Are you afraid of the dentist? Then you are not alone. Fear of the dentist is the main reason patients in the UK cite for failing to keep up regular dental appointments. At Benhill Dental practice in Sutton, we have helped many nervous patients to get the dental treatment they need, by practising gentle dentistry.
Fear of the dentist has a plethora of causes. Some people have had a bad experience as a child, which has put them off seeking dental treatment for life. Others have specific triggers, such as the sound of the drill or the sight of a needle. The fear of not being in control is also common, along with shame about the condition of your teeth if you haven’t seen a dentist in many years.
Putting off dental treatment until an emergency arises can also add to nervous patients’ fear, as problems that could have been prevented with regular dental check-ups end up requiring more invasive treatment.
At Benhill Dental Practice has many years of experience working with nervous patients, without the need for sedation. By taking the time to talk to patients about their concerns and by practising gentle dentistry, we have helped scores of patients get the treatment they need.
Modern dental techniques have advanced greatly and most treatments are now practically pain-free. We use local anaesthetic for more complex procedures, and will ensure that you know how to signal to us if you need a break during treatment. That way, you can be assured that you will always be comfortable and in control at all stages of treatment.
If you first come to us for emergency dental treatment, our first priority will be to get you out of pain. We will treat any urgent problems, then will schedule follow-up appointments are necessary to help get you back to full dental health – and maintain your health going forward.
Many people are unhappy with the appearance of their teeth. Stained, chipped or misaligned teeth can make you feel very self-conscious about smiling or laughing in public.
At Benhill Dental Practice in Sutton, we believe that everybody deserves a smile to be proud of. Our skilled team of cosmetic dentists offer a number of options to help improve both the appearance of your smile and your self-confidence. For many patients, veneers are the perfect option for smile makeover treatment. As well as looking natural and beautiful, treatment with veneers is fast and minimally-invasive, ensuring that your teeth remain strong and healthy.
Veneers can be made of porcelain or composite material (the same material we use to create white fillings). They are thin shells that are placed over the front surfaces of your teeth to cover permanent stains and discolouration, small chips and cracks, small gaps and minor alignment problems. Many people like to think of veneers as false fingernails for teeth.
Depending on your individual needs, your dentist will adjust the shape of your veneers to make your teeth look longer or closer together overall. One veneer can be used to improve the appearance of a single discoloured or stained tooth, while a full set can give a more uniform appearance to all of your front teeth.
Your teeth require very little preparation to receive veneers. A small amount of enamel may be removed from the tooth’s surface to aid with the bonding process, but your veneers will be made to the exact same thickness as the amount of enamel removed. Where a tooth has a small chip or crack, your veneer will be made a little thicker where it covers the crack/chip.
To ensure an entirely natural look, your dentist will carefully select a shade of porcelain or composite material that closely matches the natural shade of your teeth, taking into account such factors as your skin tone and hair colour too, to give a beautiful and realistic smile makeover.
Once upon a time, if you needed a filling your only choice was to have one made of metal amalgam. While this is a strong, durable and well-proven option, because of their silver or grey colour, these fillings could also be very obvious – particularly if they were near the front of your mouth.
White fillings have been around for a long time, but for many years were considered less strong than their metal counterparts. However, thanks to advances in materials and techniques, white fillings are now considered almost as strong as metal amalgam ones, and are suitable for use anywhere in your mouth.
At Benhill Dental Practice in Sutton, our skilled cosmetic dentists also offer the option of replacing your old metal amalgam fillings with white fillings. These are carefully matched to the natural shade of your teeth, meaning that not only will you be able to smile without a trace of metal on show, but also that nobody will notice you have any fillings at all.
This is a safe and simple procedure carried out under local anaesthetic. Your dentist will carefully remove your old metal filling and any areas of decay that may have developed since your tooth was filled, and will put a tooth-coloured filling in its place. These fillings are made from a very hard, durable composite material that is able to withstand the biting and chewing forces created in your mouth.
For teeth that have very large metal fillings or a large amount of decay, your dentist may recommend using tooth-coloured inlays or onlays, as these are better-suited to larger cavities and are a half-step between standard fillings and crowns.
Your dentist will also provide you with preventative advice to help stop any further decay developing, helping to prevent the need for any further fillings in the future.
Teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic dental treatment in the UK. It’s a fast and effective way to improve the appearance of your smile and, when carried out by a dentist or dental hygienist, is safe and predictable.
