Why clean teeth matter

Apart from making you more kissable, why is dental hygiene so important? Do you really need to come to the dentist for a check-up twice a year and see the hygienist? Or are you paying for nothing?

Well, in a way, at Benhill Dental Practice, we hope you are. You see we think that a good check-up is a check-up that gives you the information that your dental hygiene in Sutton is working.

Dental Hygiene in SuttonThese days good dentistry aims to have you keep your teeth for life. And the only way to do that is to have a good dental hygiene routine. If you carefully brush your teeth with a good toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste twice a day, if you floss between your teeth to remove stuck food, and maybe use a mouthwash too, you stand a good chance of hanging onto your teeth.

If you don’t, chances are you’ll lose them to decay or gum disease. When you clean your teeth, you are trying to remove the sticky film of bacteria called plaque that builds up on them throughout the day.

Plaque and tooth decay

These bacteria are harmless in themselves, but as they feed on the sugars in your mouth from food and drinks (beware the sugary soda drinks), they give off acids.

These acids can eat into your tooth enamel, creating tiny holes through which more bacteria can sneak in. They then start decaying your tooth. You won’t feel it happening until it’s serious, but a dental check-up is there to spot the decay in its early stages and stop it getting so bad that you could even have to have root canal therapy or an extraction.

Plaque and gum disease

When plaque builds up along the gum line, the acids irritate and inflame the gum, and can pull it away from the tooth, creating pockets. More bacteria can get in here and then the acids can start to attack the bone. In this advanced stage of gum disease, the teeth can become loose and even fall out.

Regular check-ups and professional cleanings can keep plaque in check.

It’s time to quit

Deciding to stop smoking is probably one of the best decisions you can make for your health, and your dentist can increase your chances of success hugely. With the help of your dentist in Sutton, smoking cessation will play a key role in protecting your oral and overall health.

At Benhill Dental Practice, our dentists help patients quit smoking by offering personal support and encouragement. Our dentists can also prescribe stop-smoking medications where helpful, and will happily explain the oral and overall health benefits of quitting smoking as soon as possible.

Smoking Cessation in SuttonCan I do it alone?

It may come as a surprise to hear, but four out of 10 smokers will attempt to quit their smoking habit during the course of a year, but the withdrawal symptoms of nicotine can be so severe that many will fail on their first attempt and will return to their previous smoking habits.

Nicotine addiction involves both psychological and physical factors. This means that smoking cessation intervention will require a systematic approach in order to succeed. This involves assessing our patients’ readiness, motivating their health behaviour changes and developing a co-operative treatment plan.

How can a dentist help?

We believe our dentists are in a unique position to intervene early on because they can literally see the damage smoking can do to the mouth and surrounding areas. Smoking is associated with mouth cancer and our dentists can detect early changes, such as lesions, that may appear because of oral cancers.

As experts in oral health, our highly trained dentists can easily spot the damage tobacco does to the mouth and teeth. Smokers will also tend to suffer from bad breath, stained teeth and even a dry mouth.

People who smoke are also three times more likely than non-smokers to have severe gum disease. Fortunately, oral diseases associated with smoking are more obvious to the eye than other conditions. This can give our dentists an advantage over other health-care professionals in identifying patients who could be at risk because of smoking, and puts us in a good position to encourage the conversation about quitting this deadly habit.

Care for anxious patients

For up to 13% of people in western countries, severe fear of dentists or dentophobia is a very real problem. This can prevent some people from ever visiting their dentist, and make it a very unpleasant experience for others. In fact, dentophobia is the main reason that people avoid having the treatment they need. Sadly, many people would rather suffer pain, discomfort, missing teeth or gum problems rather than seek help. Some people feel out of control while others have had a bad experience or simply get nervous at the thought of attending an appointment or having work carried out. At Benhill Dental Practice, we want to make treatment accessible to everyone so we make sure that you feel as comfortable as possible.

Dental Phobia in SuttonThe personal approach

Many of our patients come to us via personal recommendation so we are confident that we offer a service that people are happy with. We take time to talk to you about your treatment so you know exactly what to expect and can ask any questions that you need to. For many of our patients who experience dental phobia in Sutton, we have restored their faith in coming to the dentist and allowed them to have the dental care and procedures that are required. Our staff are sympathetic, reassuring and friendly and do everything they can to put you at ease.

