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Cosmetic, Preventative and Restorative Dentistry Explained

Dentistry is about much more than visiting your dentist for a routine check-up. Dental care is multi-faceted and encompasses three distinct levels: preventative dentistry, restorative dentistry and cosmetic dentistry. Each of these different approaches is unique and aims to care for the teeth in a different way. But what exactly is the difference between these types of treatment?

Preventative Dentistry
Preventative dentistry is about caring for the teeth in order to keep them healthy and to prevent the need for future corrective dental procedures. Preventative care involves maintaining good oral health in the form of daily brushing and flossing as well as regular dental check-ups and professional cleans. This helps to minimise the risk of developing cavities, gingivitis, enamel loss and periodontitis, which require restorative dental treatment.

It is important to take responsibility for your own dental health by engaging in good oral health practices and combining this with regular visits to the dentist. This is the most effective form of preventative dentistry.

Restorative Dentistry
Dental procedures are sometimes required to treat decay or damage in the mouth. This is known as restorative dentistry. This branch of dentistry is different to preventative dentistry in that it seeks to correct dental problems that are already in existence. The aim of restorative dentistry is to restore the appearance and function of teeth.

Some of the common reasons for which patients seek out restorative treatments include tooth decay, chipped or cracked teeth, missing teeth, discolouration, misaligned teeth and gaps in teeth. There are many treatment options to correct these problems and your dentist may recommend fillings, crowns and bridges, dental implants or dentures, among many other possibilities.

Cosmetic Dentistry
Cosmetic dentistry generally refers to any kind of dental work that improves the appearance of a person’s teeth without being an essential procedure. The primary aim of cosmetic dentistry is to improve the aesthetics of a person’s teeth, gums or bite. It deals specifically with the overall appearance of the smile including the colour of the teeth, alignment, position, shape and size and also the appearance of gums.

There are a variety of cosmetic procedures available that are appealing to many people. The most popular procedure is tooth whitening in which teeth are bleached to remove stains and appear brighter. Other common procedures include tooth reshaping in which parts of the enamel are removed to improve the appearance of a tooth, gum lifting and veneers.

Give the Gift of a New Smile: Cosmetic Christmas Gifts

Christmas is a time for giving, but it can often be a difficult task to find a present that will be truly appreciated by your loved one. Instead of ending up with a last-minute gift-voucher to put under the Christmas tree this year, why not give a truly special and uplifting gift instead? Giving the gift of a cosmetic dentistry procedure can dramatically improve the self-confidence of the special someone in your life and is guaranteed to be a Christmas present to remember!

Teeth Whitening

Brightening the teeth can completely transform the face and boost confidence. Professional teeth whitening procedures are becoming more and more commonplace among people who have discoloured teeth. The results are very fast so your loved one will see the results immediately.

Composite White Fillings

Many older people who have had dental fillings have had the metal variety adhered to their teeth. While this works efficiently to protect the tooth from further decay, many people consider them to be unattractive. Today, composite white fillings, which are the same colour as the tooth, are a much-preferred option as they are not noticeable when you talk, eat or laugh. If an old filling needs replacing, why not help to cover the cost as a Christmas gift?

Invisalign Orthodontics

Crooked teeth can be a big source of embarrassment so some people causing them to be reluctant to smile or show their teeth as a result. Instead of having braces fitted, there is now a procedure known as Invisalign Orthodontics where clear, thin trays are fitted to straighten and correct the teeth. Unlike braces, almost no one can tell that they are being worn. They are more comfortable, less expensive and work faster than traditional braces. Giving the gift of straight teeth would truly be a gift to cherish for years to come!

Dental Bonding

For teeth that need reshaping or recolouring, dental bonding might be the answer. This procedure allows dentists to change the size and colour of a tooth by applying a tooth-coloured adhesive to the tooth. This might be a nice gift for someone who is concerned about the appearance of one or more of their teeth.

Dental Implants

For people who have missing teeth, the gift of a new tooth would be a present to treasure. Dental implants serve as a tooth root to anchor in a replacement tooth, bridge or denture and would be a gift to remember.

The Perils of Piercing: How Oral Piercings Can Affect Your Dental Health

While the practice of piercing the lip, tongue or cheek can be attractive, particularly to young people, many don’t fully understand the risks associated with oral piercings. In fact, these piercings can be very detrimental to oral health and can cause a number of complications.

Dental Health Risks:

  • Infections: one of the most common complications associated with oral piercings are infections. Because of the large amount of bacteria in the mouth, infection can occur when the piercing creates a wound, which can also contain additional bacteria on its surface. Because the mouth is a moist place, it is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, meaning that infection can spread quickly. It’s important to treat any infection promptly as it can quickly become dangerous if left untreated.
  • Swelling: Given the trauma that occurs when your tongue, cheek or lip is pierced, significant swelling and bruising is expected. Usually this will begin to subside after three to five days. Depending on the level of trauma, in some rare cases, the tongue can become extremely swollen which can block the airway, although this is uncommon.
  • Difficulties in oral function: While the area around the piercing is swollen, oral function such as speaking clearly and swallowing may be more difficult until the area heals. In some cases, there can be a permanent loss of sensation if nerves are damaged during the piercing. The jewellery can also stimulate excessive saliva production, which can cause temporary or permanent drooling.
  • Damage to teeth: When teeth come into contact with the hard metal surface of jewellery, they can chip or crack. A high proportion of individuals with tongue rings damage their teeth.
  • Nerve damage: Sometimes a piercing can damage a nerve, which can, in turn, cause numbness or loss of sensation around the piercing.
  • Gum disease: Studies have found that those people with oral piercings, especially tongue piercings, have a much higher risk of gum disease than those who have no piercings. This is because the jewellery can cause a recession of gum tissue by frequently coming into contact with gums. In severe cases, this can lead to tooth loss.
  • Transmission of diseases: Piercings can potentially transmit diseases such as hepatitis B and C as well as the herpes simplex virus.
  • Allergic reaction: Some people discover that they are allergic to the metal in the piercing, which is known as hypersensitivity to metal.

