Treatments

Home / Treatments

 

Our Dentists regularly perform a number of different dental treatments. This page is intended to provide further information about some of our treatments – not all treatments are listed on this page. If you are looking for a particular treatment, and cannot see it listed on this page, or on our Treatment Fee Guide, please get in touch and we would be happy to discuss your treatment options with you.

Here at Thames Street Dental, we encourage all of our patients to have regular dental examinations (dental checkups) in order to prevent oral diseases. This allows us to check for early signs of gum disease, tooth decay and oral cancer. Routine checks not only keep your mouth in great health, but they also dramatically reduce the need for (and cost) of dental work later in life.

Your initial consultation at the practice will first involve you completing a medical history form. It is essential that this form is completed accurately and returned to Thames Street Dental for your dentist to ensure you receive safe dental treatment catered to your medical conditions. Once we have reviewed your medical history form, your dentist will discuss any problems or worries you may have regarding your dental health and take the time to listen to your concerns prior to beginning any treatment. Whether you require a straight-forward examination or you a complex consultation followed by appropriate treatment planning, we always consider our patients’ concerns and try to address them prior to starting any treatment.

We understand that a visit to the Dentist can be a daunting experience for some people, but it needn’t be! To help with this, we have included the steps which are performed by our dentists during initial consultations/examinations:

  • Perform an examination of the mouth to assess your teeth, gums and soft tissues
  • Perform screening for oral cancer
  • Take X-Rays of your mouth if necessary

After the examination we will sit down and discuss any problems we identify and suggest potential solutions. In certain cases there can be a range of options open to the patient and we feel that it is important that the patient understands all of these. At the end of the consultant, you will be given a treatment plan, along with fees associated with the treatment, so that you will know in advance of each visit what treatments you will receive and how much it will cost. We are always happy to answer your questions, so don’t be afraid to ask!

Regular dental hygiene appointments should form part of your dental treatments to help prevent problems that you won’t be able to spot yourself.  For example – the build-up of calculus which can then lead to gum related diseases.

A hygiene appointment will involve the removal of tartar build up by using fine dental instruments or an ultrasonic machine. Stains can also be removed using a polishing paste. This will then be followed by tailored oral hygiene advice and regime to help you maintain your oral health at home.

In some cases, the dentist may initially prescribe an intense course of a few treatments if needed, and then follow it up with 3 monthly intervals. Once your dentist is happy with your gum health they may then recommend a visit every 6 months.

Root canal treatment (also known as endodontic treatment) is a dental procedure used to treat infection at the centre of a tooth. Such infection is caused by bacteria that already live in the mouth and have been able to invade the tooth because of decay (or previously treated decay and subsequent deep fillings), leaky fillings, or from trauma.

If a tooth is infected there are two options available; remove the tooth completely or to undergo a root canal and try and save the tooth.  The procedure is carried out under local anaesthetic, so it should feel similar to a filling. The inside of the infected tooth is cleaned and disinfected using special dental instruments. Once cleaned, the root canal system is then filled.

Root canal treatment is a highly skilled procedure that takes time to complete. It has an 80% success rate depending on the level of complexity and anatomy of the root canal system of the tooth. After the treatment has been carried out, the tooth can be more fragile.  Evidence shows that placing a crown on top of a tooth that has had root canal treatment will protect the tooth from future fracture and also increase the success rate of root canal treatment (particularly if it a back tooth). It is especially important to take care of the tooth after treatment by regular maintenance to help ensure the continued success of the root canal and crown treatment.

Teeth whitening - a before/after example

The colour of our teeth is determined by our genes and our age. As we get older our teeth naturally become more yellow – our lifestyle can also cause teeth to be stained. For example – drinking tea or coffee, eating some foods and smoking all cause staining. If you are thinking of whitening your teeth, please see the following information to help you make an informed decision.

What is teeth whitening and how does the treatment work?

Teeth whitening lightens teeth and helps to remove staining and discolouration. Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic treatments because it can greatly improve your smile.  Teeth whitening involves bleaching your teeth to make them a lighter shade. It can lighten the existing colour by several shades but it is unlikely to make them brilliant white. At Thames Street Dental we offer home bleaching kits. This involves taking a set of impressions of the teeth to make custom fit bleaching trays.  Our dentists will then show you how to use the teeth whitening bleaching kit in the comfort of your home, at your own leisure. One of the benefits of using a home bleaching kit is that you can top up your whitening treatments whenever you wish as long as you have your trays and enough bleach.

Note: It is important your teeth and gums are healthy before teeth whitening is carried out hence we do advise a through dental examination is carried out first.

Do whitening toothpastes work?

