Every tooth counts! Missing teeth can influence your general health, appearance and self-esteem. When you lose teeth the jaw-bone shrinks and gums recede. This can weaken the neighbouring teeth, causing them to drift. Imagine pulling a book out of a bookshelf, the books either side tilt and fall into the gap, it’s the same with your teeth when you have one removed. When several teeth are lost, your speech and chewing ability are affected. The lack of support from missing teeth and a shrinking jaw-bone can cause your cheeks to become hollow and saggy, making you look older.
So what are your options?
Implants can be used to replace a single tooth, several teeth or secure a full denture. An implant is a titanium screw surgically placed in the jaw-bone. Dental implants are the most similar option to a natural tooth and can also help prevent the jaw-bone from shrinking. Another advantage is that a tooth can be replaced without involving the neighouring teeth. Successful implants that are properly maintained are designed to last for the rest of your life.
Removable Full or Partial Dentures
Dentures can be used to replace several or all teeth. Dentures sit over the gums and fit around any existing teeth. Dentures can be difficult to get used to and may require several follow up visits to adjust the fit. They are removable and are designed to be taken out at nighttime. Dentures are generally a cheaper option but over time the cost of maintenance and replacement can accumulate.
A bridge consists of a fabricated tooth (called a pontic) that fills the space of a missing tooth. It is anchored in place by crowns (or caps) placed on the teeth on either side of the gap. This means that a fixed bridge requires the neighbouring teeth to be prepared for a crown and there is a risk of problems with these teeth in the future. A bridge can last a long time but requires extra care and maintenance. Repairing or replacing a bridge can become more costly over time.
The big question when considering teeth whitening is “DOES IT WORK?”
Over the counter whitening toothpastes and strips are generally considered an expensive waste of time!
There are many salons offering in-chair teeth whitening, however, the industry is largely unregulated and the consultant is not qualified to determine if teeth whitening is safe or effective for the patient. Potential problems include lack of proper infection control, undiagnosed cavities and exposed root surfaces that may cause severe sensitivity. Following an increase in injuries associated with teeth whitening, bleach preparations containing more than 6% hydrogen peroxide have been prohibited in these salons, making it less effective.
Teeth whitening under the supervision of a dentist is safe. At WA Dental, we use the ZOOM! teeth whitening system which involves 1 visit and takes 60 to 90 minutes. Prior to the treatment, we examine and clean your teeth and restore any cavities. Dentists are allowed to use stronger bleach with 38% hydrogen peroxide, providing whiter results.
During the treatment, a plastic retractor is placed inside the mouth to comfortably keep it open and all soft tissues are covered to protect them. Then the whitening gel is applied to the teeth and the ZOOM! light is applied for three, 15 minute applications.
Following the treatment, custom-made trays are supplied with a take home kit so the whitening can be topped up every so often to maintain a bright, white smile.
Spring is officially here! As you prepare for the warmer weather, WA Dental has got a few tips to help freshen your smile.
Replace your toothbrush: it is a good idea to replace your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head every three months. If the bristles are frayed before then you are probably brushing too hard. Always remember to buy a toothbrush with soft bristles.
Stock up on toothpaste and floss: dentists recommend a fluoridated toothpaste. Fluoride is the most important ingredient in toothpaste and helps prevent tooth decay by strengthening tooth enamel.
Change your diet: reducing your intake of sugary food and drinks will not only reduce your risk of tooth decay but help you look great in time for summer.
Schedule an appointment with your dentist for a checkup and clean: you may also use this appointment to discuss any cosmetic concerns you have regarding your smile or think about tooth whitening. Call our Ellenbrook or book an appointment online today.