Modern techniques

As well as offering a caring approach we are pleased to say that advances in modern technology have enabled many procedures to be far more comfortable than ever before. We use local anaesthetic for more complex procedures and always ensure that your mouth is fully numbed before we start. Prevention is always better than cure and we aim to treat problems as soon as they become apparent. This means that they are less complicated to deal with. As a result, your visits to see us should be as straightforward as possible. In general, unless there are severe problems, we would only need to see you once every six months for your regular check-up.

Do get in touch with us to find out how we can support you to resolve your anxieties and access the care you need.

Upgrade your fillings

Silver fillings. They sound so classy, but let’s face it, silver fillings are not really silver. They only look a bit silver, and once they are in your mouth, they actually look more dark grey to black. And not classy at all.

At Benhill Dental Practice in Sutton, a lot of our patients are moving from silver to white fillings.

White Fillings in SuttonWhy change from silver to white?

Although amalgam is deemed safe, it does contain mercury and some people believe that amalgam fillings can lead to ill health. This is one reason why some patients choose to have all their amalgam fillings replaced with white composite fillings.

White fillings are put into the tooth in a different way from amalgam. Layers of white composite are packed into the cavity and then cured with a UV light. Once the layers are built up and the last layer is cured, the dentist can then sculpt the surface of the filling so that it has the grooves and ridges that one finds on the chewing surface of a natural molar. This cannot be done with amalgam, which only gives a flat chewing surface. When you have lots of fillings in your molars having a good chewing surface on each one can make quite a difference to processing your food, and to the pressure on each tooth.

Another great reason to go for white fillings is that the dentist only needs to remove the decayed part of the tooth. Amalgam fillings require the removal of healthy tooth tissues as well. This means a bigger hole, and thinner sides to the tooth, which weakens it. So teeth filled with white composite are stronger than those filled with amalgam, and therefore likely to last longer.

And lastly, white fillings look great. You can laugh your head off and not worry that those you are with are being treated to a display of your dental history. All they will see are rows of lovely, strong white teeth.

If you want to make the move from silver to white fillings, why not give us a call. You can do them all at once, or one by one as your old silver fillings start to wear out.

Why teeth whitening is so popular

There’s nothing quite like beautiful white teeth for giving your smile and your spirits a lift. It’s no wonder really that teeth whitening is the world’s most popular cosmetic dentistry treatment. In Sutton, white teeth are incredibly popular too, among our patients at Benhill Dental Practice.

Why choose teeth whitening?

Teeth Whitening in SuttonWe have wondered about what makes this particular treatment the one that most patients gravitate towards when they are dissatisfied with their smiles. We have reached the conclusion that it is because it is so quick and easy, and that it doesn’t require the teeth to be altered in any way. Even mildly wonky teeth can look so much better if they are a healthy white colour, so people often choose this treatment when they are testing the waters of cosmetic dentistry. They may go on to have other, more permanent or invasive, treatments afterwards.

Teeth whitening also makes for a great top-off treatment for people who are having a lot of remedial work done, or have another cosmetic treatment such as getting their teeth straightened with braces. If they have been wearing fixed braces for several months and it is time for the great unveiling when the braces finally come off, patients often choose this time to have their beautiful and newly straightened teeth whitened. It really gives their smile a dramatic lift after all that hard work wearing braces for so long, and they leave our dental practice with huge beams of their faces.

And that’s what it’s all about really – being able to smile broadly. It feels wonderful and does wonderful things to the body, releasing large amounts of serotonin to lift the spirits.

Your options

At Benhill Dental Practice, we offer 2 ways to whiten teeth. You can come into the practice for power whitening. This takes about an hour and you just lie back and relax, while a more concentrated whitening gel on your teeth does its work. Or you can whiten your teeth at home with a less concentrated gel, wearing custom-made mouth trays for several hours, or overnight, each day. This takes about 2 weeks to get results.

Protect your teeth with preventive dentistry in Sutton

If you don’t take good care of your teeth and gums, you may find yourself spending a lot of money on restorative dental care. By practising preventive dentistry, you can safeguard yourself from gum disease and reduce the chances of tooth decay.

At Benhill Dental Practice, we believe that prevention is better than cure and we emphasise the importance of ongoing good oral hygiene in Sutton. Effective preventive dentistry combines at-home oral care with regular visits to the dentists for check-ups and cleanings. Our friendly and experienced hygienist, Debbie, is particularly interested in educating children on the long-term benefits of good oral care.