There are many toothpastes on the market which claim to help whiten your teeth. Whilst these toothpastes may help remove some light surface stains, whitening toothpastes do not contain the same ingredients as the products we use for teeth whitening, and so do not result in the same outcome. The concentration of bleach required to safely and effectively whiten teeth cannot be found in a toothpaste.

Who can perform teeth whitening?

Teeth whitening is a dental procedure and should only be performed by a qualified Dentist or another regulated dental professional. An incorrect concentration of beaching gel could cause harm hence why it should only be prescribed by a Dentist. Some beauty salons offer teeth whitening – this is illegal if there is no qualified dental professional present, and it may put your oral health at risk.

Is teeth whitening permanent?

A single treatment of teeth whitening will not keep your teeth that shade forever – Your eating, drinking and smoking habits can cause the teeth to discolour again. For this reason, we advise all patients that the whitening effect may last up to one year. However, it is easy and cost-effective to repeat the treatment. If you wish to have your teeth whitened again, you do not need to pay the full price again – Simply come back to Thames Street Dental and purchase additional bleach – You can use your existing trays, so maintenance of teeth whitening is very cost-effective!

Will my fillings, crowns or veneers change colour?

It is important to know that your existing dental restorations will not change colour. If you have any fillings, crowns or veneers on your front teeth you may wish to have them replaced to match your new shade after the whitening treatment has been completed. This can be discussed further with the Dentist during your consultation appointment.

What are the risks of teeth whitening?

There is a small risk of teeth sensitivity and gum irritation if the whitening is not completed correctly. We will spend enough time to educate you well on how to carry out whitening to ensure that the risk of sensitivity or gum irritation is minimal. If you do experience sensitivity, please do let us know and we can prescribe a desensitising toothpaste if necessary.

Your Dentist may suggest a crown is required for a tooth if:

  • It already has a large filling in it and the remaining tooth tissue may be weakened
  • It is discoloured and you would like to improve with appearance of the tooth
  • It has been root filled and will require a crown to protect it from future fracture (damage)
  • It may form part of a bridge to replace another missing tooth

A crown is sometimes referred to as a “cap”. It sits on top of an existing tooth and restores the shape, colour and function of the original tooth.

For Crowns and Bridges, you will need at least two appointments with the Dentist:

  1. During the first appointment the tooth is prepared for the crown under local anaesthetic so you should feel no pain. An impression is taken and temporary crown is placed on the tooth for approximately two weeks whilst the crown is made by the dental lab.
  2. Once the crown has been made it can then be fitted. The crown may initially feel different to your original tooth – This is because the shape of the crown is built to optimise the function of the tooth. In most cases it will settle after a few days so that it feels just like a normal tooth. Occasionally, the crown may need to be adjusted if it feels higher than the surrounding teeth.

There are a variety of materials that can be used for a crown:

  • All Metal: Metal crowns are normally only used for back teeth as they are less visible.  Metal crowns and are very strong and long lasting.
  • Metal and Porcelain: These crowns have a metal core and are covered by a layer of porcelain – this makes them strong yet look tooth coloured
  • All Porcelain or Ceramic: These are metal free crowns and are the most aesthetic type of crowns available

A veneer is a thin layer of porcelain or reinforced resin that covers the front of the tooth – similar to how a false nail covers the original. You may wish to consider a veneer if:

  • You have discoloured teeth
  • You have gaps between your teeth and orthodontics is not an option
  • You have an imperfectly shaped tooth

Veneers are an effective cosmetic treatment and do have their uses in certain situations; in the past veneers were used to treat crooked teeth. However, we now encourage patients to consider orthodontics to align poorly positioned teeth, as it is a more conservative option, which can achieve great results.

A veneer requires at least two appointments with the Dentist:

  1. During the first appointment, we prepare the tooth, take an impression and match the shade of the veneer to the tooth
  2. The second visit is to fit it and make any necessary minor adjustments.

Veneers from Thames Street Dental should last for many years – However, they can chip or break, just as your own teeth can. It is very important you maintain and look after your veneer once it has been fitted in order to increase its longevity.

Dental fillings are used to replace the missing part of a tooth and essentially filling the hole that is present. First, your decay is removed.  The cavity is then filled with an appropriate filling material (as outlined below).

What are the different types of filling materials?

Amalgam

Amalgam fillings are silver in colour and made up of a mixture of silver, tin, copper and mercury. They have been used in dentistry for hundreds of years and have proven to be a strong, long lasting material. Some people may worry about the mercury within the amalgam, however, once it is combined with the other materials it is perfectly safe. Research into the safety of dental amalgam has been carried out over many years and so far there has been no connection found between amalgam fillings resulting in medical problems.

Composite

Composite fillings are tooth coloured and are made up of a resin material. They are bonded to the tooth surface. Traditionally it was thought that composites are not as strong as amalgam fillings, however, advances in materials have shown that they can last just as long. This is, however, dependant on the shape and size of the cavity and location in the mouth. Composite fillings can stain over time. Some patients prefer composite over amalgam fillings as they look more natural.

