An embarrassing problem

Having bad breath can be embarrassing and make you feel uncomfortable in social situations. There are lots of reasons that it can occur, including consuming strong-smelling foods and drink such as garlic, onions or coffee, smoking, underlying medical issues or poor oral hygiene. Liver and kidney problems, sinusitis, throat infections, diabetes and lung problems can all also result in unpleasant breath and it can be exacerbated by a mouth which is particularly dry. This can happen as we age as we naturally produce less saliva or can be the result of a medical condition. At Crofts Dental Practice we help our patients have fresh breath in Essex.

Fresh Breath in EssexWhy does my breath smell?

If there are no underlying medical problems then the most obvious cause of bad breath is lack of adequate dental care. The unpleasant odour is gas released by bacteria which coat your teeth, gums and tongue. If your teeth are not regularly and properly cleaned, the bacteria can accumulate and cause problems. In addition, bits of food can get caught between the teeth. When food debris decays, a nasty smell is the result. The bacteria on your teeth can cause gum disease and one of the warning signs is a persistent disagreeable smell or taste in your mouth.

How can I have fresh breath?

Regular dental care at home and a good diet which is low in sugary foods is essential. It is also important to have regular appointments with your dentist or hygienist who can check for plaque build-up, scale and polish your teeth, look for any underlying issues and offer advice on how to effectively clean your teeth, tongue and gums. Some treatments, such as having your teeth straightened, can also make a big difference as there are fewer gaps in which plaque can develop. Our team will help you identify the cause of the problem and offer solutions to ensure that you can enjoy fresh breath again. We can even help you to stop smoking.

Having fresh breath is a sign of a healthy mouth and means that you can relax and enjoy your social life again. Do get in touch with us today to see how we can help.

Solutions for missing teeth

If you have one or more missing teeth, you will know how this is detrimental to your appearance as well as making it harder to eat and speak. You may also have had to restrict yourself to a soft food diet. Not only do you miss out on your favourite foods but having a limited diet also affects your nutrition, gradually undermining your health over the years. Dentures can be unreliable or uncomfortable but there is a great alternative to removeable replacements. At Crofts Dental Practice in Essex, dental implants have helped many of our patients improve their smile and enhance their quality of life.

Dental Implants in EssexHow do dental implants work?

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots in the form of titanium screws which are set into the jaw during a minor operation. Titanium is well tolerated by the body and the bones and soft tissues of the jaw mesh around the implants, stabilising them into position. Dentures, crowns or replacement teeth are fixed to the implants, ensuring a secure, long-term restoration. Some people have been told that they cannot have dental implants due to lack of bone strength in the jaw but we can offer bone augmentation, sinus lifts or mini-implants so that dental implants can once again be an option. In straightforward cases, we can even fit your implants and replacement teeth in the same day.

Improving your health and looks in the future

With dental implant treatment you will be able to eat normally which improves your diet. Implant also strengthen the structure of your jaw. When you have missing teeth, the jawbone gradually deteriorates. This leads to weakness which destabilises your remaining teeth, as well as an aged appearance. Dental implants stimulate the jaw when you eat in the same way as a natural tooth root. This keeps the bones and blood vessels healthy, ensuring long-term strength. A further benefit of having dental implants is that they support the lips and cheeks, avoiding the sag and droop which can occur when there are gaps.

Dental implants are a long-term investment in your health and appearance. To find out how we can help and why we are so proud of our service, do get in touch with our experienced team today.

Straighter teeth for lifelong teeth

The thing about teeth is that not very many of us are born with a beautiful set of pearly whites that line up side by side to produce a lovely broad grin. Quite a few of us have teeth that are crowded, or protruding, or overlapping.

And the thing with teeth like that is they make wonderful hidey holes for the bacteria that form plaque. These bacteria live in our mouths and love nothing more than to hide away in the crevices and crannies created by wonky teeth, from where they are incredibly difficult to remove with brushing.

Orthodontics in EssexLeft to their own devices, these bacteria multiply and the sticky plaque hardens into tartar, and gives off acid that erodes our tooth enamel to cause decay, and irritate our gums to cause gum disease. Both decay and gum disease can lead to losing our teeth.

