By Maya Samuel
You may have recently seen specialised plaque removal tools on sale for the general public to purchase on social media. These tools are known as scalers and are used by dental hygienists to remove plaque and calculus from your teeth during a hygiene visit. A hygienist will gently clean around your teeth and under your gum-line to ensure they are free from bacteria and calculus whilst giving you advice on how to maintain good oral health at home. Sometimes deeper cleaning is required where the hygienist will clean the root surfaces of your teeth.
The tools they use can be very sharp and if used improperly, can damage your teeth and gums and although widely available, they are not recommended by dental professionals for patients to use themselves at home. As these tools are sharp and gum tissue is very delicate, it is easy to cause trauma. Trauma can result in gum recession which in turn increases your risk of developing sensitivity and tooth decay as the root surface is softer than enamel. You may also cause trauma to other soft tissues such as your cheeks and tongue. Finally, you may cause damage to your enamel which is irreversible and as a result, stains will pick up faster. If you require deeper root surface cleaning, then this will be very difficult and dangerous to carry out on yourself.
Hygienists are required to undergo a minimum of 2 years’ worth of training at university to learn how to use these tools effectively and most importantly, safely. Removing plaque is extremely important in preventing gum disease and tooth decay, however there are other ways of doing this. Remembering to brush twice a day using the correct technique for a minimum of 2 minutes at a time. Ensuring you are using a soft toothbrush head, a fluoridated toothpaste and using some form of interdental aid e.g. floss or interdental brushes at least once a day to ensure optimal oral health.
If you are concerned about the presence of plaque in your mouth, please visit your dentist or hygienist to have a full mouth assessment and if necessary, treatment carried out by a qualified dental hygienist.
By Amy Cuckoo
This is a popular question we get from our parents in clinic and the question we would type into Google if our children were turned away from the NHS for orthodontics. But what options are available if this does happen?
Firstly, I would like to say that the NHS are fantastic and do an incredible job. This blog post is simply highlighting the difficulty parents are facing getting orthodontics on the NHS and what options are available to them if their child is refused them.
However, before I go to the solutions, let me give you some insight as to why some parents are finding it increasingly difficult to get NHS braces for their child and why they are turning to private practices like Aura Dental to help.
Why is it so difficult?
It is a common public misconception that private practices choose not to provide NHS services, I know I thought this before I worked in Dentistry, however, whilst this is correct for some practices, for others it is extremely difficult to “win” a contract bid.
NHS Orthodontic tenders are available to the most competitive bidder and unfortunately there are very few tenders available. In April 2019, only one practice in the Westminster borough, housing 226,000+ people, will be able to provide NHS orthodontics.
The City of Westminster undertook an assessment of the Westminster population in 2013 and at that time there were 18,975 children aged from 10-19. That’s 18,974 other parents competing with you and your child to get free orthodontic treatment on the NHS. ¹
But why would you not be able to get the braces?
If you have taken your child for an NHS assessment then it’s likely you would have heard about the IOTN rating system, this is the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need and is used to assess your child’s eligibility for NHS treatment.
- Grade 1 = almost perfection
- Grade 2 = minor irregularities
- Grade 3 = greater irregularities which normally do not need treatment for health reasons.
- Grade 4 = severe degrees of irregularity
- Grade 5 = severe dental health problems
If you would like to know what is included in these scales, please the British Orthodontic Society page here.
NHS treatment is only available for grade 4 and grade 5 cases. Grade 3 cases are rare and usually judged on an individual basis.
We are always told that “Good things come to those who wait”, however, this is not the same for NHS Orthodontics.
With 18,000 children+ all trying to squeeze in the same funnel the waiting lists for treatment are around 1-2+ years, with the initial consultation having up to a 6 month wait.
So, you’ve been waiting for all the baby teeth to fall out, you’ve been waiting for their assessment and been told that they don’t make the IOTN scale, or you’ve been told that they can have them but there is a 2-year waiting list and you don’t want to wait, what do you do now?!
Our first advise is to go to the assessment and see if your child is suitable, if you can get this on the NHS then you absolutely should!
However, if you want to be seen sooner or if they have been declined on the NHS, Dr Korosh Majidi at Aura Dental has a special interest in Orthodontics and extensive experience in children’s orthodontics. Dr Majidi will be happy to see you complimentary!
