What Are Your Options When A Tooth Breaks?

Not all damaged teeth can be restored with a straightforward filling

Dental check upBreaking a tooth can come as an unpleasant experience when it happens. In most cases it will probably come as a surprise, perhaps when we are eating something or as the result of an accident.

Breakages can also come in various forms and sizes and may require different restorative treatment by one of our Chelmsford dentists depending on the situation.

In today’s Blue Sky Dental blog, we will take a look at some of the options available when a tooth is broken.

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One thing that you should never do if you suffer a broken tooth is to ignore it. This is probably unlikely if it is painful or if it causes the tooth to scratch or cut the soft tissues in the mouth. A smaller and less inconvenient breakage though may lead to some patients deciding to ‘wait it out’ until their next check up appointment.  A lot of things can go wrong if you do this. You could lose more of the tooth as any breakage will inevitably weaken it; you could end up with tooth decay if the inner part of the tooth is exposed, and finally, if bacteria finds its way into the roots of the tooth, this could well end up with a potentially painful and tooth threatening root canal infection.

Any dental issue should be dealt with as soon as possible and a broken tooth is no exception. Call us straight away for advice on what you should do and to make an appointment to see us as soon as you can.

Chipped and cracked teeth

This is one of the most common types of damage to a tooth. In some cases, any damage may be largely cosmetic but you shouldn’t gamble on this. Even a small crack or chip can lead to the dentin part of the tooth being exposed. This is a porous part of the tooth which can allow bacteria to enter and cause the tooth to gradually decay.

Treatment for this will depend on a number of factors, but possible options include composite bonding, fillings or dental veneers. If a chip is very small and purely cosmetic but has created a sharp edge which is catching on the cheeks or lips, we can treat the tooth to prevent it. This will make your mouth more comfortable and also prevent irritation and the risk of oral soft tissue infections occurring.

Significant breakages

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What Is Involved In A Teeth Whitening Procedure?

Our custom home teeth whitening treatment can deliver fantastic benefits for our Chelmsford patients

Great smileThanks in part to TV personalities and celebrities, most people are now familiar with the idea of having their teeth whitened professionally. Because these tend to be wealthier people, some patients might think that having whiter teeth is financially beyond their budget, but fortunately that’s not really the case.

This popular cosmetic dentistry treatment is one of the most affordable that we offer and also produces very significant improvements in the whiteness of your teeth, all without the need for any invasive dental work.

For a while, there were a significant number of ‘shops’ that appeared on the high street which provided this service, but these were largely unregulated and due to the inexperience of some staff, a number of people received poor care and suffered with burns to the gums or with their teeth permanently damaged. These outlets are now largely illegal and you should never consider using anyone other than a dentist or supervised dental professional to carry out this treatment.

What does the treatment involve?

At Blue Sky Dental, we provide our patients with a custom at home teeth whitening treatment which is simple to use and produces excellent results. This should not be confused with ‘at home’ kits that can be bought at some pharmacies or online. These are not custom designed for your teeth, are unlikely to produce the same results and may even cause some irritation in the mouth. This is because the trays are not custom made to fit your teeth securely and can cause the whitening gel to leak onto the gums.

The first stage of your treatment is to check that you are a suitable candidate. Most people are but, for example, if you are pregnant you might wish to delay the treatment until after your child is born. Whilst there is no evidence that it is unsafe for the unborn child, there has been insufficient research into this to be 100% sure. Another category of people who might request whiter teeth but are not ideal candidates are those whose teeth are cracked or chipped. Whilst there is usually no harm in this, an improved whiteness of the teeth may only serve to highlight these flaws. Veneers may be a better solution in this case and we will be pleased to discuss this with you.

Once a decision has been made, we will discuss the level of whiteness that you hope you achieve and adjust the treatment plan accordingly. We will then take impressions of your teeth and these will be used to make the trays into which the whitening gel will be placed. This is an important step as the custom made trays will fit securely and minimise any risk of the gel coming into contact with your gums, significantly reducing the risk of irritation.

Once the whitening trays have been returned to us, you will be recalled to our Chelmsford clinic and provided with the bleaching gel and instructions on how to it.

Generally, you will need to place the gel into the trays and wear them for a couple of hours or so each day for a couple of weeks. As they are designed to be comfortable, this is a perfect excuse to put your feet up and watch TV or read for a couple of hours.

How long does it take to work?

