Dental implants – the ideal solution to tooth loss?

Dental implants are one of the most exciting and progressive developments of the past three decades in the world of dentistry. At Amsel & Wilkins in Banbury, our skilled implantology team have carried out scores of restorations using dental implants, and can use them to replace anything from one to all of your natural teeth.

dental-implants-OxfordshireSome people describe dental implants as replacement teeth, but it’s more accurate to call them replacement tooth roots. They are small titanium screws that are placed in direct contact with your jaw bone during a minor operation, which most people only require local anaesthetic for. As soon as your implants are in position, a process called osseointegration begins. This sees your implants form a strong bond with your bone, helping to prevent the jaw bone from shrinking.

It is a shrinking jaw bone that is responsible for many of the problems associated with traditional dentures – loose-fitting teeth that can affect your ability to eat and speak, as well as damaging your confidence.

By choosing dental implants to replace your missing teeth, you can avoid all of these problems. Implants can be used to stabilise your dentures. Alternatively, your dentist can fix a full-arch dental bridge to your implants, which is usually the most stable option.

An implant-retained dental bridge can also be used to replace a few or several natural teeth. If you have lost one tooth then a single implant combined with a dental crown will be used.

Whatever type of tooth restoration you require, your dentist will ensure that your new teeth look incredibly natural. Furthermore, they will act just like natural teeth too, with the implants providing a strength that is akin to that of natural tooth roots.

By choosing dental implants you will be able to eat whatever you like, to speak with clarity and confidence, and to get on with enjoying life with no danger of slipping teeth getting in the way.

As long as you visit your dentist and hygienist regularly and practise prudent hygiene at home, your dental implants and new teeth will last for many years.

How dental implants trump dentures for replacing all your missing teeth

Dental implants are a long-term, natural-acting solution to tooth loss. They are the only permanent method by which a dentist can replace your missing teeth, and as long as you look after them properly, they could last a lifetime.

dental-implants-OxfordshireFor centuries, dentures were the only option available to people who had lost all of their natural teeth. The problem with traditional dentures is that they often become loose and unwieldy over time, which causes complications with eating, speaking, self-image and with confidence. We all know someone whose dentures have slipped out in public, and whilst they may have borne this with good humour on the outside, inside they may feel mortified.

Dental implants can solve these problems. They work by replacing the root parts of lost teeth – indeed, they are the only way to do this – and actively prevent the problem of bone loss, which is the reason behind common denture issues.

Implants are titanium screws or posts that are put in direct contact with the jaw bone in a small operation. Titanium is very compatible with the human body and actively supports bone growth. After a healing period (typically between three and six months) they will be fully integrated with your jaw bone, providing anchorage for your dentures that is similar to that of a natural root.

Amsel & Wilkins Banbury dental practice offers denture stabilisation with dental implants. This involves the placement of a series of implants (usually between four and six per jaw) on to which your dentures can then be attached.

Most people only require local anaesthetic for implant placement, and it is usually possible for you to keep wearing your dentures during healing, although your dentist will need to adjust them. Once the healing and integration process is complete, your dentist will see you again to attach your dentures to abutments on top of your implants.

You will still be able to remove your dentures to clean them as normal, but otherwise they will stay firmly in your mouth. This means you will be able to eat what you like, to speak and smile with confidence, with no fear of loose teeth getting in your way.

General dentistry: when to call the emergency dentist

If you need an emergency dentist in Banbury, contact Amsel & Wilkins now on 01295 230899. Whenever possible we will see emergency cases on the same day, so you should call the practice as early as possible to maximise your chances of being seen that day. However, we are also aware that dental emergencies don’t operate on a nine-to-five schedule, so we have an emergency dentist on call every day. We will whenever possible treat all emergency patients within 24 hours.

emergency-dentistWhat constitutes a dental emergency, and what your dentist may do

Numerous things can be classed as a dental emergency, from lost or broken teeth to sudden and unexplained toothache. Below are some common dental emergencies, and what your Banbury dentist may do to rectify the situation. . .

Severe toothache (with or without swelling)

Dental pain can be severe, and can come on suddenly or can be a nagging pain that slowly gets worse. Pain is the body’s way of indicating something isn’t right, and should never be ignored. Even a mild toothache should bring you to the dental practice for a general dentistry check-up.

When pain is severe and cannot be managed with over-the-counter pain medication, you need to see an emergency dentist. At our Banbury clinic we will never leave a patient in pain. You may need to come back for further treatment (such as root canal therapy) to fully fix the problem, but we will make sure we get you out of pain in the short term.