Seeing us at Aura Dental mean no fees for weekend or out of school appointments!
I hear your next question, “how much is this going to cost me though?”. The initial assessment is completely complimentary and with braces starting from £1999 for a single arch, £2800 for both arches and finance packages available, where there is a will there is a way!
By Maya Samuel
Visiting your dental hygienist is an integral part of maintaining good oral health. Your hygienist is a dental care professional whose area of expertise focuses on preventing oral disease such as gum disease and tooth decay.
Click here to see our infographic on the importance or healthy teeth!
So, what happens when you first arrive?
Your hygienist will begin by reviewing your medical history which is vital in ensuring safe care. This will include any medical conditions you may have or any prescribed medications you may be taking that could have an effect on the care you receive. They will also enquire about your social history which includes your smoking status and alcohol consumption that also have an influence on your oral health. Your hygienist will also ask about any past dental history, your current oral hygiene regime and any concerns you may have with your teeth.
Having a thorough look
Next, your hygienist will assess your head and neck region, your teeth and soft tissues within your mouth. They will assess the health of your gums and discuss their findings with you and finally, determine the treatment required.
What happens during the treatment?
Treatment may include scaling and root surface debridement (the removal of debris from the root surface) to remove plaque and calculus from the teeth. This is usually done by an ultra-sonic scaler which is a powered instrument producing vibrations and a water jet, as well as hand instruments where required. Your hygienist will then polish your teeth to remove stains and give your teeth a nice gleaming shine.
Sometimes a good clean can prevent the need to whitening your teeth!
Following treatment, your hygienist will then advise you of a tailored oral hygiene regime in order to maintain excellent plaque control at home. Information may include toothbrushing techniques, flossing technique and/or the use of interdental brushes. They may also share information related to smoking cessation, diet advice and the use of fluoride in preventing dental decay.
Based on your oral condition, your hygienist will then determine an appropriate schedule for you to receive on-going care and follow up on any issues raised. Any concerns that your hygienist cannot attend to will be referred accordingly and care for by the appropriate professional.
If you would like to arrange a dental hygiene appointment please give us a call on 0207 722 0040 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
By Amy Cuckoo
When we’re looking at decorating our home, normally a trip down to B&Q at the weekend is all we need to get the job done ourselves, no matter our skill set. Does this mean that we should all be opening our own painting and decorating businesses? With my ability, you would hope not!
In recent months, we’ve seen an eruption of DIY brace companies providing a “Do-It-Yourself” solution for teeth straightening. What does this mean and is it right for you?
What are DIY Braces?
“DIY Braces” or “Mail Order Braces” are a series of clear trays, known as aligners, that you use at home to straighten your teeth. There are various companies out there offering the service but they essentially all work in the same way:
Step 1: Order a kit and take your impression at home.
Step 2: A Qualified Dentist looks at your models and calculates your plan.
Step 3: Aligners are manufactured and shipped to you.
Step 4: Wear your aligners and straighten your teeth.
So, what do you need to bear in mind?
There is an art to taking dental impressions that can take nurses and dentists weeks to learn professionally and with the 3D technology we use at Aura Dental we can take your impressions without the need for putty material. As this is likely to be the first dental impression you have taken, this can open your treatment up to errors. If the initial impression is wrong, this could cause an impact to treatment and potentially risk your desired outcome altogether, leaving your teeth worse than when you started.
When assessing for braces in a dental practice, you are recommended to have a panoramic radiograph. This allows the dentist to check for suitability of tooth movement, bone availability, gum recession and other contributing factors when looking at orthodontic treatment. Without doing one is like putting a car through a MOT without ever looking under the bonnet. Not ideal right?
So, what do you need to bear in mind? These systems will be straightening your teeth absolutely but they are not looking at the overall bite of how you bite together. This in itself can cause issues down the line in regards to tooth enamel wearing away.
We only get one set of teeth so please, just speak to any dental professional before taking the decision of proceeding with DIY braces.
What is the official word?
The British Orthodontic Society (BOS) is a charity-led society formed to act as the national representative of all orthodontists and below is the grand finale of their official statement!
¹ “The British Orthodontic Society strongly advises the public not to undertake such treatments. If you are considering braces please seek the advice of your dentist first.”
You can access the full article below in the references but let me summarise the concerns the BOS has:
- No clinical examination has been carried out by a professional to ascertain whether orthodontic treatment is in the best interest of the patient.
