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

Common Problems With Front Teeth

Fixing problems with damaged front teeth for a healthy and attractive smile

dental check upAlthough all of our teeth are important and should be well looked after, it is probably fair to say that most of us are more concerned about the teeth at the front of our mouth.

These are  sometimes called the ‘social six’ teeth and are the ones that are most visible when we speak or smile.

Whilst these are perhaps less prone to decay as they are easier to keep clean than the rear teeth (though decay certainly can occur if we don’t clean them well), they are vulnerable to a number of problems, some of which can make a detrimental difference to our appearance.

In today’s Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic blog, we will take a look at some common issues with the front teeth and how our Canterbury dental team can help you to protect and restore them where it becomes necessary.

Knocked out teeth

Let’s start with the most dramatic of all. Anyone who plays contact sports is at a higher risk of this, but front teeth can be knocked out through collisions and falls as well. If you do play a sport or take part in an activity where there is a significant risk of this, please do consider wearing a mouth guard to help protect your front teeth. Where a front tooth or teeth are knocked out, the only option is to replace them. Dentures and bridges are options that are available but we recommend that you seriously consider dental implants. As your front teeth are visible, these will provide the most natural looking and secure replacement option.

Broken teeth

Broken front teeth are not uncommon, often for the reasons mentioned above. Smaller chips to the teeth may be restored using cosmetic bonding or possibly even veneers. For more significant breakages, a dental crown is the most likely option. These will provide a natural appearance whilst restoring both strength and functionality to the damaged tooth.

Discoloured teeth

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Has Lockdown Affected Your Skin?

For those who find their skin has lost condition, our facial aesthetics treatments can help

Patient after cosmetic dentistryIn earlier blogs we have discussed some of the adverse effects that lockdown may have had on our teeth and gums. The same is potentially true for our skin where a lack of fresh air, poor diet and the general stress of the virus situation may well have taken its toll.

We may not have thought about this too much whilst our social life was restricted, but now that things are opening up again, most of us will want to look our best when we go out to meet friends and family in a social situation.

To help you avoid any comments about how your appearance might have aged during lockdown, you may wish to take advantage of the facial aesthetic treatments that we offer at Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic in Canterbury.

The effects of lockdown

An all round healthy lifestyle is essential if you want to have great looking skin. Under normal circumstances, this would include plenty of fresh air with a reasonable, though not too much, amount of sun. Good hydration and minimal alcohol and a diet high in fruits and vegetables will normally help you to keep your skin vibrant and fresh looking. Of course, with the various restrictions that we have been under, most of us probably spent more time indoors with very little sun. We may also have found that our diet worsened too with more ‘comfort foods’ being eaten to help us through the challenging times. All of these are likely to have had an impact on our skin.

Those of you who are regular patients at our Canterbury facial aesthetics clinic and who have wrinkle reduction treatments with us on a regular basis, will have missed out and may have found that the lines and wrinkles that you were managing quite well have now returned.

What can you do?

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Why Older People’s Teeth Tend To Lose Their ‘Sparkle’

And what your Canterbury dentists can do to help regain it….

White teeth and smileGrowing older and the changes that come with it, are something that, with a bit of luck, we will all have to deal with. Some of these changes can be positive, such as having a sense of what we want from life. If we are on a career path or have healthy savings, we are also more likely to be able to do some things that we couldn’t achieve when we were younger or had young families.

Ageing does come with it’s ‘costs’ though, and we will all notice changes in our appearance as the years go by. The first signs of grey hairs and a few wrinkles on our face offer a clue that we are not as young as we once were, however we might feel in ourselves.

One sign of ageing that we probably don’t notice as much ourselves as others do when they see us, is the colour of our teeth. As we get older, our teeth tend to lose the whiteness of previous years and can appear to be ‘yellowed’ and lacking in that brightness they had before.

What causes this discolouration?

It is a common misconception that the only reason that teeth become discoloured is due to staining. It is true that this can cause significant issues and is a common cause, but it is not the only one. Ageing will also cause this, but whereas most staining takes place on the enamel surface of our teeth, the darkening in colour that we experience as we get older, occurs in the layer below that.

The dentin layer

Beneath the hard protective enamel exterior of our teeth lies a softer and more porous region known as the dentin area. This is a darker yellow coloured material that also allows sensations such as hot and cold to travel through it to the nerves in the root canals of our teeth. From a dental point of view, this is why we need to keep the enamel strong and healthy as once the dentin layer is exposed, bacteria can enter and lead to tooth decay and root canal infections.

