Orthodontics and teeth straightening
Invisalign aligners can be used for both children and adults and the cases that will benefit most from this treatment are those with mild to moderate crowding.
Depending on the type of orthodontic treatment you receive, there may be a few days at the beginning of the process where your mouth feels more tender and slightly uncomfortable. Over-the-counter mild analgesics, such as paracetamol, are more than sufficient to ease any discomfort in the first few hours after having your orthodontic system placed.
Treatment times vary depending on multiple factors such as age, the complexity of your case, and the system used to treat your smile. Generally, most people wear their braces or aligners between 6-24 months.
For fixed braces, you will need to visit the dentist every 6-8 weeks so that the dentist can check that your treatment is progressing as planned and to have your wires changed if you have fixed braces.
Dental implants and missing teeth
Your Brickfields Dental Care implant team will conduct your treatment under local anaesthetic to numb the gums and surrounding tissue so you shouldn’t feel anything throughout the procedure. Slight pain and swelling is common after the surgery and can be managed through over-the-counter pain killers.
Though implants are usually only available through private dental care, there are a few circumstances where they may be available on the NHS i.e. to replace teeth lost as a result of mouth cancer. Our dental team will be happy to talk through your options with you should you think you may be eligible for this.
This varies from patient to patient, however, the average treatment time is 3-9 months. Should you require additional preparatory treatment such as bone grafts or extractions, treatment time may be extended.
Whitening and brighter smiles
The effects can last anything from 12 weeks to 3 years, however, its longevity depends on many factors, such as if you are a coffee or wine drinker, or a heavy smoker etc.
If you suffer from tooth decay or gum disease, it is necessary for these to be treated prior to commencing any whitening procedures.
We also would not permit a pregnant or nursing mother to undergo any whitening treatments, or anyone who is under the age of 18 as the teeth will still be developing at this point.
If you suffer from sensitivity, your dentist can provide you with desensitising swabs to take home after your whitening treatment. These will work immediately so that you don’t feel any discomfort.
Unfortunately, it will not. In order to whiten dental prosthetics, we would have to gradually change them in favour of a lighter coloured version.
Cosmetic dentistry and smile makeovers
Depending on your smile goals, your dentist may opt to use a combination of restorative and cosmetic treatments to recondition and enhance your smile. Each treatment will require a specialised procedure that your dentist will talk you through at your consultation.
The length of your smile makeover treatment time will vary from patient to patient and depend on the procedures you are having.
Yes! We pride ourselves on creating a relaxing and positive experience for our more nervous patients. Our dentists offer both local anaesthetic and IV sedation as a way to make you feel more comfortable in the dentists’ chair whilst undergoing treatment.
Periodontal care and gum disease
This is often a sign of gingivitis which is the early stages of gum disease. We recommend booking in for an appointment with our dental hygienist who will assess the condition of your oral health, remove any build-up of plaque and discuss with you the best at-home oral health regime to get your smile back on track.
Gum disease occurs when plaque and bacteria have collected past the surface of the tooth and moved deeper into the gum line. It is important for a professional dental hygienist to address this as normal flossing and brushing will not be able to penetrate deep enough to remove this harmful bacterium.
Brushing twice a day, flossing and attending regular dental hygiene appointments will significantly reduce your chances of developing gum disease.
Fluoride varnish and fissure sealants
Cavities, or tooth decay, are areas of your teeth that have become damaged and developed into tiny holes. They are formed through a combination of factors including consumption of too many sugary foods, prolonged bacterial build-up and a poor oral hygiene routine. An untreated cavity may develop into a larger hole that could affect nerves, fracture the tooth or even lead to an abscess through infection.
There have been concerns that fluoride could be linked to a range of health conditions however there has been no convincing evidentiary support in review of these concerns. The use of fluoride by dentists is supported by every major health organisation in the fight against dental disease.
Dental hygiene and oral health
Your hygiene treatment at Brickfields Dental Care should be pain-free however if you do feel any discomfort during the process of cleaning your teeth, please let your hygienist know – it is our aim to make you as comfortable as possible.
A routine hygiene appointment usually lasts from 30-60 mins however appointment time can vary from patient to patient depending on the treatment needed.
If your hygienist has identified that you have a healthy mouth and a low risk of developing gum disease, they will recommend visiting them for a routine hygiene appointment every 6 months.
Sports mouthguards and teeth grinding
Your Brickfields dentist will recommend you wear a mouth guard at night if you’re showing signs of teeth grinding. Your mouth guard will be used to protect the surface of your teeth from wear and reduce the painful effects of grinding, however, you will need to find and eliminate the initial cause of your bruxism to completely remedy the issue.
It is important that you thoroughly clean and dry your mouth guard after use to bacterial growth. This is a fairly low maintenance routine of rinsing with cool water and brushing the surfaces of the guar with a toothbrush and toothpaste after each use. Your dentist can also recommend suitable cleaning solutions for soaking your mouth guard.
Dentistry for Children
Yes! Keeping your child’s primary teeth healthy is very important. Cavities and oral infections can be painful for your child so it is recommended to help them to adopt a good oral hygiene routine to keep their teeth and gums clean.