- There are various orthodontic solutions available to patients and patients need to be aware of the solutions and risks associated with them.
- The potential for less than desirable outcomes due to the treatment being unsupervised by a professional.
All our consultations are complimentary at Aura Dental so why take the risk?
¹ British Orthodontic Society: https://www.bos.org.uk/News-and-Events/BOS-Statements/BOS-Statement-Do-it-yourself-braces
Did you know that people with shiny white teeth are more likely to go on dates or even get jobs at interviews? No you didn’t, right? Neither did I. Mostly because there’s nothing like that. So if you are one of those people thinking the sun won’t need to shine because your teeth are so bright, here’s a chance to quit the daydream and learn a few facts.
Let’s start from the basics. It’s all in the name. Teeth whitening simply means making your teeth as white as they should naturally be or whiter, usually by removing long standing stains or by other means which would probably make this definition too long.
Now you may be thinking, “Shouldn’t a toothbrush do the job?” Well, correct me if I’m wrong but keeping anything white always requires special attention, whether it’s a bathtub, a shirt, your sneakers or your teeth. Of course, the only difference is people actually spend more than 5 years studying teeth, so it’s safe to assume they’re more delicate. You may want to avoid experimenting with them.
So while anyone can whiten their teeth, the process will vary based on a number of factors –from how badly discoloured the teeth are, how soon you want to see results or how long you want the results to last to simply postponing teeth whitening due to mouth related diseases or pregnancy. In effect, the whole process should be tailored to suit you personally including deciding if and when you can do it at home.
Meanwhile, the more effective whitening products contain higher quantities of the active agent (hydrogen peroxide) which can be very dangerous and are only legally allowed to be used or prescribed by dentists as the case demands. Even your insurance company is sure to have a few paragraphs waiting to deny you if you somehow get into trouble by using those products without supervision. Naturally, access to such products means that whitening done by dentists produces better results than the ones done at home.
This next part may break a few hearts but certain foods must be avoided during the period of teeth whitening. Some of them include strawberry, black tea or soda, black coffee, snacks with powdered cheese, tomato or red sauce, blueberries, chocolate, red wine,and others you can confirm from your dentist but yes, no pain no gain. You can still however have ice cream or yoghurt, rice, bread, milk, even sushi. But if you really must have a drink that causes discoloration, you must use a straw without shaking the drink around in your mouth. Although that is the whole point, isn’t it?
Professionally, there are two new major teeth whitening treatments – Zoom teeth whitening and Enlighten teeth whitening.
Zoom actually fits its description. It is much faster and you would be done in less than 2 hours. Perfect for a quick fix but it only makes your teeth about 6 shades lighter and lasts roughly about a year.
Enlighten on the other hand gives a shade B1 which is up to 15 times whiter than the current shade and can last up to 4 years, especially with good oral hygiene practices. Although, as you may have guessed, this is no quick fix. It takes about 3 weeks to complete the process.
As with every new treatment, you would be right to guess that there are side effects. Provided it was done professionally, your teeth may just be very sensitive to hot or cold water or have a slight ache but it should all resolve on its own. If you did, however, assume you bagged a dental degree from a YouTube crash course, well, keep your friends close and your dentist closer.
Mouth cancer can be labelled as abnormal cell growth within the mouth. Mouth cancer can affect any area of the mouth including jaws, lips, tongue, gums, tonsils and salivary glands. All of these tissues within the mouth are layered by soft cells called squamous cells. It’s these cells that come to be malevolent during mouth cancer issues. Thus, mouth cancer can also be called squamous cell carcinoma.
Squamous carcinoma is the cancer commonly known to affect the oral cavity. Mouth cancer, which often called oral cancer, begins in the tissues and further affects the mouth, tongue, and lips. Additionally, it can go as far as affecting the roof of the mouth, the floor of the mouth, gums, or the cheek lining.
Mouth cancers look a lot like each other when observed with a microscope. The cells become malevolent and tend to spread quickly in the mouth and other parts of the body.
CAUSES OF MOUTH CANCER
There are many conditions, habits and lifestyle choices that can cause mouth cancer. Some examples are smoking, chewing tobacco, consuming alcohol, and exposure to dangerous UV radiation. There are also other causes of mouth cancer which includes Kaposi’s sarcoma related with AIDS, Candida infection within the mouth, and lack of nutrition i.e. diets without the presence of vitamin A, C and E, selenium iron and zinc.
