Bring your child to the dentist from an early age for better oral health

Children in the UK have a shockingly high amount of tooth decay. This is starting to improve but there is still a long way to go. At Amsel & Wilkins dental practice in Banbury, we believe that children should be brought into the dental practice from an early age to help combat this, and to familiarise themselves with the practice environment. We’re so keen to see young patients to help prevent decay developing that we offer free children’s dentistry up to the age of five for practice plan members.

childrens dentistryStudies have shown that children who visit the dentist from an early age are far less likely to experience dental phobia in later life. Fear of the dentist is often caused by a bad childhood experience, and our experienced dentists are keen to be seen as a friendly face by young patients. Early intervention, with treatments including fissure sealants and fluoride varnish to help strengthen teeth and combat decay, help to avoid the need for more invasive (and distressing) treatments such as extractions.

Children should start to visit the dentist as soon as their first teeth appear. By coming into the practice with their parents or siblings, they can observe and copy what they see – sitting in the chair and opening their mouth to let the dentist examine their teeth. Your dentist will make this a welcoming, positive experience for your child, and they will quickly learn that dental appointments are nothing to be frightened of.

Should your child already be suffering from tooth decay, they will be treated gently and painlessly. Treating a child from an early age also enables the dentist to spot early signs of underbites, cross bites or overbites developing. As with most things, the sooner you can start to treat it, the quicker it can be resolved.

How your dentist can help you to stop snoring

Are you a chronic snorer, or do you live with a chronic snorer? Everybody snores sometimes, with colds and flu, allergies such as hay fever and drinking too much alcohol being common culprits for occasional snoring. However, some people experience chronic snoring, which as well as causing problems for anyone who shares a room with a snorer can also be indicative of a more serious underlying health condition.

In the simplest of terms, snoring is caused by an obstruction of the airway – so, for example, a stuffy nose when you have a cold. A bad sleeping position, being overweight and being a smoker can also increase your chances of snoring.

Sometimes, however, snoring can be caused by sleep apnoea. This condition affects about 4% of the UK population and involves the airway being completely blocked during sleep, which means that the sufferer stops breathing for short periods whilst sleeping. The natural reaction of the body is to wake you up, which means you will never be able to enjoy a good night’s sleep and will feel tired and irritable in the morning, even if you don’t remember you are frequently waking up.

The first port of call for patients with suspected sleep apnoea should be a sleep clinic, to confirm your diagnosis and discuss treatment options. However, few people realise that dentists are often able to provide an effective treatment for snoring, leading to a better night’s sleep for everyone and improved general health for the sufferer.

Amsel & Wilkins dentist John Adams has a special interest in snoring treatment. If you are a moderate to heavy snorer, he can fit you with a device called a mandibular advancement appliance, which is worn in the mouth overnight and holds the lower jaw in a forward position to keep your airway open, reducing or preventing snoring.

These devices can sometimes be useful in cases of sleep apnoea, too, although you should always consult a sleep clinic first.

Would you like to straighten your teeth without unsightly metal wires?

Orthodontics, the science of moving teeth, has progressed a long way over the last few years, with patients increasingly asking for straight teeth without years of wearing metal fixed appliances featuring unsightly, sharp wires and brackets, which are difficult to clean.

There are a number of innovations, which have attempted to address these problems, including ceramic fixed appliances, lingual appliances and clear aligners, which I will consider in turn.

1. Ceramic fixed appliances

These are tooth-coloured fixed appliances where the brackets cemented to the teeth are either ceramic or composite resin. The wires are generally metal with white coatings. These are tooth-coloured but bulky, difficult to clean around, the white coating on the wires is prone to chipping and the elastics discolour every month.

2. Lingual appliances

These are metal fixed appliances placed on the inside of the teeth allowing the teeth to be aligned without the braces being visible from the outside. They work well but can irritate the tongue and can be difficult to clean.

3. Clear aligners

These are a series of nearly invisible, clear plastic shells, which fit over the teeth and gradually move the teeth in small increments. They are removed for eating and toothbrushing/flossing. There are a number of competing clear aligner systems, but the best known and most technologically advanced is Invisalign (www.invisalign.co.uk). Invisalign was first developed in the late 1990s, with a fifth generation shortly to be released. It features state-of-the-art software called Clincheck, which enables each stage of the treatment to be visualised including any tooth-coloured attachments, which are used to help control the teeth for certain movements, and any tooth re-contouring to be done. Invisalign has been used to successfully treat over 2 million cases worldwide and has recently appeared in the news with a number of celebrities such as Chris Evans (with regular mentions on his radio 2 breakfast show), Justin Bieber and Cheryl Cole wearing them. Which should I choose? All of the systems have their advantages, and are not suitable for all cases so it is worth seeking an orthodontic opinion. Factors to consider include suitability, appearance, comfort and cleansability. In some cases it may be necessary to combine several different types of braces to achieve the ideal result.

Sore, ill-fitting, loose, uncomfortable dentures?

