A fabulous smile is only half a year away

How many years have you spent wishing you had a lovely straight set of teeth? It can seem like a great smile will take forever to achieve, but if you choose Six Month Smiles at Crofts Dental Practice in Essex, your lovely new smile could be as little as 4 months away.

Six Month Smiles in EssexSix Month Smiles cosmetic braces only take 4-9 months to straighten out mild to moderate alignment issues. It’s not very long is it?

What are Six Month Smiles?

Six Month Smiles are modern-day discreet fixed braces for adults with mild to moderate alignment issues. Fixed braces draw the teeth into position using wires pulling through brackets attached to the teeth.

Six Month Smiles are different from traditional braces because the Lucid-Lok brackets are made of clear ceramic and are smaller than metal brackets. The wire that runs between the brackets to create the pull is thinner and coated in a tooth-coloured material.

Six Month Smiles create a discreet-brace look that blends in with your teeth rather than overwhelming them. The smaller brackets and fine wire use a gentle force on your teeth.

These braces are designed to work on your front 6-8 teeth only. These teeth, known as the ‘social 6’, are the teeth that show when you smile. They can be moved with gentler forces, and more quickly, than the back teeth because they only have one root. Pre-molars and molars have 3 roots, and so require more force and take longer to move.

The whole process takes only a few months and then you will have your new smile.

After treatment

Everyone who has their teeth straightened needs to wear a retainer after straightening is complete. A retainer holds the teeth in their new positions and stops them wandering out of place.

You can wear a removable retainer, which goes over your teeth like a mouth guard, at night. Or we can fix a bonded retainer to the back of your teeth, and this is then permanently in place.

Want to know more about how you can get a new smile in only half a year? Come in for a free consultation.

The many benefits of dental implants

Dental implants aren’t like any other kind of replacement tooth. They give you back your whole tooth, including the root.

It may seem that the important part of the tooth is the bit you chew with, but if a crown does not have a good firm anchor, it can be frustratingly hard to process your food.

Dental Implants in EssexMany of the benefits of dental implants spring from the fact that implants replace the root of the tooth, thus giving a firm base on which to build.

Dentures rely on adherence to the gum, or fitting neatly behind other teeth. They may fit perfectly at first, but jawbones shrink and many people find that after a while, their dentures start to slide around in their mouths, wobble, and even sometimes fall out entirely.

This will never happen with dental implants. The implants are small posts or screws made of titanium that are inserted into your jawbone under local anaesthetic. Titanium is incredibly biocompatible and your jawbone will grow new tissue all over the implant. After 2-6 months, your jawbone will be wrapped closely around the implant.

This gives you back full chewing power. You will be able to eat whatever you like again, unlike with dentures, which often mean having to stay on a soft food diet for the rest of your life.

Dental implants are also very versatile. One can support up to 3 crowns on a bridge, and we can replace an entire arch of teeth on just 4-6 implants.

As well as all this, maintaining your dental implants is very similar to your normal oral health routine. You just need to thoroughly brush twice a day and also floss. The aim is to get rid of plaque and avoid gum disease. Apart from that, you also need regular implant check-ups and cleanings with the hygienist.

Dental implants have a 98% success rate and we have many happy patients with dental implants here at Crofts Dental Practice in Essex. Patients can expect their implants to last for at least 15 years and even for decades.

Why not book a consultation to find out more?

Why do we care whether or not you smoke?

You’d think it would be no skin off our noses at Crofts Dental Practice in Essex if you smoke or not, so why do we offer smoking cessation help? After all, we’re not your GP.

Well, smoking affects the entire body and it particularly shows up in the mouth, affecting the gums and teeth.

Smoking Cessation in EssexSmoking and cancer

Mouth cancers include cancers of the lip, tongue, salivary glands, throat as well as the mouth itself. And tobacco use is the top risk factor for oral cancers. You may not know you have oral cancer, as the first symptoms often don’t hurt. They show up as strange lumps or numb patches, toothache or a feeling that something has got stuck in your throat.

Smoking and gum disease

Gum disease is not just about dental plaque giving off acids that attack the gums and tooth roots. Smoking also has a big part to play in it. This is because the bacteria that cause gum disease are present in higher amounts in smokers’ mouths.

