Why your dentist will recommend root canal treatment

When a dentist utters the words “root canal treatment” even the bravest of patients may feel a twinge of fear. At Harley Street Dental Clinic we are keen to point out that, thanks to modern dental techniques, root canal treatment is nothing to be afraid of. On the contrary, it can in fact be essential to saving a tooth.

root-canal-treatmentAt Harley Street Dental Clinic our root canal work is carried out by Dr Nectaria Polycarpou, a specialist endodontist who can treat even the most complex of cases. She is known for her warm, kind-hearted and compassionate nature, and can reassure patients who are anxious about treatment.

Endodontics is the specialist area of dentistry that deals with root canal therapies. Your dentist will prescribe root canal treatment when a tooth becomes infected. Untreated tooth infection can quickly become unbearably painful, and if you continue to ignore it can result in you losing your tooth. Your dentist will work hard to prevent that from happening.

Teeth become infected for a number of reasons. Visiting your dentist regularly should help to prevent tooth decay, but it does still happen and if it is not addressed promptly it can allow bacteria to enter the pulp or nerve at the centre of your tooth.

Injury to the teeth can also result in infection. Even a tiny chip or crack can be enough to let bacteria in, which is one of the reasons you should call an emergency dentist as soon as possible after an injury occurs.

Harley Street endodontics

When you come to our Harley Street clinic for endodontic treatment, Dr Polycarpou will numb your tooth with local anaesthetic before using a range of specialist instruments to cleanse the root canal(s) of all traces of infection. If you are scared of the dentist, sedation is also an option.

Root canal treatment usually requires at least two visits to our Harley Street clinic, so your dentist can be sure that the infection has fully cleared before permanently filling the tooth. We will usually place a crown on root treated teeth to give them additional strength and restore their appearance.

How your dentist can replace lost teeth and restore your smile

Ask any dentist and they will always stress the importance of replacing any teeth you lose as quickly as possible. Harley Street Dental Clinic offers a number of solutions to tooth loss. Whatever your requirements, your dentist will work closely with you to provide the perfect treatment to suit your needs, restoring both health to your mouth and happiness to your smile.

restore-lost-teethMissing teeth cause all manner of problems. When just one is lost, more strain is instantly put on those that remain, because they have more work to do. Remaining teeth also have a tendency to shift out of position into any gaps, becoming crooked, twisted, and harder to clean in the process. This can increase your chances of developing gum disease, tooth decay, and ultimately of further tooth loss.

When several teeth are missing the impact on your daily life can be severe. Your diet may be affected, as may your speech. The impact on your self-confidence can be devastating. By visiting a dentist at Harley Street Dental Clinic, you will soon be en route to restoring healthy function to your jaw, helping to alleviate all of these problems.

What your Harley Street dentist can do

When you come into our Harley Street clinic for a tooth replacement consultation, your dentist will undertake a thorough clinical examination and will check the general condition of your dental health, as well as listening to any preferences you may have about your treatment.

Harley Street Dental Clinic benefits from a unique team of dental professionals and specialists, many of whom are leaders in their chosen areas, who will work together to find the perfect solution to your tooth loss.

Among the options we offer are:

Bridges

Dental bridges usually comprise a precious metal base with porcelain teeth on top. Standard bridges are supported by crowns or wings on adjacent teeth to replace one or two teeth, whilst bridges retained by dental implants can be used to replace several teeth in one jaw.

Dentures

Modern dentures are very comfortable and realistic. We offer denture stabilisation using dental implants at our Harley Street clinic.

The benefits of visiting an orthodontist as an adult

You are never too old to benefit from treatment by an orthodontist – that’s the motto of the orthodontic team at Harley Street Dental Clinic, where we have three in-house orthodontists who welcome new patients of all ages.

orthodontist-harley-streetOrthodontics is the dental specialism that deals with the alignment of the teeth, and with how the jaws meet each other. If you believe that metal train-track braces are the only route to straighter teeth, it’s time to think again. At Harley Street Dental Clinic your orthodontist can offer a wide range of subtler methods of improving tooth alignment.

What a Harley Street orthodontist can do

When you come into Harley Street Dental Clinic for an orthodontic consultation, your orthodontist will examine you and listen to any preferences you may have for treatment, before talking you through the pros and cons of all the relevant options.

Treatment may involve the use of a fixed appliance – a brace – or a removable appliance – an aligner. All of the systems available at our Harley Street dental centre are specifically suited to a variety of situations, and your orthodontist will help you to make an educated choice about which will suit you best.