Even with healthy enamel though, this area of the tooth starts to darken as we get older and this will start to show through the translucent enamel layer. Erosion of the enamel may cause this to happen earlier than if we have kept it healthy, and of course, any additional staining of the enamel will make the appearance of our teeth much worse.

What can we do about it?

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Is now the time to replace those missing teeth?

See how dental implants can be potentially life-changing

single dental implantThe Covid-19 situation has been terrible in many different ways. In addition to the large number of  tragic deaths, many people have been hit with financial worries and other anxieties. Not everyone has struggled so much though and some of you may not have found it quite as difficult and may have even saved a little money over the past few months.

Until recently, we were not allowed to eat in restaurants or take weekend breaks away and  some of us may find that we weren’t spending as much as before. Many holidays abroad will have been cancelled too and even though we can fly now, albeit with some restrictions, it is likely that many of us will decide not to risk it and may decide to put the money saved to other uses.

Opportunities

If you are one of these people, this could be the perfect opportunity to consider your options to replace any missing teeth with dental implants. Whilst many may still opt to wear dentures, simply because they are the cheapest option initially; with money you may have saved during lockdown, this could be an ideal time to invest in a longer term tooth replacement option that offers an excellent degree of strength and stability.

Why not dentures?

Dentures work well for some people. They are much improved aesthetically on older types and many now offer a greater degree of comfort than previously. They are typically the cheapest option at the outset and also usually require little or no dental surgery. Why then are an increasing number of people abandoning their dentures for dental implants? The simple reason is that implants offer more strength and security and look and feel as close to a natural tooth as is currently possible. Dentures, on the other hand, can have a tendency to move in the mouth when eating or speaking and some wearers find that they limit their choices of food accordingly.

Individual and multiple tooth replacement

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Alcohol And Your Mouth Health

Why over-indulgence in alcoholic drinks can present a real risk for teeth and gums

Bradley & Partners CanterburyAs the country slowly emerges from lockdown, one of the most keenly awaited announcements has finally emerged and people in England are once again allowed to go to the pub from 4th July.

It won’t be the same of course, and both pubs and restaurants will have to operate differently to the way they did before lockdown. Even so, there will be many people who can’t wait for the taste of a freshly poured pint or gin and tonic.

However much you are looking forward to going to the pub again, we urge our Canterbury patients to remember that alcohol can be harmful to your oral health. In moderation, and with good oral care at home, this should not be a major problem, but drunk to excess or too frequently and it may lead to a number of dental issues that need to be treated.

Tooth decay

Most alcoholic drinks contain sugar, even the relatively bitter ones. Those that are aimed at the younger end of the market are likely to contain quite significant amounts and can be particularly harmful to your teeth. Sugar, in any form, can lead to caries, or tooth decay, which requires intervention and restoration, usually with a filling. If not discovered early enough, tooth loss is also a possibility. There is an additional risk of tooth decay as alcohol may cause us to brush our teeth less well than we usually do, or even forget to do it altogether before we go to bed at night.

At Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic we offer tooth coloured composite fillings for those who wish to retain a natural appearance of the teeth rather than having fillings made from the traditional amalgam material, which is much darker in colour.

Gum disease

Alcohol can also be a contributory factor in the development of gum disease as the sugars in it help to feed bacteria and help them to multiply. This is exacerbated by the fact that drinking alcohol, especially to excess, often leads to a dry mouth, providing the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive. If you have ever woken up and noticed a ‘gooey’ white substance stuck to your mouth after you have been drinking, much of that is made up of bacteria.

Try to drink sensibly and in moderation and make sure to hydrate well with water before you go to bed at night.

Oral cancer

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Welcoming Patients Back To Our Canterbury Practice

Operational changes you will see as we welcome you back.

Bradley and Partners LogoThe lockdown restrictions have seemed like an eternity to us as they may have done to you, especially if you have been suffering with a dental problem that is causing discomfort. So you will be pleased to know that as from 8th June, we have started to gradually open our practice to patients again.

This is good news of course, but it does come with quite a few new restrictions as well. This isn’t ideal, but is necessary to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus and, of course, to protect our staff and patients. In today’s blog, we are going to take a look at some of the changes that you might expect when you arrive for your appointment.