Let’s get things straight

Long story short, wonky teeth don’t last as long as straight teeth. And in an age when it’s perfectly possible to hang on to your own teeth until you die, one way to ensure you go to your grave with your own set of pearly whites is to get them straightened with orthodontics. Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry concerned with aligning the teeth and jaws so that they fit together well and the pressure from chewing is even distributed.

When the pressure is uneven, the teeth that take the brunt of the chewing forces, which can be around 97kg or 200lbs in the average male, tend to wear out faster, and can crumble. An uneven bite can also cause jaw problems, headaches and neckaches.

Orthodontics deals with these issues as well as more moderate tooth realignment issues.

The heavy-duty realignment can often be done on the NHS for children, while the jaw is still growing and therefore malleable.

But even though this becomes impossible after the age of 18, when the bones set, moving the teeth is possible no matter how old you are.

Mild realignments often take less time and can be done with smaller, more discreet, even almost invisible braces. Come in and see what we can do to help you keep your teeth for life.

Teeth for life — preventative dentistry

Dentistry has come a long way in the last few decades. There was a time when the ideal 21st birthday present was to have all your teeth removed and replaced with dentures. Teeth were not for life, but false ones were.

Things have changed so much since then that for the first time ever it is possible to hang on to all your teeth until you die, by taking good care of them with preventative dentistry.

Orthodontics in EssexAt Crofts Dental Practice in Essex, our aim is to have all our patients hang on to their natural teeth for as long as possible. And the best way to do this is make them easy to keep clean, and then to keep them free from plaque.

Plaque is the big issue when it comes to teeth. This sticky film that seems to appear from nowhere on our teeth is millions of harmless bacteria. They colonise the surface of our teeth, getting into nooks and crannies and around the gum line, even under it. The bacteria may be harmless, but the plaque builds up and as it becomes thicker, the bacteria nearest the teeth and gums feed on sugars in the mouth, and release acids. It’s these acids that cause the damage, eroding the enamel and getting into the dentine to cause decay and possibly infection. They also irritate the gums to cause gum disease, which can attack the bone under the gum and eventually cause teeth to fall out.

Preventative dentistry: benefits for children and adults

The check-up plays a vital role in preventing decay and disease. By coming to us every six months for a check-up and scale and polish, you let us spot the signs of issues that you won’t become aware of until they start hurting, and by then, they are already quite advanced. If we can spot early signs of decay or disease, it means the difference possibly between a tiny filling and a crown, or maybe an abscess and root canal treatment. With children, we can prevent filling with fluoride treatments and sealing fissure on the back teeth.

Once they’re in, they’re in

If you have reached an age where you are thinking about replacing some of your teeth, you may be wondering which dental restoration avenue to go down. Or, you may have had teeth extracted or knocked out in an accident, and be facing the same choice, only at a younger age.

You may not know it, but over the last 30 years there has been a revolution under way in terms of ways to replace teeth. Up until the 1980s, dentistry generally offered 2 options: you could go for the full or partial denture, or you could opt for the fixed bridge. Then, dental implants started to be offered by dentists. At first, they were prohibitively expensive for most people, and others didn’t have strong enough jawbones for them.

Dental Implants in EssexBut, in the last 10 years or so, dental implants in Essex have moved from being something hard to find that you’d probably have to be referred for to something that many dentists offer and is also most people’s first choice when it comes to replacing lost teeth.

Why choose dental implants?

The great thing about dental implants is that no one can tell you’ve got them. Unlike most other tooth restoration methods, these little gems of modern dentistry integrate with the rest of your mouth. They don’t start wobbling around after a few years. They don’t have to be taken out at night and soaked in a glass of water, and they don’t require adhesive to hold them in place. And best of all, they don’t ever need replacing. Once they’re in, they’re in.

At Crofts Dental Practice, we offer a free consultation so that you can find out if dental implants with us and our implant surgeons is the right course of treatment for you.

If they are, all it takes is half a day of oral surgery under local anaesthetic to insert the implants into artificial sockets drilled into the jawbone. After several weeks of healing, during which the titanium posts mesh with the jawbone, the artificial crowns, custom-made to blend with your natural teeth, are fitted. One implant can support up to 3 teeth. Or a whole arch of teeth on a denture can be supported by just a few strategically placed implants.

Extending the life of your teeth

The aim of dentistry these days is to allow you to keep your natural teeth for as long as possible. We understand that nothing is ever as good as your own teeth, not only to do the job of eating, but also to keep your jawbone strong and healthy and your general health good.