The common causes of mouth cancers include:
Excessive intake of alcohol drinks increases the possibility of mouth cancer.
- Smoking and Use of Tobacco:
Approximately 75% of mouth cancer patients are tobacco users (including the alleged ‘smokeless’ tobacco) and smokers in general.
- Combination of Alcohol and Smoking:
Drinking and smoking together keeps you open and vulnerable to mouth cancer.
- Poor Dieting:
Studies have proved that consuming foods low in vegetables and fruits may expose you to the dangers of developing mouth cancer. Hence, consuming foods with high vegetables and fruits may guide you against so many types of cancer, especially mouth cancer.
- Exposing to Sunlight:
Exposure to heat and sunlight for a long period of time is also a contributing factor in skin and mouth cancers.
THE SYMPTOMS – HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE MOUTH CANCER?
A specialist can identify mouth cancer by a variety of symptoms. However, it is necessary that you go for a thorough dental check-up as soon as you notice any unusual changes, so as to ascertain if what you’re experiencing is mouth cancer.
Aura Dental is a professional oral health clinic where you can have your regular oral check-ups and examinations. For additional benefits, we include mouth cancer screenings as part of our standard general check-ups. Thus, if you need a thorough dental examination, Aura Dental is the ideal place for you.
Mouth cancer symptoms are often painless and looks a lot like other, non-hazardous oral symptoms. Our Dentists are capable of identifying the changes in your mouth which you may not notice.
The following are some signs that should prompt a dental visit immediately:
- Sores that won’t heal
- Change of colour, mostly red and white with patches
- Coarse spots in the mouth that won’t heal
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Difficulty wearing dentures
- Loose teeth
- Difficulty or pain moving jaw
- Lump-like gatherings
- Difficulty in talking, swallowing or chewing
- Numbness around the mouth
While gum diseases, infections, and many other mouth problems can show similar reactions, it remains a top priority to visit a dentist immediately if you notice any irregular changes within the mouth region.
If any unusual changes are seen in the mouth region, we will refer you to a qualified specialist to conduct a diagnostic test of the affected area. In mouth cancer cases, identifying the problem quick and early can increase your chances of getting cured, this is why we recommend that you visit Aura Dental for regular dental examinations.
Mouth cancer can be caused by many factors. All forms of tobacco use can hugely result to mouth cancer, including the supposed ‘smokeless’ tobacco. In addition, those who indulge in binge drinking of alcohol have more chances of getting mouth cancer than the non-alcoholic drinkers. Also, long exposure to heat or sunlight is also associated with mouth cancer. A little above 25% of mouth cancer patients are not alcoholic drinkers and have never smoked.
Our dentists can help identify anything suspicious and refer you to a specialist to conduct a biopsy in a hospital setting to approve or deny the occurrence of the disease. Once it is verified that there are cancerous cells the doctor will advise the best course of treatment.
Simply because you notice a sore within the mouth region doesn’t mean you have mouth cancer. However, visiting Aura Dental regularly to examine the mouth will ensure that anything suspicious is caught in time, potentially preventing any new development of the disease. By thoroughly examining the mouth, neck, lips, gums and throat at least once every month can help you detect anything that may seem suspicious at the early stages. Quick and early interference is vital in order to increase the chance of successful treatment.
If you start to notice symptoms of mouth cancer after the examination with your dentist, quickly raise an alarm. Also, be ready to act in case any sores start to develop within the mouth region. If you notice these symptoms and they don’t show signs of healing in two weeks, book an appointment as soon as you’re able. Irregular sores that are non-cancerous will be severe in the early stages, but will heal gradually. They ought to be completely healed within a week or two.
At times mouth cancer sores appear very little and difficult to notice. Along with regular self-examinations, booking an appointment with our dentists for regular check-ups at least once or twice yearly is very important. This will guarantee the quick and early discovery of new, unusual developments that may come up.
Along with sores in the mouth, there are many other signs to look out for in cases of oral cancer that requires immediate examination. These signs include white and red spots within the mouth, bleeding from the mouth, swelling around the mouth region or a lump-like gathering around the neck or jaw may indicate the presence of cancer. Also, if you find it hard moving the mouth region, or you feel pain while speaking, swallowing or chewing, these are serious signs of mouth cancer. In case you notice any of these signs, you should quickly visit our clinic for an immediate check-up.