Before your child’s teeth erupt, you should clean their gums with an infant toothbrush or clean, moist washcloth. Once their teeth have grown in, you should use a very small dot of fluoride toothpaste to brush their teeth twice daily with an age-appropriate toothbrush.
We recommend that you take your children to visit the dentist regularly from the appearance of their first tooth or their first birthday. This, alongside a balanced diet and good oral hygiene routine of brushing and flossing, will help to prevent caries and tooth decay.
Crowns, bridges and dental prosthetics
Our bridges are built for long-term wear and with the right care can last up to 15 years. Your Brickfields Dental Care dentist will advise you on the proper hygiene techniques to keep your bridge in good condition.
A dental bridge is known as a fixed dental prosthetic meaning that it is bonded to your remaining teeth. The bridge stays in place at all times so there is no need to take it out before you go to sleep. Looking for a removable alternative? Head over to our dedicated dentures page.
Dentures are quite delicate so extra care should be taken when removing or inserting them. Similar to your usual oral hygiene routine, your dentures will require daily brushing to remove plaque and staining.
At night or during long periods of sleep, we advise removing your dentures to allow the soft gum tissue underneath to recover. Whilst removed, it is vital that patients also clean their tongue, palate, and gums with a soft-bristled brush.
On average, your dentures should last between 5-10 years but may need relining or rebasing during that time. The dimensions and shape of the mouth itself are constantly changing and a regular check-up is advised on an annual basis.
Filling treatment is not usually painful for most patients as our dentists use local anaesthetic and numbing gel to make sure you are comfortable throughout the procedure. Afterwards, you may experience slightly increased sensitivity to temperature or pressure, however, this should settle down after a few days.
This depends on the type of filling treatment you are having and how many fillings you require, as well as the size and location of the fracture or cavity being treated. However, you should expect your filling appointment to take up to an hour.
Extra care should be taken when cleaning your teeth as the edges of the filling may trap bacteria leading to further decay or infection. It is recommended to add daily flossing into your oral hygiene regime if it isn’t something you routinely do.
Root canal treatment
Typically, root canal treatment takes up to 30-60 minutes and may take two appointments to complete.
Root canal success rates are very high ranging from 70-90% over 5 years.
New infections may appear after your root canal treatment despite your dentists’ best efforts to remove all bacteria. This could be because there is an undetected crack in the tooth or a breakdown of the protective inner sealing over time. If a secondary infection occurs, your dentist may retreat the area with root canal treatment or consider a more invasive method of endodontic surgery to save the tooth.
Inlays and onlays
Whilst the inlay fills the damaged area between the cusps of the tooth, an only will cover the structure of the cusp entirely.
Our specialist and bespoke restorative treatment will ensure that your inlay or onlay treatment lasts between 20-30 years. We will provide you with the proper guidelines to follow to ensure you prolong the life of your restorations.
Anti-wrinkle/Dermal filler treatments
The risk of any side effects is minimal and, as Botulinum Toxin is reversible, will be temporary. No patch testing is required before the procedure.
The effects of our anti-wrinkle treatment will last 3-4 months. Early results from clinical trials show that less treatment is required with time as the muscles retrain themselves. This, however, varies from person to person. In addition, the effects may be less effective for patients over the age of 65.
Whereas botulinum toxin relaxes the facial muscles that result in wrinkles, dermal fillers work to plump and fill troubled areas of skin for a smooth result. Not sure which treatment is right for you? Our resident facial aesthetic professional will be happy to discuss your options with you.
We use Hydra Fill products which are entirely biocompatible, meaning that their temporary effect will wear off between 6-9 months after treatment. However, should you wish to remove the filler treatment before they naturally absorb into the body, we can use dissolving enzyme injectables to speed up the breakdown of the filler.
Disorders and conditions Q&A’s
Dry Mouth Disorder
Dry mouth or ‘xerostomia’ is a condition that affects the flow of saliva, causing your mouth to feel dry. Dry mouth can be a symptom of many different problems and can happen as you get older. Quite often it is a side effect of medication, especially heart, blood pressure, and depression tablets.
There are a number of gel and spray products designed to provide moisture and comfort. Some have extra ingredients that may help prevent tooth and gum problems.
Some people find that sipping water or sucking sugar-free sweets helps in the short term. It is very important to use sugar-free products, as dry mouth can make you more likely to have tooth decay. Chewing sugar-free gum can also help as it encourages your mouth to make saliva. Your dentist might recommend products such as rinses, gels, pastes, and lozenges which you can get from the chemist.
The letters TMJ are short for of ‘temporo-mandibular joint’, which is the joint connecting your lower jaw and your skull. The movement in this joint lets you open and close your mouth and chew from side to side.
You may wake up in the morning with a stiff jaw or tenderness when you bite together. This could be due to clenching or grinding your teeth in your sleep. Most people who grind their teeth do it while they are asleep and may not know they are doing it.
If you suffer from severe headaches, or neck and shoulder pain, you may not have linked this with possible jaw problems. Or you may keep having pain or discomfort on the side of your face around your ears or jaw joints or difficulty in moving your jaw. These are all symptoms of TMJ problems.
