Fixing problems with damaged front teeth for a healthy and attractive smile
Although 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 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.
Whilst we may not be overly concerned if our rear or more hidden teeth have become a little discoloured, a yellowing of the front teeth can really spoil an otherwise attractive smile. It may be possible to remove much of the surface staining with a professional clean by our hygienist (something you should do for healthier teeth and gums anyway), but much discolouration comes from the inner part of the tooth. This can only be improved significantly by using our successful teeth whitening treatment. This is a non invasive procedure that can whiten your teeth by several shades.
Crooked front teeth can make us self conscious when we smile. Even a minor unevenness can have a negative visual effect. Although some people may be reluctant to wear a dental brace to correct this, the new generation of cosmetic braces, including the Cfast orthodontic system which we can provide, can straighten teeth like this in just a few months in some cases. In addition to this, the system uses fine teeth coloured wires and brackets to make the braces much less visible whilst you are wearing them.
For more extensive tooth realignment, including your rear teeth, Invisalign is a popular, discrete and successful method that we also have available at our Canterbury clinic.
Especially if we drink a lot of acidic sugary drinks, these tend to pass right over our front teeth. Although the risk of decay is minimised with good cleaning, the acidic nature of these drinks may mean that we suffer from enamel erosion on the front teeth. This can lead to them becoming more sensitive and the rougher surface which results, can increase the level of staining too.
Whilst prevention is always the best option, if your teeth do become eroded, this can be rectified using porcelain dental veneers which replace the damaged enamel tooth surface.
Some people actually like the appearance of a gap between the top two front teeth, also known as a diastema. However, this can lead to other teeth becoming crooked as they encroach into the gap. Where this becomes problematic, it can usually be rectified using either cosmetic bonding, veneers or most often, orthodontics. An initial consultation will always be needed so we can advise the most appropriate treatment.
Please remember, ALL of your teeth are important and, whether you have a problem with a rear or more visible front tooth, we are here to help. We offer a wide range of preventative, restorative and cosmetic dental treatments that can help you to have both healthy and great looking teeth. To arrange an appointment to see one of the dentists at Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic, please call us today on 01227 463529.