Lots of people have dental crowns to restore broken down teeth, they are an extremely common component in modern day dentistry. We are often asked a multitude of questions about crowns so decided to put the top 13 of them into this article… Do let us know what you think.
Do dental crowns come with any kind of guarantee or warranty?
Most dental crowns would come with a simple assurance that they are free from defects, any problems with guarantees arise when it’s necessary to work out how a crown broke. Crowns, and indeed teeth, are not designed to do anything except eat and chew. People can often use their teeth to open bottles and packets and some decide to chew matchsticks all day long.
So long as you respect the fact that you have a dental crown, look after it and your natural teeth and it is free from any manufacturing defect it should last for many years.
Can a dental (teeth) crown last forever and is it worth it?
It is possible for a dental crown to last the rest of your life, indeed if it is well looked after and is not subject to extreme impact then it probably will. The average dental crown lasts for 10 years. The most common reasons that a dental crown needs to be replaced are:
- Fracture, particularly if it is a porcelain crown
- Aesthetics. Over the years your natural teeth may darken making a crown look lighter.
- Gum recession. As we age the gums recede making our teeth look longer, hence the expression “long in the tooth”. This gum resorption can expose the tooth/crown margin which can stand out looking grey.
- Underlying tooth decay. Your tooth underneath the crown can still decay, particularly around the margins. This decay can then mean that the underlying tooth structure needs to be removed which necessitates removal of the crown and hence, often remaking.
How to take care of my dental crown?
Crowns don’t need any special type of care. Looking after your oral health is important for any kind of dental care routine, simply clean your teeth twice per day with a pea sized amount of toothpaste, ensuring you clean in between them at least once a day with floss or an interdental brush.
Even though you have false tooth in place you still need to clean your teeth and look after your gums to prevent gum disease and further oral health problems.
What is a dental crown?
A crown is a full surface covering which covers the whole of your crowned tooth. It is used in situations where a large amount of tooth structure has been damaged or lost. In order to rebuild the tooth to its full-size crowns are used.
Why do some dental procedures cost so much? Like crowns, etc.?
Dental procedures often cost so much for a variety of reasons:
- The complexity of the treatment. Some treatments are extremely complex and take many years for the dentist to train to be able to do.
- The location of the surgery. Dental surgeries are often located in convenient locations in the middle of high streets, this kind of location often has a high cost.
- Manufacturing and production costs. Some treatments, like crowns are made by a dental laboratory. These crowns cost a considerable amount of money, especially if a quality dental lab is used.
Why do dentists always want you to get a crown?
If a tooth is slowly breaking down there are a few options. It’s possible to use a dental filling or dental inlay. The problem is that if a considerable amount of tooth has broken down you could have a dental filling and then the final part of the natural tooth breaks, you are then in a situation where you keep having fillings which get bigger and bigger, continuously having to go back to the dentist.
Sometimes, your dentist is able to see that the tooth is breaking down to such a degree that this process becomes very costly in terms of money and time, for that reason a dental crown may be prescribed at the beginning, to save you all of this extra cost.
What are alternatives to dental crowns?
If you have a natural tooth which has broken down to the point at which a dental filling or inlay can no longer work then the only real alternative to a dental crown is to have the tooth removed. Clearly this is not a good alternative as it means you then have a space which can mean the bite is altered as the surrounding teeth drift.
Unfortunately, if you wish to keep as many teeth as possible then a crown may be the only option if you have lost a lot of natural tooth structure.
What should be done if a dental crown falls off?
The first thing to do is to retain a lost Crown. You can buy temporary adhesive in many good-quality pharmacies, this can be used in an emergency to fit the Crown back again temporarily.
In order for the crown to be fitted back permanently you will need to visit a dentist. A dentist will then remove any of the hardened cement/blue on the inside of the crown, once this has been done the crown can be refitted
Are dental crowns painful?
Not usually. You will always have a local injection prior to having any form of invasive dental work undertaken. A good tip is to ask your dentist to use a topical anaesthetic gel beforehand, this is a small amount of gel placed onto a cotton wool bud which sits for a couple of minutes on the gum on the site where the injection will be given. This number is the gum so that you can’t even feel the needle.
After you have had a crowns fitted you may find there is some mild sensitivity for a few days, this is simply because the tooth is settling down again after having all of the work done and is usually nothing to worry about.
What are the pros and cons of dental crowns versus bridge?
This is a question which often get asked but is actually a non-question. A dental Crown replaces a single tooth yet a bridge replaces multiple teeth. There are therefore no pros and cons of dental crowns versus bridge as they have completely different outcomes.
The only time a dental crown is used as a single replacement of a missing tooth is when it is used as a restoration on top of a dental implant.
Why are dental crowns recommended after a root canal?
Dental crowns are not always recommended necessarily after a root treatment. It is possible to have a root canal treatment without a crown. Sometimes a root canal is required as the decay has got so bad that it has affected the nerve and/or blood supply of the tooth. If the decay has also affected the part of the tooth which you see and it has broken down then often a root canal will be combined with a dental crown.
If however the bulk of the tooth remains unaffected then you can have a root canal treatment without having a permanent crown fitted afterwards
What is the best dental crown to get for back teeth?
Crowns on front teeth are usually focused around aesthetics, crowns on back teeth usually focus around strength and functionality, although in both instances all criteria count.
Crowns for the front teeth usually include ceramic crowns, these have no metal and can often look the most beautiful. Porcelain fused the metal crowns or full metal crowns made out of a range of metal alloys can often be stronger, these can be used for back teeth although it is usually considered they don’t look quite as good.
The process of having the crown is exactly the same, the dentist prepares the tooth, takes an impression and sends to a dent laboratory they make the crown, once manufactured the dentist fits the new restoration over a prepared tooth.
What is the best dental crown material?
There are a range of different crown materials including precious metal, porcelain bonded crowns and all ceramic crowns. Each material is used in a different situation dependent upon the look and strength.
The type of crown used will depend upon where it is going to be in your mouth.
The weakest material is acrylic or composite, this is usually what your temporary crown will be made from.
The strongest material is often considered to be a precious metal alloy such as a gold alloy, however this is often not desirable, particularly at the front of the mouth.
Porcelain bonded to metal alloy crowns are amongst the most common materials, this type of ground has been around for many years and has an extremely long track record and pedigree.