Your appointment

Whilst we want to see all of you again as soon as we can, it is important that we prioritise those who have suffered a problem that was not urgent enough to be treated at an urgent dental centre. This could include problems like a toothache which, as anyone who has had one will know, can be very uncomfortable indeed. If you have had a problem for a large part of the shutdown period, you will, no doubt, wish to have it treated as soon as possible. If you require a non urgent appointment, we ask you please to be patient whilst we treat those most in need first.

There will be changes to how your appointment is kept, with a minimal amount of people allowed to wait in our waiting rooms. We have already covered a lot of this in our latest Covid-19 notice which you can see here.

PPE

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Your Dentist – 5 Key Features

Bradley and Partners discuss the qualities which make for a great dentist/patient relationship.

Patient after cosmetic dentistryWhen a patient goes to see a dentist, the number one thing that they want of course, is to know that they have the skills required to carry out the required procedure. In the UK, this is strictly regulated and certain basic qualifications and training are needed to become a general dentist.

Those, like some of our own Canterbury dentists, who go on to offer more complex procedures such as tooth implant placement, also undergo additional training. All of these qualifications are required by the GDC (General Dental Council) before a dentist can register and practise in the UK.

Having the skills to perform a procedure though is not the only requisite for being a good dentist. For example, however technically good your dentist was, you probably wouldn’t choose that practice if the staff were rude and shouted at you … not what you’d need before an appointment!

In today’s blog, we will take a look at some of the ‘extra’ but important qualities that make for a good dentist.

Good chairside manner

As hinted at above, the way that a dentist communicates with a patient is extremely important, especially if the patient suffers from anxiety, as some do. An unhurried and calm approach works best for most patients and helps to put them at ease. This is beneficial to both parties as it allows for the procedure to be carried out quickly and with as little stress as possible. A good chairside manner also means that the patient is likely to return to the practice and not seek out another practice in their area.

Good time management

No one likes to be kept waiting, particularly in a waiting room. Although we do our best to make our waiting rooms as pleasant a place to stay as possible, most patients would rather see the dentist as soon as possible and then go.  This is understandable as many also have busy lives, so keeping to a schedule as best as possible is important. Of course, there may be times when a treatment takes longer than expected due to unforseen circumstances, and we hope that patients understand this, but at the Bradley and Partners Dental And Implant Clinic, we do our best to keep appointment times on track as much as possible.

Transparency around your oral health and procedures

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Managing Stress Levels To Help Protect Your Teeth

Tooth damage caused by bruxism and poor diet

tooth painStress levels appear to be rising across the UK and perhaps it’s not surprising. Firstly there was the stress associated with potentially catching Covid-19, followed by the anxiety associated with being in lockdown for weeks on end. Finally, just at the time when things seem to be improving slightly, some are reporting concern at being encouraged to return to work in an environment in which they don’t feel entirely safe.

Perhaps anxiety is inevitable at times like these, but it remains a fact that stress can have a negative effect on our overall health and also on our teeth and gums.  In today’s Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic blog, we will take a look at two ways in which stress can affect our mouth health as well as offering some suggestions to help alleviate it.

How does stress affect our oral health?

There are two main ways in which our anxiety can be harmful to our teeth and gums. The first of this is Bruxism, or teeth grinding.

Although we may have seen characters do this in cartoons when something untoward happens, the reality is that for most of us, any teeth grinding tends to happen when we are asleep. This makes it very difficult to prevent, although mouth guards may be helpful in some cases. Grinding our teeth together for any length of time will inevitably have consequences and in more extreme cases, the teeth may even break or fracture. This is perhaps more likely where teeth have been previously weakened through damage or decay. Although this is dramatic, it is relatively rare and most of us who grind our teeth will suffer mainly from progressive enamel erosion.

As we grind our teeth together, the friction will slowly wear away the enamel layer of our teeth which helps to protect them from decay. Other problems associated with worn enamel include sensitive teeth and even root canal problems. There are options to restore teeth that have suffered in this way, such as crowns or dental veneers, but it is generally advisable that this is done when the patient has managed to stop grinding their teeth together.

The second way in which our teeth and gums can be harmed due to stress is when we let our diet slip and start to eat foods that are less ‘friendly’ for our mouths.

