How Important Is Your Smile To You?

Many people come to us seeking dental implants in Northern Ireland because they want to be able to smile once again. Research has shown that many people who experience missing teeth tend to hide the fact that they have teeth problems. As such, covering the mouth when speaking, consciously suppressing laughter, or even withdrawing from social situations altogether are all commonplace. It’s understandable then that during their ongoing battle with dental problems the last thing that people want to do is to smile. However what you may not know is that smiling has far more benefits than you might think. Let’s take a look!

Smiling is attractive

Dental Implants Northern IrelandIn an interesting and somewhat revealing survey carried out by online dating site e-harmony.com as many as 93% of their clients make instant judgements about a person based on non-verbal cues. Out of these, as many as 81% state that if they saw a photo of someone who was smiling, they would be inclined to find out more about the person. What’s more, a further 76% stated that they were instantly more attracted to someone sporting a warming and approachable smile.

Smiling gives you a confidence boost

One of the reasons that many people seek dental implants in Belfast is because they want to bring back some of their much needed confidence. Smiling can do exactly this. When you smile you automatically feel more relaxed and along with a feeling of relaxation come confidence. So the next time you’re facing a situation where you don’t feel particularly confident, then try breaking out a smile.

Sends signals to others that you care

When a person cracks a smile to reveal great looking teeth what does that say to you? I’d imagine you’d be thinking that firstly, there’s a confident person, but also…. there’s a person who cares about themselves and their appearance. This may appear superficial but if you think about it, it can also communicate to the recipient that if a person cares about their overall appearance, then they probably take pride in everything that they do. As a result it can have a positive effect on many areas of life including job interviews, meetings and those awkward first dates where first impressions really do count.

Smiling makes the world go round

When you’re having a rough day, how many times have your spirits been instantly lifted when a friend has cracked a smile? Smiling makes the world go round, can boost your mood and above all. It’s contagious.

If you’re looking to bring back that missing smile and have great looking teeth to boot then you might want to consider a dental implant. Belfast clinic Blue Sky Dentistry has been successfully placing implants for many years. As such we fully understand the real benefits that implants can bring. Why not contact us on 028 9068 7722 or visit the website at www.blueskydentist.com to discuss your options.

Tooth Replacement Options in Modern Times

Replacing a missing tooth or teeth isn’t done purely for aesthetic reasons. In addition, a well-fitting replacement can improve both your oral and overall health as well as increasing your general feeling of well-being. In modern dentistry there are three main types of tooth/teeth replacement and these are dentures, bridges and dental implants. At Blue Sky Dentistry in Northern Ireland we’re experienced in all areas of preventative, cosmetic and restorative dentistry and as such understand the true benefits a replacement tooth can bring. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the options in closer detail.

Dental Implants Northern IrelandDentures

These have been around in one form or another for centuries and modern day versions are still very much in use today. Dentures are reasonably quick to fit, require no surgery and are also relatively inexpensive, especially when you compare them to other methods of tooth replacement. Because of these criteria, they remain a very popular choice. That said, they do have their downsides.

Unlike a dental implant in Northern Ireland which is anchored firmly into the jawbone, dentures sit on the gum line. Because of this they don’t stop bone resorption (an ongoing process that occurs when a tooth is missing). As such, the shape of the jaw continues to change over time which leads to the dentures becoming loose and rubbing on the gum, causing painful sores. Loose dentures can also cause acute embarrassment when eating and speaking, which causes some people to shy away from public situations altogether. For these reasons dentures need periodical adjustments to ensure a good fit, but after a time (usually 10-15 years) this will no longer be feasible and the dentures will need replacing.

Bridges

Another way to replace a missing tooth is to use a bridge. This is where a structure mounted on the two adjacent teeth either side of the missing tooth supports a prosthetic crown, ultimately plugging or ‘bridging’ the gap. Similarly to dentures, they are relatively inexpensive and provide patients with a quick-fix solution to missing teeth. They may take a little getting used to but generally users state that they are reasonably comfortable.

The downside to dental bridges is that the adjacent support structure involves utilising the healthy teeth either side of the gap. These have to be ground down and a cap placed over them. When this happens it weakens the teeth leaving them vulnerable to future root problems later on down the line.

Dental implants

Whether you’re considering dental implants in Belfast or indeed anywhere else in the UK, the first thing you’ll notice is the price. At anywhere between £800 and £2500 per tooth they certainly aren’t a cheap option. Also unlike dentures and bridges they are also not a quick-fix solution. In fact on average they take between 3-9 months from initial consultation to final fit. Placing them also involves a surgical process.