Dental crowns are a routine dental treatment often necessitated after dental decay or traumatic loss of tooth structure. Crowns can look extremely natural and blend in with your other teeth harmoniously. They can also last many years, sometimes a lifetime if well looked after.
Very many people are looking to improve or enhance their smile by making their teeth brighter, whiter, straighter or by rebuilding broken down teeth.
However for a variety of factors, including cost and convenience among other things some people are now opting for the reduced mini smile makeover rather than a full smile makeover.
This article takes a look at mini smile makeovers, what’s in them, what’s included and how treatment differs to a full smile makeover.
The term smile makeover usually refers to a combination of the following aspects of cosmetic dentistry:
- Straightening crooked teeth.
- Whitening dark or yellow teeth.
- Restoring broken down, chipped or damaged teeth.
A full smile makeover will include a range of treatments including teeth whitening, dental crowns/veneers and orthodontics… A mini smile makeover is a much reduced version of this full smile makeover treatment.
Before we go into the full details of the mini smile makeover, let’s look at a full smile makeover, we can then see the advantages and disadvantages of a mini smile makeover and compare them.
Stage 1 of a smile makeover – Aligning crooked teeth.
In a full smile makeover this can be done using a variety of techniques, including but not always limited to:
- Orthodontics to move, rotate and twist teeth back into straighter alignment. Different orthodontic options are available such as rapid orthodontics with the Inman aligner or invisible orthodontics using Invisalign.
- Veneers or crowns to rebuild teeth and also realigned them. One of the problems with veneers is that they cannot bodily move a tooth like orthodontics can, veneers are usually only suitable for teeth which are twisted but in the correct position.
- Bonding, this is a minimally invasive approach where a small amount of tooth coloured resin is placed over the surface of the tooth, very similar to veneers it cannot bodily move a tooth to make it more aligned, it simply builds up a part of the tooth which is too far back to make it look straighter from the front.
Stage 2 of a smile makeover – Whitening dark teeth.
The method of whitening depends upon how dark teeth are in the first place and if there are any other associated problems which need to be treated at the same time e.g. broken down teeth or rotated teeth.
Your dentist will always prefer to maintain as much natural tooth structure as possible and so the simplest option is usually to whiten dark teeth with either teeth whitening or air abrasion
Air abrasion involves using a very fine sand which is gently blasted over the surface of the tooth. Whilst this doesn’t actually whitening the teeth themselves, it is incredibly efficient at removing surface stains, particularly tea, coffee, red wine or smokers stains. It is a simple and pain free treatment which can often be provided in approximately 30 min.
If the tooth needs to be whitened itself then teeth whitening will usually be the preferred treatment.
This could be rapid teeth whitening in the dental practice or home whitening undertaken using a night time bleaching tray and gel.
If the teeth are particularly dark then traditional tooth bleaching may not be sufficient to whiten the teeth to the desired colour, in this case teeth whitening can be used in conjunction with either bonding veneers.
The natural tooth is whitened to provide a light base for of veneer which fits over the surface. The veneer can then be made in the ideal colour, usually much lighter or whiter than the original tooth shade.
Stage 3 of a smile makeover – Rebuilding broken down or damaged teeth
The final stage of cosmetic dentistry smile design is to think about restorative options. Your dentist will have already considered aligning the teeth and orthodontics and whitening the teeth with either teeth whitening or air abrasion… But what about the teeth that are damaged or broken down?
This is where the final stage of treatment options comes into play, usually this will include bonding, veneers or crowns.
Bonding involves the dentist placing a small amount of tooth coloured resin over the surface of teeth, this can be particularly useful for chipped teeth or teeth with small surface pits.
If the tooth is more broken down or more heavily damaged/discoloured then veneers may be considered. A porcelain veneer fits over the surface of the tooth, completely covering any damaged natural tooth and restoring any broken down areas.
Sometimes a tooth is so broken down or damaged that a veneer is not adequate, in this case a full coverage crown will be used. This covers the entire part of the tooth which you see, including the tongue side and biting surfaces. A crown can therefore be made in any colour and any shape making it a perfect component of cosmetic dentistry.
Which option should I go for?
This is where a smile makeover really comes into its own, your cosmetic dentist will look at each tooth in turn as well as your entire face and smile, they will then come up with a treatment plan that suits the outcomes you have defined. Very often the best cosmetic dentists we use a combination of all treatments available in order to give the best smile.
What is a mini smile makeover?
A mini smile makeover simply takes the simplest and most convenient options available to your dentist to deliver the quickest and most cost effective smile makeover possible. Typically a mini smile makeover includes:
- Air abrasion to remove any surface stains from the teeth, this may be enough if your teeth are nicely aligned and a good shape.
- Teeth whitening. The whitening process can usually be undertaken in either a 30 min appointment at the dentist or over a couple of days at home by wearing bleaching trays at night.
- Dental bonding. This will be done in the dental practice and usually takes anywhere between 30 min and a couple of hours depending on how many teeth are having the bonding process.
Am I suitable for a mini smile makeover?
A mini smile makeover is not suitable for everyone, it can only be used for patients who:
- Have mildly crooked or rotated teeth.
- Don’t have complex dental health issues.
- Don’t want to replace any missing teeth.
- Don’t wish to change the way their teeth bite together (occlusion).
- Want a simple fix to a relatively nom-complex problem.
How much does a mini smile makeover cost?
Typically the cost of a mini smile makeover is:
- New patient consultation, from £59
- Teeth whitening, from £277
- Bonding, from £135 per tooth
So let’s say you had 2 teeth which were rotated and were suitable for bonding, you wanted to brighten your smile and have these teeth aligned it would cost, from £606.
We hope you have found this blog post useful .
A special report containing all you need to know about cosmetic dentistry.
Many people wish to improve the appearance of their smile, this can include a range of treatments from straightening crooked teeth to replacing missing teeth to rebuilding broken down teeth through to whitening dark teeth.
It’s also popular for people to want to discover ways to do these without visiting the dentist, or at least keeping visits to the dentist to a minimum. In this blog post we will have a look at teeth whitening strips and answer a few questions you may have about this home teeth whitening option.
What are the options to whiten teeth?
There are a range of options to whiten dark teeth, some of them can be done at home whilst others will require a visit to a dentist. Understanding this can help us make the best decision about whitening strips.
Teeth Whitening without a Dentist
The following items can typically be bought over the counter:
- Teeth whitening toothpastes – these can start the process at home, there is very little active whitening agent within the toothpaste as this is restricted in law, these toothpastes typically use a slightly more abrasive compound, this is then more effective at removing surface stains.