Dentures

This can lead to loss of confidence and self esteem, especially when faced with meeting people and eating out. Do you cover your mouth when you smile to try and distract attention away from your teeth? Do you avoid letting even your loved ones know that you wear a denture.

Once teeth are lost the bone ridge that once supported the teeth keeps on changing and gradually shrinks. For some people the trauma of getting used to a new set of dentures is such that they would rather keep on with an old familiar set to the point that they no longer fit properly or provide adequate support to the lips and cheeks, making them look older than they are.

Dryness and soreness at the corners of the lips are a common problem with dentures that no longer fit. Another problem with worn dentures is a tendency for the lower jaw to push up and forwards to compensate, putting strain on the jaw joints and giving an ageing appearance.

Most denture problems are due to three main issues:

  1. The way they fit the gums. This affects the retention of the denture and the stability when chewing. It also affects the support to the cheeks by replacing the missing gums and bone that used to be around the natural teeth.
  2. The way the back teeth meet and work. If this is not balanced the dentures will become loose when biting and chewing.
  3. The position and appearance of the front teeth. As well as being a critical factor in making dentures look natural, this affects the support given to the lips and how much tooth is shown at rest and when smiling. It also affects speech directly.

So you can see that dentures have a lot to live up to and it’s not surprising that if one or more of the above is not right it will affect their comfort and appearance.

How do I make dentures that work?

I use a systematic approach called BPS ( Biofunctional Prosthetic System) devised by dental company Ivoclar Vivodent (www.Ivoclarvivadent.com). This involves two visits of taking photographs of your face and accurate records of your mouth and how your upper and lower jaw relate to each other. My BPS Accredited technician Richard Egan (www.egandentallab.co.uk) then sets up high quality teeth selected for your face and jaw type in wax.

The set up is in wax initially so that it can be assessed in your mouth to confirm that all three criteria above are met and that you are happy with the proposed appearance of the dentures before processing them into the finished product. If necessary any changes can be made while still in the wax stage and the prototype reassessed. We often make minor adjustments to individual front teeth position to recreate the look of natural teeth. It can help if you bring photographs of yourself when you had teeth to get an idea of their position shape and character.

A well made set of dentures is a major step to rebuilding confidence to smile and chew that was lost along with natural teeth. A small number of denture wearers still struggle to cope with and control lower dentures in particular. We can help here by placing two or more dental implants to secure the denture using inserts in the lower denture. We can normally carry out all the necessary implant work at the practice, please see our blog on this technique.

Would you like to have a chat about how I can help you enjoy smiling and eating again even if you are wearing dentures? Nigel at Amsel and Wilkins dental practice Banbury will be more than happy to answer your questions. Click here to contact us for an appointment.

We have our own Oral Surgeon at the practice

What is an Oral Surgeon?

An Oral Surgeon is a qualified dentist who has completed additional specialist training in Oral Surgery and is recognised as a Specialist by the General Dental Council.

What is Oral Surgery?

Oral Surgery deals with the treatment and ongoing management of irregularities and pathology of the jaw and mouth that require surgical intervention.

Does it hurt?

A local anaesthetic is used so the procedure should be pain free. For particularly anxious patients or more difficult procedures, treatment may be carried out under sedation (adults only).

How much does it cost?

Costs are determined by the complexity of the procedure. You will be informed of all costs at your consultation appointment. (£55.00)  As a guide they range from £120 – £280 but may be higher if multiple teeth or extensive work is required.

Are they any risks?

All risks and potential complications will be explained at your consultation appointment.

Bruxism – is the excessive grinding of the teeth and/or excessive clenching of the jaw

What are the causes of bruxism and clenching?

There are many factors that can lead to grinding and clenching of teeth. It can often be a combination of factors such as missing teeth, over erupted teeth, heavily filled teeth, poor bite or stress.

What damage is caused by grinding and clenching of the teeth?

The teeth are generally only in contact when eating. Grinding and clenching means that there is much more contact of the teeth for long periods which lead to increased wear, increasing likelihood of fracture of the teeth and even loosening of the teeth if gum disease is present. If you have more complex fillings, veneers, crowns, bridges and implant retained crowns and bridges. Bruxism or clenching is more likely to cause early failure of these restorations. Headaches and Migraines are also associated with bruxism due to muscle tiredness and build up of muscle toxins.

What can we do to help with bruxism and clenching?

We can make a custom made night guard made of hard plastic which fits snugly on the teeth. It can either be worn on the lower or upper jaws. The night guard protects the teeth from grinding and clenching and can help stop it so the guard can be phased out.

Snoring – What causes snoring?

Snoring is caused by a decrease in the muscle tone in the pharynx (throat) during sleep. This allows the throat wall to collapse in response to the reduced pressure in the throat when breathing in. The air flow becomes turbulent causing the sound that we recognise as snoring. This can sometimes become very loud causing disturbed sleep for partners and also embarrassment.

If you are overweight, regularly drinking alcohol, ageing, smoke or have enlarged tonsils these can all exacerbate snoring.

