Not just the bells and whistles

Over the past 20 years or so, dentists have been able to expand their range of services. These days, most people expect to be able to go to their dentist and get great veneers, teeth whitening, dental implants, cosmetic braces, as well as advice on stopping smoking and even treatments to rejuvenate their faces.

General Dentistry in BournemouthMost dentists have such a long list of treatments on offer that it can be easy to forget what lies at the foundation of every good dental practice: solid general dentistry.

This is the dentistry that takes care of your teeth after you have had your check-up. It’s not the bells and whistles of cosmetic dentistry, it’s the stuff you need to know is available even if you never need it. Things like root canal treatments and extractions. We all hope we never have to have either, but if we do then we want to be able to get them from the dentist we already know and trust.

Root canal therapy

This is a treatment for saving teeth that have become infected. You will know if you have a tooth infection because you will develop a rip-roaring toothache. Leave it long enough and it will take over your entire head. You will probably also develop an abscess at the base of the tooth, where the pus from the infection drains into.

If you think you have a tooth infection, you need to come in to Castle Lane Dental Care in Bournemouth as soon as you can. You can even call for an emergency dental appointment if you are in a lot of pain. Don’t leave it, because the infection can travel down into your jawbone and that can be very nasty.

We use root canal therapy to treat infected teeth. We clean away the infection, and remove all the pulp from inside the tooth roots. Then we use filling material to fill the roots and put a crown over the tooth. This means you get to keep your teeth. If you lose your tooth, you will then have a gap that will need to be filled with a false tooth to stop the surrounding teeth from wandering, falling into the gap and falling out.

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The backbone of every great dental clinic

When you think about dentistry these days, do you imagine cosmetic braces and teeth whitening, dental implants and veneers? These are the modern side of dentistry that people use to make their smiles look amazing. But behind every person with a great set of veneers or beautiful white teeth should be a clinic that also offer good solid general dentistry.

General Dentistry in BournemouthIn Bournemouth, at Castle Lane Dental Care, we believe that a dental clinic in the 21st century needs to be just as hot on its general dentistry as it does on the latest great ways to make teeth look beautiful.

For unless you have the back-up of great general dentistry, when the chips are down, it won’t matter how good your teeth look. So what exactly is general dentistry? At Castle Lane Dental Care, we class it as the treatments that keep your teeth going after damage or disease.

General dentistry is the basics of tried and trusted treatments such as root canal therapy, emergency dental care, dentistry for pregnant women and extractions and oral surgery. Things you want to know your dentist can offer, even if you never need them.

Pregnant women

If you are pregnant, it’s a good idea to have more frequent check-ups. This is because you have elevated levels of progesterone in your mouth and this increases the levels of plaque. More plaque means more chance of decay, but also gum disease. In fact, gum disease in pregnant women even has its own name: pregnancy gingivitis. We can keep an eye on your teeth and get them cleaned more often so that at the end of your pregnancy, you still have great teeth as well as a great new family member.

Also, please let us know that you are pregnant when you book an appointment so that we can take extra care of you. We advise that you leave elective treatments, such as dental implants, until after you have had your baby. But other treatments, including having a local anaesthetic, are fine during the middle weeks of your pregnancy.

If you’d like to find out more about dentistry during pregnancy, do feel free to call us and we can have a chat with you.

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Mid-winter whitening

In the depths of a cold, dark British winter, every little bit of extra sparkle is gratefully received. With more than 12 hours of darkness until the end of March, whiteness stands out even more, so it’s the perfect time to add your extra bit of gleam to the world with teeth whitening.

Teeth Whitening in BournemouthTeeth lose their gleam because traces of pigment from various foods, such as those with tomato sauces, and drinks, such as red wine and black tea, get trapped in the pores of the enamel. Brushing won’t get rid of them. But whitening gel uses its active ingredient, hydrogen peroxide, to gently lift them out.

Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic treatments here at Castle Lane Dental Care in Bournemouth. It’s quick, it’s easy and you don’t need to undergo any change to the structure of your teeth to have it.

Don’t go off the shelf

It can be tempting to get a whitening kit from a shop or the internet, but these products are not allowed to contain as much whitening agent as one from your dentist. Also, the whitening trays have not been made to fit your teeth, so there is more chance of the gel spilling over into your mouth.

Before you start

You want to get maximum contact between the gel and your teeth, so it’s a good idea to have them deep cleaned by the hygienist to remove any build-up of plaque that would get in the way.