- Teeth whitening pens – these can often be purchased in chemists and other similar shops, most typically they are simply a slightly translucent white paint which covers the front surface of the tooth temporarily. They can often be good to whiten teeth for a single occasion but the results will be very temporary. Other whitening pens do contain an active whitening agent so it’s important to check which type is on offer prior to purchase.
- Teeth whitening strips – Whitening strips will have an active ingredient to actively whiten your teeth, however, it’s important to know that for safety reasons the amount of this active ingredient is quite dramatically reduced compared to what you can have when it is prescribed by a dental professional.
Teeth Whitening With a Dentist
The following options can whiten teeth to a greater degree than is possible without visiting a dentist:
- Home teeth whitening kit – this involves visiting the dentist to have a dental impression taken, from this impression a highly accurate custom fitting whitening tray will be made. This tray fits precisely over the surface of your teeth, this helps to keep the whitening gel exactly in place and prevent it from touching the sensitive gums. The whitening gel is placed inside the tray and is then worn for a couple of hours each day or possibly overnight. The whitening gel contains hydrogen peroxide bleaching agent to lighten the colour of theteeth.
- In office whitening – this involves the dentist in the office/surgery placing the whitening gel over the surface of the teeth and then applying a high-powered light to speed up the whitening process. The dentist will ensure that there is an isolating agent put over the gums of the teeth to prevent the gel coming into contact with them.
Should I brush my teeth before whitening trays
It is advisable to wait 20 minutes after eating before brushing the teeth, this is to give the surface of the teeth time to recover from any acid attack which occurs each time anything is eaten or drunk. This is particularly true if this was acidic food & drink.
The same applies with teeth whitening. We recommend that a delay of 20 minutes is taken after eating before teeth brushing and starting the whitening process.
It is important that any food debris or surface plaque is removed from the teeth prior to whitening, this is why we recommend cleaning teeth before starting the daily whitening routine at home.
Do whitening strips work well on yellow teeth?
They can do. Whitening strips typically have a hydrogen peroxide (the active whitening ingredient) percentage of around 6.5% whilst teeth whitening prescribed by a dentist can, in some circumstances use concentrations up to 40%.
This typically means that teeth whitening at the dentist is quicker and may be able to whitening the teeth more than whitening strips.
One of the reasons that the concentration is lower in whitening strips is because hydrogen peroxide can burn the delicate soft tissue/gum area, for home use this is why the concentration is lower. However, when the dentist is involved they would take measures (such as providing a close fitting custom bleaching tray, or isolating the gum during surgery whitening) to ensure that the hydrogen peroxide stays well away from the gums.
Can I eat after whitening?
It is indeed eat after any form of whitening, one may however find that there is some sensitivity for a few hours after the whitening trays are taken out, avoiding very hot or very cold food and drinks may be advisable. This sensitivity should settle down quite quickly. With whitening strips some people notice that the sensitivity is lower due to the lower concentration of active hydrogen peroxide ingredient.
Do you brush your teeth after using whitening strips?
We recommend that with any form of whitening that teeth are brushed beforehand. This is to ensure that any plaque (this sticky surface layer on your teeth) is removed and that any whitening agent present in the strips or gel gets the closest contact with the teeth.
We don’t advise brushing immediately after whitening as the teeth maybe a little more sensitive for a couple of hours. The sensitivity will usually be lower with whitening strips then it is with any other form of whitening, however the whitening process will take longer due to the lower percentage of hydrogen peroxide active ingredient.
Are there any negative side effects from teeth whitening?
The most common side effect from teeth whitening is sensitivity. Some people find that using a sensitive teeth toothpaste can help to alleviate this. It may be advisable to begin using a sensitive teeth toothpaste a couple of weeks prior to beginning whitening to give the teeth time to build up resistance and prevent tooth sensitivity.
Another quite serious side effect from teeth whitening can be burning to the gums. Teeth whitening at the dentist is controlled carefully to ensure that the whitening agent does not touch the gum, this is done with a very closely fitting tray which is custom-made exclusively for you. Without this tray the gel would come into contact with the teeth.
Finally, another side-effect may be that the teeth don’t get whiten but that the tartar which builds up between your teeth gets whitened instead. This happens when the tartar is not removed between the teeth prior to beginning the whitening, therefore the whitening agent cannot actually touch the teeth and can only whiten the tartar.
This is why visiting a dentist for whitening is the only legal way to ensure you get the brightest smile. A dentist will ensure that all of the oral health requirements are met prior to beginning whitening, this includes:
- Gum recession which can exacerbate dentine hypersensitivity
- Gum disease which could lead to bleeding and damage to the gums
- Cracked tooth check, cracked teeth can become ultrasensitive if whitening is undertaken.
They will undertake a full assessment to ensure the gums are not bleeding (which could then get mixed into the bleaching gel) and that there isn’t any tartar in between the teeth which would prevent the teeth whitening fully.
There are often a variety of questions that people ask about Invisalign, can it fix an overbite, crowding, crooked teeth and indeed, what can Invisalign NOT fix.
This article is dedicated to answering this great array of questions including, can Invisalign fix protruding front teeth?
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is an orthodontic system which utilises modern computer assisted technology to create clear aligners. These clear aligners sit over your teeth and put a small amount of pressure in the design direction in order to move them.
At the beginning of your treatment planning the software will calculate how many aligners you need and how often you will need to change them, typically this is every 2 weeks.
How long does it typically take for Invisalign to align teeth?
At the beginning of your treatment planning stage you will have your teeth scanned into a computer, your teeth can then be moved on the computer to the ideal location and the computer then calculates how long it will take for this movement to occur to close the gaps and straighten your crooked teeth.
Some treatments can be completed in one year however that average is usually 2 years. It all depends on how much tooth movement is required.
Can Invisalign fix overbite
An overbite is when the top teeth stick out, often when the mouth is closed. Strictly speaking this is actually called an overjet however many people refer to it as an overbite. Often called buck teeth or protruding front teeth. An overbite may have either dental or skeletal causes.
- Dental causes. This is where the teeth only are in the wrong position.
- Skeletal causes. this is where either the lower jaw is underdeveloped or the upper jaw is overdeveloped.
