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.

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.

A good dentist can help your child maintain their oral health for life

Visiting the dentist from an early age has been proven to help prevent dental phobia later in life. At Harley Street Dental Clinic we recommend bringing your child in from the age of 12 months onwards, when some of their first teeth should have started to appear. Of course, all babies are different, and some are even born with teeth. If you notice anything of concern with your baby’s teeth at any stage, bring them in for a consultation.

oral-healthHarley Street Dental Clinic has a dedicated children’s dental team, led by paediatric specialist Professor Raman Bedi, who is chairman of the Global Child Dental Fund and co-chair of a global expert committee on caries prevention and management.

The benefits of early visits to the dentist

By visiting the dentist from the age of 12 months onwards, you not only teach your child that the dental practice is nothing to be afraid of, but also you help them to establish good oral health for life.

Children in the UK still have unacceptably high levels of tooth decay, and whilst this is improving there is still a lot of work to be done. A good children’s dentist can spot any potential problems early, and can provide your child with age-appropriate information and encouragement to help them get the most out of brushing their teeth.

At our Harley Street clinic, Professor Bedi will always take the time to get to know young patients, and will talk to them as well as their parents to explain any treatments or changes to the home tooth cleaning routine that are required.

Links have been proven between bad dental health and other general health conditions, including diabetes and gum disease. Therefore, visiting the dentist is vitally important for patients of all ages.

At our Harley Street clinic we believe that prevention is better than cure, and offer a number of preventative measures to child patients, including fluoride varnish and fissure sealants, designed to strengthen the teeth and help prevent decay.

Should we find your child does need a filling, their dentist will use a laser to removed decayed areas of a tooth, which is pain-free and far less stressful than a traditional drill.

Why the dentist is essential for pregnant women

Whilst the dentist may not be the first person you’d think of visiting during pregnancy, in fact thanks to hormonal changes in the body regular dental visits are more important than ever. At Harley Street Dental Clinic we welcome pregnant patients for help with pregnancy-specific oral health issues, and also recommend that when baby arrives, you bring them in for check-ups from an early age.

pregnant-womenPregnancy is an exciting time but, particularly if you are pregnant with your first child, you may notice some unusual changes to your body that, whilst being completely natural and nothing to worry about, should be checked out for reassurance and management where appropriate. Even if you’ve had children before, you may notice different changes with different pregnancies.

Dentally speaking, hormone changes can cause a range of oral health concerns. At Harley Street Dental Clinic an experienced and friendly dentist will be able to reassure you and provide treatment when necessary.

Pregnancy-related dental issues

Hormone changes during pregnancy can cause your gums to become red, inflamed, and sometimes to bleed when you brush your teeth. If you think this sounds like the symptoms of gum disease, you’re right. Pregnancy gingivitis can start as soon as the second month of pregnancy because of raised levels of progesterone. This affects how your body reacts to toxins, including plaque. Your dentist can help you to treat and manage this condition.

Bad morning sickness can also damage your tooth enamel, causing sensitive teeth. Some women also experience pregnancy granuloma, in which red nodules grow on your gums. Our Harley Street team can help with all of these conditions.

Once baby arrives, we recommend bringing them to the clinic from 12 months of age. This gets them used to visiting the dentist, and helps spot problems early.

Regular visits to the dentist: essential in the battle against gum disease

You need to visit your dentist regularly to guard against gum disease. At Harley Street Dental Clinic we have a periodontal specialist (a dental professional who specialises in treating conditions affecting the gums). Dr Pedja Pavlovic can treat even complex cases of gum disease, which have advanced from gingivitis to become periodontitis, or periodontal disease.

gum-disease-harley-streetSymptoms of gum disease

As with all conditions, the sooner gum disease is spotted, the easier it is to treat. The major problem is that the early signs can be hard to spot at home. At Harley Street Dental Clinic we focus on preventative dentistry, helping to stop problems before they start, so we are in a prime position to spot the early symptoms of gum disease.

Things to look out for at home include blood on your tooth brush or in the sink when you brush your teeth, swollen, red and painful gums. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should book an appointment with a dentist straight away.