Broken teeth

Injuries to the head and face can result in broken teeth. Even small chips and cracks need to be seen by a dentist as soon as possible, because they are enough to allow bacteria to enter your tooth, which can cause serious complications.

Depending on the nature and extent of the damage, and the location of the affected tooth, your dentist may be able to fix the damage with composite bonding (white filling material), a filling, crown, onlay, inlay, or veneer.

Tooth knocked out

Your dentist may be able to reimplant the tooth in the socket. If you still have the tooth, ensure you only touch the crown (visible part) and keep it in a clean container covered either in your own saliva or milk until you can see the dentist. You may use clean, running water to rinse off surface dirt, but to not store the tooth in water.

The importance of general dentistry for all the family

General dentistry is important to every member of the family, at all stages of life. From young toddlers whose first teeth are starting to appear to elderly grandparents who wear dentures, it is essential to visit the dentist on a regular basis.

general-dentistryAt Amsel & Wilkins dental practice in Banbury, we provide general dental care to patients of all ages. We welcome new patients for general dentistry consultations, whatever your concern and whatever the current condition of your oral health.

The focus is firmly on preventative dentistry at our Banbury dental practice, which means ideally stopping problems before they start – and treating them promptly if anything does occur.

Various age groups can have specific dental needs, so our general dentistry will be tailored to suit your individual requirements.


We believe children should visit the dentist from a young age, ideally soon after their teeth start to erupt. This is beneficial for several reasons. First, early visits to the practice (perhaps with a parent or sibling) help to acclimatise your child to the environment, and learn to see the dentist as a friendly face. This can help to prevent dental phobia in later life, and encourage long-term good oral health.

Secondly, it is essential in the battle against tooth decay. Fissure sealants and fluoride varnish will strengthen and protect your children’s teeth, whilst hygiene advice can be provided in a fun, engaging, age-appropriate manner. Thirdly, your dentist will be able to spot early warning signs of orthodontic issues such as crossbite, alleviating the need for more extensive treatment at a later stage.


We welcome teenagers for orthodontic treatment, and offer a number of subtle methods of teeth straightening, which can be hugely beneficial during the self-conscious teenage years.

Pregnant women

Some pregnant women are more prone to developing gum disease because of increased levels of the hormone progesterone. Acid erosion can also be caused by morning sickness, leading to sensitive teeth. Your dentist can help you to manage these conditions.

Older people

For older patients in need of tooth replacement, we offer a wide selection of treatments including bridges, dentures, and dental implants.

Study Finds Link between Gum Disease Bacteria and Oral Lesions

Gum disease is caused by a build-up of bacteria in the mouth infecting and inflaming the gum tissue. It is a huge problem as many people will develop this condition, and if not treated promptly it can lead to tooth loss. Losing teeth is serious, but now scientists have discovered an even more worrying connection between the bacteria that cause gum disease and the growth of oral cancers.

gum diseaseThe study was carried out at Case Western Reserve University and researchers found that by-products from two bacteria commonly found in gum disease can incite the growth of a certain type of pre-cancerous lesion in the mouth. Kaposi’s sarcoma first appears as lesions on surfaces in the mouth, and if these lesions are not removed they can go on to develop into malignant tumours. It’s been found that people with advanced gum disease or periodontal disease have high levels of these bacteria in their saliva, but people with good oral health have much lower levels.

This latest finding could eventually mean that people will have their saliva tested for these bacteria, and that if they are found then these people could be treated and monitored for any signs of tumours. People who could be more at risk are those with compromised immune systems, particularly people with HIV, or those who are on medications following organ transplants, as well as the elderly and cancer patients who have undergone chemotherapy.

Oral Cancer Screenings at Amsel & Wilkins Can Pick up Early Signs

This is just the latest study to link poor oral health to a potentially life-threatening condition, and is yet another reason why it’s so important to practice good dental care. Oral cancer screenings are part of your regular dental checkup at Amsel & Wilkins, and Dr John Adams and all of our dentists in Oxfordshire would always encourage patients to get in touch if they are worried about any lesions in their mouth. Although these lesions are unlikely to be oral cancer, it’s always worth checking so any suspicious areas of skin can be quickly removed and appropriate treatment provided.

Regular dental check-ups are important as the condition of your gums will be thoroughly assessed through measuring the depth of any pockets that might be developing around your teeth. Pockets are caused by the gum tissue pulling away from the teeth, and this allows plaque bacteria to colonise the pockets, increasing the level of infection. Healthy gums fit tightly around the teeth so the bacteria cannot get into the gum tissue. If you have noticed any bleeding while brushing or flossing then now is the time to speak up as this is a sign that something is slightly wrong. At this early stage gum disease is often extremely easy to treat, and with proper care your gums could return to health within just a few short weeks.