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Same Day Implants – The All On 4 Procedure

An excellent solution for replacement where multiple teeth have been lost

Implant stabilised arch of teethMost of you will probably know what a dental implant is by now. In essence, it is an artificial tooth root that is placed and left to fuse with the bone before a crown is attached.

It is a highly successful and increasingly popular procedure, but one that also requires quite complex treatment and for some, a significant financial outlay, although this provides good value for money over time.

But what happens when a patient has lost a full arch of teeth? To replace these all individually would be very time consuming and expensive, to say nothing of the amount of treatment and recovery period that would be needed. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be done this way and at locally based Blue Sky Dental we are able to offer our Chelmsford patients a more convenient procedure known as ‘same day implants’ or sometimes, ‘all on 4’.

Replacing multiple teeth

Although dentures could be used to replace multiple lost teeth, they would not have the advantages that dental implants offer. The same day implant treatment then offers an excellent solution to replace all of these teeth but without doing so individually.

Instead of replacing each missing tooth one by one, this treatment uses a selected number of implants; usually four but sometimes six depending on the situation. These are placed strategically into the jawbone with regular implants used towards the front of the mouth and two specially designed dental implants used towards the rear of the mouth. These latter implants are placed at an angle that provides additional stability and it is this that allows the fixed bridge of teeth to then be attached immediately without the need to wait for three months for the osseointegration period to complete.

Because of these specially designed implants placed towards the rear of the mouth, it is sometimes possible to avoid the need for a prior bone graft for patients whose bone has deteriorated due to losing their teeth. This is a significant benefit as it not only means that you don’t have to undergo this additional procedure, in turn lengthening the overall treatment time, but also helps to reduce the cost of the overall treatment too.

Advantages of same day implants

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Those Snacks Between Meals Could Be Causing You Problems With Oral Health

Why regular small treats outside of mealtimes could cause more trouble than you think

DentistTraditionally, people in the wealthier parts of the world have eaten three main meals; breakfast, dinner and tea, or breakfast, lunch and dinner depending on what part of the UK you are from. This has been the basic eating pattern for a long time, with most of the meals being home cooked. The last twenty or thirty years though has seen a change in eating patterns, with fewer people cooking and relying more on takeaways and microwave meals.

As we have mentioned previously, many of these ready made meals and snacks have a higher level of sugar than you might expect, and certainly more than would be found in most home cooked meals. This isn’t the only problem caused by ready to eat foods though and even the old pattern of eating is changing.

Whilst many of our Chelmsford patients probably do stick to the three meals a day routine, they may also ‘graze’ more, snacking as they go throughout the day. Even if this results in the same quantity  of food being eaten, which it rarely does given the rise in obesity, it can present problems of its own for our overall oral health.

Unhealthy snacks

The first part of the problem is that these additional snacks are rarely healthy and tend to be high in fats and sugars. Whilst the fats can lead to general health issues, sugar can also cause problems such as tooth decay for patients of Blue Sky Dental. Even now, many people attempt to cut down on their sugar consumption by putting less in their tea and coffee but still often ignore the large amounts of sugar in snacks and ‘treats’.  Some of these are fairly obvious, such as chocolate bars and other confectionery, but even savoury snacks will contain sugar, sometimes in quite large amounts. Added together, these can significantly increase the amount of tooth damaging sugar that we consume each day.

Acidity and remineralisation

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Looking After Your New Dental Implant

Dental implants can last for a very long time, but require appropriate aftercare

Dental implant in the jaw boneWe have discussed the pros and cons of dental implants, and the treatment process in previous Blue Sky Dental Blogs. Let us presume then that you have decided to go ahead and have chosen them as your preferred option to replace a missing tooth. Your treatment has been carried out and you are now back home with your new replacement tooth. What should you do from this point on?

What you shouldn’t do, of course, is presume that now you have your new implant, there is no need to take care of it. Although made from artificial materials and therefore unable to decay, there are still serious problems that lie ahead if you don’t look after your new tooth implant. Some of these, such as periodontitis or peri-implantitis may even result in its loss. Any patients of our Chelmsford dental practice then who have had an implant placed, should heed the following advice along with the personalised instructions we will provide for you.