All that said, dental implants are as near a permanent natural looking solution to teeth replacement as modern day dentistry allows. Because they’re anchored into the jaw bone, they don’t need to be removed at night, so cleaning and maintenance is as simple as regular brushing and flossing. In addition, once secured into the jaw, they rely on a process known as osseointegration (bone fusion) which not only halts the loss of bone but can also stimulate new bone growth. Finally they’re also totally self-supporting so the process doesn’t involve any other natural healthy teeth.

So there you have it, your tooth replacement options explained. At Blue Sky Dentistry we take the considerations and needs of each patient very seriously, so if you want to find out more about your options including dental implants, in Belfast there’s no better clinic. Contact us on 028 9068 7722 or visit our website at www.blueskydentist.com to see just what we can do for you.

Cheap Dental Implants In Northern Ireland – Don’t Be Fooled!

Let’s face it we all like a bargain! So when you know that dental implants in Northern Ireland should cost somewhere between £900 and £2500 per tooth and you see some advertised for £400 – £500, there’s a good chance that you might be tempted or are at the very least a little curious. However before you get sucked in by the price and sign on the dotted line, you might want to be a little wary. Here’s why!

Dental Implants Northern IrelandThe price isn’t really the price

One thing you have to be careful of when seeking treatment for dental implants is that the price you pay really is the price you pay! Some adverts will say something like “dental implants from as little as £450”. The buzz word here is ‘from’. Whilst it’s true that you may be able to purchase a dental implant for as little as this amount, it then needs to be fitted, which is an extra cost; it needs an abutment which again is an extra cost; and finally it needs the dental crown, which, yes you guessed it…is yet another cost. As you can see your £450 implants have suddenly become £2000 or more. For this reason always make sure that everything is included in the price quoted, from the initial consultation right through to the final check-up. This way you aren’t going to get any horrible surprises when the time comes to pay.

Lower grade materials

Most reputable clinics fitting dental implants in Belfast will use tried and tested implants from well-established manufacturers. These large manufacturers invest a lot of money into on-going research and development and as such are at the forefront of the industry. Newer manufacturers on the other hand can’t compete with the industry leaders on experience, but they can and do compete on price. One way to keep their costs down is to use lower grade materials.

Titanium itself is a very expensive component and is used in implants for a number of reasons; namely its ability to fuse with natural bone tissue, it’s non-allergenic properties, and the fact that it’s incredibly lightweight, yet super-strong. Because of this, some manufacturers get around the cost issue by using lower grades of titanium alloy. Whilst there’s no clear evidence to show that implants using lower grade titanium will cause general harm to a patient, they may cause a reaction in some which can increase the chances of implant failure. Therefore when dentists purchase lower grade implants from manufacturers in order to pass these savings onto their own customers, both they and the patient may be getting more than they bargained for.

The next time you come across an advert for cheap dental implants in Belfast you need to be sceptical and ask yourself “what’s the catch?” because cheap is one thing that good dental implants should never be.

Quality dental implants on the other hand can change your life for the better. In order to find out more, then contact Blue Sky Dentistry. We’ve been successfully placing dental implants in patients in the Belfast area for many years and as such, know firsthand the true benefits that they can bring. Call us on 028 9068 7722 or visit our website at www.blueskydentist.com  to book your free consultation today.

Titanium in Dental Implants – Why We Use It?

If you know anything about dental implants in Northern Ireland, or indeed anywhere else in the UK, you’ll probably be aware that they don’t come cheap. In part this is down to the specialist skill and training of the implant dentist needed to fit them; but also the preparation and planning that goes into the procedure to ensure that you receive a healthy and long-lasting tooth replacement. However there’s also one other reason that makes them a costly alternative to dentures and that’s because nearly all implants are made using titanium.

Dental Implants Northern IrelandSo why this particular metal? After all, there are much cheaper materials manufacturers could use!

Lightweight yet strong and durable

One of the benefits of titanium is that is has an incredibly low density meaning that it’s extremely lightweight. In fact if you held a dental implant in your hand you’d be forgiven for thinking that it was made from plastic. However it has the strength of pressed steel. This is why it’s used on specialist machinery from Formula 1 racing cars through to space rockets.

Non-corrosive

Titanium is also virtually non-corrosive, so it won’t rust and is capable of withstanding acids and fluorides which are found naturally in the body. It can also form its own protective oxidised layer when it comes into contact with air or water, giving it further protection from harmful components.

Non-allergenic

If a material is being placed into the body such as a dental implant, it would need to cause little or no reaction. As far as has been proven, titanium is about as non-allergenic a component as we’re likely to get. This is why it’s been used very successfully in hip and joint replacement operations for many years.

Osseointegration

Perhaps the most well documented benefit of titanium when undergoing treatment for a dental implant in Northern Ireland is the ability for osseointegration. This is a vial process whereby the body’s natural bone tissue merges and fuses with the implant over time when embedded into the jaw. This creates a super-strong structure upon which to place a prosthetic crown. There are other substances which have the ability to do this, but none as proven as titanium at this time.

