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

Cfast Braces – What Are They And Am I A Suitable Candidate?

Are you looking to improve a crooked smile? This orthodontic system might be for you!

Dentist with x-rayA lot gets written about Invisalign braces, and for good reason. They are discreet, comfortable and removable for eating and cleaning. They are useful for a range of treatments, including more complex straightening; for example involving the teeth towards the rear of the mouth that you don’t generally see.

Although they are excellent, there are other systems which might be considered to be more suitable where more minor corrections are needed.

Although the Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic prefers that all teeth are straight so patients have a correct bite; understandably, it is those who have a visibly crooked smile that are most likely to seek out orthodontic treatment at our Canterbury clinic.

The ‘social six’ smile

Few people see our back teeth when we smile and therefore it is not surprising that patients focus on straightening the front six top and bottom teeth. These are known in dental circles as the ‘social six’. Even a single crooked tooth at the front can detract from an otherwise attractive smile and for this reason, there are orthodontic systems available that are designed specifically for this particular problem.

Partially because teeth at the front of our mouth are single rooted, these are easier to correct and don’t take as long as rear teeth. For this reason, some orthodontics, including Invisalign, may not be the most appropriate treatment for this purpose.

Naturally, we will need to examine your teeth to determine the best treatment plan, but one of the most common treatments that we use at our Canterbury practice for this purpose is Cfast braces.

Cfast is a widely used ‘wire and bracket’ approach to teeth straightening. The components are made in tooth-coloured materials to make them as discreet as possible. These work by applying gentle pressure to the teeth, encouraging them towards their desired position. It should be noted that these are suitable only for cosmetic purposes and other options may need to be considered where functional issues are a concern.

Why Cfast and some frequently asked questions

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Making The Most Of Our Hygienist Services In Canterbury

How our Canterbury patients benefit from regular oral hygiene visits

Dental hygiene check upFor most people, a trip to the dentist twice a year for a checkup, combined with brushing their teeth at home, is the extent of their oral health care regime.

This is a very good start for sure, but if you follow this regime alone, you are missing out on a great opportunity to have a really healthy mouth.

At Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic, we are firm believers in preventative dental care and one of the best ways to achieve this is by seeing the hygienist on a six monthly basis.

This is an inexpensive and effective way of preventing many common dental problems and helping patients change the way that they look after their teeth and gums for the better.

What does a dental hygienist do?

The role of the dental hygienist is mainly twofold. They have a physical role to play in keeping your teeth and gums clean through a procedure called a ‘scale and polish’ but they also play an educational role which enables patients to look after their teeth and oral health in general.

The scale and polish procedure

When we brush and floss our teeth well, we remove much of the residual food debris and bacteria that can lead to problems like decay and gum disease. It is almost inevitable though, that however well we clean them, some will remain attached to the teeth and gum line, especially in those areas that can be difficult to clean ourselves.

These bacteria will form a hard ‘crust’ on our teeth and gums that can only be removed by the hygienist. If you run your tongue over your teeth and they feel rough, this is very likely to be this hardened bacteria and mineral deposit which we call ‘tartar’. This rough surface then attracts more bacteria as the roughness of the surface makes it easier to stick to. Over time, tartar will damage teeth and gums if not removed.

The scale and polish procedure comes in three parts….

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Planning Cosmetic Treatment For The Festive Season

Facial aesthetics & cosmetic dentistry – get ready for those Christmas & New Year celebrations!

Patient after cosmetic dentistryYou may not have given too much thought to Christmas yet, or perhaps just started to get ready, buying in food and maybe a few Christmas presents as well.

In the rush for Christmas though, we may sometimes have a tendency to forget ourselves and how ‘we’ can make the most of it, as well as for our friends and family.

One aspect of Christmas and the New Year that we sometimes don’t spend too much time planning for are the parties and social gatherings that happen at this time of year. We may be pleased when they are all over and we can put our feet up, but most of us enjoy them and want to look our best when we attend. This is where our Canterbury based professional team can help!

The importance of planning

When we are going to a party, we can open our wardrobes and slip on the garment of our choice, but when it comes to changing our appearance though, we need to plan in advance. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the two main options available to help you here at Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic.

Facial treatments

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Are Dentures Still A Good Choice For Replacing Lost Teeth?

Our Canterbury dental implant team looks at why some patients still choose this traditional method

DentureAs you would probably expect from the name of our practice, we are firm believers that dental implants generally offer the best way to replace any lost or missing teeth.

There are many good reasons for this and we will take a brief look at some of these later.

The fact is though, that some people do still choose a more traditional route when it comes to replacing missing teeth, and in today’s blog we look at some of the reasons why some people still choose dentures.

Tried and tested

For some people, dentures are seen as a long standing teeth replacement method that has been used since ancient times. Modern dentures are obviously a great improvement on these and, for some, offer an acceptable and trusted solution that has been around for a very long time.

Dental implants, on the other hand, despite having been used for over 50 years now, are sometimes perhaps seen as a more ‘experimental’ approach and one that could go wrong. Nothing could be further from the truth, providing that you have them placed by a qualified and experienced team such as the one at Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic. The success rate of this procedure is very high and the vast majority of people end up with excellent long lasting and strong replacement teeth. But of course we always like to offer a choice of options for our local patients.

Non invasive procedure

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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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