Aftercare immediately following placement

At this stage, your new implant is particularly vulnerable and you will need to take good care to look after it whilst the implant bonds with the bone into which it has been placed. There will most likely also be some initial discomfort and sensitivity around the treatment area, so it pays to go easy on your new implant for a while. The most obvious thing to state here is not to use your implant to eat anything that would mean putting any force on the replacement tooth. Liquid food such as soup is recommended for a short period so that this doesn’t happen. You will also need to keep the area clean. This can’t be initially done using a toothbrush and you should ‘tip’ a warm, but not hot, saline solution around the area several times a day to keep the implant and surrounding gum tissue clean.

Short term aftercare

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Don’t let Easter Excesses Damage Your Oral Health!

Blue Sky Dental’s top oral care tips for the bank holiday weekend

Oral care productsAlthough it may not have the same religious popularity as it once did, Easter is still a time that a lot of us look forward to. It’s the first bank holiday of the year and comes at a time when we hope that the weather will be a little warmer as it appears to be this year.

Although there are always chances of showers in this country, there is little doubt that barbeques and other outdoor events will still be taking place.

Given the events of recent years, and ongoing, it is important that we take time out to enjoy ourselves and relax. This though, will inevitably include things that could be potentially harmful for our oral health. Today, we offer a guide for Chelmsford patients of Blue Sky Dental, to help you avoid the worst of the potential pitfalls.

Alcohol

Perhaps the biggest cause of dental accidents at any holiday or weekend comes from accidents caused by drinking too much alcohol. By all means, enjoy a pint or two but do try to keep your consumption down to a moderate level. Hospitals too will be grateful for a quieter A&E, especially as they are forecasting a busy weekend with Covid cases too. Being too much under the influence of alcohol (or other drugs) can lead to teeth being broken or even knocked out. Remember too that dental practices also close for the long weekend so you are unlikely to be able to see your usual dentist and will be referred elsewhere for urgent treatment.

Alcohol also leads to a drier mouth which in turn, helps bacteria thrive in the dry environment. When this happens, there is a higher risk of gum disease too. Our advice to you would be to moderate your drinking and also drink plenty of water to help stay hydrated.

Easter Eggs

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Tips For Younger Looking And Healthier Skin

Our experienced Chelmsford facial aesthetics team offers useful advice

Great skin and smileMost of the blogs that we post on our website are about dental care and oral health in general.

However, there is another cosmetic service available at Blue Sky Dental which, whilst less well-known, is one that many people find useful when it comes to looking the best that they can. We are, of course, talking about our facial aesthetic treatments that can help you have younger and smoother looking skin.

As with oral care, there are a number of things that you can do yourself to help keep your skin looking healthy and younger with just a few changes to your daily routine. In today’s blog then, we will take a look at some of these as well as taking a brief look at the safe and effective facial aesthetic treatments that we offer at our dental clinic.

Don’t smoke and moderate your alcohol intake

Smoking and drinking alcohol are two of the surest ways to age your skin quickly. Dehydration is a real problem if you partake in these habits. Not only that but the chemicals in cigarette smoke especially will deplete some of the vitamins that are necessary for healthy and glowing skin. Have the occasional drink, by all means, but don’t drink to excess, and don’t smoke at all and seek help to quit if you currently do.

Use sunscreen

Even in the UK there are days when our skin is exposed to the sun for long periods of time. The sun is one of the biggest causes of wrinkled skin as can be seen from the faces of older people who live in warmer climates than ours. Make sure to protect your skin with a high SPF factor sunscreen and remember too, to stay well hydrated.

Drink plenty of water

Whether it is hot or not, our skin and our bodies require sufficient water to function healthily. Don’t make the mistake of drinking soft sugary drinks as these are simply full of empty calories and are also likely to cause enamel erosion to your teeth when drunk in excess. Water is freely available and is the best thing to drink to stay hydrated and to quench your thirst.

Eat more fruit and veg

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Better Dental Hygiene For The Spring

As the warmer weather approaches, now could be a good time to ring the changes in your approach to oral health

Woman brushing teethIt’s been said that humans are largely a creature of habit. Whilst some of us might consider ourselves as more spontaneous, the truth is that nearly all of us live a largely organised life. It is true that we may break this from time to time by doing something out of the blue, but by and large, our daily lives probably follow a similar pattern. Whilst some of this might be down to work demands, it also often applies to those little things that we do on a daily basis such as our morning routine.

We suspect that many of our Chelmsford patient’s mornings go something along the lines of ‘wake up, shower, breakfast, clean teeth, go to work’. This is probably true across the country and whilst there will be variations; perhaps a trip to the gym or a morning run, it is the ‘clean teeth’ part that we, as dentists, wish to focus on today.