Typically Invisalign is able to fix dentally caused overbite much better than skeletal caused overbite. The good news is that most overbites are caused simply by teeth being in the wrong position, severe buck teeth overbites may require orthognathic surgery in conjunction with an orthodontic treatments such as Invisalign.
Can Invisalign fix crowding
In many instances teeth are crowded because of an underdevelopment of the jaw, this leaves not enough room for the teeth to sit in their natural alignment. For this reason, in order to fix crowding there may sometimes be a requirement to remove a tooth to create enough space. Very often the tooth that is removed if the 1st premolar. This then gives enough space to move all of the teeth and straighten them to fix crowding.
In this regard, yes Invisalign can fix crowding.
Can Invisalign push front teeth back
Invisalign can indeed push front teeth back so long as there is enough space for these teeth to move into. If there are gaps behind the protruding front teeth then these gaps will be taken up as the front teeth push back. If there are no gaps and not enough room to push the front teeth back then extraction of a premolar tooth may be required.
Can Invisalign fix protruding upper front teeth
And so on to the main question about whether Invisalign is able to fix protruding front teeth. The answer is definitely yes, although there needs to be room for these front teeth to be moved back into.
If you only have a couple of protruding front teeth, for example 2 front teeth then you may also like to consider dental bonding or other treatments.
The 2 front teeth may look as though they stick out however it may be because the lateral teeth either side of them are actually retruded and not far forwards enough. if this is the case then the teeth either side of the 2 front teeth can be built forwards using dental bonding, this can stop the 2 front teeth from looking as though they stick out.
This can often be a cheaper and quicker option than orthodontics, please speak to your dentist about whether this could be one of your treatment options.
Can you get Invisalign for only the bottom teeth?
Invisalign is suitable for orthodontic treatment on the upper and lower teeth at the same time, just the others or just below is. However most commonly Invisalign is used for the other teeth because it is these which are more visible, however if you are just concerned about straightening lower teeth then Invisalign can also work well to give a straighter smile.
What can Invisalign not fix?
Invisalign is great to fix cosmetic orthodontic issues, straightening, rotating and moving the front teeth is what it is ideally suited for.
More complex orthodontic procedures such as widening your jaw, moving back teeth and correcting extreme malocclusion may be more suitable for specialist orthodontic procedures or other types of orthodontic brace.
If you would like to request an appointment to find out about your options with Invisalign we have a few ways to go about this:
- Request an appointment online
- Request a free virtual consultation via video link
- Call us on 01923 233600
We look forward to being of service.
Many people have some level of dental anxiety, phobia or fear and would like to have sedation whilst having treatments. This is absolutely understandable and clearly, having dental sedation comes with a whole range of questions.
In this article we talk about some of the most common questions and answers with dental sedation.
What type of anesthesia is used for dental work?
There are a few different types of sedation and they typically fall into one of 3 categories:
- Intravenous (IV). This is where drugs are given to you directly into your bloodstream, often called Twilight sedation as you will have no recollection of the treatment yet you will just about be awake.
- Inhalation/Gas and air. Often called happy gas or happy air, the nitrous oxide mix is provided via a small nasal mask so that you breathe in the sedation drugs.
- Tablet. Usually given in advance so that the patient can take tablets a few hours before the treatment, the tablets typically have a calming effect.
How safe is dental sedation
Modern dental sedation is incredibly safe. Sedation will always be provided by specially trained dental professionals.
One of the big advantages of gas and air sedation is that the effects of nitrous oxide wear off incredibly quickly, so if you find you have a negative reaction you simply stop breathing gas and the effects wear off fast.
Dental sedation comes with slightly higher risks to people who are obese or have obstructive sleep apnoea, this is because the airway is more likely to become blocked.
There have been some studies which show that nitrous oxide inhalation sedation tends to deplete the body’s store of vitamin B12. For people with vitamin B12 deficiencies this could be potentially dangerous.
Can I eat before dental sedation
You should follow the guidelines given to you by your dentist prior to having sedation however the recommendations are.
- Intravenous sedation (IV sedation). Because this is not a full general anaesthetic like you would have in hospital it is not necessary to fast prior to having your intravenous sedation, we recommend that you have a light meal for your appointment.
- Inhalation sedation. You can eat and drink as normal before having inhalation sedation.
- Tablet/oral sedation. You can eat and drink as normal before having tablet/oral sedation.
You should however avoid alcohol prior to any form of sedation. Alcohol can react badly to some of the drugs used and will also impair your ability to follow instructions.
Who is a candidate for sedation dentistry?
Anyone that is anxious or nervous of the dentist can be a candidate for some form of dental sedation. If you are apprehensive about your appointment and/or treatment then simply speak to your dentist.
You are unlikely to be refused sedation however patients who are obese or have obstructive sleep apnoea may be advised that sedation is not for them due to the increased risks of the airway becoming obstructed.
Should I be scared of the dentist?
It is absolutely understandable that people are apprehensive of visiting the dentist, we appreciate that you may be concerned about any discomfort and understand that many people feel out of control.
The first stage to overcoming any form of anxiety is to let your dentist know, be very clear and specific about what your concerns are, is it:
- Anxiety about the pain?
- Fear of a particular treatment?
- Anxiety over the dentist doing something that you haven’t agreed to?
- Feeling out of control?
- Worried about how much or this is going to cost?
- Fear of being in an enclosed space?
If your dentist knows what you are scared about then they can take action to help, they will be able to:
- Give topical anaesthetics via a little gel placed on some cotton wool prior to having needle injections, this numbs the gum so that you can’t feel the needle at all.
- Explain all treatments fully before starting so that you know exactly what is going to happen.
- Provide a full treatment plan which highlights what treatment will be done at any given appointment.
- Agree a simple stop signal, this is usually raising a hand, the dentist can then stop treatment, give you a rest for a moment and allow you to set up if appropriate.
- Provide all costs of treatment in advance, including any necessary payment plans to ensure you are completely happy and relaxed.
Even if all of the above is taking care of there are times where you may still feel anxious, nervous or scared, if this is you then dental sedation may be the perfect answer, in conjunction with everything already mentioned.
Should I ask my dentist for sedation?
Absolutely yes, if you feel this will help then ask your dentist for sedation. Not every dental practice of visitors standard so you may need a referral to another practice or your regular dentist may be able to bring in another suitably trained dental professional to help.
Is there any alternative to anesthesia in dentistry?