Gum disease is caused by dental plaque, which can be prevented by a good home brushing and flossing routine, coupled with regular visits to the dentist and hygienist. The mild form of gum disease is called gingivitis and is relatively easy to treat and manage if caught early. The more serious form is periodontitis or periodontal disease, which can result in tooth loss.

Symptoms of periodontal disease include tooth ligaments starting to detach, destruction of the surrounding bone, teeth becoming wobbly or loose, and ultimately teeth falling out.

Dr Pavlovic at Harley Street Dental Clinic is highly experienced in treating the more serious forms of gum disease. If you have any of the symptoms of either gingivitis or periodontitis, don’t delay, book a consultation with us straight away.

Afraid of the big, bad dentist? We can help!

Fear of the dentist is a very common condition, and nothing to be ashamed of. At Harley Street Dental Clinic our whole team is committed to providing pain-free dentistry. We empathise with nervous patients, and have a variety of techniques that can help you to get the dental treatment you need – and the smile you deserve.

bad-dentistApproximately one adult in every six in the UK is afraid of the dentist. That fear can range from a mild anxiety to a crippling phobia, and it has a wide range of causes. Some people cite a bad experience during childhood as a reason for their fear, while others are triggered by specific sounds, sights, or smells. Others still do not know the exact cause of their fear.

Here at Harley Street Dental Clinic, we do not think that in the 21st Century fear of the dentist should be a barrier to getting treatment. We work with you to help you overcome your fear and to receive the treatment you need.

Our Harley Street practice is designed to be relaxing, and our team of specialists will take the time to talk through your fears and concerns away from the dentist’s chair. They will explain any required treatment and analgesia options in depth, and will provide you with hand signals so that you can let us know if you need a break during treatment.

We offer in-chair entertainment so that you can watch a film or listen to music during treatment, and also have an in-house hypnotist in our Harley Street clinic.

Some patients benefit from treatment under sedation. You can have treatment using inhalation sedation (gas and air) or intravenous sedation. Harley Street Dental Clinic has a fully qualified anaesthetist and full recovery facilities, and you will be closely monitored at all times during treatment.

Ways your dentist can end your denture woes

If you are struggling with ill-fitting dentures, your dentist can help. At Harley Street Dental Clinic we have a skilled team including prosthodontists and implantologists who can custom-design the perfect solution to suit your needs.

dental-denturesWhy we experience denture issues

Dentures have been around for a very long time and are an excellent option for people who have lost all or most of their natural teeth. Modern dentures are aesthetically pleasing, functional and comfortable, and can be made from a number of different materials, including plastic and porcelain, depending on your preference and your budget.

However, whilst dentists can now provide custom-designed, comfortable dentures, many patients still experience problems with their dentures becoming loose as the years go by.

This happens because although standard dentures replace the crowns of the teeth, they do not replace the roots. Without the roots in place, the jaw bone begins to shrink back over time, meaning you may have to make frequent visits to your dentist to have your dentures adjusted.

At our Harley Street clinic, we have found that many patients have benefitted from using dental implants to stabilise their dentures. Dental implants are small titanium screws that replace the root portion of a missing tooth or teeth. Your dentist can then use a range of special attachments to fix your dentures on to your implants, meaning that they will still be removable but will stay firmly in place and only come out when you want them to.

We have the full facilities to place dental implants here at our Harley Street practice. This can be done under local anaesthetic or sedation, depending on your preference.

Because they integrate with the bone and promote bone growth, dental implants help to stop bone loss. With regular visits to the dentist and hygienist, your implants can last you for life, and you need never worry about loose dentures again.

How your dentist and hygienist can help you beat gum disease

Both your dentist and your hygienist have a crucial role to play in combatting gum disease, the leading cause of tooth loss in the UK. At Harley Street Dental Clinic our patients also benefit from the services of a specialist periodontist (a dental professional who has undergone additional training to specialise in the treatment of gum disease and other gum problems).

gum diseaseGum disease: a common problem

The majority of people will experience mild gum disease at some time in their life. Whilst this is a serious condition, it can – with regular visits to your dentist and hygienist combined with a good home care regime – be treated and managed.