Get a bespoke kit from us

We take impressions of your teeth and use these to make gel trays that will fit you perfectly. You take them home along with our whitening gel. Put some gel into the trays and put them over your teeth. Wear the trays for a short period every day. Depending on how stained your teeth are to begin with, it will take about 2 weeks to reach your desired shade of white.

Whitening is not permanent, but you can always buy more gel from us when you want top up your treatment. This will probably be every several months.

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A white Christmas

How white are your teeth? If they are looking dull and discoloured, how about asking for teeth whitening for Christmas?

At Castle Lane Dental Care, we offer a teeth whitening system that you can use again and again so that you never have to suffer from discoloured teeth again.

Teeth Whitening in BournemouthWhy do teeth become discoloured?

It may look like tooth enamel is a solid covering for the teeth, but it is, in fact, porous. When you eat highly pigmented foods, such as rich red tomato sauces, or you drink tea, coffee or red wine, traces of the pigments get trapped in the pores of your tooth enamel. Brushing won’t entirely get rid of them and over time, they build up and obscure the natural, white gleam of your teeth.

How does teeth whitening work?

Teeth whiteners are gels containing hydrogen peroxide, a safe whitener that has been around for centuries. It gets into the pores of your tooth enamel and lifts out the traces of pigment. The gels hold the hydrogen peroxide against the teeth while it does its work.

Why use the dentist for teeth whitening

Hydrogen peroxide whitening gels come in different strengths. The ones you can get from the dentist are stronger and more effective than any you can buy over the counter. Also, we provide you with custom-made gel trays that have been made from impressions of your teeth. This means that the gel maintains maximum contact with your teeth and also means that it won’t spill over onto the soft parts of your mouth.

Getting your whitening kit

You need to come in so that we can take impressions from which to make your gel trays, and then come back to pick up your whitening kit.

Use the gel for a short period every day and over the next 2-3 weeks, your teeth will gradually become whiter, until they reach your desired shade.

Do it again and again

Whitening is not a permanent treatment and it fades over time. But with your own gel trays, you can buy more gel and top up your treatment whenever you feel you need it.

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Why veneers are so popular

Ever since our prehistoric ancestors used their smiles as a way to communicate before they were able to use spoken words, the state of our teeth has been crucial to our social lives.

When we meet someone for the first time, even fleetingly, we check out whether or not they smile. Evolution taught us to interpret a lack of smile as a sign of unfriendliness and therefore, also, possible danger. Conversely, a big beaming smile from someone we don’t know evokes in us a feeling of happiness and a desire to be friendly and helpful to the smiler.

Veneers in BournemouthAlong with this, the smile is also how we check out how close we want to get to someone. We look at their teeth and maybe their tongue, if we can see it, to see how healthy they are. Bad teeth used to be an indicator of disease and we are still hardwired to shy away from someone whose teeth aren’t so great. Of course, there are very few people with truly awful teeth these days because modern dentistry is so much better and also easy to access. But what this means is that our standards of discernment are higher than ever before and teeth that used to be seen as fine (see 1970s movie star teeth) are way below par in the 2010s. Even a tiny bit of damage is no longer ok for many people and can cause them a great deal of embarrassment.

Much of this is due to the advent of veneers, tiny sheaths of porcelain that are glued over the front of damaged or imperfect teeth to make them look fabulous. Invented by a dentist for the movies in the 1920s, veneers came into their own a few decades later when dental porcelains and adhesives improved.

Now, anyone can get veneers, but it’s still important to find a dentist who knows how to make and fit them so that they look natural. In Bournemouth, here at Castle Lane Dental Care, we have a strong track record with veneers. Why not come in and see what we can do for you?

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The big cover story for teeth

All those beautiful, perfect smiles showing flawless teeth, do you think that their owners were born that way? Then think again. Even if people start off with undamaged teeth, just being alive and eating can cause damage. Bits get broken off when a stone shows up in your food. Other bits get chipped away in accidents and sports. Sometimes, medications and other life factors can turn teeth a funny colour that can’t be fixed with whitening. Sometimes, people have the odd twisted or set back tooth, or teeth that are somehow just too small with lots of gaps between them.

Veneers in BournemouthDo you know what all these toothy problems have in common? They are all rendered invisible by covering them up with veneers. In Bournemouth, lots of those perfect teeth you envy aren’t teeth at all, but porcelain sheaths that have been cemented onto the fronts of imperfect teeth, a bit like how we cover up dodgy nails with extensions.

