Replace missing teeth with crowns and bridges

If you have lost 2 or more teeth in a row, you may be wondering how to replace them. One popular choice here at Castle Lane Dental Care in Bournemouth is to have a bridge fitted.

Bridges are so called because they bridge the gap between your healthy teeth. They feature 2 or more replacement tooth crowns that are anchored into place between the teeth by attaching them to the healthy teeth on either side of the gap. These teeth are called abutment teeth. They can also be supported by dental implants. One dental implant can support up to 3 teeth.

Crowns and Bridges in BournemouthThe artificial teeth in between the abutment teeth are called pontics. They are made from gold, alloys, porcelain or a combination of materials.

Why have a bridge fitted?

If you have lost teeth, it is important to get them replaced. You need a full set of teeth in order to properly distribute the forces created by chewing. Being able to eat properly is really important for your overall health. Your teeth are the only body parts with the ability to break your food down into a paste, so that the digestive enzymes further down the line in your alimentary canal can get at the nutrients.

A full set of teeth also holds your face out properly; your cheeks rely on your teeth to stay in place and if there are teeth missing, they can collapse inwards.

Gaps don’t look good, so with your replacement teeth, you will feel much more comfortable about smiling. Filling the gaps will also stop the teeth you still have from wandering out of their correct positions, tilting into the gaps and even falling out.

What happens when you get a bridge?

If you are having a traditional bridge, we will prepare the abutment teeth by removing a portion of the enamel so that we can put the abutment crowns over them. We then take impressions of them and send them off to the lab where your bridge is made, taking great care to ensure that the crowns all blend in with the rest of your teeth. We fit the bridge at your next appointment.

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Keep your teeth going

Teeth don’t half take a battering as we go through life. When you are a child, your biggest enemy is tooth decay. It takes a long time to learn how to brush your teeth well. It can take a lifetime to develop the discipline to stand still for 2 minutes twice a day while you do it.

Crowns and Bridges in BournemouthBy the time you reach adulthood, you may well have a few fillings around your back teeth from childhood decay. As you go through life, these are the teeth that will take the brunt of the forces created by chewing, plus you may add to the wear and tear by grinding your teeth in your sleep or clenching your jaws during the day.

Chances are you will need to get those fillings replaced and they will get bigger. As time marches on, you may find that those teeth could be in danger of splitting and it might be time to start thinking about restorations such as crowns and bridges.

Crowns

Crowns are a way of extending the life of teeth that have been heavily filled or weakened in some way. Maybe they are about to split. In the past, your dentist may have advised you to have the tooth extracted but here at Castle Lane Dental Care in Bournemouth, we think that if the tooth root is healthy, it is a good idea to hang onto the tooth for as long as possible.

Having a crown put on strengthens the tooth and extends its life. A crown is a covering for the entire part of the tooth above the gum line. It is usually made of dental porcelain, which can be shaped, sized and coloured to blend in with your other teeth. If the crown needs to be super-strong, we can make it out of metal and put a tooth-coloured coating over it.

To fit a crown, we reduce the size of your natural tooth and then send impressions of your teeth to a laboratory, where your permanent crown is made. We will fit you with a temporary crown until the permanent one arrives and we then cement the crown in place.

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Make it a part of your routine care

Perfect teeth have become as important as great hair in the last few years and just as our hair needs regular grooming, so our teeth too can need little bits of repair here and there to keep them looking good.

That’s why, when you for come a check-up with us at Castle Lane Dental Care in Bournemouth, you can ask us about any little things we can do by way of cosmetic dentistry treatments to keep your teeth looking really great.

Cosmetic Dentistry in BournemouthWith teeth, looking good is all about colour, structure and alignment.

If your teeth are already well aligned then you only need to worry about colour and imperfections.

Wear and tear

Daily living takes its toll on our teeth. As we bite and chew, we wear away the edges of our teeth. When you look at the teeth of a teenager, they have lovely rounded corners. As we age the edges can get flatter and the corners more square. Most people have also chipped or broken off a piece of tooth at some point.

If you have structural imperfections, these can be masked with either porcelain veneers or cosmetic bonding. Both treatments are quick and last well.

