Mouth Cancer Action Month

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This November Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre are proud supporters of the Oral Health Foundation’s Mouth Cancer Action Month.

Currently mouth cancer is one of the few cancers experts predict will see an increase in diagnosis over the coming years. Mouth cancer is currently the 16th most common cancer in the UK, but still many people are unaware of the factors that put them at risk of developing the disease.

Mouth Cancer Risk Factors

Although mouth cancer can affect anybody, and is strongly associated with the age and gender of a person, around 91% of all diagnosis are linked to lifestyle factors. This means that by amending our lifestyle choices, we can cut the chances of developing mouth cancer.

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Smoking

  • Most mouth cancer cases continue to be linked to smoking tobacco.
  • Each cigarette transforms saliva so that it can damage cells in the mouth and can turn them cancerous.
  • Smoking increase your risk of developing mouth cancer by three times compared to non-smokers.
  • Smoking cigars and pipes increases this risk further.
  • Smokeless tobacco use can increase the risk of developing mouth cancer by 15 times.
  • By quitting smoking, you can help to reduce your risk of developing the disease by more than a third. Another great reason to kick the habit!

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Alcohol Consumption

  • One third of mouth cancer cases are linked to drinking alcohol to excess.
  • The key is excess! An occasional glass of wine is not a problem, drinking a bottle in an evening is.

Human Papillomavirus

  • The human papillomavirus (HPV) is estimated to overtake smoking as the number one cause of mouth cancer in the future.
  • HPV is very common and almost every sexually active person will get HPV at some time in their lives.
  • 90% of HPV infections go away by themselves
  • Sometime HPV infections can persist and cause abnormal tissue growth and other changes to cells, which can cause cancer.
  • Limiting the number of partners, you have and practising safe sex will help to reduce the risk.

Environmental factors

Environmental factors

  • Second-hand or environmental tobacco smoke can increase your risk of developing mouth cancer by 87%, even if you have never smoked yourself.
  • Poor diet can also be linked to more than half of cases. A diet rich in fruit and vegetables will not only keep your body fit and healthy, it will also help to reduce your risk of developing mouth cancer

More than 2,000 people lose their life to mouth cancer every year in the UK. It claims more lives than cervical and testicular cancer combined. The key to improving survival rates is early detection, with 90% of people surviving for more than five years if the cancer is detected early.

If in doubt, get it checked out!

If you are concerned about any changes you have noticed in your mouth do not hesitate to contact Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre on 01622 682 029 and book an appointment.

Bruxism: Are you harming your teeth while you sleep?

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Have you been told that you grind your teeth in your sleep? Do you suffer from chronic headaches or jaw pain because you clench your teeth? If so, a custom night guard might be the answer.

What Is Bruxism?

Bruxism is the medical term for grinding or clenching your teeth and jaws. Grinding refers to moving the jaw back and forth. Clenching refers to biting down with excessive force for long periods of time. Bruxism is a common condition and normally occurs during sleep or times of stress. Most people do not even know that they grind their teeth in their sleep until they are told by their sleep partner or dentist.

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Over time, grinding your teeth in your sleep causes extensive damage to the structure and enamel of the teeth, which can lead to decay and increased sensitivity. It can also cause headaches, disrupt your sleep, and cause pain in the jaw, face, and neck.

What Is Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome?

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome refers to problems affecting the function of the muscles of the jaw or the temporomandibular joint that connects the jaw to the skull. Injuries to the jaw and bruxism are common causes of temporomandibular joint syndrome. Symptoms include:

  • Pain or tenderness in the face, jaw, neck, shoulders, or around the ear
  • Difficulty chewing or opening the mouth wide
  • A popping or clicking sound when you open or close your mouth
  • A jaw that seems to get stuck or locked in a position
  • Swelling on the side of the face

What Is a Custom Night Guard?