Hidden benefits

Whilst many adults come to see a Harley Street orthodontist concerned about the way that their teeth look, it should not be forgotten that there are always more than just aesthetic benefits to be gained from straightening your teeth, even in cases where fast-acting cosmetic braces are used.

Straighter teeth are easier to keep clean. With fewer awkward to clean gaps in which food particles can gather and plaque can amass, straightening your teeth can cut your risk of gum disease and tooth decay – so long as you visit your dentist and hygienist regularly, of course, and practise prudent dental hygiene at home.

Issues with your bite can cause excessive wear and tear on certain teeth, and can even make it difficult to eat a healthy diet. Protruding front teeth are also at a greater risk of accidental damage. An orthodontist can provide subtle treatment to help with all of these issues.

Ways your dentist can help you fight gum disease

Regular visits to both your dentist and hygienist are essential in the battle against gum disease. At Harley Street Dental Clinic we offer full dental hygiene services, and also have a specialist periodontist – a dentist who has undergone additional training to specialise in the treatment of gum conditions.

gum-diseaseDespite improvements in dental hygiene, with more people than ever before regularly visiting their dentist than ever before, gum disease is still a big problem. It is one of the leading causes of tooth loss among UK adults, and at Harley Street Dental Clinic we think this is sad because the condition is entirely preventable.

There are two forms of gum disease; the early form is known as gingivitis, and most people will experience it in some form or another at some point in your life. Certain groups – such as pregnant women – are more susceptible to gingivitis. At our Harley Street clinic we offer special care for patients who are pregnant to minimise the risk of this condition arising and treating it appropriately if it does.

The more serious form of gum disease is called periodontitis, or periodontal disease. It is this advanced condition that leads to tooth loss, so prompt intervention from your dentist is essential. At Harley Street Dental Clinic our specialist periodontist, Dr Pedja Pavlovic, can treat complex and advanced gum disease cases. He is highly respected in his field, and lectures in Periodontology at the Royal London Hospital.

In its early stages, gum disease may have few noticeable symptoms. Your dentist can spot signs of the condition before you even suspect there is a problem, whilst your hygienist can remove the cause of gum disease – dental plaque – with a professional scale and polish.

  • Symptoms you may experience at home include:
  • Bleeding gums when you brush your teeth
  • Red, swollen gums (with or without pain)
  • Bad breath

Should you notice any of these early warning signs, or anything else suspicious, you should book an appointment with a dentist at Harley Street Dental Clinic as soon as possible. Caught early, gum disease is easily treatable and manageable.

A cosmetic dentist is an essential part of your teeth whitening journey

Consulting a cosmetic dentist is essential if you want whiter teeth. Harley Street Dental Clinic offers a number of ways to brighten up your smile, whether your tooth stains are temporary or permanent. These include teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, and replacing metal fillings or crowns with tooth-coloured alternatives.

cosmetic-dentist-harley-streetThere are numerous products on the market that claim to whiten teeth, and bizarre claims that everything from cider vinegar to turmeric can be used for teeth whitening. Vinegar should never be applied directly to the teeth because it is highly acidic and can cause damage to tooth enamel. As for turmeric, if you’ve ever cooked a curry you will know it is more likely to turn things yellow than white.

As for supposed teeth whitening products that can be bought from the internet or provided in beauty salons, in the best case scenario they won’t produce the results you want. In the worst cases, they have been known to cause serious damage to teeth, gums, and mouth.

A cosmetic dentist will only use tested, safe, effective methods of whitening your teeth. The teeth whitening systems we use at Harley Street Dental Clinic are regulated and have been proven to be safe, gentle, and effective. You wouldn’t go to anyone other than your dentist for a filling, denture or brace, and teeth whitening treatment should be thought of no differently.

Teeth whitening with a Harley Street cosmetic dentist

When you come into our Harley Street clinic for a teeth whitening consultation, the first thing your cosmetic dentist will do is to ascertain the nature of your tooth staining. Numerous factors play a role in discolouring teeth; dental plaque is the leading cause of tooth staining, and 66% of the British public have visible plaque on their teeth.

A Harley Street hygienist can get rid of your dental plaque and teach you how to prevent it returning.

Your cosmetic dentist can offer both home and in-clinic teeth whitening. The former takes a fortnight while the latter takes just an hour.

For permanent discolouration, your cosmetic dentist can use porcelain veneer.