Dentistry is getting better and better at extending the life of natural teeth. So good in fact, that people are taking a lot, sometimes even all, of their own teeth into their old age. Gone are the days when people were encouraged to have all their teeth removed in early adulthood, and replaced with dentures for life. Yes, this really did happen and not so long ago either, up to about 40 years ago, this practice was going on in the UK.

Dental Crowns in EssexInstead, we have all sorts of techniques up our sleeves for keeping teeth strong and healthy, even when they have taken a bit of a battering.

One method we use at Crofts Dental Practice, and actually it’s been around for ages, is dental crowns. In Essex, these little gems in the dentist’s toolkit have been around since the Etruscans – the ancient inhabitants of Tuscany in Italy, where no doubt people were always damaging their teeth on olive stones.

Getting crowns

The dental crown is an artificial cover for teeth that have had some kind of trauma, have been root treated, or have a very large filling in them. The crown slips over what remains of the tooth, to strengthen and protect it from further breakage.

Getting a crown fitted usually requires 2 appointments. One to examine and prepare the tooth. We need to make sure that the roots and surrounding bone are healthy, so we may take x-rays. Then, after administering a local anaesthetic, we file down the tooth to make room for the crown, or, if there’s really not much tooth left, we will build it up to allow it to fully support the crown. Then we make an impression of the tooth, and use this to make the crown out of porcelain colour-matched to your teeth. At the next appointment, we fit it and you are good to go.

No more loose dentures in Essex – denture stabilisation with dental implants

Patients who have been wearing dentures for years, find that they often tend to become loose and uncomfortable to wear over time. Loose dentures can also be painful or create mouth ulcers and sores. This can lead to difficulties in speaking and eating and force patients to withdraw from any type of social engagement.

Dental implants could be the answer to loose dentures in Essex. At Crofts Dental Practice, we can fix your denture to your jaw with dental implants. This treatment, also known as denture stabilisation, offers patients with dentures a permanent solution to tooth loss and can improve their quality of life significantly by helping restore their chewing and biting ability.

Loose Dentures in EssexWhat are dental implants?

Dental implants are small titanium posts that are surgically inserted into the jawbone to support missing tooth roots. Dental implants have the ability to fuse with the jawbone, preventing its further deterioration and encouraging the growth of new bone tissue. Eventually, they create a stable and permanent base for replacement teeth such as crowns, dentures or bridges.

Denture stabilisation

Denture stabilisation is an innovative procedure that involves using dental implants to keep the denture in place. As part of this treatment, you will require surgery to have dental implants fixed into your jaw. Depending on the quality of your jawbone and other factors, you many require from 2-4 dental implants per dental arch in order to achieve stability and permanence. Once your implants have integrated with the bone and surrounding tissues for a period of time, your dentist will place the dentures on top of the implants through special clip-ons. This way you can still remove your dentures for cleaning, but will stay put once in place. In some cases, you may have the option to fix your dentures permanently into your mouth.

Benefits of denture stabilisation

Denture stabilisation offers many benefits. Firstly, the dental implants provide a stable base for the dentures, meaning that there is no risk of them coming loose. Implant-supported dentures restore oral functions such as chewing and biting, and allow patients to eat in public and socialise without worrying about their dentures slipping or coming loose.

Preventive dentistry for children in Essex

Much like an adult, a child with oral problems can develop other health problems. This is why preventive oral care is so crucial for your child and their developing teeth.

At Crofts Dental Practice, we are passionate about children’s dentistry in Essex and we encourage our patients to bring their children for dental check-ups as soon as their first teeth begin to appear. This can be from as early as four months to as late as 18 months. Our experienced dentists are very friendly and will make your child feel at ease through every step of the procedure. Our dental team can provide a number of preventive treatments for children, including fluoride applications and fissure sealants.

Childrens Dentistry in EssexFluoride applications

Fluoride has been used by the dental profession for many years to help prevent tooth decay, which is why fluoride is present in toothpaste and sometimes added to tap water. Fluoride helps strengthen the teeth through a process called remineralisation, where the mineral attaches to the weakened areas of tooth enamel and helps restore it. Fluoride can benefit patients of all ages, but is particularly important for children whose teeth are still developing. This is because fluoride can help them achieve stronger and decay-resistant teeth over a lifetime. Another important benefit of fluoride is that it can reverse early tooth decay.