Oral Hygiene in SuttonWhy are dental appointments important

Visiting the dentist and the hygienist on a regular basis is very important for the health of the teeth and gums of patients of all ages. During your appointment, your hygienist will clean your teeth and gums thoroughly ensuring that all traces of plaque and tartar have been removed. This procedure involves the use of special equipment and pastes to ensure a thorough and effective cleaning, especially in those areas of the mouth that are difficult to reach with brushing alone.

Debbie can also help you treat active gum disease, a leading cause of tooth loss and bad breath. Gum disease can go unnoticed for a long period of time, but sometimes early symptoms include sensitivity, swelling and red gums that bleed when you brush your teeth. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should have your gums checked up by a dentist or hygienist straight away. The quicker we diagnose the problem, the better for your oral health.

Besides cleaning your teeth and gums at the dental practice, our hygienist will also offer helpful advice on effective brushing techniques and aftercare. Moreover, we offer teeth whitening treatment for patients who wish to brighten their smile and regain their confidence in their appearance.

Protect your health with preventive dentistry

Oral health is linked to overall health, therefore, preventive dentistry is important to your overall wellbeing. Oral diseases can hinder your ability to eat, chew or speak properly, affecting your basic daily routine and self-confidence. More importantly, children who suffer from oral diseases may experience development problems.

Preventing and treating sensitive teeth in Sutton

Do your teeth feel painful when eating or drinking something hot or cold? Extreme temperature changes can cause your teeth to expand and contract to create small cracks on the enamel that allow these sensations to reach through to the nerves. Sensitive teeth can be painful and even affect your diet.

At Benhill Dental Practice in Sutton, we will examine your teeth carefully and determine the cause of the sensitivity. Sensitive teeth can be the result of the underlying layer of your teeth being exposed, gum disease, clenching and grinding as well as vigorous brushing. In any case, our experienced dentists will help you identify the source of the problem and treat it before it becomes extensive.

Sensitive Teeth in SuttonWhat causes tooth sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity can be caused by different factors but it is usually associated with exposed dentine – the hard tissue that sits beneath tooth enamel. Human teeth are made of protective outer layers and an inner layer of dentine which protects the nerve of the tooth. When your teeth lose their outer layers, dentine is exposed to different factors that can cause pain, including extreme temperatures, acidic foods and drinks as well as brushing.

The exposure of the dentine, on the other hand, may be caused by tooth erosion, fractured teeth, broken fillings, decay, aggressive brushing and receding gums among others.

How to treat sensitive teeth

If you have sensitive teeth and suffer from pain and discomfort, we can help you by creating a customised care plan for you. Our dentists may recommend desensitizing toothpaste which can help block pain associated with sensitive teeth. In some cases, we may also recommend fluoride treatment for strengthening tooth enamel and reducing pain. Occasionally, exposed tooth surfaces can be treated by applying bonding resin. Patients are also advised to reduce the intake of acidic foods and drinks and take good care of their gums to reduce gum recession. Your dentist may also advise replacing old and leaky fillings as well as restoring cavities on your teeth.

Sometimes, sensitive teeth can be confused for cavities or abscesses that are not still visible. In any case, if you notice any change in your teeth’s sensitivity to temperature, contact us today.

Improve your oral hygiene: how to get healthy gums

Although good oral health is associated with white, healthy teeth, the health of the gums surrounding our teeth is equally important. Gum disease is among the leading causes of tooth loss worldwide, while inflammation and recession of the gums can create many oral health problems.

No matter how often you brush and floss your teeth, a regular toothbrush cannot clean every single crevice in your mouth. Your teeth may look and feel healthy, but if you fail to visit your dentist for regular check-ups, you will experience mild gum disease at some point.

Healthy Gums in SuttonAt Benhill Dental Practice in Sutton, we are passionate about oral hygiene and we firmly believe that prevention is better than cure.

During your consultation appointment, our dentists and dental hygienists will thoroughly examine your teeth and gums, look for signs of inflammation and bleeding and evaluate your gum health. If you require treatment, we will create an individual treatment plan detailing all the procedures and costs involved.

Brush your teeth and gums at least twice a day

This is really important for your oral health. While many people brush their teeth diligently, they forget to brush along the gum line as well as their tongue. This helps to reduce the amount of bacteria that live on the surface of the gums and the soft tissue. During your appointment, our dental hygienist will show you effective ways to brush your teeth and gums.