At Benhill Dental Practice in Sutton, our fully-qualified hygienist, Debbie, provides teeth whitening treatment using the popular Zoom whitening system. There are two options for teeth whitening at our practice: power whitening in the dentist’s chair, and home whitening.
The key thing to remember if you are shopping around for teeth whitening treatments is that they must, by law, only be carried out by a dentist or a hygienist on a dentist’s prescription. While there are a plethora of “teeth whitening” products available on the high street, from beauty salons and from the internet, these have often not been tested to the rigorous standards required of whitening products used by dentists.
This may simply mean that the products do not work, meaning you have wasted your money. This is a best-case scenario, however, as some of these products are actually dangerous and can damage your teeth and gums.
Teeth whitening products delivered by fully-qualified dental professionals are extensively tested and are safe. They use special bleaching agents to gently remove everyday stains caused by foods, drinks and habits such as smoking. The result will be teeth that are brighter and whiter.
Home teeth whitening involves using custom-made whitening trays made of light plastic. You place a little gel in these trays and wear them overnight for about two weeks.
Power whitening involves an appointment with hygienist Debbie here at our Sutton practice. She will carefully shield your gums and lips before applying whitening gel to your teeth. A special lamp is shone on your teeth to activate the gel while you sit back and relax. You could have brighter, whiter teeth in just one hour.
Good dental hygiene is essential to maintaining a healthy mouth. The best dental hygiene packages combine a strong home-care routine with regular visits to your hygienist.
When most people think of the dental hygienist, the first thing that comes to mind is a scale and polish. While it’s true that your hygienist will professionally clean your teeth – using special pastes and equipment to remove even the most stubborn stains, plaque and tartar that can build up in hard-to-reach places – they will also do much more than that.
Your hygienist will also:
1 Provide bespoke home-care advice
Benhill Dental Practice’s hygienist, Debbie, will provide you with home-care advice tailored to suit your individual needs. This may include brushing and flossing techniques and the use of special equipment such as interdental brushes to ensure you get the most from your home cleaning routine. If you are receiving orthodontic treatment that involves wearing a fixed brace, or have other special care needs such as dental implants or bridges, Debbie will ensure you know how to look after them properly.
2 Provide dietary advice
Debbie will provide age-appropriate advice on how your diet affects your dental health, including how sugary and acidic foods and drinks can damage your teeth.
3 Identify and treat gum disease
Most people will experience gum diseases at some point. Early symptoms include swollen and/or bleeding gums, and bad breath. Untreated gum disease can lead to tooth loss, but with swift intervention from your hygienist you can prevent it from becoming serious.
4 Help children develop a good dental health routine
As well as working at Benhill Dental Practice in Sutton, hygienist Debbie founded the popular Toothy Pegs Club, which helps to educate children about the importance of good dental hygiene and teach them how to look after their teeth. Toothy Pegs uses fun puppet characters to help children learn about dental hygiene in an entertaining and informative, age-appropriate way.
As well as being bad for your health in general, smoking tobacco products such as cigarettes, pipes or cigars has negative effects on your dental health. Smoking affects the gum tissue cells, which means that smokers are more likely to develop gum and periodontal diseases.
Smoking also stains the teeth and can cause bad breath, shrinking gums, sores in the mouth and even jaw bone loss. It is also the lead cause of mouth cancer, which kills about 2,700 people in the UK every year and has a high proportion of number of deaths per number of cases diagnosed, because of late diagnosis.
Many people who smoke would like to give up, or at least cut down. At Benhill Dental Practice we understand how difficult this can be, which is why we offer a smoking cessation service to help those interested in quitting or cutting down to reach their goal.
There are many products available to help you cut down or give up smoking. It’s important to find the best product or products to suit your personal needs and lifestyle, and our smoking cessation service can help you find the best option. Many of these products help to reduce nicotine cravings by delivering nicotine in another way.
- Nicotine patches – heavy smokers may benefit by staring out with a 24-hour patch
- Inhalators – these resemble plastic cigarettes and enable you to inhale nicotine
- Nicotine chewing gum
- Lozenges or strips – placed under the tongue to combat nicotine cravings
- Mouth and nasal sprays
The best option for you will depend on your individual needs, and we will be able to help you discover what may work well for you. Some patients find it beneficial to combine two or more options to help them kick the habit for good.
To find out how we can help you to give up or cut down on smoking, get in touch with a member of our team today.
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