Another great question that we get asked lots. Many dental practices are able to help you relax in a variety of ways, some I just naturally relaxing environments and some dentists use alternative techniques such as hypnosis.
Are relaxed calming environment which helps you to slow down your heart rate and gently understand what will happen throughout any treatment, we feel, is an incredibly important way of helping you relax at the dentist and have alternatives to anaesthesia.
However, we would almost always use some form of local anaesthesia to ensure that any treatment site is totally numb prior to undertaking any treatment.
Can I get my wisdom teeth removed without anesthesia?
We would always recommend having a local anaesthesia to numb the area where the teeth will be extracted, however you may also opt to not have any form of sedation such as relative analgesia (inhalation sedation) or intravenous sedation.
Wisdom teeth often have a smaller root system than other back teeth and so are usually relatively simple to extract
How much does it cost for sedation dentistry?
The cost of sedation will vary depending upon the service provider and the length of treatment. Typically sedation is provided on a per hour basis. Many treatments can be performed in less than an hour although some may be considerably longer, for example full mouth dental implants. Sedation is usually provided at around £300 per hour
Do you have crooked teeth?
Perhaps you are embarrassed to smile or find it difficult to eat?
You may even have jaw joint problems as a result of crooked teeth?
If any of these apply to you then you may be wondering about your options and want to ask the question, how to get straight teeth without braces!
If you have crooked teeth there are really only two ways to treat them:
- Move the teeth physically.
- Add something to the front of the tooth to make the front of the tooth aligned and give the illusion of straight teeth
Even the orthodontic options offer solutions to crooked teeth without traditional braces, so read on to find out your options.
Why do teeth grow crooked?
There is a natural balance in your mouth Between your tongue pushing out and the cheeks pushing in. This natural balance in forces is called the neutral zone. As a baby grows and turns into a child and then adult various factors come into play which can affect this neutral zone.
- Thumb or dummy sucking. This puts pressure on the roof of the mouth which can move the bone physically during growing. This can mean the teeth come through in the wrong position, often spaced with buck teeth.
- Poor posture. The muscles of your head, face and neck are all interconnected, poor posture such as continuously leaning forwards or having the mouth continuously open can affect the muscles and fine balance of the neutral zone. This can mean that the pressures from the muscles around the face do not exert on the teeth and they come through crooked.
- Developmental issues. Occasionally either the top or lower jaw can develop too big or too small. If it is too big then the teeth will tend to be spaced, if it is too small then the teeth will tend to be crowded or crooked.
- Poor eating habits. We use our tongue considerably during eating. It gets forced against the roof of our mouth which can, over time, move the bone and space the teeth out.
If your teeth are extremely crooked or you need to correct the bite it may not be possible to straighten teeth without braces, however, slightly crooked teeth can often be treated without braces.
How important are straight teeth in society?
Research has shown that a beautiful smile doesn’t only make you more attractive to others; it can even improve your job prospects! A coy ‘hand over the mouth’ approach may work among friends but like it or not, in a one-to-one interview that smile is just going to show.
People want straight teeth for a variety of reasons
- Socially wanting to look good at parties with friends
- Before going away on holidays – Happy holiday snaps become more amazing
- Boosting their self-confidence that brings out the best in them
- Dating – I know I will enjoy more talking to someone with a nice, bright smile
- Comments from friends & family making them feel self-conscious – I have had people requesting whitening because of comments from their grandchildren.
- Wanting to look more youthful – we all love to look and feel young all the time.
How to close the small gap between my front teeth?
Small gaps between the front teeth can often be closed with dental bonding. This involves applying a thin layer of tooth coloured resin to the front side of your teeth. Bonding in this way can look extremely natural and close the gaps completely, all without braces.
Dental veneers can also be used, this can also adjust the shape and colour of the teeth at the same time.
Notice this case below, there is a small gap between the front teeth of this patient, after dental veneers the gap has completely gone, the teeth are whiter, brighter and better shape also.
How to get fake teeth instead of using braces
So long as your teeth are not too crooked then it is possible to get fake teeth by way of bonding, veneers or dental crowns in order to straighten teeth instead of using braces.
However, most dentists will prefer to maintain as much healthy tooth structure as possible. Veneers and dental crowns may involve removal of otherwise healthy tooth structure in order to accept the new (and straighter) veneer or crown.
Whenever healthy tooth structure is removed there will be a joint between the natural tooth and the fake tooth (veneer or crowns), this joint will always be a weak point and susceptible to bacteria gathering. This could lead to increased chances of decay in this area.
Careful consideration to this fact should always be taken when deciding whether you want to have faked teeth (veneers, crowns or bonding) instead of orthodontic braces.
There are also a range of “snap on dental veneers” which are available through online retailers. These are only adding onto the outside of your teeth and can only be worn for short periods of time. We are also extremely concerned about the fit of these products, if they do not fit then they will rub on the gums, this can then lead to inflammation and the gums actually receding.
These snap on instant smiles can also look extremely unnatural as they will, by their very nature, be very big and protruding.
Orthodontics without visible braces
There are also a range of orthodontic treatments which are possible to have which do not have invisible braces. This means you can have straight teeth with no one else knowing you are having treatment!
This means you can look as though you were having straight teeth without braces, the following treatments make this possible:
- Clear orthodontic braces. These types of braces are made using completely clear plastic aligners. These are virtually imperceptible whilst being worn.
- Tooth coloured brackets and wires. Whilst it is possible to see these close-up they often go unnoticed in normal society distances from each other, they involve conventional orthodontic technology of brackets and wires but instead of them being metal train track types they are tooth coloured which makes them blend in better.
- Lingual orthodontics. This type of orthodontic brace fits on the inside of your teeth (tongue side). This means that from the front the braces are completely invisible meaning you get straighter teeth without the look of braces.
Clear orthodontic braces
The almost invisible option
This type of orthodontic brace involves the use of a series of clear aligners. When they are being worn they are virtually imperceptible. One of the most popular types of clear orthodontic brace like this is Invisalign.
The system uses advanced CADCAM technology to computer design each aligner. Each aligner moves your teeth small amount towards their final destination. You wear each aligner for approximately 2 weeks and have around 26 aligners for a standard treatment. More complex treatments may require a longer time period.
Tooth coloured brackets and wires
The option for more crooked teeth
This option includes conventional type braces on the front of your teeth by using clear brackets and tooth coloured wires. One of the most popular treatments of this type is known as Six Month Smiles. Whilst you may notice these braces when viewed close-up people generally don’t notice them when viewed from a distance, in fact many celebrities have been known to wear this type of orthodontic brace and it completely bypass the press and media!
