Wondering How to Fill the Gap?

We’re willing to bet that anyone who’s ever lost a tooth, whether due to accident or decay, has as some point thought about having it permanently replaced. Missing back teeth can seriously affect your ability to chew your favourite foods and visible gaps in the front can have a negative impact on your self-confidence. So, if you’re trying to decide the best way to make your mouth whole again – dental implant or dental bridge – we thought perhaps a simple comparison would be helpful.

Dental bridge
A dental bridge is a replacement tooth that is fixed to two crowns – one either side of the gap. Bridges have been around for a long time, and are still a common choice for replacing teeth, especially when there’s only one tooth missing.

Pros

  • Bridges are a time-tested, functional and natural-looking solution.
  • They don’t require surgery and can be fitted just like a crown and even on the same day with CEREC.
  • Bridges may be recommended in the event of jaw bone loss or significant damage, where implants might not be possible or advisable.

Cons

  • The crowns and bridges will likely need to be replaced every 10 to 15 years.
  • The two teeth either side of the gap must be filed down and capped to anchor the bridge.
  • Bridges require special cleaning, so the potential for tooth decay and gum disease is higher.

Dental implant
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root, usually made of titanium, that is topped with a lifelike replacement tooth. Although a relative newcomer to the dental world, implants have had an excellent track record for over 30 years now, and are considered the gold standard in tooth replacement.

Pros

  • An implant is a (dare we say it) strong and stable solution that most naturally mimics your real tooth.
  • The treatment does not negatively impact your neighbouring teeth.
  • Same-day dental implants may be possible, providing there is sufficient gum and bone support.
  • Implants are easier to maintain than bridges in terms of daily hygiene.
  • Multiple missing teeth can be replaced with just one implant, depending on their location.
  • Implants transmit chewing forces to the jaw bone, keeping it healthy and maintaining your facial structure.

Cons

  • Placing the implant requires minor surgery.
  • Healing time may be required after the implant surgery but before the permanent tooth replacement is fitted.
  • An implant is initially more expensive than a bridge, but will be more economical long term, as it will last longer.

Here at Rhiwbina, we are known for our dental implant experience, but we do offer both options and are primarily concerned with making sure you get the treatment that will best serve you. We’d love to have the chance to discuss your teeth replacement options and answer any questions you may have. Get in touch and book your consultation with us today!

How to Hang on to Your Healthy Holiday Glow

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September. It comes as a seasonal full stop to put an end to a summer spent enjoying carefree days in the sun and long evenings outdoors. Chances are, you were too busy having fun to snack between meals or eat much junk food – not to mention the natural cravings one gets in summer for salads and fresh fruit. All that healthy living shows – you feel and look better. So the return to the daily grind can feel soul-destroying in more ways than one. But it needn’t be – take some pages from your August diary and turn your daily dietary regimen into an endless summer of sorts. Your health – including your teeth – will be the better for it.

Savour seasonal salads
Salads don’t have to stop just because summer does. Each season offers a different bounty, and you can make a healthy salad out of just about any fresh fruits or vegetables. Give your salads pride of place at your meals rather than relegating them to the role of side dish. Not only are salads full of fibre and vitamins, but they’re generally low in fat and sugars.

Stop snacking
This can be a tough one, for example if you work at a desk, where boredom sets in and it’s all too easy to keep a naughty chocolate bar or pack of crisps to hand. But constant snacking is terrible for your waistline – especially if you have a sedentary job – and it wreaks havoc on your teeth, as they’re under non-stop attack from the acids in your food. Eating well-rounded, healthy, yet filling, meals helps, but if you need a snack, try a piece of hard cheese or a celery stick.

Linger longer at lunch
Bring back those relaxed summer meals and you’ll eat less – as you savour each bite more, you give your stomach time to register that it’s full. You’ll also be less likely to snack later on, especially as you’ll have another enjoyable meal to look forward to later. And, as mentioned above, less snacking means healthier teeth.

Hydrate!
One thing you do all summer long, without even thinking about it, is drink plenty of water. It’s possibly the number one reason you’re feeling and looking so fit come September. Water does wonders for your body, your brain and your skin – and choosing H2O instead of sparkling drinks or fruit juices is a win for your dental health too!

For more top tips on how to get and maintain a healthy body and smile, come and talk to your friendly hygienist at Rhiwbina Dental. We’re here to help and have loads of great ideas to share. Get in touch and book your next visit today!

The glorious glut: why August is the month for eating well

August is upon us, and whether you’re shopping at our local farmer’s market, tending to your veg patch or picking your way along the hedgerows, you’ll know this is the month of the food glut. Taking advantage of the bounty of produce on our doorstep means we can save ourselves a few trips to the supermarket, cook for a crowd, and simply enjoy eating well. And your smile will thank you, too! Fresh fruits and vegetables are good news for teeth and gums – so we’ve gathered a selection of suggestions for getting through the glut.

Fruit and berries
For the health of your teeth and gums, August’s ripe blackberries and tree fruits are best eaten fresh – you won’t find a recipe for plum jam here! But with barbecue season still in full swing (even if under a wet gazebo), you can use the glut of fruits to your advantage and still stay healthy. Try swapping those tempting fizzy drinks for a cool fruit infusion – simply steep your fruit in water with some fresh herbs or spices for 2-4 hours. Interesting combos could include pear mixed with a vanilla pod, a cinnamon stick and some fresh sliced ginger; or blackberries with mint or rosemary. Steer clear of citrus infusions, though – they’ll be much higher in enamel-damaging acid.

Courgettes
Easy-to-grow courgettes make for excellent side dishes and substantial salads. Invest in a mandolin so you can slice your courgettes thinly and evenly, and either eat them raw (“carpaccio”) in a minty salad, or chargrilled. Go Greek by incorporating feta or natural yoghurt; Asian-style, with sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds; or try a classic prawn linguine, swapping some (or all) of the pasta with courgette shavings or spirals. Prefer your courgettes cooked? Try this simple tortilla - a perfect paring of summer flavours.

Runner beans
Banish memories of soggy, stringy runners accompanying your meat-and-two-veg; prepared properly, runner beans can be modern and moreish. Avoid the stringy-ness with a runner-bean slicer – a cheap piece of kit that won’t take up space in your kitchen drawer. To get the best out of your runners, toss them with strong flavours and textures – chorizo (in a tomatoey stew), garlicky breadcrumbs, or a classic mustard or shallot butter dressing. Alternatively, try this fresh recipe, which includes calcium-rich cheese and crunchy nuts.

Peppers and aubergines
Farmer’s markets are groaning under the weight of sun-ripened veg in August, so bag yourself a bargain this month. Roasted peppers and aubergines are lovely year-round, but in August they are best chargrilled – so make them the focus of a fantastic barbecue dish, stick them under your oven grill, or use a griddle pan. We love Jamie Oliver’s take, which brings teeth-friendly cheese, fresh herbs and pulses into play.

Tomatoes
Google ‘tomato recipes’ and you get around 370 million results – but in August, pure and simple should be your mantra; the flavour alone is enough. Start with a classic tomato salad – don’t let them anywhere near a fridge; simply season, drizzle with good olive oil and sprinkle with fresh basil or oregano. Jazz it up with olives, capers and cheese. For a serious glut, reduce the volume of your tomatoes by slow-baking them in the oven until they reach the texture you want – ‘sun-blush’ or ‘sun-dried’; jar them in oil for future use, or gifts.

Don’t forget, if you need help choosing the right foods to keep your smile healthy, book in with the hygienist at Rhiwbina Dental, who is qualified to offer nutritional advice. Happy eating this August!

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