Duller colour

Another thing that can make us look older is the colour of our teeth. White teeth are associated with youth, whereas duller, more grey or yellow teeth are associated with age. Teeth get stained by red wine, berries, tea and coffee and this can happen at any age. Teeth whitening is one of our most popular cosmetic dentistry treatments. We use a subtle, gradual treatment that you carry out at home with bespoke whitening trays. It takes a couple of weeks to reach your desired shade of white and you can top up your treatment at any time.

White fillings

White fillings are now stronger and more durable than ever and this is a cosmetic treatment that can be carried out straight away whenever you need a new filling. We can also replace all your old amalgam fillings if you’d prefer to keep your cavity history to yourself.

Next time you come in for a check-up, ask us how cosmetic dentistry in Bournemouth could enhance your smile.

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Keeping teeth looking great

Having a great smile is a bit like having a pass to all those VIP areas, doors seem to open so much more easily when you can smile at the doorkeepers. People are hardwired by thousands of years of evolution to respond with friendliness and warmth to great beaming smiles of healthy-looking teeth. We look at smiles to work out if someone is a friend or foe, how old they are and if they are diseased or not. We don’t know we are doing this but take a look at your reactions next time you are smiled at. See how you take an internal step towards some people and away from others, and how the state of their teeth influences those steps.

Cosmetic Dentistry in BournemouthHow does your smile affect others?

If you want your own smile to have a positive effect on others, it is so easy these days to get cosmetic dentistry in Bournemouth from us at Castle Lane Dental Care.

Size, shape, colour and alignment

These are the four main things people notice about your teeth and they tend to notice the state of the front 6-8 teeth on each jaw more than the others, which are hidden away deeper inside the mouth.

Size

Are your teeth the right size for your mouth? If you have gaps between your teeth then they may be too small. We can fix that by covering them over with porcelain veneers which are slightly bigger than your natural teeth, closing the gaps between them.

Shape

If your teeth are no longer in great shape, perhaps they have been chipped, or cracked or have worn edges, once again veneers can be used to cover them over. Veneers last at least 10 years if you look after them well.

Colour

Teeth whitening is great for removing surface stains caused by tea, coffee, red wine and berries, as well as smoking. You can do it yourself at home with one of our bespoke take-home kits that fit your mouth exactly.

Alignment

Cosmetic braces are so discreet these days they are almost invisible. And it’s never too late to get your teeth straightened.

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Take the headache out of dental hygiene

There is no getting away from the fact that if you want your teeth to last for a long time, you are going to have to devote a fair bit of time to cleaning them. Not cleaning your teeth properly is at the root of nearly every dental problem, and certainly the big two culprits for tooth loss – decay and gum disease.

Dental hygiene in Bournemouth for kids

Dental Hygiene BournemouthChildren are far more likely to lose their teeth to decay than adults are. This is because they have not yet mastered the skills of teeth cleaning and also because they ingest much more sugar than adults, in the form of snacks and drinks. Sugar feeds the bacteria in our mouths that produce the acids that erode our teeth, creating holes through which decay-causing bacteria can enter.

Our two hygienists at Castle Lane Dental Care in Bournemouth can give your children a regular deep clean to stop decay-causing plaque from building up. They can also show your kids how to clean their teeth and make it fun.

If you find it hard to get your kids to stand still long enough while they clean their teeth, you can try buying them a toothbrush with a built-in beeper that goes off after the required two minutes of brushing.

Hygiene for adults

Adults can still get decay, but as we grow older we are far more likely to experience gum disease. This is also caused by bacteria giving off acids. They build up as plaque, and if you don’t brush them away from the gum line, the acids they give off inflame the gums, which become sore and red and can easily start to bleed. When left in place, after about three days, the plaque calcifies into tartar, which still gives off acids, but can only be removed by scraping.

Twice-yearly sessions with our hygienists can help keep gum disease at bay. Miss these and gum disease can erode the bone under the gums, loosening teeth and eventually causing them to fall out.

Special cases

You will probably have to visit the hygienist more often if you are:

  • Pregnant
  • A smoker
  • Diabetic

You also need to be vigilant about gum disease if you have dental implants.