Regular Hygiene Appointments Help Keep Gums Strong and Healthy

Oral cancer screenings are very important, but it’s just as vital to keep up with hygiene appointments. Making sure the teeth remain free from tartar will help to keep the gums strong and healthy, decreasing the chances of periodontal disease developing. The hygienists at Amsel & Wilkins are an important part of the dental team and work closely with the dentists to help ensure your oral health is as good as possible.

Choosing a More Natural Looking Smile

Cosmetic dentistry in Oxfordshire has become increasingly popular over the past ten years or so, and you probably already know at least a few people who have had some work done. This might have been in the form of teeth whitening, dental veneers or perhaps adult orthodontics. Some results will probably have looked better than others, and the winners are likely to be those whose teeth still looked reasonably natural and who haven’t chosen straight white, bright teeth that are obviously not their own. Even though people want a perfect smile, more are choosing to opt for a natural look and are using cosmetic dentistry to improve on nature while still retaining some individuality in their smile.

cosmetic dentistry oxfordshireYou’ll find all the dentists at Amsel & Wilkins are very interested in cosmetic dentistry and put a great deal of time and effort into planning a smile transformation. The most beautiful smile isn’t necessarily the most perfect, but is designed to take into account facial features, skin tone and hair colour. If you have a wonky front tooth that you particularly hate then you’ll probably be pleased to have it straightened out through cosmetic dental treatments, but other features can be more desirable.

Some Minor Imperfections can be Highly Desirable

Having a gap (called a diastema) in between your front teeth can often be quite desirable, and is a feature you will see in many celebrity smiles. Of course if you hate it you can choose to have it closed up or perhaps narrowed slightly. But these are features that are worth bearing in mind when considering a smile makeover. You might love the ultra-white and ultra-straight toothed smile of your favourite film star, but it might look slightly out of place in the average high street.

It’s far better and far more achievable to improve on the smile you already have through making minor modifications such as adult orthodontics or cosmetic braces, or perhaps a few well-placed veneers and tooth whitening.

Contact Us If You’d like a Naturally Beautiful Smile

The best thing to do if you’re interested in improving your smile is to contact Amsel & Wilkins to make an appointment with Dr John Adams or with another of our dentists in Oxfordshire. They all have a lot of experience in creating beautiful smiles, and can listen to your aspirations before suggesting the most suitable treatment plan. If you have a certain budget in mind then you can discuss this with them, and they will be able to tell you how much can reasonably be achieved. The great thing about opting for a more natural looking smile is that it can be a bit cheaper to get, as you are less likely to require a whole mouthful of veneers.

If you’re thinking about improving your smile in time for a big event, or perhaps for a special holiday, then please contact us well in advance. Some treatments can take a little longer than others, and your treatment plan will include the time needed to complete your smile makeover.

General dentistry explored: root canal treatment

General dentistry is essential to not just your oral health, but to your overall health too, as numerous studies have shown links between conditions such as gum disease and general health problems including heart disease and gum disease.

root-canal-treatmentAt Amsel and Wilkins dental practice in Banbury, our focus is on preventative dentistry – stopping problems before they start. However, if you do have a general dental issue that needs treating, we will provide you with prompt, professional and pain-free dentistry designed to treat you condition and improve your oral health to avoid the problem arising again.

Root canal treatment is one of those procedures that can make even the bravest patient a little nervous. However, it is nothing to be afraid of. It is one of the most common procedures in general dentistry, and is essential to saving an infected tooth.

Teeth can become infected through decay or through small chips and cracks caused by accidents and injuries. For that reason, even if you only have a tiny crack or chip in your tooth, you should visit your dentist as a matter of urgency to repair the crack and prevent infection.

If the pulp or nerve at the centre of your tooth does become infected, we will use root canal treatment to remove all traces of infection. Also known as endodontics, root canal treatment involves the use of special equipment to cleanse the root canals of your tooth of all infection. Your tooth will then be filled and a crown may be added to provide additional strength.

All of the dentists at our Banbury practice are fully qualified and experienced in providing root canal treatment. Dentist Nigel Braine-Hartnell has a special interest in endodontics and uses a special operating microscope to see better within your tooth during treatment. He can treat more complex cases here in the comfort of our modern dental practice.

