Do You Have A Missing Front Tooth?

Don’t hide your smile! See what our Cheshunt dentists can do to help.

Tooth loss is not uncommon, but when it is a front tooth that is missing, it can have a very dramatic effect on your appearance. The front teeth too are vulnerable to accidents such as a fall or a blow to the face; so even those who really look after their teeth can potentially find themselves in this situation unexpectedly.

First we should make clear that we are not talking about a diastema, where all the teeth are present, but the way that the teeth have grown has left a gap between the teeth. Here we are discussing when a front tooth has been knocked out or has to be extracted because of damage or decay.

Can the tooth be saved?

If you lose a front tooth (or any) due to an accident; if the roots are still intact, it may be possible to save the tooth if you act very quickly. Pick the tooth up, avoiding touching the root, rinse, but don’t rub, the tooth in water and then put in a container of milk or your own saliva and contact us straight away. Every minute lost means less chance of saving the tooth, so please act quickly.

Presuming that the tooth can’t be saved though, or has been extracted, what are the options to replace it available at The Lodge Dental Suite?

Dentures

A denture could be used in situations such as this. Whilst these are more advanced than older type dentures, they may still move around in the mouth from time to time. Because the front teeth are very visible and prominent, this may be instantly noticeable. So whilst this approach is certainly viable, other more permanent methods may be preferred.

Bridge

A bridge could be used, but in order to attach it, significant preparatory work would be needed to attach supporting crowns to the teeth adjacent to the gap. This is not an approach that some patients are willing to take, particularly where front teeth are concerned.

Dental implant

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Remineralisation Of Teeth

The role of modern toothpastes.

Along with tooth whitening toothpastes, you may have seen advertisements for toothpastes that claim to ‘remineralise’ teeth.

Whilst the claims may seem quite impressive, we suspect that quite a few people will not actually understand what this means, and it’s not surprising. In today’s blog, The Lodge Dental Suite team take a look at this process to help our Cheshunt patients have a better understanding.

Mineral deficiencies

Minerals play an important role in our bodies, and dental health is no different. They play a crucial role in keeping the enamel of our teeth strong and healthy, helping to protect the inner parts of the teeth which are more vulnerable to decay etc. We can get most of the minerals that we need from our food, but some people may lack in these due to illnesses, medication or even poor oral care. When this happens, the enamel of our teeth is likely to be weakened.

Saliva

It is probably not widely known that the saliva that we produce contains many minerals that help to strengthen the enamel as well as helping to clean away the bacteria from the teeth and gums. As we have covered before, this is important in the fight against gum disease, but minerals such as calcium and phosphorus ions are also present in our saliva and play their role in keeping the enamel of our teeth in good condition.

Where we struggle to produce sufficient saliva on a regular basis, this can cause mineral loss which negatively affects the health of our teeth. This can happen if we smoke, drink regularly or even as a side effect of an illness or related medication.

Preventing mineral loss

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Don’t Like Seeing The Dentist?

Here are some very good reasons why you really should!

At The Lodge Dental Suite, as at every other practice in the world most likely, we often meet patients who really don’t like the dentist; not in a personal way of course.

The vast majority of patients are friendly and polite, but some unfortunately have an in-built fear of coming to see us or simply don’t prioritise it in their busy lives.

We completely understand and are sympathetic to these concerns and below, our Cheshunt dental team look at a couple of the more common reasons why some people avoid the dentist and discuss how important it actually is to attend.

It’s going to be painful?

This is probably the number one fear of most dental phobic patients. It is perhaps understandable that patients are concerned about this, given the fact that our teeth are located so close to other prime senses such as sight, sound and taste. The sound of the drill so close to our ear obviously amplifies the sound and the sight of a dentist, just a short distance away from our face, can be quite unsettling for some….

But….

It is important to remember that we don’t perform dental procedures on patients unnecessarily and restorative procedures are carried out when there is a real need. In many cases, not only will it help to restore the function of your teeth, but also prevent the need for an even more invasive procedure further down the line if it were not treated early enough. With regards to a patient feeling pain, this is very rare. Whilst there may be a certain level of discomfort during some procedures, this should be relatively minimal with the use of a local anaesthetic. In many cases, it is actually the anticipation of pain, rather than any actual discomfort which causes the patient distress.