Also, when you smoke you have lower levels of components that play an important part in the way the body’s immune system works. The result is that you are more likely to get inflamed gums, and lose more collagen and bone.

Smoking constricts the blood vessels and so the blood is less able to get to the gums to keep them healthy.

And if that wasn’t enough to put you off, if you do get gum disease and you smoke, you won’t heal from treatment as well.

All this means that you are more likely to lose teeth to gum disease than an ex-smoker or a non-smoker.

Are you less kissable too?

If you smoke, unless your partner is also a smoker, you are less kissable. Your teeth stain easily, your breath smells and your tongue is coated. If you are dating, stopping smoking widens your choice of partner.

Smoking cessation at Crofts Dental Practice

We can offer you a free consultation on smoking cessation. Advice and support can make all the difference to stopping. So, come on in and let’s get you on track to a healthier, happier mouth.

Help your face stay looking lovely

Dentistry has so many great techniques to keep your teeth looking in mint condition, but did you know that the dentists at Crofts Dental Practice in Essex can also offer treatments for your face?

Facial Aesthetic in EssexYour dental team already has an in-depth knowledge of your facial anatomy, along with years of post-graduate experience in taking care of it. Even though using the dentist for facial aesthetics may seem a bit weird, the more you think about it, the more sense it makes. When you consider how much time dentists have spent learning and training, you can see that we have great skills needed to deliver facial aesthetics in precise pain-free ways.

At Crofts Dental Practice, we use facial aesthetics to soften wrinkles and folds without permanent cosmetic surgery. The two most popular non-permanent treatments are Botox and dermal fillers. You can have them together or separately.Botox and dermal fillers complement each other wonderfully, one smoothing out wrinkles while the other fills out hollows.

Dermal fillers

We use fillers that contain hyaluronic acid. The body produces this substance naturally, using it to form bonds between skin cells and retain moisture. But production decreases from the age of about 30, resulting in the skin increasingly losing its glowing, plump look. Instead, without the levels of hyaluronic acid of our youth, the skin takes on a faded look and starts to hang from our bones, creating hollows. Dermal fillers plump out the face with something that is now missing. It works well in hollows such as the folds that run from the nose to the mouth, or the lines from the mouth to the chin. It also works well on plumping out a flattened top lip and on crow’s feet. People also use it on the backs of the hands. Effects last up to a year.

Botox

This is the brand name for injections of the botulinum A type toxin. This was originally created to stop excessive sweating, but scientists discovered that it also temporarily blocks signals from the nerves to contract muscles. When the muscles cannot contract, wrinkles can be smoothed out. Treatments take effect over a week and last for about 4 months. Botox is particularly popular for frown lines and forehead lines.

Now you see them, now you don’t

One of the best advances in dental equipment has been the introduction of a range of invisible braces over the last couple of decades.

Nearly everyone with wonky teeth wants to get them straightened, but the thought of having to wear embarrassing metal and wire contraptions on the teeth for several months, if not years, has put a lot of people off.

Invisible Braces in EssexNot any more, however. Now, a choice of invisible braces means that adults of all ages are getting in on the straightening act.

Here at Crofts Dental Practice in Essex, our patients can choose between 4 kinds of devices that cover the range of misalignment issues, from the very mild to the seriously complex. As an adult, even if your teeth are all over the place, there’s no reason for you to have to wear metal braces over your teeth.

Lingual braces

These hidden braces are great for complex alignment issues that other devices cannot handle. They use the reliable mechanics of bracket and wires but they go on the tongue side of the teeth instead of the outer-facing sides.

Made of gold alloy, the brackets are made specifically for each of your teeth, from detailed scans. They take about 3 weeks to make, but it’s worth the wait if you want your braces completely hidden and your super-wonky teeth sorted out.

Clear aligners

These look like mouth guards made of wafer thin, rigid, transparent plastic. They snap on over the teeth and inside each one there’s ridges and bumps that press on the teeth to move them. You wear a series of these Invisalign aligners, and you can take them out for eating and cleaning.

Inman Aligner

One removable device that uses opposing forces to gently reposition the front teeth. You take it out for eating and cleaning and it doubles as a retainer, so is very good value for money.