A night guard looks similar to the trays used for teeth whitening and sits over the teeth to protect them from grinding or clenching. A teeth protector for sleeping does not actually stop you from clenching or grinding your teeth; however, it does shield and cushion the teeth from excessive wear and helps re-establish the natural space between the upper and lower teeth.

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Although a night guard is not the only treatment for bruxism or temporomandibular joint pain, it is an affordable, convenient, and non-invasive treatment option. A properly fitted night guard shifts the jaw and teeth into proper alignment, which can alleviate jaw tension, headaches, pain, and other symptoms of temporomandibular joint syndrome.

Why Is It Important to Get a Mouth Guard for Jaw Clenching?

Ignoring your bruxism symptoms can lead to serious dental issues requiring expensive treatments. For example, bruxism is a leading cause of root canal treatment. Individuals who grind their teeth can experience up to 2 millimetres of enamel erosion by their 20s, which increases the risk for cavities. Jaw clenching can subject the jaw and teeth to as much as 40 minutes of massive force per hour, which can set the stage for jaw and muscle pain.

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At Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre, we strive to make your visit as comfortable and stress-free as possible. If you are experiencing tooth damage, jaw pain, or other symptoms of bruxism, call today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced dentists. If your dentist determines that your issues are caused by teeth grinding or clenching, we will help you find the right night guard or bruxism treatment for you. Call us today at 01622 682 029 to book your appointment.

Invisalign – Caring for your braces

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With more and more people opting for Invisalign teeth straightening procedures to improve the appearance of their teeth.

The team at Maidstone Dental and Implant Centre have some top tips to ensure that your aligners have the best possible care.

Good Oral Hygiene

Although Invisalign aligners are removable, you will still need to ensure that you brush your teeth and clean interdentally after every meal, prior to replacing your aligner.

This may seem tedious or excessive, but neglecting your oral hygiene can lead to serious oral health problems such as gum disease and tooth decay, or cause unsightly staining on your teeth. Taking good care of your aligners is essential for avoiding complications while you are wearing them and to ensure that you end up with great-looking teeth once you’re not! No matter how much money, pain, and time you’ve already invested in Invisalign, proper oral care is still the key to walking away with a beautiful, healthy smile.

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Clean Your Aligners

Ideally, you should be cleaning your Invisalign aligners each time you brush your teeth. Remember, that any plaque or food particles will also sit on your teeth if you don’t practice good dental hygiene, regardless of whether you’re wearing a brace or not. So don’t fall into the trap of thinking your teeth are protected from tooth decay when wearing Invisalign aligners.

Rinse your aligners every night and brush them gently with your toothbrush to keep them fresh and clean and use the Invisalign cleaning system to keep your aligners clear. Under no circumstances should you soak your Invisalign aligners in mouthwash. With so many mouthwashes on the market each containing different chemicals, it would be impossible to advise on what is safe and what isn’t. Most mouthwashes also contain a coloured pigment, which may transfer onto the invisible brace leaving you with a strange tinted brace.

Routine Dental Appointments

It is also important that you attend for your dental appointments. These will normally be scheduled every four to eight weeks and allow the dentist to closely monitor your treatment. If you miss appointments your treatment will be extended and take much longer to complete.

Get Repairs Quickly

If you break or lose your Invisalign aligners, it is very important that you attend an appointment with your dentist as quickly as possible. While your aligners are lost or damaged your teeth can start to move back into their original position, increasing your treatment time.

If you have any questions or would like more help and advice on caring for your Invisalign aligners do not hesitate to ask the dentist on your next visit to the surgery. Call Maidstone Dental and Implant Centre today on 01622 682 029 and book a consultation.

Dental Implants

Over the past few years there has been a large increase in the number of people turning to dental implants to fill gaps caused by missing teeth. Dental implants are used to support one of more false teeth; this could be in the form of a crown, a bridge or dentures.

The team at Maidstone Dental and Implant Centre, cosmetic dentists in Maidstone have been placing dental implants on patients for a number of years and have hundreds of happy clients who have been able to regain their smile. Dental implants are a safe and well-established treatment and are currently the closest possible replacement to having your own teeth back again. Provided they are looked after, dental implants provide a long term solution and should last for many years.

