the teeth whitening procedure. Once almost exclusive to well off celebrities, it is now widely accessible to the general public. Boosted by popular TV programmes such as Love Island, many dentists across the UK will almost certainly have seen a rise in numbers of patients seeking this treatment.

At Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic, we are no exception to this. At our Canterbury practice, it is still the most widely sought after treatment for patients who want to have a beautiful smile at a reasonable price. Not everyone takes the professional route though, and we have heard of a number of people attempting to whiten their teeth at home. At best, this is likely to have very poor results. At worst, you could be doing serious harm to your teeth if you try this!

DIY teeth whitening

A quick search on the internet will give you many results on how to attempt this at home. There are instructional videos on YouTube and many ‘influencers’ have probably persuaded their younger followers especially (including those who probably don’t need the treatment) to give it a go themselves.

There are so many suggestions on DIY whitening that it would be confusing to list them all. Below, we take a look at the likelihood of success, and the risks, of some of the most popular ones below.

Bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

This is one of the most popular methods that we have come across. On one level, this is understandable as this is also sometimes used as an ingredient in certain toothpastes. It is an abrasive ingredient that can remove some of the surface staining from your teeth, and in that sense, it is a relatively successful method.

There are many risks attached to this method though. As mentioned, it is the abrasive nature of the soda that removes the staining, but it is also likely to damage the protective enamel on your tooth surface. This is especially so if you use it in too strong a solution. Some suggest also adding lemon juice or strawberry to give it a nicer flavour. This makes it more acidic and even more damaging as we shall see below.

Any restorations, such as a crown, may also be at risk, as bicarbonate of soda can weaken the bonding qualities of the adhesive used to keep them in place. Like all the ‘treatments’ we will mention, please don’t try it!

Oil pulling

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Individual Dental Implant Placement

single dental implant

Offering you a strong and natural looking tooth replacement at our Canterbury practice.

It is now widely accepted that the best replacement option when you lose a tooth, is a dental implant. Although dentures and bridges have their place, nothing beats a dental implant for longevity, strength and a natural look and feel.

At Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic, we are proud to have become the first accredited Branemark Osseointegration Centre in the UK in 2018 and have many years of experience of this particular procedure.

Dental implants can be used to replace a full arch of missing teeth, a few or several adjoining missing teeth, and, as we will discuss in today’s blog, individual teeth, and it is this that we will focus on today.

Why choose dental implants?

Before we look at the procedure, it is worth considering why our Canterbury patients should choose implants that require an invasive procedure, over dentures that don’t.

There is no doubt that dentures have improved over the years but they can still become loose and unstable. Much of this is due to the mouth and gums changing shape as the jawbone is slowly reabsorbed by the body following tooth loss. When this happens, dentures will not fit as securely as before. There are also potential issues around eating, with many denture wearers eliminating foods that they find difficult to chew. Finally, cleaning dentures can be a fiddly business, and a set of dentures soaking in a glass at the side of the bed is not a pretty sight!

Patients who have dental implants can forget about these issues. You can eat in the knowledge that healthy implants can cope with it and cleaning your implants, although essential, is no harder than cleaning your natural teeth.

Placing an implant

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Should You Be Afraid Of Having Root Canal Treatment?

Root canal procedure

Canterbury dentist, Dr George Mathioudakis, explains this sometimes feared treatment.

It is probably fair to say that few people look forward to a dental visit. Even if you are fairly sure that your teeth are in good condition, there is always the possibility that the dentist will find some decay or a crack that requires treatment.

While all but the most anxious patients will tend to shrug and accept the need for minor restorations like fillings, the same often cannot be said when they are told that they need to have a root canal procedure. However, as we’ll see below, their fears are usually unfounded, which hopefully comes as good news!

More than any other dental treatment, this is the one that most patients seem to fear. No one seems entirely sure about why this is the case, but perhaps the most plausible theory is that, before the regular use of x-rays, it would not have been possible to have detected any abscesses that were present before the treatment started. If contact was made with one of these during the treatment, it would have been excruciating for sure. Patients will be happy to hear though, that x-rays are now always routinely taken, and, if an abscess is found, it will be treated before the treatment takes place.

Why do you need root canal treatment?

At Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic, we believe in retaining the natural tooth wherever this is possible, extracting it only when necessary, or where a very poor prognosis warrants it. In many cases, restoration is achieved by using a filling or a crown. Where decay is very extensive though, this can reach the inner part of the tooth, in the root canals, where the nerves and tiny blood vessels are stored.

Once this part of the tooth is infected, the part we sometimes refer to as the ‘pulp’, it cannot be treated with antibiotics or other non invasive methods, and, to retain the tooth, the infected material needs to be removed, and the tooth restored.

Root canal procedure – part one

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Would You Like To Benefit From Younger Looking Skin?

Smiling person at the clinic

Our facial aesthetics team can help you with the latest wrinkle reduction treatment!

The majority of the blogs that you will read on our site will be about dental care, both general and cosmetic; but today we’ll take a closer look at the work of our facial aesthetics team.

With cosmetic dentistry now becoming relatively commonplace, helping patients to achieve the smile they once could only have dreamed of; it is perhaps not too surprising that more and more of our Canterbury patients are also now turning to facial aesthetics to also improve their overall appearance.

The combination of a sparkling white smile and smoother, younger looking skin can make a really significant improvement to your appearance, and we can help you to achieve just that at Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic!

Is wrinkle reduction treatment safe?

This is very often the first question that we are asked by patients who are considering this treatment. This isn’t really surprising considering how some in the media love to sensationalise treatments that have gone wrong, especially where celebrities are concerned.

Without a doubt, some of these treatments have gone badly wrong, but this should never be the case if they are carried out correctly. It is impossible to say what the reason for these were but inexperienced or unqualified practitioners are a likely reason, and, where extreme improvements were insisted upon, it may well be that the promise of money encouraged some to cross the line as far as safety and ethics are concerned.

Will you be safe having it done at our Canterbury practice?

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Healthy Children’s Teeth

Kids with healthy teeth

Encouraging your kids to clean their teeth on a daily basis – helpful advice from our Canterbury dentist

If you have children, it’s fair to expect that they may not always become the exact type of child that you expected them to be. As they grow up and discover the world around them, they become influenced by things outside of the parental sphere.

By and large this is a good thing and it helps them to develop and hopefully grow into healthy, functional adults.

The journey along the way can be challenging for parents though, and whilst it is good to let kids develop, there are still certain things that we need them to do to maintain a healthy lifestyle. One of these of course, is to keep their teeth in good condition. The most basic, but essential way to do this is to make sure that they clean their teeth both morning and night. Easy? Well perhaps for some parents, but others may find more resistance to what, to us adults, seems a simple thing to do.

With this in mind, the team at Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic have put together a few tips that might just help to make the task just that little bit easier for some parents.

Don’t make them use the same toothpastes as the adults

Some types of ‘grown up’ toothpastes are not suitable for young children. Even where they are though, they may taste ‘disgusting’ to a child. It is better to let them have a say in the type and flavour of toothpaste that they choose. There are now a wide range of these available in a number of different flavours that will appeal to a younger person’s palate. Do make sure that the one they select is age appropriate though. This is usually clearly marked on the packaging.

Do as I do and not as I say!

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