It’s often thought that there is no need to look after your children’s teeth because they are going to lose them at some point! This isn’t particularly great advice for a range of reasons:
- Habits form very young. If your young child does not look after their teeth then this habit is likely to go through to adulthood, their permanent teeth are then at risk.
- The risk of other diseases. If your child does not look after their teeth and they develop excessive caries then the bacteria can travel around their body causing other health problems.
- The adult teeth risk being affected also. Your child adult teeth fixed immediately underneath their baby teeth, if an abscess forms around the baby teeth then the bacteria in this abscess can begin to attack their underlying adult teeth also.
So, yes, it’s incredibly important to look after your children’s teeth… Here’s some more advice.
Should I use toothpaste on my baby’s teeth?
Yes, however always use a dedicated children’s toothpaste. The outer surface of our teeth, known as the enamel is made up primarily of minerals. Over time, teeth require remineralisation in order to keep them strong. Fluoride has been shown to help with this remineralisation process which is why it is added to toothpaste. However there is a limit on the amount of fluoride that we should use, especially when our bodies are small, for this reason toothpaste manufacturers make a children’s toothpaste with a lower dose of fluoride.
When should you start brushing your child’s teeth?
Ideally you should start brushing your child’s teeth before they have any! Keeping their gums clean and free of bacteria is also really important. Regularly allowing your baby to experience the sensation of a toothbrush in their mouth also gets and used to what it feels like, making them less likely to object to teeth cleaning when their teeth finally come through.
You can read more teething advice here.
Is it bad if I use a natural, fluoride-free toothpaste?
The general advice we always give is to use a fluoride containing toothpaste. Fluoride helps the remineralisation process of your teeth and without it you stand a higher chance of developing tooth decay. The same principle applies to children.
How to care for my baby’s new teeth?
A checklist of ways to look after your baby teeth is as follows:
- Allow a baby to get used to a toothbrush before any teeth come through.
- When the teeth finally come through, use a grain of rice sized amount of fluoride containing children’s toothpaste.
- When your child reaches three years old then use a piece sized amount of fluoride containing children’s toothpaste.
- Supervise your child is cleaning until they are released 7 years old.
- Clean your children’s teeth from behind. If they are a baby then sit them on your knee facing away from you, if they are a toddler then stand behind them.
- Clean all tooth surfaces, remember the cheek side, tongue side and biting side on the upper teeth and lower teeth.
- Brush in a circular motion. Your child will have 20 primary teeth and it’s important to ensure they are clean each day.
- Encourage your child to spit out excess toothpaste but do not rinse with water as this will wash away the fluoride. Whilst fluoride is added to the drinking water in many places around the UK it’s still important to apply topically to prevent cavities.
As an adult, why shouldn’t I use children’s toothpaste?
The quantity of fluoride in the toothpaste is designed specifically for the average body size. Because the child is much smaller than an adult the fluoride dose is much smaller in children’s toothpaste. This would mean that if you used children’s toothpaste as an adult you would not be having the correct amount of fluoride on your teeth which could lead you to be more susceptible to tooth decay.
What is the cause of a baby’s tooth decay before two years?
The primary cause of any tooth decay, leaving out any congenital disorders, is poor oral hygiene. in the year to 2018 26,111 children aged between 5 & 9 were admitted to hospital as a result of tooth decay.
In total 44,047 children under the age of 19 were admitted to hospital, that’s more than children admitted for acute tonsillitis, viral infections, asthma, abdominal and pelvic pain!
Some of the primary causes include:
- Children not cleaning their teeth at least twice per day.
- Consumption of too much sugar with out adequate cleaning afterwards.
- Drinking sugary drinks from bottles with teats.
In summary, it is that adults responsibility to ensure that children keep their sugar consumption in check whilst ensuring that their children clean their teeth adequately each day.
Sometimes when we think about dental health it’s a good idea to consider exactly what teeth are made of, this allows us to understand more about how our dental health is impacted by our habits and what we eat.
We going to break this blog post down into two sections, firstly we will look at the basic biology and an anatomy of the tooth, in the second section we will then look at how this anatomy can be compromised and what you can do to look after it.
The basic anatomy of a human tooth
A Tooth Diagram – showing all aspects of the tooth
What are human teeth made of?
A tooth consists of three parts:
- The crown. This is the part above the gum which you see.
- The neck. This is the section of the tooth where the crown meets the root.
- The root. This is the section of the tooth which anchors it into the bone and it is not normally seen.
Within these three parts there are principally three biological sections:
- The enamel. This is the hard outer layer of the tooth, it is the hardest substance in the human body. It protects the tooth and is 96% hydroxyapatite mineral, this is a crystalline form of calcium phosphate. The remaining 4% is made up of organic material and water. This highly mineralised content gives the enamel its characteristic quite/translucent appearance.
- The dentine. This is a slightly softer in part of the tooth surrounding the sensitive root canal which contains the nerve the blood supply. The dentine consists of 45% hydroxyapatite mineral with 33% organic material and 22% water. The organic material gives the dentine slightly yellow colour.
- The blood vessels and nerves. These are the living tissues in the tooth and feed the it keeping it alive, they also provide proprioception to your brain so that you can feel what is going on. The blood vessels are held in the dental pulp.
The whole tooth is held in place by a soft cushioning mechanism called a periodontal ligament.
Are teeth made of bone?
No. In contrast to teeth which are made up primarily of the mineral hydroxyapatite, bone is mostly made of collagen and is a living growing test you. Collagen is a protein which gives the soft framework to the bone whilst calcium phosphate is the mineral which provides additional strength to this softer framework. It is the combination of collagen and calcium which provide the strength and flexibility of bones.
The uses of each type of tooth
The 32 teeth in your mouth are broadly broken down into 2 areas:
- Incisive biting, for example biting into an apple.
- Chewing and grinding.
The sharper and more knife like teeth are towards the front of the mouth, as we move towards the back of the mouth, where we are able to get far more pressure on them from grinding, they become larger so that we can distribute the pressure over a larger surface area, thereby making them more efficient. Back teeth also have much larger groups enabling us to put larger amounts of pressure to grind our food.