 

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Cleanliness is next to toothliness

Nowhere is bodily hygiene more important than in your mouth. People may get serious about keeping their hair and bodies clean, but evidence suggests that we are better off leaving our beneficial skin bacteria alone for a bit to protect us. That’s not how the mouth works. It too has bacteria living in it, and of themselves, they are quite harmless. It’s what they give off that is the cause of most of the problems you come to the dentist to avoid and fix.

Dental Hygiene in BournemouthIf you want to hang onto your teeth for as long as possible, you need to clean them. You need to do this twice a day for at least two minutes with a soft-medium bristle brush. You need to clean between them with floss and/or interdental brushes and you may also need a mouthwash.

You also need to come to us at Castle Lane Dental Care in Bournemouth for check-ups and deep cleaning sessions at least twice a year. We can help remove any bacteria left behind that have hardened into harmful tartar.

What the bacteria do

They hang out in your mouth waiting for you to eat or drink something, then they start to feed on the sugars in whatever you put in your mouth. If whatever you ate was high in sugar (which may not be the same as sweet), those little critters have a feast on their hands. All that food gets them proliferating and that’s when you start to feel a furry, sticky film developing over the surface of your teeth. What you cannot feel, though, is the acids those happy bacteria are giving off after their feast. These acids erode the enamel, causing it to become firstly more porous and then to have holes, through which decay-causing bacteria can get in.

Meanwhile, the bacterial plaque around your gum line irritates your gums, as acid would, and your gums get inflamed, sore and bleed easily when you brush them. They start to pull away from your teeth and plaque can now get in under them and attack your bone.

Both problems eventually end up in tooth loss. Don’t let that happen to you.

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Why we recommend white fillings in Bournemouth

At Castle Land Dental Care, any filling that you have will be white or tooth-coloured to match your teeth. Anyone who has had an eye on dental news will know that there has been some debate over the years about whether metal amalgam fillings should be used or whether white fillings are better.

If you come for your check-up at Castle Lane Dental Care and you need a filling, we will offer a white filling for the reasons discussed below.

White Fillings in BournemouthStrength

One of the reasons why metal fillings are still used is that they are strong enough to withstand the forces that are applied to the back teeth. It used to be that white fillings were not up to the job. Modern materials mean that, while amalgam fillings are still a bit stronger, white fillings have enough durability to cope with the pressure as well.

Aesthetics

This is perhaps the key reason why people want repairs that use white materials. No one really wants to show the world that they have had tooth decay and metal fillings do just that. Not only does the colour of white fillings in Bournemouth match your teeth, they can also be shaped to mimic the contours of natural teeth making them even less obvious.

The health of your teeth

Any type of filling ultimately increases the chances that your tooth will be healthy in the long term. The point of filling is to restore a tooth to its natural shape and to prevent bacteria causing the area to deteriorate further. Once you have a hole in your tooth, it creates the perfect environment for further damage, infection and, potentially, pain. When you dentist spots a hole, they can clean the area our and place a filling to repair the area. Once a white filling is in place, it will not decay. Natural wear and teeth-grinding can cause damage to white fillings. Keeping up with your regular appointments at Castle Lane Dental Care will help us to monitor the progress of your fillings as well as the rest of your teeth. We can catch any issues in the early stages and prevent them becoming worse.

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Do you need to replace your metal fillings?

Fillings are when a hole in your tooth is blocked up with a material to ensure that it doesn’t decay any further. There are different types of filling available at Castle Lane Dental Care, but they are all tooth-coloured.

If we rewind a decade or two, fillings were predominantly made from amalgam, a metallic material. This was the best option for durability, but these fillings tend to stand out from the teeth and advertise the fact that someone has had tooth decay. Many people still have amalgam fillings. At various times, there have been fears that the mercury in many amalgam fillings makes them unsafe. However, this has been shown to be largely untrue.

White Fillings in BournemouthPeople often visit Castle Lane Dental Care to have their old fillings replaced with white fillings in Bournemouth. There are two reasons why they might do this – either it’s for clinical reasons or cosmetic ones.

Clinical reasons

If your filling is defective in any way, it is important to have it replaced. It may be that the surrounding tooth has further damage and the filling no longer fits like it used to. It could be that the filling itself is starting to break down. If you visit us regularly for your check-ups, keeping an eye on your fillings and their integrity is one of the actions we will perform.

