How a dentist can help older people stay healthy

Everyone needs a good dentist, whether you are a baby with your first teeth appearing or a member of the older generation with few or none of your natural teeth left. Harley Street Dental Clinic offers a full range of general, preventative, and restorative dentistry to patients of all ages.

dental-bridges-harley-streetIt’s actually a misconception that older people will lose their natural teeth because of the ageing process. Whilst the over-75s are the most likely to experience tooth loss, it can in fact affect people of all ages, and there is no reason that – with good oral hygiene practices and regular visits to both the dentist and the hygienist – you can’t have a healthy set of natural teeth for life.

Recent studies have shown that the vast majority of us still have at least some of our natural teeth. A survey carried out by the Oral Health Foundation as part of National Smile Month 2016 discovered that just 7% of UK adults have none of their natural teeth left. Compare this with 37% in 1978, and we can see how much things have improved. What’s more, 86% of the population in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland now have 21 or more natural teeth.

To ensure that your teeth stay healthy and strong in your later years, you need to visit your dentist on a regular basis. The standard advice is to come for a check-up every six months, but at our Harley Street clinic we are keen to emphasise that some people need to come in more frequently. You should always listen to what your dentist says and follow their advice.

If you have experienced some tooth loss, it is nothing to panic about. Your Harley Street dentist has a number of methods of replacing missing teeth, including standard dentures, dental bridges, and dental implants.

The latter are our preferred option for replacing missing teeth at our Harley Street clinic, because they are the only permanent way to combat tooth loss.

Your Harley Street dentist can use implants combined with either a single crown, a dental bridge, or full dentures to restore natural function to your jaw.

How a cosmetic dentist can enhance and improve your smile

A cosmetic dentist has a multitude of ways to make over your smile. No matter what your concerns about your present smile are, at Harley Street Dental Clinic our highly talented cosmetic team can create the perfect smile makeover to suit your individual wants and needs.

cosmetic-dentistIt should never be considered vain to seek out the services of a cosmetic dentist. Unhappiness with the appearance of your smile can negatively affect your body image and confidence, and can leave you feeling miserable. In addition, many of the cosmetic dental procedures at our Harley Street clinic have additional health benefits, too.

The perfect solution for every smile concern

A good cosmetic dentist won’t try to talk you into a procedure you don’t want. They will also tell you honestly if your preferred treatment is not the best option for your needs, and will recommend an alternative way to reach your smile goals. This could be, for example, if your teeth are permanently discoloured and you want teeth whitening because your sister had it with great results. Teeth whitening doesn’t work on permanent stains, so your Harley Street cosmetic dentist may recommend porcelain veneers instead.

We have an extensive cosmetic dentistry menu at Harley Street Dental Clinic. Some patients only need one treatment, whilst others benefit most from a combination of two or more. No matter what your requirements are, be they large or small, your cosmetic dentist will draw you up a fully customised treatment plan so that you know exactly what to look forward to.

Common treatments from a Harley Street cosmetic dentist include:

Teeth whitening – As long as a dentist performs it, this is a fast, safe, and predictable solution to common tooth stains. We offer several options at our Harley Street clinic and your cosmetic dentist will talk you through the options.

Tooth straightening – We offer several subtle methods of realigning your teeth at our Harley Street clinic.

Porcelain veneers – Veneers are thin porcelain shells, hand-crafted to fit over the front surfaces of your teeth. One can be used to improve a single, discoloured tooth, or a full set can create a smile makeover.

Special care from the dentist for pregnant patients

Visiting the dentist is vitally important during pregnancy. Harley Street Dental Clinic offers special care for pregnant patients, as well as for baby when his or her teeth start to emerge.

pregnant-womenWith all the excitement of pregnancy, it can be easy to forget about your dentist. With antenatal classes, baby showers, nurseries to paint and strange cravings to deal with, your teeth and gums could well be the last thing on your mind.

However, it is more important than ever to visit the dentist during pregnancy, because there are a range of dental health conditions that can specifically affect pregnant women, with many being caused because of the hormonal changes that occur in your body when you are expecting.

The vast majority of these conditions are temporary and nothing to worry about, but a timely visit to your Harley Street dentist can help to put your mind at rest, and to treat anything that is causing you concern or discomfort so that you can get back to focussing on preparations for your little one’s arrival.