Dental sealants

Even if your child regularly brushes and flosses their teeth, they are still at risk of developing cavities and tooth decay. This is partly due to the fact that children tend to ignore the back of their mouth when brushing and this many encourage the accumulation of bacteria and plaque in these problem areas. For this reason, dentists recommend dental sealants as soon as your child’s permanent teeth come in.

Dental sealants are protective plastic coatings that seal the chewing surfaces of the back teeth – especially the molars – preventing food particles and bacteria from entering through the grooves of the teeth. Sealants are very effective because they can last up to 10 years, however, they need to be checked regularly to ensure that they are not broken or chipped away.

Enhance your smile with porcelain veneers in Essex

If your teeth are chipped, cracked, misaligned or simply too worn down and you do not wish to break the bank for extensive treatment, then porcelain veneers may be the right option for you. Veneers can fix a number of cosmetic flaws such as discoloured, misshapen, uneven and gapped teeth. If you have sensitive teeth or you are not ready to commit to more invasive treatments, dental veneers at Crofts Dental Practice in Essex may be the answer to your smile concerns.

Porcelain Veneers in EssexWhat are porcelain veneers?

Porcelain veneers are very thin porcelain shells, which are bonded to the front surface of your teeth. When preparing your teeth, your dentist will take impressions and remove a very small layer of tooth enamel in order to ensure that the veneer will sit securely on your tooth. Since they are custom-made, veneers are perfectly shaped to complete your smile and match the natural colour of your teeth. In your second appointment, your dentist will attach the veneers to the front of your tooth with the aid of a special adhesive. With porcelain veneers, you can have a brand new smile in just two visits to the dentist.

Advantages of porcelain veneers

Although they won’t last a lifetime, with proper care, veneers can prove to be quite durable. As long as your follow your dentist’s advice and take good care of your teeth and gums, porcelain veneers can last up to an impressive 15 years. Since porcelain is a strong and durable material, comparable to tooth enamel, it can endure the pressure caused by everyday chewing and biting. Unlike tooth enamel, porcelain can withhold its brightness for a longer period of time, since it is unaffected by stains and cavities. However, neglect to take care of your teeth and veneers can lead to gum disease.

 Am I eligible for porcelain veneers?

Although veneers are a relatively inexpensive and easy procedure, not all people are good candidates for them. If you have decayed teeth or suffer from gum disease, then these issues have to be treated beforehand. Similarly, if a tooth has very little enamel on it, then a dental veneer won’t stick properly onto its surface. In this case, your dentist will suggest a porcelain crown.

Adult orthodontics in Essex

In recent years, many adults have been turning to orthodontics for straightening their teeth and improving their smile. There are a number of reasons for this  – they may have had not access to teeth straightening treatment when they were young, or their teeth started to shift later on in life.

Whatever the reason, never before have there been so many teeth straightening treatments available. This is particularly important for image-conscious adults who are reluctant to wear traditional braces due to aesthetic concerns. With advancements in orthodontics, you have many options that will fit in with your current lifestyle. Our experienced dentists at Crofts Dental Practice in Essex, will help you decide which one is best for you.

Orthodontics in EssexInvisalign

Invisalign is an innovative treatment that helps straighten your teeth without metal brackets and wires. Instead, it used a series of transparent, plastic, removable aligners that help move your teeth into their right position over a specific period of time. Invisalign aligners are custom-made with the aid of 3D technology that helps your dentist predict tooth movements and monitor your overall progress. Throughout the treatment, you will go through a series of removable aligners that have to be changed every two weeks or so. Since they are made of smooth plastic, the aligners are comfortable to wear and fit snugly over your teeth and gums, allowing you to eat your favourite foods and clean your teeth as you normally would.

Lingual braces

Lingual braces are just like metal braces, except that they are installed on the back side of the teeth, opposite the tongue. This way they are not visible when you smile. Lingual braces are made of high-quality titanium wires and brackets which are custom-made to fit each individual teeth. They are very discreet and they can fix a number of different orthodontic problems including complex issues.

Six Month Smiles

As their name suggests, treatment with Six Month Smiles braces last only six months. Unlike regular braces, Six Month Smiles braces use tooth-coloured, fixed nickel titanium wires, which move the front teeth quickly and safely. They are ideal for people who want to straighten their teeth in preparation for a special occasion.