Veneers: how they work

It takes 2 appointments for us at Castle Lane Dental Care to fit you with veneers. During the first appointment, we prepare your teeth by removing a very thin layer of enamel. This is for 2 reasons. Firstly, we need to create a rough surface for the dental cement to adhere to. Secondly, we need to make sure that the veneered teeth lie flush with the rest of your teeth. Do an internet search for bad veneer pictures and you will see why this is so important.

Once we have got your teeth ready, we choose the right colour porcelain to match your natural teeth and make impressions. Everything goes off to a lab where a technician makes your veneers. This takes a couple of weeks. Then you come back and we fix them onto your teeth. It’s as easy as that.

You can have just one veneer, or a whole set, transforming your entire smile with what we call a smile makeover.

A word on whitening

If you want whiter teeth as well as veneers, you need to get the whitening done first. Dental porcelain cannot be bleached, so your veneers need to be matched to your whitened teeth, not your stained teeth.

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Ow! Sensitive teeth!

If you get sharp, shooting pains in your teeth every now and then, especially when you eat or drink anything hot or cold, then you’ve got sensitive teeth in Bournemouth. What can you do about sensitive teeth? Well, it depends what is causing the pain, so the first thing to do is get yourself to us at Castle Lane Dental Care and we can find out what is causing your sensitivity.

Sensitive Teeth in BournemouthThe cause of sensitive teeth

Sensitive teeth mean that somehow the nerves in your teeth are nearer to the surface than they should be, and they are being affected by sudden changes in temperature.

Sensitivity is often caused by the enamel, the hard outer shell, of your teeth becoming thin. Brushing with too hard a brush can wear it away, as can using abrasive toothpastes. But it could be because your gums are receding and exposing the roots of your teeth, which have no enamel on them but rely on the gums for protection.

It could also be that you have sustained some other damage to your teeth, a crack or a chip that goes through the enamel to the dentine below.

Or maybe you have recently had your teeth whitened and this has left your teeth feeling more sensitive.

Whatever the cause, it can be very annoying if you have to give up your favourite hot coffee or cold ice creams. Sensitive teeth may also be indicative of a more serious problem, so it’s very important that you come to us so that we can find out what is going on and finding a way to deal with it.

Gums

Dentists can rebuild lost gums these days, with gum grafts where we take gum tissue from somewhere else in your mouth where it is more plentiful and use it cover over the exposed roots.

With damage, we can cover it over with veneers to preserve the tooth and protect the exposed nerve.

If whitening is the cause, you can use a high-fluoride product to help remineralise your teeth and a toothpaste containing potassium nitrate to soothe your nerve endings.

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Wondering about your sensitive teeth?

If you have sensitive teeth, you’ll be having problems eating or drinking things that are hot or cold. As winter turns up, you may find being out in the cold wind can hurt too. But what is causing your sensitive teeth in Bournemouth and is there anything you can ask us at Castle Lane Dental Care to do for you?

Let’s take a look at some causes of sensitive teeth.

Sensitive Teeth in BournemouthGum trouble

As we age, and/or if we have gum disease, the gums start to recede, exposing the roots of the teeth. Roots don’t have protective enamel on them, so the nerves are much nearer the surface and are more likely to react to hot and cold.

If you think this is the cause of your sensitive teeth, come and see us.

Loss of enamel

The enamel on your teeth can wear thin, bringing the nerves nearer to the surface of your teeth, where they can react to temperature changes more easily.

What can cause this loss of enamel? It could be one or some of the following:

  • A toothbrush that is too hard, eroding the enamel away
  • Using toothpastes that erode the enamel
  • Using too much mouthwash
  • Grinding your teeth at night
  • Drinking too many acidic drinks
  • Eating disorders, such as bulimia.

Basically, enamel is eroded by acids dissolving it or friction wearing it away. Once we have worked out what is causing it, we can take steps to reduce the erosion. For example, we can fit you with a mouthguard to stop you grinding your teeth at night, or change your toothbrush or toothpaste to something gentler. If you are a big fan of acidic drinks, you can learn to swill your mouth out with water after consumption.

Problems with your teeth

You may find that your sensitivity is happening because you have a cracked tooth, or tooth decay. We can take a look and then find a way to fix the problem. Veneers are a very good way to protect cracked teeth, and decay can be removed and a filling then put in to protect your tooth.

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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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