Treatment

Prior to any treatment you will need to attend for a consultation appointment. At this appointment, the dentist will perform a full examination of your mouth and take x-rays to assess the level of bone present in your jaw. If you do not have enough bone or the bone is not healthy enough it may not be possible to proceed with dental implants without first having a bone graft.

Most dental implant surgery is complete under local anaesthetic; this means that you will be awake and aware of what is going on during treatment. If you are very nervous the dentist may prescribe a mild sedative to help keep you calm during your appointment. Placing a dental implant is often easier than taking the tooth out was initially. You may experience some discomfort in the week following surgery, but this should be easily managed with over the counter pain killers.

It will normally take 3-4 months from the placement of the screw into your jaw for the dentist to be able to start the restoration. This ensures the bone has time to heal fully around the titanium screw securing it in place.

Once the site has healed fully the dentist will be able to form the crown, a bridge or dentures to fit over the screw and fill any gaps. It is not always necessary to have one dental implant for every missing tooth, your dentist will be able to advise on the ideal placement of any dental implants to give the best retention for any restoration. Once in place the restorations will match closely the natural colour of your teeth so no-one will know that you have missing teeth.

Aftercare

Looking after your dental implants should be no more difficult than looking after your natural teeth. However, the dentist may advise that you attend for more regular hygienist appointments to ensure that the dental implants stay free of plaque and calculus build up.

If you do not care for your dental implants properly there is a risk of developing gum disease can affect the stability of the dental implant and in the long term if left untreated can cause the dental implant to fail.

At Maidstone Dental and Implant Centre we are able to offer high quality dental implants with our specialist Dental Implant and Oral Surgery Team.

Call us on 01622 682 029 to book in for a dental implant consultation today and start your journey to your ideal smile.

Top tips to keep your teeth looking their best after teeth straightening

Good dental care is just as important after your braces are off as while you’re wearing them. It is very important to help ensure that your teeth stay looking great.

At Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre, we have some tips for what you can do in the months and years after your braces are removed.

Get a thorough clean and check up

If you’ve had braces, you know how difficult it can be to brush and floss well. The longer you’ve had your braces, the more likely it is that plaque and stains have accumulated and settled on your teeth. A professional dental cleaning with the hygienist is the best way to remove them, and there’s no better time for a thorough cleaning and exam than right after braces.

Now that your teeth are beautifully straight, let us get them sparkling clean and stain-free!

Oral Hygiene

Ensure that you have in place an effective oral hygiene routine. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste and use interdental cleaning aids such as floss, tape or interdental brushes to clean the 40% of tooth surfaces that brushing alone cannot reach. This ensures that you remove food particles that can become trapped between teeth. If left these provide a food source for bacteria and in the long term can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

Wear your retainer as directed

Our teeth have a natural tendency to move back to their original position after a teeth straightening procedure. In fact, your teeth are at the biggest risk of moving back in the first few weeks and months after your braces come off.

Your retainer keeps your teeth in their new, aligned position. Always wear your retainer as instructed. It is also important to clean your retainers at least once a day. You don’t want to put a bacteria-filled retainer back into a freshly-brushed mouth.

Consider Teeth Whitening

After all your patience and hard work, professional teeth whitening is a great way to put that sparkle back into your smile. Teeth whitening can help to add the finishing touch to your new smile.

Maintain your beautiful smile

Most people get braces because they want a healthy, beautiful smile. Good dental care during and after teeth straightening can help you achieve that. That’s why it’s so important to get regular cleanings and talk to your dentist about any concerns you may have.

For more information about caring for your teeth following teeth straightening, talk to your Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre dentist at your next appointment. Call today on 01622 682 029 to book your appointment.

Frequently asked questions about dental implants

In this month’s blog we look to answer the most frequently asked questions about dental implants.

What are dental implants?

