What Are CEREC Veneers and How Long Do They Last?

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A smile makeover in just a day is what CEREC veneers not only promise but deliver.

Thanks to developments in dental technology, you no longer have to wait ages to have veneers and get that beaming smile you’ve always dreamed of. Now, you can have it all done in a day, and the results will last decades, if you look after your new veneers and your overall oral health.

This is due to the availability in Ireland of CEREC veneers, which use sophisticated computer technology to deliver results in a flash. We call it our “One Day Smile Makeover” and it’s one of the easiest and most affordable cosmetic dentistry procedures you can have done. But what exactly are CEREC veneers and how long do they last?

Before the introduction of CEREC technology, the process of creating veneers — pieces of porcelain that are bonded to your teeth and dramatically improve their appearance, giving you dazzling-white and uniform-straight choppers in an instant — took a while. It meant the involvement of not only a dentist but also a dental technician and a long and laborious process of taking impressions of your teeth and gums by having patients bite down on material — giving you a numb mouth and jaw ache along the way!

CEREC Veneers and Their Lasting Power

Thankfully, those days are over, as long as you get the kind of cutting-edge cosmetic dentistry that we use here at The James Clinic. Now, a powerful camera is used to take 3D images of the inside of your mouth, capturing in perfect detail all the many angles and shapes of your teeth and gums. This happens in a matter of seconds, and no local anaesthetic or anything else is required. From there, the images are fed to a computer for analysis and design tools are used to create the kind of porcelain veneers that are perfectly suited to you.

What happens next is kind of magical, we think, because the revolutionary CEREC machine uses a block of porcelain and, with exquisite precision, mills an exact replica of what the design software has come up with. And that’s it — your new veneer is ready to be bonded to your teeth in one of the fastest cosmetic dentistry procedures ever. It can also make crowns for placement over teeth; these have the effect of protecting the whole tooth while also improving a person’s smile by giving them that famous, and dazzling, Hollywood look. You no longer have to be a film star to have veneers or crowns, however; such is their popularity that many people, young and old, are opting for them.

How Long Do CEREC Veneers Last?

CEREC veneers and crowns are designed to last, and that means you can enjoy them for anywhere between 10 and 30 years. That’s as long as you take care of them. Just because they look amazing at the beginning doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll stay that way if you don’t give them proper attention.

You’ll need to brush your veneers like you do your other, real teeth — ideally after every meal but at least twice a day, and especially if you’ve had food and drinks that tend to stain, like curries, tea and coffee, and red wine. You should also floss your CEREC veneers and have all your teeth regularly cleaned; it’s recommended you do this twice a year.

Although CEREC veneers and crowns are incredibly durable, they can crack or break, just like real teeth. So be careful to avoid grinding your teeth, or get a guard if you do it in your sleep, and don’t chew on anything hard, like boiled sweets and pieces of ice. Things like chewing gums and caramel and anything else sticky should also be off your list, as they may pull on your veneers and damage them.

A bit of care and attention to your amazing new smile will ensure you’ll look incredible for years to come.

Interested in having your very own smile makeover in just a day? The James Clinic has the technology and expertise to make it happen. Contact us now and soon you could have that star smile you’ve always dreamed of.

Photo by Cynthia De Luna

Dental Implant Surgery: A Step-by-Step Guide

Dental implants don’t have to be a pain; here’s our guide to getting it right.

Dental implants are a welcome relief for people who have suffered tooth loss and are perhaps wearing dentures or have bridgework that may be cumbersome and require a lot of looking after. Replacing missing teeth with artificial ones that are anchored into the gum ensures they will last and do the work of real teeth, and when dental implant surgery is done well, they will last and last and there’s very little you have to do apart from care for your teeth in the normal way.

Dental implant surgery may not be for everyone, however. It depends entirely on the condition of the jawbone and how healthy it is, and the surgery itself may include a number of procedures before you’re all set with your new tooth-topped implant that will look like the rest of your teeth and fill the gap where the original one was. In this step-by-step guide to dental implant surgery, we look at who might need dental implants and what to expect if you’re scheduled to have them.

Candidates for Dental Implant Surgery

You may be a good candidate for dental implant surgery if you:

  • Have one or more missing teeth
  • Have damaged teeth
  • Have a good level of oral health
  • Have an adequate amount of jawbone for the implants to be anchored into
  • Are in good physical health and don’t have any conditions that could affect the healing of your jawbone.

Additionally, candidates for dental implant surgery will need patience. This is an invasive surgery that will be carried out over several months, and you need to factor that kind of time period into the process. It is not a quick procedure that will be over in a few days. Also, it may be required that you’re not a smoker, as tobacco can cause dental implants to fail.

