We provide a full range of treatments both under the National Health Service and privately.
Our philosophy is to provide the least amount of treatment you need for a healthy oral environment, and we believe prevention is always the best solution. We never propose to carry out unnecessary treatment, and in fact on many occasions we may advise you against something, regardless of the cost, if we think it’s going to be harmful to you.
All available options will be discussed with you, including the relevant risks and benefits, and the total cost, so there won't be any nasty surprises at the end.
We routinely screen for decay, gum disease and oral cancer, all of which are usually completely painless until a late stage. This is one of the reasons why it's important to have regular check-ups as advised by your dentist. Some people need check-ups more regularly than others, depending on the condition of their teeth and gums, and also their habits such as diet, smoking and alcohol intake.
Your dentist may advise you to also see the hygienist out our practice on a regular basis. This is mainly for the prevention and maintenance of gum (periodontal) disease, which is one of the conditions that may go undiagnosed for many years before you notice any symptoms. It is also used to increase your awareness about the importance of oral hygiene and different methods of cleaning.
A typical appointment will usually consist of a thorough clean (scale and polish), followed more importantly by extensive oral hygiene instructions, and checking whether you are following the correct cleaning technique and routines.
If you require more specialist or complex treatment, we are able to refer you to trusted specialists or a hospital to carry out the treatment. This includes treatments such as orthodontics (straightening teeth), implants, complex root canal treatments (endodontics), periodontics (gum disease) and difficult extractions (such as impacted wisdom teeth).
If you are very nervous and cannot tolerate treatment under normal conditions we are also able to refer you for sedation. This is a procedure where you are awake, but will not be fully aware of the treatment being carried out.
If you would like any more information regarding referrals don't hesitate to speak to your dentist.
Cosmetic treatment may include anything that will improve the appearance of your teeth and smile. This can be done in several ways, depending on what the concern is and what outcome is desired. Some treatments can be more complex than others, such as crowns and veneers, and some can be relatively straight forward such as white fillings and tooth whitening Remember, however, even though a treatment may make your teeth look better, it may not necessarily be good for them in the long term. We always try and be as conservative as possible in any treatment, and on many occasions will recommend you not to have something carried out if we believe it will be harmful to you. If you have any concerns about the appearance of your teeth please let your dentist know, who will be happy to talk to you about it and give you all the treatment options and the relevant costs
A denture is a removable prosthesis that is custom made for your mouth. If you've lost a number of teeth and find eating or speaking difficult due to this, you may want to consider a denture.
There are other ways of replacing teeth such as a bridge or an implant, and they all have their own advantages and disadvantages, but generally speaking for large gaps of teeth a denture is the most suitable method of replacement.
They can be made of different materials, most commonly 'plastic' (acrylic) or 'metal' (cobalt-chromium); again each having advantages and disadvantages. In some cases, metal clasps may be used to help hold the denture in place.
If you cannot tolerate these clasps or are not happy with their appearance, there is a type of denture that has 'invisible' clasps and blends in with your gums (see below). They also have the advantage of being flexible (see below) and maybe more comfortable for you. However, they may be inferior in other aspects to plastic or metal dentures and we usually only recommend them if you cannot tolerate these.
As always your dentist will be more than happy to discuss all the options with you.
White fillings (composites) are an excellent choice of material for a number of occasions.
This can range from restoring a tooth that has been decayed, to changing the shape of your front teeth to provide a more aesthetic smile. They are different to silver fillings (amalgam) in that they 'stick' to teeth with a type of glue (not like you have at home!), and come in a variety of shades to match your natural teeth. But remember that silver fillings are still a completely safe and good choice of material for filling teeth, and your dentist may advise you against white fillings in some instances.
They can be an excellent alternative to crowns or veneers for changing your smile, as they require little or no drilling away of tooth. The choice of shades available also mean that we can match the filling to look like your natural tooth, so you may not even be able to see where it is!
There are a number of different methods of whitening teeth.
At Southwater Dental Practice we carry out all teeth whitening by a method known as nightguard vital bleaching. It uses a plastic mould that is custom made to fit your teeth (nightguard) with spaces created for the whitening gel. The gel we recommend for use is a low percentage (usually 10%) carbamide peroxide, which has been shown to be completely safe to use for whitening teeth when used properly. The plastic mould is worn at nights with the gel, or for 2 hours during the day. Results can be expected to be seen within a few weeks, depending on the shade of teeth initially, and the desired shade you are looking for. Your dentist will arrange to see you on a regular basis to see your progress and give you any necessary advice.
Although this is a safe procedure, some patients may develop mild sensitivity of teeth during and after the whitening phase. This is usually temporary and your dentist will be able to advise you of actions to take if this happens.
You may have also heard about 'power bleaching' or similar procedures that are carried out while you're at your dentist. We do not recommend any of these methods as we believe (based on research) the most effective and safe method is nightguard bleaching. While you may see immediate results with 'power bleaching', the results usually last for a shorter period and is more damaging to teeth.