The problem: Discoloured teeth. No matter how healthy your diet, or how careful you are, your teeth are likely to discolour with time – everything from coffee to berries can cause your teeth to lose their pearly white appeal.
The treatment: A gradual whitening treatment can be carried out in the comfort of your own home by placing whitening gel into custom-made trays for an hour every night. Your teeth will gradually become lighter and lighter over a course of two to five weeks. Alternatively, you can opt for an Enlighten System, which involves using a special gel at home for two weeks, followed by a 40-minute chair-side procedure with a different gel.
The place: MSG Dental Practice, 3 Middleton Lane, Middleton-St-George, Darlington 01325 333 336
The problem: More often than we’d like, teeth are lost through injury or illness. Implants are a way of replacing these missing teeth.
The treatment: Implant treatment involves fitting a post to the jaw bone, which acts like the root of a natural tooth, in order to support a replacement tooth. They can also be used to support fixed bridges and dentures. It is a three-step process. First, the implant is placed in the jaw and the gum is stitched so that it heals over the implant. This procedure is completed under local anesthetic. Then a temporary crown is fitted. It will take about six to eight weeks for the implant to take firm hold, while bone grows around the inserted post. Finally, once the jaw has healed, a replacement tooth is attached to the implant.
The place: Darlington Implant Clinic, 18 Southend Avenue, Darlington 01325 462 082
Pinhole Surgical Technique
The problem: Gum recession – a common dental problem where the gum tissue that surrounds the teeth wears away, exposing more of the tooth or the tooth’s root. This makes it easy for bacteria to build up, causing disease. If left untreated, the result can be tooth loss.
The treatment: Pinhole Surgical Technique is a new revolutionary treatment for receding gums that doesn’t involve removing gum from the palate or stitching it over the recession defect. Instead, a small hole is made by a needle into your gum and, using specially designed instruments, the gum tissue is gently loosened to glide over the receded part of the tooth. Since there is no cutting or stitching, patients experience minimal pain, swelling and bleeding, and a rapid recovery time.
The place: Dental Solutions, 22 Lansdowne Terrace, Gosforth, Newcastle 0191 213 1415
The problem: The central layer of the three layers of your tooth is called pulp, a cavernous space which houses the live tissue and nerve. Sometimes the pulp can be exposed to the outside due to a fracture in the tooth causing it to become contaminated and eventually infected.
The treatment: Endodontists have undergone an additional two years of study in order to diagnose and manage such infections; their focus is on saving the tooth wherever possible. X-rays will be taken to assess the infection and damage before treatment which is usually done under a local anaesthetic to control any pain. Root canal treatment is undertaken to get rid of any infected, dead tissue lurking in the pulp. The tooth will then be sealed with special materials and the endodontist will usually place a crown on it to prevent future fractures.
The place: InDental Practice, Fewster Square, Felling, Gateshead 0191 469 2514
The problem: As part of the ageing process, losing collagen and elastin in the skin, along with other factors, leads to fine lines and wrinkles developing, especially around the eyes and mouth. You may also notice a dullness in your skin, as well as a loss of plumpness and tautness.
The treatment: There are a range of treatments out there to address these problems. Wrinkle-relaxants, commonly known as Botox, temporarily relax the muscles and smooth the lines around the eyes and on the forehead. Another alternative comes in the form of dermal fillers, used to smooth out lines in the skin and give lips a plump look. Fillers are normally well-tolerated because most nowadays contain a substance called hyaluronic acid, which occurs naturally in human skin. Other treatments include the liquid facelift to give your skin a natural and youthful appearance.
The place: Vitality Dental, 21 High Street, Middlesbrough 01642 712 519