Brushing your teeth

We know that whilst some people are quite organised in the morning, others are much less so and are likely to be rushing to get to work on time. There is a concern when this is the case that one of the things that gets rushed is the morning brushing of the teeth. There can be a tendency to think that this is less important than the pre bedtime brushing, but even though we may not have eaten anything since our last brushing, the reality is that bacteria will have built up during the night and formed a fine film over our teeth and on the gums. These bacteria are potentially harmful and can lead to gum disease and even tooth decay if not managed well. It is important therefore that we don’t simply give a cursory brushing or worse still, just swill with mouthwash. Whilst these are better than nothing, they won’t be sufficient to keep your teeth and gums in good health.

A spring refresh

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Teeth Straightening With ‘Invisible’ Braces

Modern orthodontics helping Chelmsford patients to have straight teeth more discreetly

Invisalign braceIf there is one thing that tends to put people off having their teeth straightened, it is the thought of having to wear dental braces. When we think of this, we tend to think of the more traditional style braces that were made from dark coloured materials and were very visible when worn.

Perhaps unsurprisingly then, a large number of people would probably choose not to have these unless their teeth were very crooked. The idea of wearing braces to correct a small problem such as a minor overlapping of the teeth, would almost be out of the question, often leaving an attractive smile spoiled by this small issue.

These days, things have changed. Teeth braces are now available using methods that mean you can wear them but they are barely detectable by those around you. There are even new systems which do away with wires and brackets altogether. You can’t simply pick these off the shelf though as different systems are designed for different purposes, and if you have crooked teeth that you want to have straightened, you will need to have a consultation at Blue Sky Dental to determine which is the most appropriate system for your need.

Transparent tray orthodontics

The newer type of orthodontic can be seen in popular brands such as Invisalign. This is a very popular way of straightening teeth but which is often used where significant correction needs to take place, including the less visible teeth at the side and rear of the mouth. This system doesn’t use wires and brackets but uses a series of transparent trays which fit over your teeth. Each tray is designed to move the teeth a little more than the previous one, with each one being worn for a short while before being replaced with the next in the series.

These trays are custom produced for each individual. This not only ensures that it works to correct your own specific crooked teeth issue, but also helps to make them more comfortable for you to wear. As this type of teeth straightening often takes a year or more, this additional comfort factor is important for a lot of patients.

This type of orthodontic system is also very convenient and helps you to keep your teeth and gums in good health too. Although they are made to be worn for twenty hours or more a day, they are also designed so that you can remove them when you are eating and for cleaning your teeth. This means that you can eat without the problems associated with traditional braces, and also not getting food trapped in them. The fact that you can brush and floss your teeth and gums as usual also means that you should not only have a straighter smile once the treatment is complete, but a healthy set of teeth and gums as well.

Inman aligners

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Gum Disease – Prevention And Treatment

Gingivitis and periodontitis – take them seriously!

PeriodontitisMost of us probably pride ourselves on the fact that we take good care of our teeth, brushing and hopefully flossing on a daily basis. This is a good thing of course, but equally, many of us probably pay much less attention to the health of our gums.

Although we may not suffer the same pain that a sudden toothache can cause when our gums become infected, they can still cause significant discomfort and can even result in tooth loss if care isn’t taken.

The good thing is that gum disease can be prevented with just a little extra care and regular dental visits mean that it can also usually be treated during its earlier stages with a less invasive treatment than the more advanced stage would require.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease occurs when the number of harmful bacteria in our mouth increases. This can be caused by several things. The most obvious of these is poor oral care i.e., failing to brush and floss regularly. Smoking and excess drinking are also likely to increase the risk of this as are some medical conditions such as diabetes. All of these cause a buildup of plaque and tartar on our teeth and eventually cause them to become infected.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of gum disease are varied and indeed, it is possible for you to barely have any at all. This is one of the reasons why we strongly recommend that you have a regular oral hygienist appointment at Blue Sky Dental every six months, or more frequently if you are in a high risk group.

Some symptoms are more likely as the problem becomes more advanced but you should take care to check for any of the following.

  • Painful, tender or inflamed gums
  • Bleeding gums, especially when you brush your teeth
  • Pus between the teeth and gums
  • Halitosis (bad breath)

There are many more but these are some of the most noticeable. If you detect any of these, please contact our Chelmsford based clinic for an appointment to have your gum health assessed.

Preventing gum disease

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