Cosmetic reasons

If you want your teeth to look uniform and like they have never been repaired, you may want to exchange your metal fillings for white ones. You can talk to a member of our team about this and your dentist at Castle Land Dental Care will make a clinical assessment of the area. Unless you are particularly distressed by the state of your teeth or there are clinical indicators for removal, it is not normally recommended for you to make the swap. This is because there are some risks associated with the process. If we do decide to go ahead, we do everything we can to ensure the procedure goes smoothly. When we assess your fillings, we look at the age of your dental work, the condition of the surrounding teeth and the degree of difficulty that might be inherent in the removal procedure.

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Addressing TMD and Jaw Problems in Bournemouth

When you visit Castle Lane Dental Care, our team take care of more than just your teeth. Your body is a complex system and there are lots of parts related to the function of the mouth. All of your activities such as speaking, eating and breathing are assisted and facilitated by various muscles and joints around the face. If everything is working together and your oral health is well cared for, you shouldn’t experience any issues. However, if you have an issue with a single area, such as a misaligned jaw, it can affect the whole system.

TMD and Jaw Problems in BournemouthDiagnosing jaw problems

Jaw problems can manifest in a variety of ways. Some of them seem unrelated to the jaw area and so, for some people, it can be difficult to diagnose the problem at first. If someone has long term back pain or earache, for example, both of these can be caused by misalignment of the jaw.

At Castle Lane Dental Care, we can do a thorough examination of the area to check for outward signs of jaw problems. We can also do an x-ray to get a close look at the joint. Your consultation with us also includes questions about your health and lifestyle so that we can investigate possible causes for your symptoms.

Treating jaw problems

There are a number of ways to begin addressing jaw problems. We might recommend one or more of the following solutions:

  • Anti-inflammatory medication – you may also be working with a GP if you have been experiencing long term difficulty. They may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication as swelling in the jaw muscles can misalign the joint and exacerbate any issues that you have;
  • Relaxation – people hold a lot of stress in their jaw. Over time, this can lead to spasms, tension and, bad chewing and eating habits. Learning to be conscious of the jaw muscles so that you can control and release them is invaluable for alleviating the symptoms of jaw problems;
  • Dietary changes – if you experience pain while eating, you may need to introduce softer foods to your diet. This might only be a temporary change to give your jaw a rest and allow any swelling to subside.
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Common questions about TMD and Jaw Problems in Bournemouth

At Castle Lane Dental Care, we can help you address issues such as temporomandibular disorder and jaw problems. We have plenty of experience dealing with patients who have long term issues. We want to help you correct any issues and free yourself from pain and discomfort for good.

Jaw Problems in BournemouthWhat causes TMD?

The temporomandibular joint is the one that moves the jaw around. This is the most complex and mobile joint in the body. We use it over and over again on a daily basis to speak, smile, eat and so on. It’s easy for it to become misaligned. This might be through repeated bad usage habits, an injury or an underlying health condition, such as arthritis.

Often, it is not possible to tell why someone has developed TMD but this does not stop us from being able to address resulting issues. Once misaligned, the jaw can begin to cause issues with the muscles, teeth, ears, neck and so on. It’s estimated that around 30% of adults have some sort of misalignment issue but only a percentage of these will experience any issues as a result.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms vary from patient to patient. They may include some or all of the following:

  • Pain in the muscles around the face and neck – this might be an aching pain or something sharper;
  • Persistent ear pain or pain in the head;
  • Stiff or locking jaw – some people think that a popping jaw is a sign of TMD but, unless it is accompanied by pain, this is probably not the case;
  • Referred pain – such as back or neck ache. These areas can tense up repeatedly in response to a misaligned jaw;
  • Sleep issues – such as snoring or sleep apnoea.

What can be done to alleviate symptoms?

When you visit Castle Lane Dental Care, we talk to you about your symptoms and try to find the best kind of treatment for you. It sometimes depends on the underlying cause. Recommendations might include medication, jaw exercises, relaxation and adjusting your food choices. We can also look at any damage or issues with your teeth as a result of TMD. This sometimes includes uneven wear on the teeth which can exacerbate jaw problems over time.

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