A dental implant is made up of three parts. A small titanium screw is inserted into the jaw bone, an abutment is then attached to this and then a crown, bridge or denture is placed on top, depending on the number of teeth to be replaced.

How successful are dental implants?

Dental implants have a 95% success rate, but as with any dental procedure there are risks associated.

Are dental implants always suitable?

Dental implants success are dependent on you having sufficient healthy jaw bone, meaning they are not suitable for patients with advanced gum disease or those that smoke. At Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre we will perform a thorough assessment to determine your suitability for dental implants.

Is there an age limit for dental implants?

There is no age limit for dental implants. You would just need to attend for an assessment with one of our dentists.

Is the procedure painful?

Treatment will be carried out under a local anaesthetic. Though the local anaesthetic injections can sting a little,once you are numb, you will not feel anything sharp or painful at all throughout your treatment. You will feel some pressing and pushing during the procedure as well as some vibration during the drilling stage, but this will not be sharp or painful in any way and your dentist will check to make sure you are completely numb before starting the surgery.

Are dental implants expensive?

It is perfectly normal to consider carefully the cost of any large expenditure. Dental implants are an investment in your dental health and it is down to each individual patient to decide if the improvements to quality of life, function, confidence, and appearance are worthwhile. We only ever prescribe treatment that is necessary and will always aim to offer alternatives to any dental implant treatment.

How long will treatment take?

If the treatment is straightforward, it can be a little as eight to ten weeks from placement of the implant to fit of the final crown. However, sometimes treatment can take longer depending on the level of complexity of your case, with some patients not finishing for up to a year. The exact time frame will be ascertained from your assessment at Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre.

What are the benefits of dental implants?

  • Dental implants are fixed in place and are currently the closest possible restoration to having your natural teeth back.
  • Dental implants will not slip or move and remove the need for adhesives.
  • Dental implants are self-supporting and do not damage the surrounding healthy teeth
  • Dental implants are long lasting and should last for at least 10 years

How do I care for my dental implants?

Dental implants can be cared for in the same way as your natural teeth. It is important to brush twice a day and use interdental cleaning aids daily. You will also need to attend for regular review appointments with your dentist.

If you would like some more information on whether dental implants can help replace your missing teeth, call Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre on 01622 682 029 and book an appointment today.

Get your smile summer ready

It is that time of year again, the days are getting longer, and the sun is beginning to shine. Although this year is very different from many we have experienced, we are all hoping that things will start to return to a new sort of normal in the coming weeks and months. Here at Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre we know that having a smile you can be proud of can help to boost your self-esteem and improve your confidence. There will no longer be a need to hide when someone has the camera out and you can be confident that your smile is always looking its best. 

Here at Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre, our highly trained and dedicated team have a wide range of services that can help to improve the appearance of your smile. In this blog, we look at the benefits of just a few:

  • Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is an effective way to lighten the natural colour of your teeth, without causing damage to the teeth or the surrounding gums, it can be used alongside other treatments to help ensure the best results. Teeth whitening can be completed either in the surgery or at home and it is currently the number one cosmetic dental procedure worldwide.

Benefits

  • Teeth whitening can help to dramatically improve the appearance of your teeth, for a relatively small cost. Having a beautiful smile is achievable for anyone.
  • Teeth whitening can help you make a great first impression. We all make decisions based on first impression and having the confidence to smile naturally can really help to improve your likeability factor
  • Teeth whitening helps to make you look more youthful. A bright, white smile is associated with youth so Teeth whitening can help you to look years younger. 

 

  • Teeth Straightening

At Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre we have a wide range of teeth straightening procedures available, so will always be able to find one to meet your needs and your budget. Teeth straightening has increased in popularity over the last few years, with more and more adults considering improving their smile. 

Benefits

  • Teeth straightening can help to improve your confidence in your smile. Improved confidence can lead to achieving more both professionally and personally. 
  • One of the first things people notice about you if your teeth. Teeth straightening allows you to be sure of making a good impression
  • Teeth straightening can help to improve your oral health. By straightening your teeth, it will be easier to perform a full oral hygiene routine, reducing the risk of developing gum disease and tooth decay.