Six Month Smiles

Bracket and wire braces made with clear ceramic brackets and tooth-coloured wires to blend in with your teeth. These are fixed braces for moderately misaligned front teeth. They take 4-9 months to do their work.

Retainers

Everyone who gets their teeth straightened needs to finish their treatment by wearing a retainer.

Keeping on top of dental hygiene

Spring is starting to appear all around us now, and with it comes that burst of cleaning energy that transforms dark winter homes into bright summer homes. It’s hard to resist that urge to clean the windows and walls and get rid of any sense of hibernation that may still be lingering.

Dental Hygiene in EssexHere at Crofts Dental Practice in Essex, we get the urge to spring clean your teeth too, so why not come in for some dental hygiene and get your teeth ready for summer too.

Winter is a time of warm puddings, hot teas and coffees, red wine and chocolate, all of which can leave their mark on your teeth. If you run your tongue over them, can you feel the build-up of plaque and tartar?

Teeth cleaning at home

It’s not that you have not been cleaning your teeth properly. At least, it isn’t if you’ve been cleaning them twice a day for 2 minutes with a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste. And it certainly isn’t if you’ve also been flossing once a day and using interdental brushes to remove trapped food. It’s just that plaque never stops growing on the surfaces of your mouth and it can be hard to get out from some places, such as between the teeth and around the gum line.

Why we need to get rid of plaque

Plaque is the main cause of most dental issues. The bacteria that make up plaque give off acids that eat away at tooth enamel. These same acids also attack the gums, inflaming and irritating them, making them bleed. Then they get under the gum and start to corrode your tooth roots and jawbone. The end result of decay and gum disease, after not a little pain, is tooth loss. This is why getting rid of plaque is so important.

Deep cleans with the dental hygienist

Most people need to come in twice a year for a session with the hygienist, who has special tools to remove plaque and tartar. Depending on how bad the build-up is, you may need either one or two sessions to clear it. Then a quick polish and you are all set for spring.

Book a session now.

Looking in the mirror

What do you see when you smile at yourself in the mirror? Fabulous eyes? Lovely skin? How about those teeth? Or are you smiling with your lips firmly closed together?

If you are, then there is work to be done and at Crofts Dental Practice in Essex, we want to help you do it. We believe that your smile is one of your most important assets and we want to help you make the most of it.

Smile Makeovers in EssexFree consultations

If you are already one of our patients, did you know you can get a free smile makeover consultation with us?

Have you heard of smile makeovers? They are our way of helping you transform your smile by taking a really good look at what nature gave you in the way of teeth and how we can help nature make them look better.

Researchers have studied teeth and how they need to look to bring out the natural beauty of your smile. Teeth need to be in proportion with each other, and with your jaws and face for your smile to look its best.

They also need to be a good colour, well aligned and in good condition.

When you come to us for a consultation, we can take a look at all these factors and then write up a treatment plan that will enhance the natural beauty of your teeth.

What kind of treatments might you have?

If your teeth are a bit wonky, we will probably suggest that you start with cosmetic braces to straighten them up. If it’s only one or two teeth that are mildly misaligned, we might be able to disguise this with veneers.

Veneers are a great cosmetic treatment, covering over all sorts of imperfections on the front of the teeth, such as chips, cracks, worn edges and some staining. Most surface stains can be removed with teeth whitening, which is always a great way to enhance the teeth. It’s surprising how dull they get with all the foods and drinks we eat.

Less common treatments include gum contouring, which removes excess gum tissue, where it comes too far down over the teeth.

Come on in and find out what we can do for you.

Have you got healthy gums?

When you think about oral care, you probably think mostly about making sure to keep your teeth clean. You brush round them carefully to remove plaque. You floss between them to remove more plaque and trapped food.

But the mouth is more than just a set of teeth and it’s important to keep all of it in good condition. Your gums, in particular, play a vital role in the health of your teeth and if your gums are not in good shape, in the long run, your teeth won’t be either.

Healthy Gums in EssexIt’s easy to forget about the gums. They look like they don’t do much, those pink fleshy bits that your teeth protrude out of. But they deliver oxygen in the blood supply to the teeth and they help hold them in place and protect them from bacterial attack.