If your dentist suspects that your problems are due to an incorrect bite, he or she may help to improve the problem by supplying a temporary soft nightguard or hard plastic appliance that fits over your upper or lower teeth. This appliance needs to be measured and fitted very accurately so that when you bite on it, all your teeth meet at exactly the same time in a position where your muscles are relaxed. You may have to wear this all the time or, just at night. If the appliance relieves your symptoms then your bite may need to be corrected permanently.
Bruxism is the medical term for the habit of grinding and clenching your teeth.
Most people will do this from time to time, which does not usually cause any harm, but when teeth grinding happens on a regular basis it can permanently damage the teeth. In some people, it can also aggravate headaches, earaches, and pain and discomfort in the jaw.
Teeth grinding usually occurs subconsciously during sleep. In most people, stress and anxiety are a contributing factor to bruxism.
It is not known exactly how many people have bruxism, but up to 8-10% of the UK population are affected by it at some point in their life.
It can occur in both children and adults but is most common in adults aged 25-44.
Stress and anxiety are thought to make teeth grinding in your sleep more likely, or worse. Bruxism is also more prevalent in people who regularly drink alcohol, smoke tobacco, or drink caffeine (more than six cups a day).
There isn’t a cure for bruxism, although it may be possible to break the teeth-grinding habit by trying habit-reversal techniques.
For those with a known stress-related problem, cognitive behavioural therapy may help treat any underlying stress or anxiety.
Meanwhile, you may need to wear a mouth guard or mouth splint (sometimes referred to as gumshields or gum splints) at night to protect your teeth from wearing down and maybe advised to make simple lifestyle changes, such as giving up smoking (if you smoke) and managing stress.
Ulcers are painful sores that appear inside the mouth. They are usually red or yellow. They are different from cold sores, which appear on the outer lips and are due to a virus.
Usually, a single mouth ulcer is due to damage caused by say biting the cheek or tongue, sharp teeth, tooth brushing, or poorly fitting dentures. These ulcers are called traumatic ulcers. If you have a number of mouth ulcers the usual cause is recurrent aphthous stomatitis.
If an ulcer lasts more than 3 weeks you should always ask your dentist or doctor for advice. They may be able to tell you the cause and provide treatment, or they may arrange further tests or refer you to a specialist if necessary.
Most people are now aware that smoking is bad for our health. It can cause many different medical problems and, in some cases, fatal diseases. However, many people don’t realise the damage that smoking does to their mouth, gums, and teeth.
Smoking can lead to tooth staining, gum disease, tooth loss, and in more severe cases mouth cancer.
Smoking can also lead to gum disease. Patients who smoke are more likely to produce bacterial plaque, which leads to gum disease. The gums are affected because smoking causes a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream, so the infected gums fail to heal. Smoking causes people to have more dental plaque and gum disease to progress more rapidly than in non-smokers. Gum disease still remains the most common cause of tooth loss in adults.
Most people know that smoking can cause lung and throat cancer, but many people are still unaware that it is one of the main causes of mouth cancer too. Every year thousands of people die from mouth cancer brought on by smoking
Your dentist will carry out a regular examination to make sure that your teeth and gums and whole mouth are healthy.
Your dentist will also examine your cheeks, tongue and throat for any signs of other conditions that may need more investigation.
They may also be able to put you in touch with organisations and self-help groups who will have the latest information to help you stop smoking.
Most people have heard of cancer affecting parts of the body such as the lungs or breasts. However, cancer can occur in the mouth, where the disease can affect the lips, tongue, cheeks and throat.
Most cases of mouth cancer are linked to tobacco and alcohol. Cigarette, cigar, and pipe smoking are the main forms of tobacco use in the UK. However, the traditional ethnic habits of chewing tobacco, betel quid, gutkha, and paan are particularly dangerous. Alcohol increases the risk of mouth cancer, and if tobacco and alcohol are consumed together the risk is even greater. Over-exposure to sunlight can also increase the risk of cancer of the lips.
recent reports have linked mouth cancer to the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is the major cause of cervical cancer and affects the skin that lines the moist areas of the body.
HPV can be spread through oral sex, and research now suggests that it could soon rival smoking and drinking as one of the main causes of mouth cancer.
Practicing safe sex and limiting the number of partners you have may help reduce your chances of contracting HPV.
Mouth cancer can appear in different forms and can affect all parts of the mouth, tongue and lips. Mouth cancer can appear as a painless mouth ulcer that does not heal normally. A white or red patch in the mouth can also develop into a cancer. It is important to visit your dentist if these areas do not heal within three weeks.
Mouth cancer can often be spotted in its early stages by your dentist during a thorough mouth examination. If mouth cancer is recognised early, then the chances of a cure are good. Many people with mouth cancer go to their dentist or doctor too late. If your dentist finds something unusual or abnormal they will refer you to a consultant at the local hospital, who will carry out a thorough examination of your mouth and throat. A small sample of the cells may be gathered from the area (a biopsy), and these cells will be examined under the microscope to see what is wrong.