Facial Aesthetics

Facial aesthetic treatment can help to improve the appearance of your skin, plumping and volumizing skin and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The key aim to all facial aesthetic treatment is to ensure the most natural looking result possible. People should never be able to tell that you have had treatment

Benefits

  • Facial aesthetic treatment is fast and easy, treatment can be completed in your lunch hour and you will then be able to return to work with very few visible side effects. 
  • Results are immediate but tend to look even better a few days later. 
  • Facial aesthetic treatment allows you to control your looks subtly as you age.

The team at Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre work closely with you to customise individual treatment plans that successfully meet your personal needs, helping to ensure you can have a smile you can be confident in. If you would like to discuss improving your smile do not hesitate to call Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre today on 01622 682 029 or contact us on info@maidstonndental.co.uk.

Do I need to replace a missing tooth?

A single lost or damaged tooth can influence your daily life. Even though it may be at the back of your mouth and not visible from the outside, over time it can start affecting your appearance, self-esteem, your oral health and even your health in general.

Physical Consequences

  • Shifting Teeth

Over time the teeth next to the missing tooth will move towards each other to fill the gap. This can cause the teeth to become misaligned, putting extra strain on the jaw, causing difficulty chewing and an increased risk of tooth decay. The treatment for this would be teeth straightening which will likely end up more expensive than a single tooth replacement. 

  • Headaches or migraines

The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) that connect your jaw to your skull can be put under strain when your teeth shift out of position, often causing headaches and other pain and discomfort.

  • Digestive Issues

Missing teeth can lead you to not chew your food properly which can lead to digestive issues such as acid reflux and malnutrition from nutrients not being absorbed properly in the digestive tract. You may also look to avoid certain foods that are too difficult to eat. Getting your tooth replaces restores your full chewing function so you can go back to enjoying the foods you love. 

  • Bone loss

A lack of teeth can severely reduce the density of jawbone because it is no longer stimulated when chewing. This leads to a shrinking jaw line which makes you look older than you really are. 

Mental Consequences

  • Low self confidence

Society casts a negative light on people with missing teeth. Characters on the TV that are supposed to be poor or unintelligent often have at least one missing tooth. These perceptions spill out into reality where nearly anything can be said on social media. Even the toughest skin will weaken over time.

  • Self-doubt

As life expectancies continue to rise, you could be living with the stigma and difficulty speaking or eating for decades, even if you lose a tooth at age 50 or 60. 

Do not allow this to happen, you have the power to change your appearance. 

Restoring your smile

The most common treatment to replace a missing tooth is a dental implant. A dental implant is inserted into the jaw bone and a crown placed on top to give the closest possible restoration to having your natural tooth back. The process will take between 3-6 months to complete, depending on whether you need additional bone grafting

The result is a tooth that looks and feels just like the one you lost. Here at Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre we are pleased to be able to offer finance to help you spread the cost of your tooth replacement, ensuring that financial constraints do not prevent you from achieving the smile of your dreams. 

A dental implant is an investment in your oral health, helping to protect your remaining teeth and giving you back your smile. 

If you would like to find out more about replacing a missing tooth call Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre today on 01622 682 029

5 great reasons to smile and laugh more

Taking care of your teeth is important for your overall health. The quality of your smile also affects how much you show off your teeth and your overall mood in general. Of course, you can smile and laugh no matter what your teeth look like, but you are more likely to do it if you know that you have a smile worth showing off. You will get a big boost of self-confidence, and some other great physical and mental benefits.

Here are a just a few fun facts about smiling and laughing and why it is so great to smile:

1. Improved Mood

When you are in a bad mood, the last thing you feel like doing is smiling or laughing. But did you know that faking it can help improve your mood? Just the act of curling your lips into a smile or letting out a small giggle is enough to trigger your brain into feeling happier.