I don’t have time and my teeth are fine

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The Importance Of Interdental Cleaning

Taking care to clean those difficult to access places in our mouth.

Whilst it may not be true for everyone, most of us do brush our teeth twice a day.

Whilst this is the most basic thing that we can do to keep our teeth clean, on its own though, it isn’t enough and dental problems are still likely to occur.

One of the problems is that both food and bacteria have a tendency to collect in places that a toothbrush barely touches. It is important, therefore, to take a little extra time to keep these areas clean.

Problems

There are two particular issues that are likely to arise if you do not clean between your teeth. They are tooth decay and gum disease.

Tooth decay

Decay occurs when bacteria start to eat away at the enamel of our teeth, exposing the more vulnerable dentin layer beneath. Whilst we brush most of the bacteria away from the front, and hopefully rear, surfaces of our teeth, brushing does not clean in between our teeth very effectively. This allows ‘bad’ bacteria to multiply, and eventually cause that area of the tooth to start to decay.

Gum disease

Hopefully, most of our local Cheshunt patients follow the guidance of the hygienist and lightly brush their gums as well as their teeth. This is a great start, but, as with decay, the build up of bacteria and tartar between the teeth can lead to gingivitis, and possibly even periodontitis, unless action is taken to clean there.

Solutions

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Hypodontia – Causes and Treatment

Dentists surgery

How our Cheshunt dentists can help patients with this condition.

Hypodontia is a condition which is usually inherited and leads to the lack of development of some of the patient’s teeth.

It usually involves missing up to 5 permanent teeth, not including third molars, which, in many patients with this condition, will eventually come through.

Where 6 or more teeth are missing, the condition is referred to as Oligodontia. It is not an especially unusual condition though, and restoration can be achieved with the use of prosthodontics.

Determining the problem

There may be a number of factors involved in the presence of this condition, including where chemotherapy has been carried out. Despite this, genetics is by far the most common cause, making it unavoidable for some patients.

To determine the stage of tooth development where this condition is suspected, an x-ray will be necessary so that we can determine what is happening beneath the gum line and therefore, what is the best course of treatment to take.

Treatment

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Are Loose Dentures Restricting Your Diet?

How our Cheshunt patients can benefit from denture stabilisation.

Anybody who has had a number of missing teeth, or even a full arch, replaced with dentures, will be aware of some of the limitations that they bring.

Modern dentures may be more realistic looking and comfortable than older types, but stability can still be an issue for some people.

Not only do some wearers lose confidence if their dentures move around when they are speaking, but many also avoid eating certain foods because of them, often eating softer and easier to chew foods only. Whilst this can provide an adequate diet, it is restrictive and can take away some of the enjoyment from meal times.

Dental implants

At The Lodge Dental Suite, we are pleased to offer the latest teeth implants as an alternative to dentures, which can be used individually or to support a fixed bridge. What fewer people may know though, is that they can also be used to stabilise dentures.

A few dental implants can be placed, typically two, three or four depending on circumstances, and used as a firm ‘anchor’ for dentures. The implants that are securely held in place through a bonding process with the bone, known as osseointegration, will then hold your dentures firmly in place and enable you to eat any food that you want. If you long for the days when you could take a bite into a nice crispy apple with confidence, those days may be just a few procedures away!

Healthy gums

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Why You Should Avoid Rinsing After Cleaning Your Teeth

Fluoride absorption is a key factor in keeping tooth enamel strong and healthy.

Most of us will have been taught how to clean our teeth by our parents and in all likelihood, this will have consisted of brush, spit and rinse.

This must have seemed like the perfect way to clean your teeth to leave your mouth feeling clean and refreshed.

Oral health guidance changes with new discoveries though, and is just one of the reasons that we recommend that patients see our Cheshunt dental hygienist on a regular basis. Updated advice, along with a professional clean, are a great way to keep your teeth in the best condition possible.

Fluoride

Back to the title of our blog; why should you not rinse after cleaning your teeth? Certainly, this can feel entirely natural to do and does leave the mouth feeling fresh and more hydrated. Unfortunately, this action also means that much of the fluoride in the toothpaste is also washed away from the teeth.

