A bridge fixes a replacement tooth (or teeth) to the natural teeth on either side of the gap. Some bridges have crowns at each end. These are known as conventional bridges. Others are fixed to the surface of the teeth next to the gap. These do not require the teeth beside the gap to be cut quite as much and are known as acid etch bridges or stick on bridges. Sometimes a bridge is only fixed to the tooth on one side of the gap. Bridges are made of metal and porcelain or sometimes just porcelain.
A bridge lets you almost forget that you have missing teeth. It can improve the way you look, bite, chew and speak. A bridge can last many years, if you keep it clean and if there is no accidental damage. Natural teeth are protected from wear and tear, and from moving or tilting out of line, which could cause your teeth to bite together incorrectly.
If you do not want a bridge, you may have a removable partial denture. The dentist will explain how successful a bridge will be in your individual circumstances. If the supporting teeth are not strong enough, a denture might be better. If you have just had some teeth taken out, a denture might be made first, with a bridge fitted later when the gum has healed.
Another alternative to having a bridge is to replace the missing tooth with a dental implant, which would mean that the teeth on either side of the gap would not be affected at all.
Cosmetic dentistry treatment can be provided, in order to give you a confident smile. This includes crowns, veneers, dental implants and tooth whitening.
The crown of a tooth is the part which is visible in the mouth. An artificial crown completely covers a weak tooth above the gum line and protects it. Crowns are made of metal or porcelain, or porcelain with metal inside for strength. A crown is strong and can look and feel exactly like a natural tooth. The colour and shape can be matched to your own teeth.
Depending on the strength of the tooth underneath, a crown can last for many years, provided you look after your mouth and teeth, and the crown is not accidentally damaged. Crowns can also improve the appearance of misshapen or discoloured teeth. The new all-porcelain crowns look like natural teeth, yet are extremely strong, due to their substructure being made from zirconia.
For those patients with missing teeth or loose dentures, tooth implants are the answer. Where patients are suitable for such treatment, we can replace their missing teeth with dental implants.
For those who still prefer dentures, dental implants can offer stability for the dentures so that they will never be loose. All of this leads to a far more confident smile and the ability to chew all the foods you enjoy.
Dental implants are like having your own teeth back and replace missing teeth without affecting the other teeth in your mouth. Implants can last a very long time, provided they are well-maintained and kept clean.
We only use Nobel Biocare dental implants. Based in Zurich, Switzerland, Nobel Biocare is a world leader with more than 25 years documented evidence in implant-based dental restorations. These implants are used by leading clinicians and academic centres throughout the world.
Finance is available for this treatment option through Medenta.
We endeavour to provide same-day appointments for dental emergencies (Monday to Friday). Out-of-hours emergency care is provided at the weekends from 9.00am to 7.00pm. Call the practice on 01458 831883 and the answer machine will give you the contact details of the out-of-hours service. Alternatively, contact Dr Main on 0796 0011879.
A tooth which is very decayed or damaged, or loose because of gum disease, may have to be extracted (taken out). Wisdom teeth sometimes have to be extracted, if they have come through at an awkward angle and are causing recurrent problems.
Some children need teeth extracted to help other teeth grow straight.
At James Main Dental Partnership we can carry out the full range of extractions, as clinically required.
A filling replaces part of a tooth that has been lost because of decay or through accidental damage. You may hear the dentist talk about ‘composite’, ‘glass ionomer’ and ‘compomer’. These are different types of white (tooth-coloured) filling. Silver fillings or mercury fillings are known as ‘amalgams’.
Amalgam fillings do not bond to the tooth, do not look like the tooth and contain mercury. Over time, they can ultimately weaken the tooth. However, they are a cheaper alternative to white fillings.
Unlike silver (amalgam) fillings, white filling material sticks to teeth and can help to strengthen the tooth. It can be effectively used to repair front teeth that are chipped, broken, decayed or worn. It can also be used as a coating to cover marks or discolouration that cleaning will not remove.
White fillings come in a range of shades so they can be matched to the colour of your own teeth. They are less noticeable than silver fillings, which, over time, turn black in the mouth. Less of the natural tooth material needs to be removed for a white filling than for a silver one. White fillings can sometimes be used in back teeth, if there is not too much decay or damage.
At James Main Dental Partnership, we offer all types of fillings. James will advise you on the best option for you.
Seeing the dentist regularly is only part of keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Our hygienists offer professional teeth cleaning, known as a ‘scale and polish’, and provide specific therapies for the prevention and treatment of gum disease. They will show you correct home oral care to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Hygienists can also give advice on diet and preventing tooth decay and gum disease.
The James Main Dental Partnership offers a range of custom mouthguards for children and adults participating in sport. These mouthguards can prevent damage to the jaw, neck and the brain caused by blows from a stick, ball or person-to-person contact.
Custom-made mouthguards provide a better fit and greater protection than self-moulding, shop-bought alternatives, and are recommended by major sporting bodies, including England Hockey. Many schools and clubs now have a ‘no guard, no play’ policy.
Our range of mouthguards are available to children and adults and provide four levels of protection:
Junior – up to 14 years. Allowances are made for any erupting teeth. This does not compromise performance and extends the time before a replacement is needed.
Senior – for amateur sports such as football, mountain biking, skating and skateboarding.
Elite – for contact sports such as rugby, boxing and martial arts. These have a soft inlay to absorb shock.
Professional – for stick sports such as hockey, ice hockey and polo. These contain a hard inlay to protect front teeth.
All are available in a range of 35 single or multiple colours and custom designs.
We are currently offering our patients and local sports club members a 10 per cent discount. Please book an appointment online or speak to our receptionist on 0845 603 1513.
Periodontal disease affects the gums and bone supporting your teeth. It begins with plaque – a soft, sticky substance that builds up on your teeth. Plaque is mostly made up of bacteria, which feed on sugar from food and drink. Calculus, or tartar, is formed by hardened plaque. This helps plaque to gather and makes it more difficult to remove. The bacteria in plaque can make your gums sore and infected. They will look red and puffy, and will probably bleed when you brush your teeth.
The gum will then start to become detached from the tooth, forming ‘pockets’ in which plaque can gather. Bone supporting the tooth will slowly be lost. Because this process is usually painless, it can become very bad without you noticing. If left unchecked, gum disease can lead to the loss of teeth.
Together with the hygienist, we can deal with most levels of gum disease. Very occasionally, in the most severe cases, the patient will need to be referred for a specialist opinion.
Teeth are held in the jaws by their roots. Front teeth normally have one root, but teeth further back have more. At the core of each tooth is a soft mass of tissue called the pulp. In a healthy tooth, the pulp contains living fibres, cells, nerves and a blood supply, extending into the root(s) through the root canal(s).
Decay or injury can destroy the living pulp. Because dead pulp lacks a blood supply, it is more prone to infection leading to abscesses and toothache. Root fillings (also known as root canal treatment or endodontics) involve removing damaged or dead pulp and filling the space. The remaining tooth can then be repaired.
Whitening is a way of improving the appearance of your teeth using a bleaching technique. James Main Dental Partnership offers professional teeth whitening which is proven, safe and effective. It can be used to whiten discoloured teeth, removing staining from tobacco, food and drinks. Whitening can help you look and feel younger by overcoming age-related tooth darkening.
A veneer is a thin layer of tooth-coloured material that is bonded onto the front of the tooth to improve its appearance. This is carried out because the tooth might have been damaged by decay or an accident, or might be badly discoloured.