IS MOUTH CANCER CURABLE?
Just like every other cancer, mouth cancer can be completely cured at the early stages. As cancer moves from one part of the body to another, a complete recovery can be very difficult in the later stages. If the disease is spotted at the early stage, the possibilities of a total cure are high, and you also have a better chance of recovery if the affected area is small. However, many people tend to notice this disease at the later stage, because they don’t see their doctor or dentist regularly for examination, thereby making it difficult to obtain a complete cure.
Mouth cancer hardly ever causes pain at the initial stages. Irregular cell growth normally appears as smooth patches. A cancer sore appears like an ulcer, frequently with a gloom in the middle. The centre of the cancer sore might be white, yellow, or grey, having red edges.
MOUTH CANCER PROGNOSIS
Approximately 34,000 people are identified with mouth cancer every year. Sadly, over 65% of people with the disease won’t notice the problem until the later stages when it is difficult to be cured. Lack of public awareness of the likelihood for mouth cancer is among the reasons people fail to notice the symptoms early. Many people also fail to notice it early because they do not
visit a dentist for regular mouth cancer examination.
MOUTH CANCER TREATMENT
If you reside in London count yourself lucky for having the opportunity to access quality dental care services.
Aura dental is a patient-friendly, private dental clinic that provides professional dental services, including mouth cancer awareness and mouth cancer screenings as part of our standard general check-ups.
At Aura Dental, we keep an eye on your oral health and regular examinations allow us to see any new unusual developments in the mouth. If we notice any irregularities, we will refer you to a specialist centre in the hospital to perform biopsies of the affected area. The tests that are essential to determine the cancer stage are X-ray, endoscopy, CT scan and MRI scan.
We aim to increase awareness in the possibility of mouth cancer cases, that is why we have included a cancer screen as part of our general check-ups.
For oral dental care which includes oral surgery, paediatric dentistry, restorative dentistry, and orthodontics – we got you covered!
Book an examination with us today!
Address: Aura Centre, Charlbert Street, St John’s Wood, London NW8 7BT, UK
Phone: 0207 722 0040
José Marinho joined Aura Dental in May. His special interest is restorative dentistry. Here he answers your questions about Veneers.
Over the past month we randomly surveyed our patients to find out what they really wanted to know about veneers. Here are the top 5 queries you raised…
What is a veneer?
A veneer is a very thin layer of life-like porcelain attached to the front surface of your tooth only. Porcelain veneers are very strong and can last many years if they are maintained properly. They are very natural looking and are easy to look after.
The main benefit of veneers is that they do not require for your own natural teeth to be heavily filed and just by changing the look of the front surface of your teeth, you can change the way you whole smile and face are perceived. Veneers are what you see on many celebrities in magazines and on TV.
What can Veneers fix?
Veneers can fix a range of dental issues including:
- Discolouring of the teeth
- Mishaped teeth
- Mildly crooked teeth
There may be cases where Veneers are not suitable. In this situation, our clinicians will guide you through your alternative options.
- Minimally intrusive. Mimimal or no removal of tooth substance or movement of teeth
- Immediate results. No need to wait months to enjoy your new smile
- Durable material allows you to continue enjoying your regular diet
- May be prone to breakage if you grind your teeth
- Need to be properly maintained with effective brushing and flossing
- Regular hygiene cleans required to ensure plaque build up does not affect the veneer material
How does the treatment work?
On your first appointment, you and your dentist will agree on the desired final shape and colour of your veneers. Once the decision is made, you will be invited for a veneer preparation appointment during which the front surfaces of your natural teeth will be appropriately prepared for future veneer placement.
Your dentist will take an impression of them and send it off to the laboratory where your custom made perfect veneers will be made. This process usually takes about 2 weeks. In the meantime, you will be provided with temporary veneers, which also look great and enable you to start getting used to a new life with a beautiful smile.
Once the permanent veneers have been fully constructed, you will be invited for veneer fit appointment, where your dentist will remove you temporaries and permanently place the final veneers on your teeth. Then it’s back to life as normal…with a brand new smile!
How much do they cost?
Veneers at Aura start from £500 per tooth or from £450 if you are one of our members.