Preparing for Dental Implant Surgery

Before you can go ahead and have dental implant surgery, you’ll need to have one or more consultations with a number of specialists, including your dentist; a periodontist, who specialises in bones and gums; and possibly also an ear, nose and throat consultant. This is to ensure that this multi-stage procedure is suitable for you and that your dental implants will have the highest chance of success.

As part of your dental implant evaluation, you will most likely be required to undergo the following:

  • A comprehensive examination of your teeth: This will include X-Rays and 3D images may be taken.
  • A medical history review: Your dentist will want to know everything about your medical past, including any medications you may be taking, past surgeries and any conditions that may affect or be affected by your dental implant surgery.

After both of these have been carried out, an effective treatment plan for dental implant surgery can be drawn up for your specific case. It will include the number of teeth to be replaced, or gaps, if there are no teeth there, as well as the condition of your existing teeth and overall jawbone health.

Dental Implant Surgery Steps

Because a number of stages are required when performing dental implant surgery, it will take place over a period of time — usually around three but up to six months — that allows sufficient healing of the site or sites where the implant will eventually be placed. Typically, you can expect the following:

  • Removal of an existing, damaged tooth and preparing the site for placement.
  • Grafting in the jawbone area if there’s insufficient bone to take the implant or support it; grafting can be from another part of your body or artificial.
  • Placing the dental implant, or artificial root that will anchor the implant.
  • A healing stage that permits bone growth.
  • Adding an abutment, the element that connects the implant with the artificial tooth.
  • Placement of an artificial tooth.

When the entire process of dental implant surgery is complete, it’s a time for recovery and to take it easy. You may have some swelling in your gums or bruising along them and your skin; and there could be some initial but minor bleeding and pain at the implant site. It’s likely you’ll be given a course of antibiotics to take, along with painkillers.

Usually, stitches that are used in the procedure are the self-dissolving kind; but if not, you will have to return to have them removed. In the meantime, you’ll be advised to eat soft foods that don’t disrupt your new dental implants. Most dental implants are successful, but if one happens to fail, it can be removed and after about three months, you can try again.

If you’re thinking of having dental implants, or already have them but need repairs, our highly experienced dentists at The James Clinic are available to talk to you about your individual situation and offer the best advice for you. Get in touch now to find out more.

Photo by Umanoide

How Do I Calm Down before Going to The Dentist?

Going to the dentist need not be a nerve-wracking affair. There are simple things you can do to calm down and banish dental fears and anxiety forever.

For us as dentists here at The James Clinic, it’s astounding that so many people are fearful of what we do — and having it done to them. Dental anxiety is not just some random condition; it affects tens of millions of people around the world, including lots of folk in Ireland. We know from a study carried out in the United States that up to 40 million Americans will not go to the dentist because of their overriding fear of various procedures that causes them too much anxiety, and because of this, they never make those dental appointments that are so necessary to look after their teeth.

It’s a shame, because when you opt for quality affordable dentistry, there’s really nothing to be concerned about at all. Having regular checkups and teeth cleaning will ensure not just great oral health but your overall health too, and putting off or not even making dental appointments, because you’re just too afraid of what might happen, won’t do you any favours at all. So how do I calm down before going to the dentist?, you may well ask yourself if you’re afflicted by dental anxiety and worried out of your mind. Here are some ways you can make yourself more tranquil and have a relaxing time at the dentist — something you might never have even thought possible.

Calming Down Before Going to the Dentist

  • Before your dental appointment, be careful of what you eat and drink. Avoid caffeine, such as in tea and coffee, and don’t eat anything that’s high in sugar — you won’t want to be jittery when you’re in the dentist’s chair. Instead, focus on having something that’s high in protein, so you feel full and, therefore, more relaxed.
  • Keep an eye on your breathing as you’re going to the dentist, waiting in the clinic to be called for your procedure, and especially when you’re in the chair and having something done. When we’re anxious, we tend to take short, shallow breaths or even hold our breath altogether. This has the effect of decreasing the amount of oxygen entering the body, which can lead to feelings of anxiety or even panic. So even if you’re not entirely looking forward to your treatment — and that’s allowed — remember, if you start to feel anxious, take slow and deep breaths so you’ll feel better. You could also do some simple meditation the evening before or morning of your appointment, and there are many freely available online.
  • It may not be possible, due to your dental clinic schedule, but if you can get an appointment at a low-stress time or day of the week, it may help with any anxiety you might have. Early morning appointments, for example, can be great to get dental procedures out of the way quickly, so you don’t have to be thinking about it until it comes around sometime in the afternoon, and stressing yourself out. And a Saturday dental appointment, if your dentist operates Saturday hours, can be good to make you feel that much calmer, as it’s the weekend and there’s much less to do.
  • Above all, if you’re trying to calm down before going to the dentist, it’s essential that you talk about your fears. This can be as simple as not bottling it up, and potentially making your anxiety worse, but discussing it with a friend, family or colleague. A great way to slash any anxiety is to talk everything over with your dentist well in advance so you’re not left in the dark and wondering what they’ll do to you. Then you can sit, back, try to relax and maybe even enjoy the work that’s being done to ensure your teeth are in brilliant condition. That’s certainly something to smile about.