However, just because it is a common problem this does not mean you should ignore it or hope it will get better on its own. Whilst the early stage of gum disease, known as gingivitis, is relatively easy to treat and manage, left untreated it can develop into the more serious form of the condition, known as periodontal disease or periodontitis. This can cause tooth loss and damage to the jaw bone.

How do I know if I have gum disease?

Gingivitis can be difficult to spot, but early warning signs to stay alert for include:

  • Gums that bleed when brushing your teeth
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Gums that are red or swollen, whether painful or not

Your dentist is in a prime position to spot early warning signs of gum disease, even if you haven’t noticed anything yourself yet. When you come into our Harley Street clinic for a standard dental check-up, your dentist will closely examine your teeth and gums, and may ask about symptoms such as bleeding gums.

Gum disease is caused by dental plaque, and factors such as diet, smoking, and some medicines can increase your susceptibility. A visit to our Harley Street clinic’s hygienist will help combat the condition in these early stages.

Why early years dentist visits are vital to maintaining good oral health for life

At Harley Street Dental Clinic we believe children benefit from visiting the dentist from an early age. A negative experience during childhood is one of the main reasons adults give for fear or phobia of the dentist – a problem that affects approximately one in ten adults in the UK.

oral healthAt our Harley Street clinic, we have a specialist children’s dental team, which is headed up by leading paediatric dental expert Professor Raman Bedi. We recommend bringing children in from the age of 12 months onwards, by which time their teeth should have started to appear.

By coming along with a parent or guardian, or an elder sibling, young children will soon learn that visiting the dentist is nothing to be afraid of. By observing and copying sitting in the dental chair and opening their mouth to let their practitioner take a look at their teeth.

Early intervention can help to prevent the development of tooth decay, which is still shockingly prevalent in children in the UK. While this is improving, there is still much work to be done, and early visits to the dentist have been shown to increase the chances of maintaining good dental habits and health for life.

Professor Bedi and his team are experienced in working with children, taking the time to build up a relationship of trust with them and talking to the child as well as their parents, explaining any treatment in an easy-to-understand, age-appropriate manner.

We also offer a range of preventative treatments at our Harley Street clinic, including fluoride varnish and fissure sealant to help prevent tooth decay. If your child does need treatment for tooth decay, we use a laser in place of a drill, for improved patient comfort.

Gum disease: what a dentist can do to save your smile

Regular visits to a dentist and hygienist are vital in fighting gum disease. At Harley Street Dental Clinic, our unique collection of dental experts can treat gum problems effectively, even if you have developed the more advanced form of gum disease, periodontitis.

gum diseaseGum disease is a very common condition and many people will experience it at some point in their life. Caught early, it can be treated and managed without too many problems. However, it is also one of the leading causes of tooth loss for adults in the UK. By attending six-month check-ups with your dentist, alongside regular dental hygiene appointments, you can minimise the chances of the condition becoming serious.

Often, your dentist or hygienist will be able to spot the early signs of gum disease even before you have experienced any noticeable symptoms at home. However, if you do spot any early warning signs, you should book an appointment at Harley Street Dental Clinic as soon as possible. We are proud to focus on preventative dentistry, and can help you get back to full oral health.

What are the early signs of gum disease?

Gum disease often starts to develop without many noticeable symptoms. However, early warning signs include:

  • Bleeding gums, particularly when you brush your teeth
  • Red, swollen gums, that may or may not be painful
  • Persistent bad breath without an obvious cause

Should you experience any of these symptoms, you should see a dentist as soon as you can. Early intervention makes the condition easier to treat, and can ultimately save your teeth.

Left untreated, the early form of gum disease – called gingivitis – can develop into the more serious form, periodontitis, which causes tooth loss.

Harley Street Dental Clinic’s specialist periodontist, Dr Pedja Pavlovic, can treat even complex cases of periodontitis, so even if you have developed the advanced form of gum disease, we will do everything we can to preserve your teeth.