Right at the back of our mouth we have wisdom teeth, in modern-day humans these seem to cause many problems, often being impacted. It is for this reason that wisdom teeth are often removed.
There doesn’t seem to be any evidence to suggest that our more pointed canines are there to tear meet. In actual fact they are more likely to be a throwback to our ancestors millions of years ago.
Looking after the anatomy of a tooth
Why do I have black lines on my teeth?
Black lines on teeth have a few different causes:
- Poor oral hygiene. If the natural anatomy of your tooth has lines and bridges then these can fill with plaque, if this is not cleaned off regularly then it can become dark, particularly if you have habits such as eating very strongly coloured foods or smoking.
- The tooth dying. If the tooth dies then the blood supply is reduced and the tooth have a tendency to go black.
- Root canal treatment. A root canal treatment can sometimes cause the tooth to look darker than it did originally, this is because the blood supply will have been removed from inside the tooth.
- An old dental crown. Some dental crowns have metal inside them, towards the gum line this can begin to look black as the gum recedes during the natural ageing process.
What are the best way to take care of your teeth?
Taking care of your teeth is actually relatively simple, just follow this simple advice:
- Clean your teeth twice per day (morning and evening).
- For adults use a pea sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
- Clean in between your teeth once per day using either dental floss or an interdental brush or stick.
- Use a fluoride mouthwash after meals and never directly after cleaning your teeth. Mouthwash contains less fluoride and toothpaste, if you brush your teeth and then use mouthwash you will actually rinse off some of the helpful fluoride.
- Visit your dentist regularly. Your dentist is able to spot the very early warning signs of any dental disease, such as softening of the enamel in the pits and fissures of your teeth. You won’t be open to spot this yourself and if you leave these areas then decay can develop.
- Visit your hygienist regularly. Your dental hygienist will be able to clean your teeth on a regular basis and evaluate your own oral hygiene routine, making suggestions about how you could clean your teeth better.
Why do humans have carnivorous teeth?
In actual fact we don’t. Canines are usually considered the carnivorous teeth, yet some of the largest canines in the animal kingdom along to herbivores… Gorillas and hippopotami both have extremely large canines and yet are both herbivores. Canines are usually used in the animal kingdom for fighting and it’s probably this fact which means that modern-day humans still have slightly more pointed teeth as a throwback to our ancestors. Long canines have also been shown to be used by gorrillas as a display to fend off other gorillas… Something which humans don’t really need to do any more!
What chemical element make up teeth?
A tooth is broken down into many parts, each have a unique composition:
- The enamel in a is the hardest part of the tooth, it is made of an extremely hard mineral called calcium phosphate. The enamel is relatively clear although it does have a slightly blue/grey tint.
- The dentine is a slightly softer layer underneath the enamel, This is the part of the tooth which gives it the most colour. the dentine is 45% mineral hydroxylapetite, 33% is organic material and the remaining 22% is water. The dentine is not as little as the enamel due to the reduced amount of mineralised content.
- The pulp is the inner part of the tooth, it is extremely soft and provides the living section of the tooth carrying the blood vessels.
How does one stop and reverse the process of tooth decay?
The process of tooth decay can only be reversed or stopped by removing the decay altogether and then filling the void with a hard wearing filling material. If you have tooth decay it is unfortunately not possible to reverse it at home as it will need to be removed and filled.
The best thing you can do at home is to prevent the tooth decay in the first place by following good oral hygiene routine.
Dental crowns have been in common use since the 1960s when the techniques to manufacture them were first understood, Nowadays, with better preventive techniques crowns aren’t used quite so much but they still play a key part of many dental treatments. We’ve found that many patients can often be confused about types and uses of tooth crowns so we thought we would write an extensive article to answer all of your questions.
What is a dental crown?
In simple terms, a dental crown is a full replacement for everything you see on your tooth above the gum. They are usually used when the natural tooth has become severely broken down and can no longer be restored with either fillings or inlays. Your crown will fit over your natural tooth which the dentist will prepare and reduce to a stump. So long as you have high quality crown then it will blend in with the remainder of your teeth and no one will know you have one fitted.
Which crown is better for front teeth?
For front teeth it is usually aesthetics which take the priority, function and strength are still important however. For the highest athletics it is better to use a more translucent material which allows the light to shine through the crown, a porcelain crown is often the best choice. This allows a more natural appearance than having a crown which has metal inside. For this reason the best crown for a front tooth will be some form of metal free crown.
What is the best dental crown to get for back teeth?
Full-back teeth it is usually function and strength which are a priority over aesthetics. Your back teeth are capable of exerting extreme pressure and therefore strength is a priority. Modern zirconia crowns can be extremely strong as well as aesthetic, however very often classic porcelain fused to metal or indeed full metal crowns are still preferred for back teeth.
What are Zirconia Dental Crowns?
Zirconia is the common name for zirconium dioxide, this is effectively sand or ceramic and it is what makes beautiful white beaches look very white. Zirconia has been used for many years in hip replacement surgery as the body does not reject it and it has little or no wear. Zirconia is also able to allow the light to shine through making crowns made from the material extremely lifelike. Zirconia is one of the most biocompatible materials it’s possible to use due to the fact it does not react with anything.
What is the best dental crown material?
The best types of dental crowns will always be selected, but this will differ depending on your clinical situation. The two criteria which are usually used to decide which crown material you should have are:
- Aesthetics. Especially important at the front. Very often metal free or crowns are chosen.
- Strength. Especially important at the back. Crowns containing metal, such as porcelain fused metal crowns are often chosen however modern advances in technology means zirconia crowns are approaching the same strength.
How long will a tooth crown last?
A tooth crown will last thousands of years… So long as it is not put under any stress and is left alone! So actually the question should be how long will the tooth crown last in MY mouth? The things which affect how long the tooth crown last are:
- Failure and/or fracture.
- Gum recession exposing the Crown margin.
You can reduce the chance of failure and/or fracture by ensuring that you look after it. Only use crowns for eating and chewing, not opening bottles! Also, be aware that a common way to fracture ceramic crown is to knock it with a ceramic mug whilst drinking.
You can reduce the chance of gum recession by ensuring that you maintain good oral health and have a regular visit to the dentist to ensure that your gums are in the best condition possible.
Why is palladium not used in dental crowns?
Palladium is used in crowns occasionally however it is falling out of favour for a few reasons:
- It is a precious metal and therefore expensive, there are lower cost alternatives which offer similar advantages.