If you want to find out more about dental implants in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and how they can help you then contact Blue Sky Dentistry. We’ve been successfully fitting titanium implants for many years and know firsthand the many benefits that they have given our patients. Visit our website at www.blueskydentist.com to find out more or alternatively, contact us on 028 9068 7722 to book a free consultation to explore your options.

Porcelain Crowns and The Real Benefits

Dental Implants Northern IrelandAlthough there are a multitude of makes and models of dental implants on the market, they are all  designed to take a porcelain crown. Although dental porcelain is ideal for capping dental implants, at Northern Ireland’s Blue Sky Dentistry we also use it for a number of other teeth problems including:

  • A covering for chipped and cracked teeth
  • Making good dental imperfections where dental bonding and veneers won’t work
  • Capping teeth for protection after bridging work

So why are porcelain crowns so widely used and more importantly what are their main benefits?

Non-staining

One of the most beneficial reasons for using dental porcelain is that it’s resistant to stains. Meaning that when a crown is placed, no amount of red wine or coffee is going to discolour it. That said, in order for a prosthetic tooth to appear natural looking it’s preferable to colour-match it, so that it blends in perfectly with the shade of your existing teeth.

Natural looking

Crowns can be made from a variety of composites including gold, stainless steel, ceramic or resin. However porcelain is semi-translucent and is therefore considered the closest looking material to natural looking teeth.

Durability

If you ask any dentist fitting dental implants in Northern Ireland, they’ll tell you that the main advantage that a porcelain crown has over it’s rivals is that it has the durability factor. A porcelain crown that’s been well-cared for can easily last in excess of 15 years or more. Conversely, the shelf-life of many other composites are often considerably less.

Comfortable

Unlike gold or stainless steel, dental porcelain is easily moulded and lightweight meaning that for most patients, they don’t even notice that they’re wearing a crown.

Safe

Complications regarding dental porcelain crowns are extremely rare and for this reason they’re considered safe. They don’t spark allergic reactions in a way that a gold or stainless steel crown might and they aren’t prone to chipping or cracking like ceramic or resin. This is why porcelain is the preferred crown of choice for many a dentist in Belfast.

Better functionality

As dental porcelain is easily moulded it can be made to fit perfectly with your other teeth. This allows you to bite down and chew food as you would normally. In fact in the right professional hands, dental porcelain can deliver a truly flawless restoration that offers better functionality all round.

If you want to find out more about porcelain crowns and how they can be used perfectly in conjunction with a dental implant in Belfast, then contact Blue Sky Dentistry on 028 9068 7722, or visit our website at www.blueskydentist.com. Alternatively, why not book a free consultation with us to discuss your tooth replacement options.

Dental Implants and Diabetes – What is The Affect?

According to the Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation, there are over 3.2 million people in the UK who suffer with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. There are also an estimated 630,000 people who have diabetes but haven’t yet been diagnosed. That’s just over 5% of the entire population! Although most people with diabetes can live a fairly normal life it can have an impact on other areas, and believe it or not, undergoing dental implant surgery could well be one of them. For this reason if you’re considering dental implants in Northern Ireland, or indeed anywhere else in the UK then it’s important to tell the dentist of your condition.

Dental Implants Northern IrelandContrary to popular belief, being diabetic doesn’t necessarily stop you from undergoing dental implant treatment, however a level of caution does need to be exercised. For this reason any experienced implant dentist will look at each case on an individual basis and based on their findings, will ascertain whether or not it’s feasible to go ahead. So what are the problems or issues for a diabetic who’s looking to undergo treatment? Let’s take a look.

Slowed recovery times

Once dental implants are secured into the jaw bone, a process known as osseointegration takes place. This is where surrounding bone tissue starts to grow and fuse around the implant creating a strong and durable platform upon which to attach the crown. In non-diabetic patients the average time taken for bone fusion is around 6 weeks but can differ from patient to patent. In diabetic patients however, research has shown that osseointegration can take 12 weeks or more. What’s more, in some patients that have uncontrollable diabetes, this process might not even happen at all. For this reason an implant dentist in Belfast will look at every case on an individual basis, before they make a decision to move ahead with the process.

More prone to gum disease

Because of the high levels of glucose in the blood, it’s been well-documented that those with diabetes are more prone to gum disease. Whether you’re opting for a dental implant in Belfast or anywhere else in the country the criteria remains the same, in that to give implants the best chance of success, they need to be placed into a healthy mouth. If they’re placed in a mouth that shows signs of gum disease, then the chances of implant failure are considerably higher.

If you’re a diabetic and are considering dental implant treatment you need to be aware that the this might not be as straight forward as for a non-diabetic patient. Because of this, it’s imperative to tell your dentist so that they can develop the right treatment plan to suit your requirements.