How your dentist can create realistic tooth restorations

There are many ways a dentist can restore damaged teeth, or create realistic replacements for teeth that are missing. Harley Street Dental Clinic offers the services of a specialist prosthodontist – a dental professional who makes tooth restorations – and welcomes new patients for consultations. Whatever restorative option you choose, you can rest assured that your tooth repairs or replacements will be individually crafted to look both beautiful and natural.

tooth-restorationA dentist will always advise you that missing teeth should be replaced, and damaged teeth should be restored. Missing teeth can cause problems with your oral and general health, as well as with your self-esteem and confidence. Even mildly damaged teeth can allow bacteria to enter the centre of the teeth, which can lead to infection and dental abscesses, and without intervention such as root canal treatment can even cause tooth loss.

The best restoration for your tooth or teeth will depend on your personal circumstances, clinical requirements, and any preferences you may have. At Harley Street Dental Clinic your dentist will perform a detailed examination and will talk through all the relevant ways to repair or replace your teeth.

If you have already developed an infection due to broken, cracked, or otherwise damaged tooth, our Harley Street clinic contains a unique collection of specialists and professionals who can carry out even complex root canal procedures, which are pain-free and essential to saving your tooth.

Broken teeth

There are a number of options to repair broken teeth at our Harley Street clinic. These include:

Veneers – Thin porcelain shells that are used in smile makeovers, and can also improve the appearance of and reinforce a chipped tooth.

White fillings – Strong composite material is used to restore teeth.

Crowns – For additional strength, a tooth-coloured crown may be placed.

Missing teeth

Dentures – Modern dentures are very realistic in terms of function and appearance.

Bridges – Bridgework replaces one or a few adjacent teeth. Your dentist will ensure your bridge looks very natural.

Dental implants – Dental implants are the only way your dentist can replace the tooth roots. They can then support a denture, bridge, or crown.

How an orthodontist can subtly straighten adult teeth

The benefits of treatment from an orthodontist are not exclusively reserved for children and teenagers. At Harley Street Dental Clinic we are keen to stress that orthodontic treatment can be useful to patients of all ages, improving both the appearance and function of the teeth and jaw.

straighten-teethOrthodontics is the dental specialism that focuses on the alignment of the teeth and jaws, and an orthodontist can treat problems such as malocclusions and improper bites – in other words, the way that the teeth and the jaws meet.

Harley Street Dental Clinic has not one but three in-house orthodontists, who can treat children, teenagers, and adults. Dr Sarah Neale, Dr Emma Lang welcome new patients of all ages. Dr Neale is known for her work with nervous patients, so if fear or anxiety about dental treatment has prevented you visiting an orthodontist in the past, she can help you to get the beautifully aligned smile you’ve always wanted thanks to her virtually pain-free dentistry.

One of the primary barriers to visiting the orthodontist as an adult is the popular misconception that orthodontics has to mean obvious metal braces. At Harley Street Dental Clinic we recognise the thought of lengthy treatment with a glaringly obvious appliance is not particularly compatible with a professional adult lifestyle. That’s why we choose to take a subtler approach.

The best appliance for you will depend on your clinical situation – the type and amount of correction required. When you come for a consultation with a Harley Street orthodontist, they will conduct a thorough clinical examination before talking you through all the relevant treatment options.

Depending on your needs, your Harley Street orthodontist may recommend:

Porcelain braces

Tooth-coloured porcelain appliances are a popular choice at our Harley Street clinic. These can be for rapid cosmetic correction or more extensive treatment.

Lingual braces

Your orthodontist can use lingual braces to correct a wide range of conditions. They work in the same way as regular braces, but are attached to the rear of your teeth so no-one will notice them.

Invisalign

A series of clear, removable aligners that take 6-12 months to complete.

How a dentist can detect oral health problems before they show any symptoms

Regular visits to the dentist are essential to your oral health, and also have benefits for your general health and well-being. We welcome new patients of all ages at Harley Street Dental Clinic, from children coming in for their first dental check-up to older people looking for solutions to missing teeth, including dentures and dental implants.

oral-health-problemThe standard advice is to attend a general dental check-up every six months. Some people will need to come in more often, whilst others may need to come less frequently. You should always do as your dentist recommends, to ensure you maintain a healthy mouth. Harley Street Dental Clinic is open six days a week, from 8.30am to 7pm Monday to Friday, and from 8.30am to 6pm on Saturdays, to make it as easy as possible to fit your dental check-ups around your commitments and lifestyle.