Consultation with Treatment Coordinator: Free
Initial dental examination: £50 plus any x-rays – (deducted from final cost of veneers)
Our Treatment Coordinator will be happy to answer any questions you have about the treatment and/or the practice. You can call or email the practice at any time and if you’d like to come in to have a look around, just let us know and we can arrange it.
You will need to have a comprehensive dental examination with your dentist to ensure you are suitable for veneers. There is a cost of £50 plus any x-rays for this appointment, however should you wish to proceed with veneers treatment, the cost of this initial examination will be deducted from the final cost of your treatment.
You can talk to our Treatment Coordinator about payment options and plans. The practice offers 0% finance for up to 12 months for treatment costing over £600 and is happy to discuss alternative payment plans to suit your circumstances.
If you are interested in getting veneers, give Aura Dental a call or email us to book a consultation with our treatment coordinator or arrange an examination with me, or one of my fellow clinicians at the practice. I hope to see you soon!
If you are a fan of the many talent shows on TV, you will know how much first impressions count. Remember when Susan Boyle came onto the Britain’s Got Talent stage back in 2009? Everyone wrote her off before she’d even opened her mouth to reveal she had the voice of several angels. She went on to become a major star, and to have quite a visual makeover, but even so her looks have deprived her of being taken seriously by many.
Visual information, collected almost subconsciously, can permanently influence our opinion of another person, especially in situations such as dating and job interviews. If we don’t smile, people can easily assume that we are miserable or unfriendly, whereas the real reason may be because we are ashamed of our wonky teeth.
Of course, by the time we are adults, many of us are unwilling to have visible teeth straightening devices that will attract unwanted attention. This is why we offer clear braces in St John’s Wood at Aura Dental.
The clear braces revolution
Invisalign is an innovative kind of braces in St John’s Wood. Instead of the usual brackets, bands and wires, it uses clear plastic trays, rather like mouth guards, that push rather than pull your teeth into alignment.
This kind of braces in St John’s Wood has several advantages over wire and bracket braces.
Invisalign avoids the teenage look that is often associated with ‘train-track’ braces by the use of incredibly thin, clear plastic trays that fit snugly over the teeth, and are hard for other people to spot. Importantly for many adults who have public-facing jobs, they do not interfere with speech.
Another big plus is that Invisalign trays are removable. This means no food stuck in brackets and wires that can takes ages to brush away, and therefore much less chance of tooth decay. You can eat whatever you like but it is important to only drink water when the aligner is in because you could stain the plastic.
Also, if you really need to, you can remove the aligner for a few hours for important business or social events. You must wear the aligners for at least 20 hours a day if the treatment is to stay on schedule.
Titanium is not just a multi-coloured metal used for making interesting jewellery. It is also used in dental implants. In St John’s Wood, at Aura Dental, these miniature miracles have been improving the lives of many patients who have lost teeth.
There are 4 reasons why titanium is the go-to metal for dental implants in St John’s Wood. Titanium is lightweight, very strong, and does not corrode after being inserted into the body.
But along with being light, durable and strong, titanium has another property that makes it the stand-out choice for use in implants – its capacity to actually mesh with bone tissue. Titanium’s ability to do this makes it a very popular choice for dental implants, which need to be housed in strong, healthy bone tissue so that they can withstand the multi-directional strong forces associated with biting and chewing. When someone loses a tooth, the bone that once held the root very quickly starts to lose its density. Titanium implants actually encourage the jawbone to produce new bone tissue and blood vessels, and so help keep it strong and healthy for all the remaining natural teeth.
All about your jaw
If the jawbone is not healthy or the gum has receded, teeth can come loose in their sockets. In St John’s Wood, dental implants made of titanium help the jawbone to maintain a healthy size. It may be necessary to have preparatory bone grafting treatment before implants are fitted, if the jawbone has lost density. This may add several months to the treatment process, as time has to be allowed for the grafts to take and generate new bone tissue.
In St John’s Wood, dental implants are fitted in 2 stages following an in-depth consultation and examination to make sure the jawbone can take, or can be made to take the implants. If they are, our dentists create new sockets in the jawbone and insert the titanium implants. This surgery is usually done under local anaesthetic, but sedation is also available if you are an anxious patient. After several weeks or possibly months of healing time, during which the titanium implants bond with the bone, artificial teeth, custom-made to blend with your natural teeth, can be fitted.