That sounds like something that is too good to be true, but studies show that it does in fact happen. Try it the next time you are feeling angry or sad and see what happens. It might feel weird at first, but it could turn into a long-term coping strategy for when those feelings arise.

2. Become More Approachable

Not only will you help yourself feel better when you smile and laugh, but you will also give the signal to others that you are a good person to be around. 

The more you can engage and interact with others, the happier you will be. It is a cycle that is worth getting into. Smiles and laughter are contagious — whenever you see someone else doing it, you cannot help but do the same. You can thank your mirror neurons for that. Whenever we see someone doing certain behaviours, we feel inclined to do the same.

3. Be More Productive

Work might not be a place that makes you smile or laugh, but the more you can do those things, the more productive you will be. When you smile and laugh, your mood improves, and you will be able to better focus on the task at hand.

4. Physical Health Benefits

Laughing works your abdominal muscles and releases endorphins that can alleviate pain and boost your immune system.

Studies have even found that smiling and laughing can help decrease your risk for heart disease because they literally protect the heart and prevent the build-up of fat and cholesterol. These actions can also lower your blood pressure and keep it that way for up to 24 hours.

5. The Best Perk of All…

Putting all the scientific research aside, the best reason to do more smiling and laughing is that it makes you feel good. We should all strive to spend time doing things that make us feel that way, and that begins with smiling and laughing.

Whether your teeth look the way you want them to or not, everyone can benefit from a happier life. Do not let the state of your teeth get in the way of that.

The team at Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre work closely with you to customise individual treatment plans that successfully meet your personal needs, helping to ensure you can have a smile you can be confident in.  If you would like to discuss improving your smile do not hesitate to contact us on info@maidstonndental.co.uk and we will endeavour to answer your questions. 

How long does it take to straighten teeth?

Here at Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre we understand that deciding to undergo teeth straightening is a big decision and we want to ensure that you have as much information as possible so you can decide whether it is the treatment for you. 

Therefore in this month’s blog we are going to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about teeth straightening.

1. Can I get teeth straightening treatment on the NHS?

Teeth straightening is currently only available to children under the age of 18 and adults with complex dental needs on the NHS. If your case is less severe or is for aesthetic reasons you will probably need to have teeth straightening treatment through a private dentist. 

2. Is there an age limit for teeth straightening?

There is no age limit for teeth straightening, it can be done at any time of life, provided your teeth and gums are healthy. 

3. Will I have to have teeth extracted?

We will do everything we can to preserve your natural teeth and straighten your smile without the need to carry out any extractions. Although we will of course let you know if we feel an extraction is the best course of treatment. 
Six Month Braces and Invisalign can usually be carried out without the need for extractions

4. How long will treatment take?

How long teeth straightening treatment takes will depend on your individual case, the degree of movement and the type of treatment you are having. Prior to starting treatment we will provide you with a detailed treatment plan that will provide an estimated treatment time scale. 

Teeth straightening can be carried out in as little as four to six months for minor issues or up to 24 months for more complex cases. 

5. How often will I need to attend the surgery?

Again this will depend on the teeth straightening system you have, but is normally every four to eight weeks. 

6. How do I look after my braces?

Once your brace is fitted the team at Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre will provided you with detailed aftercare advice. It is generally advised that you brush your teeth after every meal and use interdental cleaning aids daily. 

7. What is a retainer?

A retainer can be removable or fitted to the back of the teeth in order to keep the teeth in their final position after teeth straightening treatment has been completed and the brace has been removed. The retainer prevents the teeth from regressing back to their original position.

8. How much will it cost?

All costs will be fully explained when you attend for your consultation appointment. At Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre we want to ensure that financial considerations do not prevent you from achieving the smile of your dreams and we are therefore pleased to be able to offer a range of finance options, to help you spread your treatment into manageable monthly amounts. 

We are currently in the process of reopening for routine dental treatment so if you would like to find out more about teeth straightening email Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre today on info@maidstonndental.co.uk and we will endeavour to get back to you as quickly as possible.