Most of us will probably admit to eating less than healthily when we are feeling under pressure. The chances are that we will start eating a lot more ’comfort foods’ including those that are high in sugar levels such as biscuits and sweets. In addition to this, we are likely to consume these products over a period of time, not allowing our saliva time to wash away much of the sugar. This ‘grazing’ method of eating is not good for our teeth even with healthier food, but with foods high in sugar, it greatly increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

Reducing stress levels

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Maintaining Your Dental Restorations

 Canterbury dentist, Dr George Mathioudakis, offers advice

Smiling couple good teethAs we have previously mentioned, our dental practice is currently closed for face to face consultations due to the Covid-19 situation.

Unfortunately this means that, at present, we are unable to carry out any treatments, even ones that would usually be done fairly promptly.

In our last blog we discussed how you should make sure to take good care of your teeth and gums during lockdown restrictions. In today’s blog, we will look at why you shouldn’t forget to look after your dental restorations too.

From a small filling to a dental implant placement, although these are made from artificial materials, you still need to remember to look after them. Neglect could lead to problems and discomfort that you might have to tolerate until such a time that we are open again, unless we are able to refer you to an emergency treatment centre in the meantime. With this in mind, below we offer some suggestions with regard to looking after your dental restorations.

Fillings

Fillings are the most common way of restoring teeth that have suffered from decay. At Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic we offer both amalgam and composite fillings. In both cases, the most important thing to remember is that you need to brush your teeth well. Although the filling won’t decay, if the natural tooth does, the filling may become loose and even fall out. If you suspect that a filling is loose, under normal circumstances, you would come in to see us straight away, but unfortunately this isn’t possible at the moment. For the time being, unless it causes you pain and distress, it is probably best to avoid using that tooth to eat foods that could dislodge the filling, including sticky or hard foods. Please remember that we do have staff on hand to offer telephone advice should you need it.

Crowns

Crowns are normally very secure and are attached to the prepared tooth using a strong dental adhesive. This will eventually lose some of its effectiveness however and crowns can become detached in certain situations. As at any time, please do not attempt to reattach the crown yourself, instead please call us for advice.

Dental implants

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Covid-19 Lockdown – An Extra Challenge For Our Oral Health

Canterbury dentist, Bob Dubbins offers patients some timely advice

Woman flossing teethHopefully, all patients of Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic are following government guidelines at this difficult time and staying indoors except for essential trips and a little daily exercise. It is a challenging time for many of us and it looks set to continue, in some form, for a few more weeks yet.

Fortunately, to help us through, there are thousands of articles available online, covering subjects such as how to get creative, keep fit or maybe even learn a new language etc. So even with the restrictions, some people will be able to draw positives, whilst for others, simply getting through it by relaxing as much as possible may be their preferred option.

As your Canterbury dental practice is currently closed for physical visits, and will be until we are allowed to open again, it is particularly important that our patients make sure to really take care of their teeth. We are currently unable to treat even minor problems such as a toothache or a lost filling, so below we offer you some tips to help you come out of the current ‘lockdown’ with healthy teeth and gums.

Brushing and flossing

One of the most important things that you can do is to keep your daily brushing routine, and, if you don’t already, add flossing to it as well. Even remembering to brush our teeth twice a day might be challenging for some of us, with our usual daily routines dramatically altered. Remembering to brush our teeth at night might be easy enough as little may have changed there, but our morning routines will possibly be quite different. We recommend that you find a new regular time to brush your teeth in the morning, perhaps before you go for your morning jog, or whatever fits in with your own daily schedule.

When you do brush your teeth, check how you are doing it. If you currently brush hard with the bristles flat to the surface of the teeth, try a different approach. There is no need to ‘scrub’ your teeth, and in fact, this can damage the enamel surface. Instead brush gently using a circular motion. The other thing that you should do is to point the bristles towards the gums. This allows the bristles to reach beneath the gum line and clean out hidden debris and bacteria that might otherwise lead to decay and/or gum disease. Make sure too that the bristles of your brush are not worn out and change your toothbrush if they are (or the head of an electric one).

For those of you who don’t use dental floss, this is a good opportunity to learn how. Flossing is an excellent and simple way of improving your overall oral health, tackling bacteria and food often gets trapped between the teeth and which is difficult to remove by brushing alone. There are lots of useful videos online that can teach you how to floss. You might find it difficult at first, but there is plenty of time to learn and time is something that a lot of us will have at the moment; so why not use it constructively where you can.

Be careful with your diet

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