Cosmetic Dentistry: Your Options

Many people are self-conscious about their smile and imperfections in the teeth can be detrimental to confidence. These days, more and more people are visiting their dentist to discuss cosmetic dentistry options in addition to having regular check-ups and restorative procedures. So what cosmetic procedures are available to you at your dentist? This guide gives an overview of the most common options for the enhancement of your smile.

  • Teeth Whitening: Over time and as we age, it is normal for our teeth to discolour and to darken in colour. This process occurs much faster in people who smoke, consume food and beverages such as coffee, tea and red wine, as well as those who take certain medications. One of the most popular procedures at the dentist is the bleaching of the teeth to restore whiteness. Generally, the dentist will create a custom-fitted mouthpiece that contains a whitening solution.
  • Bonding: If you are someone who has chipped or cracked teeth, undergoing a bonding procedure in which the dentist applies a bonding material to protect and fill the area of concern can improve the appearance of the affected tooth.
  • Crowns: Also known as caps, crowns completely cover the surface of a tooth to protect it and restore it to its original shape and appearance. Crowns may be recommended to you if you have heavily damaged teeth. This is one of the most expensive cosmetic dentistry procedures, although it is also one of the most long lasting.
  • Veneers: Similar to crowns, veneers are thin pieces of porcelain or sometimes plastic that are placed over the surface of the teeth to restore the original appearance of the tooth. Veneers are a common option for people who have uneven surfaces on their teeth, oddly shaped teeth or teeth that are unevenly spaced or crooked. This is a relatively pain-free procedure and no anaesthesia is required. Veneers are also a much more cost-effective alternative to crowns. They treat the same type of problems as bonding does, although are more durable and long lasting.
  • Contouring and reshaping: If you are someone who has crooked, uneven or overlapping teeth, a contouring and reshaping procedure might be of interest to you. This procedure is appropriate for people who have relatively healthy and stable teeth but who are concerned about their appearance and want subtle changes. It is common for dentists to combine this process with bonding.

Missing you …

Dentures Chatham

Dental Implants:

Q: What is the benefit of a dental implant?

A: In the past, the only alternatives to replace a natural tooth were either a bridge or a denture. A denture is a replacement tooth or teeth that is removable and a bridge is a false tooth fixed to teeth on either side. These alternatives are sometimes a poor solution and can have complications, so on the whole, we can safely say that a dental implant is the gold standard. (more…)

FAQ’s – adult orthodontics.


What is adult orthodontics?

Adult orthodontics is the process of correcting crooked teeth to produce a straight, confident and beautiful smile.

How is adult orthodontics different from children’s orthodontics?

On adult orthodontics we mainly concentrate on the appearance of the front teeth, and would tend to accept the position of the back teeth. With children’s orthodontics, it may well be necessary to move some of the back teeth as well as some of the front teeth to achieve a stable smile. This can be achieved in adults without having to move the back teeth. (more…)

Behind the scenes…

Private Dentist Chatham

Fresh Dental Care – behind the scenes …

Louise is our practice manager and, with Julie, our Treatment Coordinator, works behind the scenes to ensure the smooth running of the practice day to day and also with an eye to our long term planning. Fresh Dental Care has a commitment to continual investment in up to date technology and staff training to ensure we can be confident we are able to provide the most modern, advanced treatments for the benefit of our patients. (more…)

Self Healing


So much in the world of dentistry involves using materials foreign to the body such as composite resin or porcelain; these work well but they are fundamentally different than natural tooth.

When we replace a lost tooth with an implant, we place the implant in the jaw bone. This heals and secures the implant in situ. (more…)

Starting the New Year with a Fresh Smile!

Many of us use the advent of a New Year to make some decisions and promises to ourselves!

It’s a good time to reflect on where we are at this moment and equally where we would like to be.

A new smile can be rejuvenating, making us appear younger, healthier and less tired. (more…)

Damage limitation!


Did you know that the thin outer layer of your teeth, the enamel, is the hardest substance in the human body? But enamel is still susceptible to damage and loss. Once it’s gone, enamel can’t re-form, so we need to protect our enamel for the life of our teeth. 

Teeth damaged as a result of acids is unfortunately a growing trend and seen more frequently in younger and younger patients.

The damage can lead to tooth sensitivity and decay as acid erodes the structure of the teeth. Enamel erodes at a slower rate than dentine and this causes a characteristic worn appearance. Unfortunately, if we clench or grind our teeth the rate of wear increases.  (more…)

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