George Angelidakis, our resident Invisalign Specialist answers your questions about Invisalign.
Over the past month we asked our Invisalign patients what questions they wanted to have answered before deciding to get Invisalign. Here are the top 5 queries they raised…
1.How is Invisalign different from braces?
Invisalign is a removable device called an aligner, similar to a mouth guard but less bulky. It appears near invisible when in your mouth and after a few days getting used to it, you’ll hardly notice it. You can remove the aligner when you eat, brush your teeth and in extreme cases such as a significant event. Apart from these occasions, the aligners must be worn as directed to make sure your treatment is not prolonged.
Fixed braces require brackets to be bonded to each individual tooth using wires and rubber bands to move your teeth. A bit more care and attention is required for fixed braces to avoid breakages to brackets or wires (usually done while eating!), which will prolong your treatment. Also, fixed braces promote food packing (getting caught in crevasses around the bracket) during every meal and this can compromise or affect your oral hygiene. Clear, aesthetic braces are available today that can significantly improve aesthetics during the treatment, however, they are still more noticeable and bulkier than an Invisalign aligner.
There are certain cases where one or the other is more appropriate. We will assess your personal circumstances and advice on the best options for you.
A very happy patient wanting to show off her new smile:
2. What are the pros and cons of Invisalign?
- Nearly invisible
- Can be removed while eating, brushing teeth and in extreme cases for significant events
- Less likelihood of breakages and need for emergency visits
- Ideal for those with busy schedules and frequent travel
- Before and after result can be previewed via digital simulation
- Oral Hygiene is kept ideal throughout the treatment as the aligners are removed during meals and you are able to floss and keep the interdental spaces clean.
- Very safe, as the aligners apply mild pressure on the teeth to be moved.
- Not suitable for all cases. Sometimes a fixed braces may be required
- Requires self discipline to ensure aligners are worn at all times
- Cost can be slightly higher than fixed braces depending on the complexity of the treatment
3. How does it work?
You will start by having a comprehensive check up with x-rays to ensure you are suitable for the treatment. If suitable, Invisalign will digitally model your teeth and using 3-D technology, simulate the movement of your teeth over a period of time. The appropriate number of Invisalign aligners will be determined and your dentist will advise you when each one needs to worn and for how long.
Each aligner will adjust your teeth to prepare for the next aligner. Every time you change your aligner, it will feel tighter at first, but you will subside after a few days as your teeth adjustment further.
Is it George or the patient who has just finished Invisalign treatment?:
4. How long does it take and how do I make sure my teeth don’t move when I’m finished?
Very generally speaking, the treatment will usually last between 3 and 9 months. Discipline in wearing the aligners will determine the length of your Invisalign treatment. If you wear them 22-23 hours a day except for eating, drinking and brushing your teeth, your treatment should take the amount of time determined in your 3D simulation.
The state of your hygiene can also affect the length of your treatment. It is very important that you undergo regular hygiene cleans throughout your Invisalign treatment to avoid delays.
Good ongoing oral hygiene is also important after your treatment to prevent your teeth from moving again. Build up of plaque on your teeth can cause small movements, particularly in the first few months after your treatment has finished. You will need either a fixed retainer (a small wire stuck to the back of your teeth) and/or a removable retainer (much like the Invisalign aligner and worn at night usually) to prevent your teeth trying to move back to their original positions.
5. How much will it cost?
The final cost of your treatment depends on the complexity of your case. The simpler the case the lower the cost is likely to be. You should also take into account the need for regular hygiene cleans throughout your treatment.
At Aura Dental, Invisalign prices start from £1599 for simple cases. However adult Invisalign treatment will often fall between £2,500 and £5,000. The cost of your initial consultation (£75 plus x-rays) will be incorporated into this if you choose to proceed with the treatment. Hygiene cleans can be added on as directed (regular clean is £70; deep clean is £95).
We do appreciate that that these are not small amounts of money, but they are an investment in your smile, which you will be with you forever. There will be a low cost financing options that can help you spread the cost of your treatment over time.
If you are interested in Invisalign, come and see us at Aura Dental in St Johns Wood. Our Treatment Coordinator, Nadia can also answer your questions about treatment and financing options. Hope to see you soon!
W: www.auradentallondon.com | E: email@example.com | T: 020 7722 0040