We have a focus on preventative dentistry at our Harley Street clinic, ideally stopping problems before they start, or at the very least catching them at an early stage to make treatment as simple as possible.

Your Harley Street dentist will use x-rays to check the health inside your teeth. Tooth decay often has few early symptoms that will be noticeable at home. X-rays enable your dentist to see inside your teeth and under any existing restorations such as crowns and fillings, spotting early signs of decay and treating them even before you notice any problems.

Gum disease also has few early warning signs that you are likely to spot at home. By regularly visiting both the dentist and hygienist, and maintaining an efficient brushing and flossing routine at home, you can prevent the problem from arising in the first place, but if we do spot indicators of the condition, we will be able to treat you before it develops into the more serious form of periodontal disease.

Some groups, such as those who are pregnant, have special oral healthcare needs. At Harley Street Dental Clinic we will come up with a customised treatment plan whatever your needs. If you notice anything unusual between appointments, come to see your dentist immediately.

Need an emergency dentist? Here’s what to do. . .

If you need an emergency dentist in Harley Street, contact us straight away on 020 3553 8200. We will always try to accommodate emergency appointments on the same day whenever possible, so the earlier in the day you can contact us the better.

emergency-dentistHowever, we understand that dental emergencies don’t keep to a schedule, and can happen at any time. Harley Street Dental Clinic is open six days a week, and we also maintain an emergency service line, so do give us a call as soon as an emergency arises.

There are many things that constitute a dental emergency, from unbearable toothache to a tooth knocked out in an accident. Below are some common reasons for requiring the services of an emergency dentist, along with what your Harley Street dentist may do.

Unbearable toothache (with or without an abscess/swelling)

Pain is our body’s way of letting us know something is wrong, and dental pain can be very severe indeed. You should never ignore a toothache, because if it is left untreated it is likely to lead to a bigger problem.

In the first instance you may try over-the-counter painkillers, but this should only be a temporary measure until you can see your dentist. If the painkillers fail to work, or your toothache is accompanied by a dental abscess (a painful swelling around the tooth root or between the tooth and gum) it’s time to call the emergency dentist. At Harley Street Dental Clinic we will never leave a patient in pain, so our first priority will be to ease your discomfort. You may need follow-up appointments to complete your treatment, for example for root canal therapy.

Lost or broken tooth

If your tooth is knocked out in an accident and you still have the tooth, keep it in a clean container covered in your own saliva or milk and bring it to your appointment. Your dentist may be able to re-implant it in the socket.

Broken teeth should always be treated to avoid the risk of infection. Your dentist may be able to restore the tooth with white filling material, or a crown.

Regular visits to the dentist: the key to maintaining good oral health

How often do you visit the dentist for a routine check-up? At Harley Street Dental Clinic we generally advice that you should have a check-up every six months, to ensure your mouth remains healthy and your smile stays happy. Every patient’s needs vary, of course, and some people may need to attend more frequently, whilst others may need to come less often.

oral-healthYou should always follow your dentist’s advice – and it goes without saying that if you experience anything unusual in between standard appointments, you should come to see your dentist at Harley Street straight away.

The benefits of general dental check-ups

Many common conditions, such as tooth decay and gum disease, have few early warning signs that are noticeable at home. At Harley Street Dental Clinic we use the latest technology and techniques so that we can spot the early signs of these problems before they become serious. Your dentist may use x-rays to help in their diagnosis. This often enables them to spot decayed teeth that have yet to produce any outward symptoms.

As with most things, with dental health problems the sooner they are spotted, the easier they are to treat.

At Harley Street Dental Clinic we are committed to preventative dentistry – stopping problems before they start. Regular visits to the dentist and the hygienist for a professional tooth clean are essential steps in this process.

When you register as a new patient at our Harley Street clinic, your dentist will follow a detailed nine-step plan to assess your dental health, diagnose any problems, and treat them as appropriate.

This involves:

  1. Complete examination of your teeth, gums and surrounding structures
  2. Take x-rays as necessary
  3. Ask about any dental health issues you may have
  4. Discuss how diet and habits such as smoking can affect oral health
  5. Review your teeth cleaning habits
  6. Thoroughly explain any further treatment you may need, including hygienist appointments and referral to specialist colleagues as appropriate
  7. Provide you with a fully-customised treatment plan
  8. Answer your questions
  9. If you need no further treatment, let you know when to book your next check-up.