Fluoride is an important component of toothpaste and you should always take care to make sure that your preferred brand does contain it. Fluoride is beneficial to the teeth as it helps to strengthen the enamel, helping to protect it from attacks by sugars, acids and bacteria that can cause tooth decay. Rinsing it away reduces the effect of the fluoride and may leave your teeth more exposed to these problems.

Is fluoride harmful?

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The Vegan Diet And Your Teeth

Even the ‘healthiest’ of diets can pose challenges for your teeth.

With around half a million people in the UK following a vegan diet, and many more perhaps partially following it with a view to fully adapting the diet if they like it, our Cheshunt dental team thought that it would be worth taking a look at the pros and cons of this diet from a dental perspective.

There have been reports that both vegetarians and vegans are more likely to suffer from cavities than a carnivore or omnivore. Below, The Lodge Dental Suite take a look at some of the factors that may contribute to this.

Sugar consumption

Although a vegan diet is considered to be a ‘healthy’ one, it is still possible to eat an unhealthy diet. Cakes, sweets, chocolates etc are all available that are entirely vegan. These often contain just as much sugar as regular foods. Don’t be fooled by the ‘natural sugar’ labels either .. all sugars will feed the bacteria that lead to tooth decay.

Fruits

Quite often, one of the main reasons for following a vegan diet is the health aspects. This often means that vegans eat a lot more fruit than the rest of us. Whilst this is healthy, as far as vitamins etc goes, it does increase the amount of acids from the fruit that come into contact with the teeth. This will increase the risk of enamel erosion. When this occurs, the more vulnerable dentin layer is exposed and tooth decay is likely to soon follow.

Calcium

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Lifestyle Choices That Can Discolour Your Teeth

Even some everyday habits can cause our teeth to become yellow.

Even though many people have now managed to give up smoking, eliminating not only a dangerous habit, but one that causes very badly stained teeth; there are still a number of everyday choices that we make which can lead to tooth discolouration.

A few small changes can mean the difference between white teeth and dull looking ones, especially in our younger years.

As we grow older, our teeth will naturally darken in colour and this can only be reversed using one of the teeth whitening procedures that we have available at The Lodge Dental Suite.

Your morning coffee

Do you stop off, on your way to work, for your morning coffee fix? If so, you may think that by avoiding the stronger coffees, such as espresso, you will avoid the discolouring effects that coffee can bring. Unfortunately, even milky coffees such as a latte can cause discolouration as the sugars in the milk break down to form acids which can damage the enamel of your teeth, making them more prone to staining.

Not seeing the hygienist

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Immediate Dental Implant Aftercare

Giving your newly placed implants the best start for a long, healthy life.

Whilst you will need to look after your dental implants for life, there are particular circumstances that need to be taken into consideration immediately after you have had an implant placed at your local Cheshunt dental practice. The Lodge Dental Suite team  will discuss this with you at the time of the procedure, along with any specific individual advice too. Today’s blog, takes a look at the general aftercare that you need to take once you have left the practice with your new implant.

Pain management

Given the minor surgery required to place an implant, some patients may experience a little discomfort once the local anaesthetic has worn off. This should not last, and if it does, you should contact us for further advice. Generally, any discomfort should be easily manageable using your regular painkillers.

Smoking and drinking

It is very important that you do not smoke. Small quantities of alcohol are acceptable, but heavy drinking can be as harmful as smoking for your new implant. Both of these habits cause blood vessels in the area to narrow, reducing the supply of blood to the area that helps to heal the wound. Infections are also more likely if you smoke or drink and both of these habits could result in the failure of the implant. You will need to avoid these for around three months, and preferably permanently, particularly smoking.

Keeping the implant clean

Naturally, in the early stages, you will not be able to brush around the implant. It is important though, that you keep it clean. Both periodontitis and peri implantitis can be risks to your implant and keeping the area clean from the outset is very important.  Until such a time that you are able to brush the area using a soft brush, you can tip a warm saline solution over the area. This will help to keep it clean. You should, of course, continue to brush and floss the rest of your natural teeth.

Take care when eating

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