A Winning Smile Is a Work of Art

PUBLISHED: 15:20 31 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:20 20 February 2013

A winning smile Photo:Invisalign

A winning smile Photo:Invisalign

Dr Jannie Tromp of the St Mary Street Dental Practice, Chippenham talks about dental health and a new dental technique to get a winning smile.

Good dental hygiene is the surest way to achieving good dental health, but even the most diligent of flossers may need a little help in the way of orthodontics. And that doesn't mean unsightly braces.

Technological innovation can reshape an industry, and the past few years have shown dentistry to be no different. The 60th anniversary of the NHS has already provided another opportunity to remind the public that all is not well: today's oral health inequalities are a concern. Education is the key for both dental practitioner and patient. This is the first step: taking control over the management of your dental care. You need to know where you are and where you want to be. Finding the right dentist who can help you to get there, using the latest technology, is important, so do some research.

Ask your dentist about gum disease. Your mouth remains the gateway to your body, and gum disease undermines the sound foundation on which every dental treatment plan is built. It contributes to health problems, including heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Often called the 'silent disease', gum disease is usually painless so you do not even notice the damage it causes. This important fact is often ignored by both dentist and patient. Receiving expensive crown and bridgework treatment, without addressing this important part of oral health, may end in disaster.

Cosmetic/aesthetic dentistry has been riding a wave of popularity during the past decade and some regard dentistry as a 'look good, feel good' service. Women still account for three-quarters of these procedures. Show me a bride who does not desire that 'sparkle' in her smile on the most important day of her life - but even men are fast realising the importance of a genuine heartfelt smile. Speaking of 'sparkle', tooth whitening is one of the easiest ways to enhance a smile. There are many products on the market, with differing results, but follow your dentist's guidelines and your results may last indefinitely A word of advice, make sure your teeth are in a healthy state first and do not use off-the-shelf products. Whitening should always be supervised by your dentist.

Replacing amalgam fillings with white fillings is another healthy decision. Nowadays, these fillings are not only functional but also natural looking, with no dark spots showing when you laugh or smile. They also offer you the opportunity to be free from the adverse effects of mercury to your general health.

For chipped teeth and small gaps, when orthodontics is not suitable, veneers can be fitted to bring your teeth in line. A veneer is a thin layer of porcelain made to fit over the front surface of a tooth, whilst a crown is an artificial restoration and ideal for teeth that have been broken, or have been weakened by decay to such an extent that a filling is no longer appropriate.

Why should you replace missing teeth with a fixed bridge or implant? Because a gap left by a missing tooth leads to greater strain on the teeth at either side, contributing to their wear and eventual loss. These aesthetic procedures that beautify your smile could relieve symptoms like tenderness of the jaw muscles, limited jaw opening, facial or head pain or joint noises. By correcting your bite the muscles can function without extra strain and tension, resulting in immediate relief of these symptoms.

The nearly invisible treatment, with highly visible results, and today's 'talk of the town', is Invisalign, the alternative orthodontic option (www.invisalign.com). If you are a suitable candidate you can now have the smile you always wanted without traditional metal braces.

New trends certainly make dentistry a 'work of art' and with new technology and state-of-the art materials, dental health for life is now becoming a reality. Do your research and find a competent dentist near you. It may change your life.

www.dentalhealthforlife.co.uk for further information

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