Dental health concerns during pregnancy

Gum disease

Gum disease is common amongst the general population, but is more prevalent in pregnant patients. Often known was “pregnancy gingivitis”, the condition develops because of vastly increased levels of the hormone progesterone in your blood stream during pregnancy. This alters the body’s response to toxins, which includes dental plaque.

It can be alarming to develop the symptoms of gum disease – such as swollen, red gums or gums that bleed when you brush your teeth – because many studies have linked severe periodontal disease in mothers to premature labour and low birth weight in babies.

There is no need to panic, however. These problems only occur when severe gum disease is left untreated. Regular visits to your Harley Street dentist will help to treat and manage the condition.

Acid erosion

If you suffer from severe morning sickness, you may experience acid erosion of your teeth. This is similar to cases seen with patients suffering from bulimia – repeated vomiting causes tooth enamel to be worn down by stomach acids. Again, regular visits to your Harley Street dentist will help.

A dentist can permanently restore your smile with dental implants: here’s how it works

If you lose a tooth, you should visit a dentist quick-smart. Harley Street Dental Clinic offers a number of ways to replace missing teeth, but the best option more often than not is to use dental implants, which provide a highly realistic action and appearance, and a long-term solution to tooth loss.

Dental implants differ from traditional bridgework and dentures because they replace the root portions of lost teeth. In fact, it is best to consider them as bionic tooth roots, which your dentist places directly in your jaw during minor oral surgery. This can be carried out under local anaesthetic or conscious sedation at our Harley Street practice.

dental-implants-harley-streetOne enormous benefit of dental implants is that they actively promote the health of your jaw bone. The jaw bone will start to resorb (shrink) when several or all of the natural tooth roots are missing, which not only makes traditional dentures loose and future placement of dental implants more difficult (although by no means impossible), but also changes the structure of your whole face.

Harley Street Dental Clinic has a highly-experienced implant team comprising Mr Stephen Dover, Dr Pedja Pavlovic and Dr Charlotte Stilwell. They are all fellows of the International Team of Implantology, and have extensive experience in implant treatments, enabling them to treat complex cases where bone loss has already begun.

Even if your own dentist has turned you away for implant treatment because of low bone density, the team at Harley Street Dental Clinic can often help. An additional procedure – a bone graft in the lower jaw or a sinus lift in the upper jaw – may just be required first, to rebuild your jaw bone to adequate levels to support dental implants.

If fear of the dentist has been a contributory factor in your tooth loss, we can place dental implants under conscious sedation, which means you will be awake thus able to cooperate with your dentist, but very relaxed and peaceful, free from pain, and largely unaware of treatment.

Your dentist can combine dental implants with either a bridge, dentures, or a single crown.

How a cosmetic dentist can create your perfect smile makeover

A skilled cosmetic dentist can make your smile dreams come true – often in just a few short appointments. Harley Street Dental Clinic offers a wide selection of cosmetic procedures, which can address problems large and small. No matter what your concerns about your present smile, your dream smile journey begins with a consultation with a cosmetic dentist here at our Harley Street clinic.

smile-makeoverA smile makeover is a broad term that covers a wide range of treatments. Common issues we address with smile makeovers at Harley Street Dental Clinic include:

  • Stained/discoloured teeth
  • Worn teeth
  • Chipped teeth
  • Spacing and alignment problems/gaps
  • Missing teeth

You will first see a skilled cosmetic dentist, who will diagnose the cause of your smile problems and create a customised treatment plan. Thanks to the unique collection of dental professionals we have at Harley Street Dental Clinic, including many specialists and leaders in their field, whatever treatment you require you can enjoy it all under one roof.

If you need to be referred to a specialist colleague, for example for orthodontic treatment, your cosmetic dentist will continue to oversee all of your treatment and will be your first point of contact at our Harley Street clinic.

Many of our most effective smile makeovers involve a combination of two or more treatments from our extensive cosmetic dentistry menu. This could include, for example, discreet orthodontic treatment followed by a course of teeth whitening, or restoring a chipped tooth with a veneer whilst replacing a missing tooth with a dental implant.

Below are some common smile concerns, along with how your Harley Street cosmetic dentist can help:

Stained/discoloured teeth

For everyday stains such as those caused by smoking or drinking a lot of tea, teeth whitening is an effective treatment. Permanently discoloured teeth can be helped with porcelain veneers.

Gappy teeth

Minor cases may be treated with veneers, whilst discreet orthodontics can solve bigger spacing and alignment issues.