General dentistry: dental care for pregnant women

Pregnancy is an exciting time, and you are likely to be busy getting everything ready for your new arrival. With so many things to think about, it can be easy to forget about your dental health. However, thanks to the hormonal changes pregnancy causes in the body, some women experience unexpected oral health problems. These are nothing to worry about, but you should make sure that you visit your dentist regularly for help in managing any conditions that may arise.

Amsel and Wilkins dental practice in Banbury welcomes women for general dental appointments at any stage of pregnancy. As with any health issue, it’s always better to act sooner rather than later, so if you experience any dental health issues please come in to see us.

pregnant-womenA lot of women notice problems with their gums during pregnancy. Pregnancy gingivitis (gum disease) is a recognised condition, which is caused by increased levels of the hormone progesterone in the body during pregnancy. Levels of this hormone can be ten times higher than normal when you are pregnant, and it affects the body’s response to toxins – including those caused by plaque build-up. This can start as soon as the second month of pregnancy, and symptoms include gums that are swollen, red, and which sometimes bleed when you brush your teeth. If you notice this, come in to our Banbury dental practice for a check-up. We can help you to manage the condition, as well as providing reassurance that it is nothing to worry about.

If you experience severe morning sickness, your teeth may be susceptible to acid erosion. The enamel is worn away from the surfaces of your teeth thanks to constant exposure to acid. Symptoms can include increased sensitivity.

Some women also experience pregnancy granuloma, which are red nodules that grow on the gums. They are not dangerous but can cause discomfort. If you notice this or anything else unusual during pregnancy, do please come in for a check-up.

Straighter teeth without everybody knowing

Ask many adults what their number one wish for their smile is and they reply that they would like straighter teeth. However, many are put off seeking treatment because when they hear the word “orthodontics” the picture that instantly springs to mind is metal bracket and wire braces.

invisalignAt Amsel & Wilkins dental practice we understand these concerns. Braces are an excellent way to straighten teeth and afford your orthodontist maximum control over the movement of your teeth. However, wearing metal braces for a considerable time (sometimes up to 24 months) is not always compatible with busy personal and professional lives. Fortunately, there is another solution.

Invisalign is a revolutionary teeth straightening system that uses a series of clear aligners to gently move your teeth into a new position. The system can be used to correct a wide range of orthodontic problems and, because the aligners are clear and are custom-made to fit your teeth precisely, the world doesn’t need to know you are having treatment.

Each set of aligners is carefully crafted to fit your teeth perfectly. You change your aligner approximately every two weeks as your teeth begin to move, and you will need to wear a retainer at the end of treatment to ensure your teeth stay in their new position.

Invisalign is supported by state-of-the-art 3D imaging software, which enables your dentist to show you what results you can expect before you start treatment. In addition to being clear, Invisalign also comes with the added benefit of being removable. You should of course wear your aligners most of the time to ensure your treatment progresses as planned, but you can take the aligners out to eat and drink, to clean and to brush your teeth, eliminating the oral hygiene problems some patients who wear braces experience.

Replace one, several or all your missing teeth with dental implants

If you have lost one or more of your natural teeth, you may be self-conscious about smiling. You may have heard of dental implants but wonder if they are suitable for you, and if they are really worth the effort and money.

dental implantsAt Amsel & Wilkins dental practice, we believe that dental implants are an excellent option for replacing missing teeth. Implants are not just an investment in your smile, they are an investment in your overall health.

People who have lost one or more teeth may be acutely aware of the social embarrassment it can cause, but may be unaware of the impact missing teeth can have on your general health. Remaining teeth often become crooked as they try to move into any gaps, making them more difficult to clean thus more prone to decay. You may also find that your diet is restricted to soft foods, with many favourite treats and healthy options off the menu. This can have a negative effect on your general health and wellbeing.

How dental implants work

Dental implants are replacements for the root portion of a natural tooth. Our teeth comprise two parts: the crowns we can see and the roots beneath. New crowns, dentures or bridges are attached to the top of your implants using special fixings.

Implants are made of titanium, which is highly compatible with the human body. They are precisely placed in your jaw bone, where they integrate with the bone and help to prevent the common problem of bone loss. In some cases your new teeth will be attached at the same time as your implants, while in other instances a healing period of a few months is needed first.

Dental implants are the only permanent way to replace your missing teeth, and the resulting restorations will look and act just like natural teeth – restoring not just your confidence in your smile, but your ability to eat a full, healthy diet, too. With proper care and regular visits to the dentist and hygienist, your implants may last you a lifetime.