Floss once a day and rinse with antiseptic mouthwash               

Flossing is as important as brushing in maintaining a good oral hygiene and healthy teeth and gums. A toothbrush can’t always reach in between your teeth in order to clean them properly. Dental floss can remove food and bacteria residue from difficult-to-reach areas in the mouth. Extra protection is also guaranteed when you finish your oral hygiene routine by rinsing your mouth with antiseptic mouthwash.

Visit your dental hygienist

The most important thing to do in order to keep your gums healthy is to visit your dental hygienist at least every six months. They will be able to determine the health of your gums and perform a thorough cleaning, which helps eliminate the bacteria on your teeth before it moves to your gums.

Nervous patients treatment in Sutton

Dental phobia or dental anxiety is a very common condition preventing many people from receiving proper dental care and should not be overlooked. This fear can easily lead to poor oral health, as an anxious patient may do whatever it takes to avoid visiting the dentist. The most common types of dental phobia include fear of pain, fear of the dental drill, fear of the dentist, and last but not least fear of needles.

Nervous Dental Patients in SuttonAt Benhill Dental Practice in Sutton, we appreciate that dental phobia is a condition unique to each patient but one we can help you overcome. Most patients are reluctant to visit the dentist because of traumatic, past experiences, which may have involved significant pain. Moreover, nervous patients tend to dislike the idea of losing control to the dentist. Dental anxieties and fears may be general or specific and become progressively harder to overcome as time passes.

This way, a negative circle grows where care is postponed and problems ignored until patients are in need of emergency care due to severe dental problems. Emergency appointments are inevitably more stressful for nervous patients and much more difficult to manage. However, a supportive attitude from your dentist can make a huge impact on your dental care and lifestyle.

Caring for nervous patients

Our practice supports nervous patients without the use of dental sedation. When you visit us, rest assured that your teeth will not be the worst we have seen, and no matter how awkward things seem, we are going to help you and not judge you. We are all about practising gentle dentistry and taking the time to talk to patients so that they feel in control at all times of the treatment. For us, it is really important to provide reassurance, as this will help you overcome your anxiety. Our gentle, caring and professional approach to pain-free dentistry can be testified by many happy patients.

Modern dentistry has come a long way and nowadays most treatments are practically pain-free. Our aim is to prevent any serious problems from happening, but if you experience pain or other symptoms, we will get you out of pain and treat your problem thoroughly to restore your oral health.

Taking good care of your teeth and visiting your dentist regularly will eliminate the need for more complex dental treatment in the future.

Considering composite veneers in Sutton? All you need to know

Composite veneers (also known as composite bonding) are used extensively to improve the colour, shape, position, arrangement, and in some cases, the texture of teeth in order to make them more attractive. Generally, they can be fitted in one visit to the dentist and are minimally invasive compared to conventional porcelain veneers, which require the tooth to be drilled before placement.

At Benhill Dental Practice, we are very experienced with composite dental materials and understand how best to use them for restorative purposes. Our highly-trained dentists have a deep understanding and experience of the nature of the procedure, since they have applied dental veneers to many patients with great results.

Composite Veneers in SuttonThe procedure

Dental veneers are very thin, tooth-coloured leaves made of composite or porcelain, which cover the front of your teeth. Based on your preferences, we can alter the shape of your veneers to make your teeth look longer and or closer together. You can have just one veneer or a whole set – the latter is known as a smile makeover.

Your dentist will prepare your teeth first in order to ensure that veneer and your tooth bond completely. After that, they will sculpt the composite dental material into the ideal tooth shape and structure to fit your tooth. Choosing the right shade, and shaping the material to suit individual oral contours, requires a trained dentist with a thorough understanding of facial and tooth structure.

At Benhill Dental Practice, we craft our veneers out of the highest quality composite material for realistic results. Stain-resistant and smoothly polished, composite veneers protect existing enamel and enhance your smile.

Benefits of dental veneers

Since veneers are individually made for each patient, it is nearly impossible to tell the difference between a veneer and a natural tooth. Unlike natural teeth, veneers are stain resistant and cannot form cavities on their surface. Unlike other tooth restoration treatments, they will usually last for 15 years or more due to high-quality bonding agents and improved cement. Finally, with veneers, as opposed to crowns, your natural teeth remain largely undamaged.

Get in touch

If you are not happy with the appearance of your teeth, contact us today and we will help you figure out whether veneers are the right solution for you.