Worn teeth

Veneers, crowns, inlays or onlays can be used to improve the appearance and strength of worn teeth.

Missing teeth

Dental implants offer a long-term solution to tooth loss.

How your dentist can save infected teeth

Toothache should always prompt a visit to the dentist, because it is often an indication of either tooth decay or infection. Harley Street Dental Clinic offers the services of an emergency dentist when toothache is severe or even unbearable, but even mild toothache requires an appointment with the dentist to prevent it from becoming more serious – it will never get better on its own.

save-infected-teethTeeth can become infected more easily than people think. Dental decay can lead to infection if not treated promptly, whilst injury and damage to the teeth also frequently enable bacteria to enter the tooth, leading to infection.

You should always get even a minor crack in a tooth seen to by a dentist as a matter of urgency to minimise the risk of this happening. But if infection should arise, the important thing to do is not to panic, but to book an appointment at Harley Street Dental Clinic as soon as possible.

The need for root canal treatment

Root canal treatment is one of those procedures with a bad reputation, which can evoke fear in even the bravest of dental patients. However, with modern techniques and materials, this reputation is unwarranted. Root canal treatment is pain free at our Harley Street clinic. It is also essential to saving your tooth.

At Harley Street Dental Clinic our root canal treatment is carried out by specialist endodontist Dr Nectaria Polycarpou. An endodontist is a dentist who has undertaken additional training to specialise in endodontics – aka root canal treatment.

Dr Polycarpou is well known for her caring and gentle nature, helping even those who are scared of the dentist to enjoy successful treatment without pain or stress.

Root canal treatment involves the use of special tools to cleanse your tooth of all traces of infection. It often requires at least two appointments at Harley Street Dental Clinic to ensure that the infection has completely gone before the dentist permanently fills the tooth.

If you need more than one appointment, a temporary filling will be placed between visits. Often, after root canal treatment, it is beneficial to place a crown on your tooth for extra strength.

Orthodontics for adults: what you need to know

Orthodontics isn’t just for children and teenagers. Harley Street Dental Clinic offers a wide range of orthodontic treatments for adults. These are much subtler, gentler, and often act much more quickly than standard metal braces.

orthodontics-harley-streetMost people think that orthodontics is all about approving the appearance of your teeth, and whilst this is a big part of it, it is not the full story. Orthodontics is designed to treat malocclusions, which is usually caused by a disproportionate relationship between the two jaws and/or by tooth irregularities.

As well as the obvious aesthetic concerns this can raise, it can also affect your diet if you struggle to bite and chew some foods, and can make it tricky to clean your teeth properly when there are hard-to-reach areas where dental plaque can build up. This can increase your chances of developing tooth decay and gum disease, which both lead to tooth loss. Gum disease has also been linked to a number of general health concerns, from heart and lung disease to diabetes and strokes.

Therefore, improving your tooth alignment with a Harley Street orthodontist can bring many benefits to your health. Orthodontics involves the use of fixed braces, removable aligners, or corrective surgical procedures to improve jaw and tooth alignment.

Orthodontic surgery is rarely required in adulthood, because conditions which are that severe will be picked up by NHS orthodontics during childhood or the teenage years. However, adult orthodontics isn’t all about rapid cosmetic correction, either; we offer a number of different options designed to treat all manner of issues at Harley Street Dental Clinic.

Harley Street orthodontics for adults

At Harley Street Dental Clinic we use both fixed braces and removable aligners for adults interested in orthodontics. Your orthodontist will recommend the best treatment for you when you come for a consultation.

Options include:

Lingual braces – Made from metal but affixed to the rear sides of the teeth, these braces are invisible in day-to-day life.

Ceramic braces – There are a number of tooth-coloured ceramic braces available, from cosmetic options to those that do the same as standard metal braces, much more subtly.

Baby’s first visit to the dentist: the benefits of quality early years dental care

Bringing your child to visit the dentist from an early age will help to set them up with good oral health for life. At Harley Street Dental Clinic we have a dedicated children’s dentistry team, and recommend that you bring your baby for the first check-up from the age of 12 months.

children-dentistBy this age, their teeth should have started to appear – although every baby is different, of course, and you are welcome to contact our Harley Street practice at any time if you are concerned about your baby’s oral health.

These early visits to the dental practice are as much about getting your child used to the surgery environment as they are about checking the health of their teeth. Children often enjoy observing a parent or older sibling sitting in the chair and letting the dentist look inside their mouth, then copying what they see.