Gum disease

This is every bit as damaging to the teeth as decay. And, like decay, it starts off sneakily. Gum disease, in its first stage, doesn’t really hurt and you may not be able to see it either.

When gum disease starts, your gums start to become red and swollen, but it can be hard to see the redness. You may only realise something is wrong if you see blood when you brush your teeth. This is a sure sign of gum disease and it would be a good idea to call us at Crofts Dental Practice in Essex and get an appointment so we can take a look at your gums.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease is caused by the acids given off by dental plaque. The acids irritate and inflame the gums. If it is not dealt with in its early stages, it gets worse.

Treating early stage gum disease is a matter of better brushing and flossing, and a good session or two with the hygienist.

Ignore it and your gums will start to recede, exposing your tooth roots, which then get attacked. This can lead to painful infections and eventually, even tooth loss. Late stage gum disease is much harder to treat, so, if you are seeing blood when you brush, call us now so that we can take a look.

Lose count of your fillings

How many fillings have you had over the years? Not sure? How about if you count them? That’s easy to do if you had your cavities filled with amalgam, that dark silvery-grey filling material made of silver, tin and mercury.

It’s not so easy to do if you have white fillings in Essex, and if you can’t count how many fillings you’ve had because you can’t see them, then neither can anyone else. And that’s the point of white fillings, they are a far more discreet way to have cavities filled than amalgam.

White Fillings in EssexWhite fillings are made of a mixture of glass and plastic that is coloured to match the teeth. This mixture is called composite resin. Over the years, since white fillings first came on the market, they have got a lot stronger and more durable.

There are some good reasons, beyond aesthetics, to use white fillings instead of amalgam.

Teeth are stronger

When the dentist drills out decay for a filling, they take more healthy tooth material away for an amalgam filling than for a composite filling. This means that the tooth is stronger with white fillings because more of it is left behind. When it comes to back teeth, this is a real plus, as these teeth can really take a pounding when chewing is in full force.

Bonding

White filling material goes in in layers and each layer is cured (hardened) with a UV light, bonding it to the walls of the cavity. There are no micro-gaps for bacteria to sneak in and under the filling and get busy decaying the tooth. Amalgam, on the other hand, is packed in tightly but does not actually bond with the tooth. Bacteria can still get in and start decaying the tooth.

Sculpting new chewing surfaces

Amalgam is soft, and once it goes into the tooth, it lies flat. Back teeth that are filled with amalgam lose their chewing surfaces. The layers of white filling however, can be sculpted once they have been hardened and the teeth can have the bumps and valleys of their chewing surfaces recreated.

Ask for more info next time you come into Crofts Dental Practice in Essex.

Relax, you’re with an understanding dentist

Being scared of going to the dentist is a lot more common than you might think. And when we say scared, what we really mean is phobic. More or less everyone is a bit nervous about going to the dentist for anything more than a check-up or a scale and polish.

Nervous Patients in EssexHowever, as dental researchers come up with more and better ways to treat people and manage pain, there is less need to get jittery before a treatment. That’s easy to appreciate if you are one of the 87% of people who don’t suffer from dental phobia. But if you are one of the 13% of people who do, you are going to be suffering far more than just a few twinges of fear.

Dental phobia is extreme fear of visiting the dentist. It can cause sweating, panic attacks, and such levels of fear that often sufferers prefer to take their chances with gum disease and tooth decay than visit the dentist.

But, here at Crofts Dental Practice in Essex, we are doing our best to give nervous patients a new experience of visiting the dentist.

We run a special nervous patients’ clinic to aid people with their phobia. At our dental clinic, we are all well trained in working with worried patients. What does that mean? Let’s take a look.

Firstly, we are very happy to talk to you in a consultation before your treatment to allow you to go over your worries before you even get into dentist’s chair. We want to make sure you will be relaxed throughout your treatment. If you need to take breaks, we are happy to pause.

Waiting can increase anxiety levels so we make sure you don’t have to spend too long in the waiting room by running our appointments on time. We have lots of ways to distract you during treatment and you can bring a friend or family member along with you.

We also offer cognitive behavioural therapy to help you deal with your anxious thoughts, and we can also use sedation while you are being treated so that you can deeply relax.

Come and have a chat to find out how we can help you.