If you’re looking for quality affordable dentistry in an environment where you’ll be warmly welcomed and greatly looked after, come to The James Clinic and you’ll be right at ease. Contact us today to find out more.

Photo by Dingzeyu Li

Tips for When You’re Scared of the Dentist but Need to Go

You don’t have to be scared of the dentist when you need to go; here are some ways to overcome your dental anxiety.

Good teeth are a vital part of our overall health and wellbeing, and even if you’re not all that inclined to visit the dentist regularly for checkups, or to have your teeth cleaned every six months, as recommended, there are times when you just can’t put off a visit. There’s that sudden toothache that keeps throbbing away and soon becomes excruciatingly painful and unbearable, for example. You have to get to the dentist, and quick, but at the same time, there’s something holding you back: an overriding and yet irrational fear of the dentist chair and what might happen in it.

Many of us face this sweat-inducing dilemma, and it can cause a great deal of anguish — which can make the problem far worse. Something that could have been easily cleared up with general dentistry then develops into a more serious condition — an abscess, perhaps — and you need longer and more expensive treatment. The good news is that there’s no need to be fearful of having your teeth looked after, and if you’re scared of the dentist but need to go, consider these following tips to help you reach a zen-like place the next time you make a dental appointment.

Advice for General Dentistry Patients

  • Finding the right dentist for you can make all the difference between a panic-filled time at their clinic or an appointment filled with calm and tranquillity. The key is to have a dentist who is understanding of your needs and possible fears, and who is able to talk you through any procedures you may have so that you know exactly what to expect. This makes an incredible difference to many patients, and avoids having them turn up to a brusque or uncaring dentist and not knowing what’s going to happen: fear of the unknown is a major part of any anxiety, after all. How do you find such a kind and understanding dentist? Ask around — friends, family, co-workers — or search online for dentists who specialise in treating patients with dental anxiety. You’ll be glad you did.
  • Following on from locating a dentist who’s right for you, it can also be helpful to visit the clinic, if you’ve never been there. You’ll see the set-up and have a look at the surgery where your procedure will be performed, giving you a clear picture of the environment and what will be done. Many people are shy about talking to general dentistry staff about their fears, but try not to be, because your dentist and their staff are there to help you. Even saying something like, “I’m really nervous about having a drill used or injections” can help to put your fears to rest as your dentist addresses them and gives you peace of mind. And always bear in mind that no one is going to judge you for owning up to anxiety about dental procedures.
  • Again, if you’re new to a dental practice and have an appointment, it will most probably be for a consultation or checkup to see the condition of your teeth — it’s highly likely no procedures will be done at this stage. So there’s simply nothing to worry about for your first visit, apart from opening your mouth wide enough for your dental team to get a good look at your pearly whites. And try to get an appointment early in the day so you don’t have to wait, and worry, until the afternoon or later. You can also take a friend or family member with you for support, and it’s possible your dentist won’t mind if they accompany you into the surgery.
  • Undoubtedly, it’s the fear of pain that puts a lot of people off dentists. But the reality is that today’s powerful local anaesthetics mean there’s virtually no pain at all during dental procedures; all you might feel is the abrasive rub of drills, polishers and other instruments. This might make you uncomfortable because you’re not used to the sensation: talk about it beforehand with your dentist and agree on a signal that you can make if you’re not happy with something — even just pointing your finger or hand to tell your dentist to stop, because you may not be able to say anything with a number of instruments in your mouth. This can give you a feeling of control and make you more relaxed.

No Need to Be Scared of the Dentist, After All

For patients who are extremely scared of the dentist but need to go, there are other, more invasive options, including dental sedation. But if you follow the tips above, you’ll be perfectly fine — you may even like to bring along some music and hit the right note with your great new dental team.

The James Clinic always makes a point of putting our patients with dental anxiety at ease, and we’re available to talk to you about anything that might be troubling you ahead of having something done. Contact us today and find out how you can look after your teeth without a care in the world. You’ll discover why our patients say things like:

Photo Credits: Photo by Daniel Frank on Unsplash