The aim is for your child to see the dentist as a friendly face, and practice visits as routine.

The children’s dental team at Harley Street Dental Clinic is led by Professor Raman Bedi, who is chair of the Global Child Dental Fund and co-chair of a global expert committee on caries management and prevention.

Children in the UK still have unacceptably high levels of tooth decay, and early visits to the dentist are vital to preventing this, and helping your child to avoid unnecessary pain, suffering, and shame. When you bring your child to visit the dentist at our Harley Street clinic, we will ensure that they feel safe and well-cared-for at all times.

Preventative treatments such as fluoride varnish and fissure sealant will be offered by your child’s dentist to strengthen and protect their teeth, whilst tips on tooth brushing techniques will be presented in an engaging and age-appropriate manner.

Regular dentist visits also make it possible to spot possible signs of orthodontic issues at an early stage, often making them simpler and less invasive to treat. We have a unique collection of specialists at our Harley Street dental practice, including a team of orthodontists who can treat any problems promptly and efficiently should they be found.

How a cosmetic dentist can make your smile dreams come true

A cosmetic dentist has many ways of making over your smile. Harley Street Dental Clinic offers a wide range of cosmetic procedures, which can be used alone or in combination to create the smile you’ve always dreamt of.

cosmetic-dentistOnce upon a time, not so long ago, cosmetic dental treatment was only available to celebrities and the super-rich. But like so many things that begin in Hollywood, demand rapidly spread to the general public, and thanks to the advances in techniques and materials, the services of a cosmetic dentist are now available to more people than ever before.

What a Harley Street cosmetic dentist can do for you

If you are unhappy with any aspect of your smile, a Harley Street cosmetic dentist can help. We see patients with all manner of cosmetic dental complaints, and have a solution for every problem.

Even if you think you have the worst smile in the world – which we are sure that you don’t – and are convinced that there is nothing that can be done, it is unlikely to be something your Harley Street cosmetic dentist hasn’t seen before.

We have a unique collection of highly-skilled dental professionals and specialists at our Harley Street clinic, who will work together to create the smile of your dreams, whatever that may mean to you.

Popular treatments from a Harley Street cosmetic dentist include:

Teeth whitening

This is the most popular cosmetic dental treatment in the world, and must only be carried out by a dentist. It doesn’t work on every type of tooth stain, but is effective on discolouration caused by such things as tea, coffee, red wine, or smoking. We have three whitening options at our Harley Street clinic.

Teeth straightening

We offer a number of discreet tooth straightening treatment at our Harley Street clinic, using either discreet braces or clear, removable aligners.

Gum lift

A gum lift involves the removal of excess gum tissue, which can often be done painlessly using a laser. Laser dentistry also minimises any bleeding. A gum lift is an excellent option for people who have a gummy smile.

How to overcome fear of the dentist and get back to oral health

Fear of the dentist is a very common problem, and it can have a serious impact on many areas of your life. At Harley Street Dental Clinic our whole team is sympathetic to the needs of nervous dental patients, but we do not believe in the modern day and age that it needs to be a barrier to getting the treatment you need to restore your oral health. Your Harley Street dentist will work closely with you to help you overcome your fear – once and for all.

oral-health-harley-streetThere are numerous causes of fear of the dentist, with a negative experience during childhood being a commonly cited reason. At Harley Street Dental Clinic we encourage parents to bring their children in from an early age. We have a dedicated children’s dental team who will ensure that every experience your child has of visiting the dentist is a positive one.

Some people have specific triggers for their fears, such as the sound or sight of the drill. By talking to your dentist about your triggers, they can prepare by ensuring instruments are out of site when you enter the surgery. You can often listen to music or watch a film during treatment at our Harley Street clinic, so that the sound of the drill will be drowned out.

Modern dentistry has advanced a great deal in recent years. If you haven’t visited a dentist in decades you may be pleasantly surprised at how much things have changed. At Harley Street Dental Clinic we work hard to maintain a relaxed and tranquil environment that is a million miles away from the cold environment of dental practices of old.

For patients who need a little more help to relax, we offer two options for dental sedation at our Harley Street clinic. The first is relative analgesia, which involves breathing in a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen to bring about a highly relaxed state, and has no unpleasant side effects.

The second option is intravenous sedation, delivered via a small needle. You will be monitored at all stages of sedation. Someone will need to drive you home after treatment.