How many people suffer from snoring?

Snoring is very common; nearly half of all adults will snore at sometime during their sleep. 30% of adults and 60% of men over 60 years of age are habitual snorers. (Olson et al 1995)

Snoring is more common in men and post menopausal women due to the fat deposition around the upper body and neck. The prevalence of snoring in post menopausal women is similar to men. (Resta et al 2003, Orth et al 2007)

How can we help with snoring?

Dental appliances called Mandibular Repositioning Devices (MRD’s) which hold the lower jaw (mandible) in a protrusive (forward) position are very effective in reducing snoring.

The Somnowell MRD is adjustable by the patient, very robust and least bulky of the MRD’s.

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somnowell.com

A silencer is made of a strong plastic which fits snugly over the upper and lower teeth and has interchangeable carbon fibre connecting bars.

These appliances are custom made to provide the best fit, comfort and reduced snoring possible.

 

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Sleep Apnoea – What causes sleep apnoea?

Sleep apnoea is caused by the total closure of the pharyngeal (throat) wall due to the weakening of the pharyngeal wall allowing it to collapse during sleep. This can last for long periods causing reduced oxygen to the brain and body.  As the oxygen levels fall natural, protective mechanisms in the brain wake the patient up and so they start breathing again. This is call obstructive sleep apnoea. (OSA)

If you are overweight, smoking, drinking alcohol and ageing can exacerbate the problem.

How many people suffer from Obstructive sleep apnoea?

The prevalence of OSA in men is estimated to be 4% and in women 2%. As more people become overweight these figures are rising.

Can obstructive sleep apnoea be harmful?

OSA is linked with high blood pressure, strokes, heart attacks, acid reflux, diabetes and weight gain. Due to disturbed sleep, sufferers are more prone to have car accidents, not perform as well and generally feel more tired during the day.

How can we help with sleep apnoea?

Dental appliances called mandibular repositioning devices (MRDs) which hold the lower jaw (mandible) in a protrusive position are very effective in reducing effects of mild sleep apnoea.

For severe obtrusive sleep apnoea, the gold standard treatment is continuous positive airway pressue. (CPAP)

Do you struggle and suffer in silence with sore, ill-fitting, loose, uncomfortable dentures

Dentures

This can lead to loss of confidence and self esteem, especially when faced with meeting people and eating out. Do you cover your mouth when you smile to try and distract attention away from your teeth? Do you avoid letting even your loved ones know that you wear a denture.

Once teeth are lost the bone ridge that once supported the teeth keeps on changing and gradually shrinks. For some people the trauma of getting used to a new set of dentures is such that they would rather keep on with an old familiar set to the point that they no longer fit properly or provide adequate support to the lips and cheeks, making them look older than they are.

Dryness and soreness at the corners of the lips are a common problem with dentures that no longer fit. Another problem with worn dentures is a tendency for the lower jaw to push up and forwards to compensate, putting strain on the jaw joints and giving an ageing appearance.

Most denture problems are due to three main issues:

  1. The way they fit the gums. This affects the retention of the denture and the stability when chewing. It also affects the support to the cheeks by replacing the missing gums and bone that used to be around the natural teeth.
  2. The way the back teeth meet and work. If this is not balanced the dentures will become loose when biting and chewing.
  3. The position and appearance of the front teeth. As well as being a critical factor in making dentures look natural, this affects the support given to the lips and how much tooth is shown at rest and when smiling. It also affects speech directly.

So you can see that dentures have a lot to live up to and it’s not surprising that if one or more of the above is not right it will affect their comfort and appearance.

How do I make dentures that work?

I use a systematic approach called BPS ( Biofunctional Prosthetic System) devised by dental company Ivoclar Vivodent (www.Ivoclarvivadent.com). This involves two visits of taking photographs of your face and accurate records of your mouth and how your upper and lower jaw relate to each other. My BPS Accredited technician Richard Egan (www.egandentallab.co.uk) then sets up high quality teeth selected for your face and jaw type in wax.

The set up is in wax initially so that it can be assessed in your mouth to confirm that all three criteria above are met and that you are happy with the proposed appearance of the dentures before processing them into the finished product. If necessary any changes can be made while still in the wax stage and the prototype reassessed. We often make minor adjustments to individual front teeth position to recreate the look of natural teeth. It can help if you bring photographs of yourself when you had teeth to get an idea of their position shape and character.

A well made set of dentures is a major step to rebuilding confidence to smile and chew that was lost along with natural teeth. A small number of denture wearers still struggle to cope with and control lower dentures in particular. We can help here by placing two or more dental implants to secure the denture using inserts in the lower denture. We can normally carry out all the necessary implant work at the practice, please see our blog on this technique.

Would you like to have a chat about how I can help you enjoy smiling and eating again even if you are wearing dentures? Click here to contact us for an appointment.

Guarantee

If you are not satisfied that your BPS dentures are the best set that you have ever had I will refund the cost of making them in return for them back