Glass Ionomer

Glass ionomer fillings release fluoride over time and are therefore ideal for use on children’s teeth to help prevent more decay. However, as they are a weaker material they are not ideal for long-term use on the biting surfaces of adult teeth – They can, however, work well on the necks of the teeth.

Fillings, regardless of type and colour are not indestructible. They can fall out, break, chip, leak, especially if decay develops around them. It is therefore important to look after your fillings once they have been placed and come in for regular check ups so that any signs of problems around your fillings can be detected early.

An inlay restores the natural shape and appearance of your tooth. If you have a large cavity, the alternative to placing a direct filling on the cavity can be to place an inlay. Some advantages of any inlay over a filling are:

  • You can achieve better contact with the tooth next to the one being restored
  • Inlays tend to last longer than fillings
  • It is easier to create an ideal biting shape
  • It is easier to reconstruct the anatomy of the tooth

An onlay is similar to an inlay except that it covers the whole biting surface of the tooth rather than just one portion of the tooth. Modern dentistry now involves being more conservative and trying to prevent losing more tooth tissue than necessary. An onlay is more conservative than a crown and can still serve the same purpose.

The procedure involves two visits to the Dentist:

  1. During the first appointment, we remove the decay/old filling and prepare the tooth, we then take an impression and match the shade. A temporary filling will be placed whilst the inlay/onlay is being made in the laboratory.
  2. During the second appointment, the onlay will be available from the lab.  Once it is ready we will remove the temporary filling and fit the restoration.

Anti wrinkle treatments can be used to soften facial expression lines. When we frown, smile or laugh we use our facial muscles – over time this can cause our skin to naturally wrinkle and crease.  The treatment relaxes these muscles or puts the muscle into “hibernation” for around three to four months, which results in the skin looking smoother and less wrinkled.

Anti wrinkle injections can help:

  • Soften existing lines
  • Prevent new lines developing
  • Create “lift effects”
  • Create “drop effects”

How is the treatment carried out?

After an initial consultation to discuss your needs and suitability for treatment, the procedure can be carried out by injecting small amounts of wrinkle relaxant into the muscles which cause the skin to crease and fold.  A very fine needle is used, therefore, only mild discomfort may be felt. The procedure itself takes just a few minutes! The treatment can take up to two weeks to reach its full effect, but typically lasts for up to four months.

Thames Street Dental we offer various anti wrinkle treatments including those for forehead lines, crow’s feet (laugh lines) and gummy smiles.

Many adults have crooked or crowded teeth and may not be happy with the way they look.  They may wish to have this corrected and improve their smile but are put off by the thought of metal braces or long treatment times. Others may not want to have their teeth drilled down for crowns or veneers.

Orthodontic problems such as twisted teeth, gaps between the teeth and poor alignment are common. These irregularities can have an effect on the function and appearance of the teeth. Orthodontic treatments aim to straighten teeth, improve smiles and boost self confidence.  If you are happy with the function of your teeth but wish to improve the position and alignment of the front teeth then anterior alignment orthodontics may be suitable for you.

Why choose anterior alignment orthodontics?

  • Improve your smile by aligning your front teeth
  • Improve your oral hygiene – this will become more manageable if teeth are straighter
  • Crowding occurs naturally as we get older – you can prevent this from getting worse if treated earlier (which then prevents crowding from worsening with age)
  • Misaligned teeth can cause uneven wear to the opposing teeth – this can be prevented with orthodontic treatment
  • Can avoid more expensive corrective treatment in the future

At Thames Street Dental we offer the Inman Aligner treatment:

The Inman Aligner treatment is a simple removable aligner which contains two bows to gently oppose each other and guide the target teeth into their new position. These gentle forces are active over a large range of movement, which is why the Inman Aligner produces great results, quickly!

If suitable, most alignment treatments using Inman Aligner are completed between 6 and 18 weeks. The lower teeth tend to move more quickly than the upper teeth, so in some cases noticeable results can be achieved in just one month!

What does the treatment involve?

  • Impressions are taken In order for the lab to fabricate your custom made Inman Aligner
  • The aligner is fitted into your mouth (it can be removed on your own at home as necessary)
  • Your dentist will review the results of the treatment every two or  three weeks reviews – we will assess the movement, create space when required and tighten the aligner if needed to ensure continuous alignment and the best alignment possible
  • Once the teeth have moved to where we want them, we recommend retention for life to prevent relapse. This can come in the form of a fixed/bonded retainer or a removable Essix retainer.

If you would like further information about teeth straightening/alignment, or any of our treatments, please do contact one of our dentists.