- It is a precious metal and therefore open to fluctuations in price depending upon what the stock market is doing, more stable pricing materials are available.
- It is metal and therefore does not allow the light to travel through like a natural tooth, this can sometimes make a crown with metal alloys such as those containing palladium look not as good as an all ceramic crown.
What is the typical cost for a dental crown?
The price will vary depending on the type of crown, you should expect to pay anywhere between £300 to more than £1000 per tooth, depending upon where you visit the dentist. Understanding dental prices can be quite difficult so it’s good to speak to your dentist beforehand.
What are alternatives to dental crowns?
If you only have a small amount of damaged tooth then a dental inlay or filling may work, other filling materials are also a possibility. If however there is a large amount of tooth to restore then there really isn’t any alternative to a dental crown, if you want to keep the tooth.
Doing nothing is always an option and should always be considered, if you need to have a tooth restored then doing nothing could lead to additional dental health problems in the future or possibly losing the tooth completely.
How to take care of my dental crown?
You should take care of a tooth crown exactly the same as you would a natural tooth, ensuring you clean it twice per day for 2 min with toothpaste. You should then clean in between the crown and the next tooth with either floss or an incidental brush, just like you do natural teeth, this ensures you keep those difficult to reach areas clean as well. One of the weak areas of a crown is where it joins your natural tooth, often under the gum margin, this area needs to be kept particularly clean.
What is the process for putting on dental crowns?
The process for having crowns is as follows:
- Diagnosis that a crown is required, a treatment plan should be produced with all options including prices.
- Agreement of the treatment plan. Any root canals or root canal treatment will be done first.
- Preparation of the tooth. This involves removing any decayed or broken down tooth and preparing it to be the correct shape to accept the new crown. You will receive a numbing anaesthetic beforehand.
- Fitting a temporary crown. This will be made chair side by the dentist at the time of preparation, you wear this temporarily crown for two weeks whilst the final and definitive crown is made.
- The final crown is manufactured by a dental technician.
- The fitting appointment. You will have a numbing anaesthetic, the temporary crown will be removed, the final crown will be checked for fit, aesthetics and function. If everything is okay the permanent crown will be fitted using a special dental cement material.
We hope you have found this blog post useful, what other questions do you have about crowns?
Any good dental practice will understand that fees and prices are a major factor in the decision-making process by which dentist to visit. That’s why we have decided to tackle this issue head on, we hope that by the end of this blog post you will have more information about private dentist prices in the UK, why those fees and prices are as they are and how to make the best choice.
Whenever you have a treatment undertaken you should always have a fully itemised treatment plan in advance, the question we recommend you ask your dentist is:
What is included in treatment?
Things which may get left out of your budget in a treatment plan could include:
- X-rays. Always ask if x-rays are included in any treatment, particularly in a dental health assessment. Some practices offer an initial dental health consultation for new patients which do include x-rays, others don’t, so it’s important to find out beforehand.
- Follow-up appointments. After complex treatments you may need a series of follow up appointments, think about treatments such as dental implants or orthodontics. Does the fee includes all of these appointments?
- Retainers. When you have orthodontics you may need retainers after the treatment to ensure your teeth stay in a new position, some practices include a couple of retainers in the treatment fee whilst others include retainers for life. It’s important you find this information out before going ahead with treatment.
- Sedation. If you are particularly anxious or nervous and think you may require sedation then find out if this is included. Almost certainly inhalation sedation or intravenous sedation will not be included but it’s worth asking about oral sedation.
A good private dentist price list will include everything and not have any hidden extras.
What are the best options for paying for dental fees?
Most private dentists in the UK will offer a range of different ways to pay for the treatment. This could include:
- Paying for the entire treatment in one go and enjoying a small discount, often around 10%.
- Staged payment for each treatment, particularly useful for expensive treatments over a long period of time.
- Finance. Many practices offer 0% finance over one year and then interest-bearing finance thereafter.
- Membership plans. Practices offer membership in exchange for a monthly fee. The membership comes with certain benefits including discounted appointments and usually includes routine hygiene and dental appointments.
- Bupa Dental plans are also covered by some practices.
Why choose a Private Dentist instead of an NHS dentist?
Many people wonder what is the difference between NHS and private? NHS treatments typically cover the most basic level of care. An NHS dentist is actually still a Private dentist but has a contract to deliver a certain number of Units of Dental Activity (UDA) to the local primary care trust, in the bidding process each bidder for these UDA’s will place their bid, the trust will then decide which provider wins the contract.
The contract will include the total number of UDA’s that must be delivered within the contract period. Each type of treatment has a different number of activities attributed to it.
This is potentially an unstable system, if, towards the end of the contract period the dentist has not achieved the number of UDAs required then there may clawback where the local trust claws back any money paid to the dentist, on the face of it this seems fair but sometimes the target number of UDAs set by the trust is unachievably high, this can leave dentists in a very difficult situation, short of cash and then possibly unable to invest. The flipside to this is if patients come in which needed lots of treatment, in this scenario the dentist may use up their UDA allocation, no matter what treatments patients need the dentist will not be paid for them. This may result in dentists closing their books to NHS patients when the required number of UDAs have been delivered.
Private dentistry avoids all of this. You get exactly what you need, when you need it!
Because the amount that an NHS dentist often get paid for each unit of activity they have a tendency to want to keep treatment very basic and quick, this means treatments may not be as complex or personalised as private dental treatments. High-quality private treatments overcome this problem by giving the dentist the freedom to operate at whichever level they wish.
Where can I get affordable dental treatment?
Affordable treatment is, without doubt a touchy subject. It is also rather subjective. After all, what is affordable? Many people would be happy to spend £5000 on a new car or £2000 on holiday but would not want to spend the same amount of money on their teeth.
Your teeth are used 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, they allow you to eat, smile and chew with confidence. Having great teeth is an investment in yourself!
Having said that, there are ways to make dentistry more affordable.
The advent of private membership plans has made dentistry much more affordable. These plans can bring complex treatments like dental implants or root canal work down by about 5%. Paying for treatments booked in advance can also pay dividends, dental practices can offer up to 10% discount for treatments booked in this fashion. Many practices also offer finance, this is often 0% if the entire treatment is paid off within a year.
The key to finding affordable dental treatments is to speak to your dentist, don’t be afraid to let them know exactly how you feel, what your concerns are… This allows them to come up with the best price list and dental charges for you.