At Blue Sky Dentistry we’ve been successfully fitting dental implants for many years and as such have helped many diabetic patients achieve a long lasting smile. Why not check out our website at www.blueskydentist.com for further information, or alternatively, contact us on 028 9068 7722 and book a free consultation to discuss your dental options today.

Dental Implant Treatment – What Are The Stages?

Unlike any other form of tooth replacement, if you’re considering standard dental implants in Belfast or indeed anywhere else in the country, you need to be aware that the procedure is done in several stages over a number of months. Here’s an idea of what to expect.

Dental Implants BelfastStage 1 – Treatment planning

During this first stage of treatment planning your chosen dentist in Belfast will give you a thorough oral examination to ascertain whether you need any treatment prior to the implant surgery. As implants need to be placed into someone who has a healthy mouth, then it’s imperative that this needs to be addressed first. It could be something as simple as a trip to the hygienist to remove any unwanted plaque, bacteria or tartar. Alternatively you may have insufficient bone due to bone loss and are in need of a small bone graft. Whatever the case your dentist will document everything and give you a treatment plan moving forward.

Stage 2 – Placement of the implants

Once any primary treatment has been carried out in order to obtain a healthy mouth with sufficient bone mass to hold the implants, then the next step is for the implant to be fitted. A small incision is made in the gum exposing the jaw bone. Then a tiny hole is drilled down into it and the implant placed. Once anchored in, the gum is carefully stitched back up.

Stage 3 – Recovery

Once the implant is placed, then a process called osseointegration takes place. This is where the body’s natural bone tissue fuses and merges with the titanium implant to create a super-strong platform. There is no set time for this to happen and it will vary from one patient to another. However anything from 6-12 weeks is commonplace. During this time several dental visits may be needed to check progress.

Step 4 – Fitting the abutment

The next stage when you undergo a dental implant treatment is to go back to the dental clinic to have the abutment fitted. This is the ball-like socket that acts as a shock absorber and cushion. It sits on the gum line on top of the implant and acts as the connection between the visible part of the tooth, the crown, and the implant itself.

Step 5 – Interim crowns

It may be the case that you have an interim (temporary) crown fitted, before the final prosthetic is attached. The reason for this is because it can be used firstly to assess the load capacity of the  implant; and secondly in more noticeable areas, it allows time for the gums to mature around the implant before the permanent crown is fitted, thus making it appear more natural right from the start.

Step 6 – Final fitting

Usually somewhere between 3 and 9 months the permanent crown is finally attached.

If you’re interested in a dental implant in Belfast, then talk to Blue Sky Dentistry. We’ve been successfully fitting dental implants in Northern Ireland for many years and as such have seen firsthand the real difference implant surgery made to our patient’s lives. To book your consultation, contact us on 028 9068 7722 or visit our website at www.blueskydentist.com. You’ll be glad that you did!

Sedation Dentistry for Nervous Patients

Dental Implants BelfastBecause of the fact that dental implants are so successful, it’s very doubtful that anyone seeking dental implants in Northern Ireland has been through the process before. It could be that the person awaiting treatment knows a relation or friend that has had dental implants fitted and has spoken to them, but for most people it will be a whole new experience. For this reason it’s understandable that the majority of people are at the very least a little anxious or worse still, very nervous about the procedure. The good news is that modern dentistry is far more geared up towards helping people overcome their dental anxieties and as such, offers a variety of effective methods to help them through.

Local anaesthesia

Due to the intricate nature of dental implant surgery it’s preferable that the patient is awake throughout the procedure. This is so that the patient can respond to the dentist carrying out the procedure should the need arise. In cases where just one or two implants are required then this is often the preferred method. The procedure is considered pain-free under a local anaesthetic and can on some occasions be completed in as little as one hour.

Conscious sedation

If on the other hand a patient is having multiple or complex dental implants in Belfast and/or they are particularly nervous, then it might be preferable to administer conscious sedation. Sedation dentistry is considered a far more controlled way of keeping patients relaxed during the various stages of the procedure and falls somewhere between a local anaesthetic (when the patient is fully awake) to a general anaesthetic (when the patient is asleep).

How does it work?

Conscious sedation utilises a number of methods in order to put the patient in a relaxed and care-free state. For the majority of people who’ve experienced conscious sedation, many suggest that although they were awake they knew very little if anything about the surgical process and most felt that it was over in a flash. The advantages are that a patient feels no pain during the procedure and in addition (unlike general anaesthetic) they should feel no side effects such as nausea after the event.

Relative analgesia

In the UK three main types of conscious sedation are used and the first one is known as relative analgesia. Patients inhale a combination of nitrous oxide (more commonly known as laughing gas) and oxygen through a small nose-piece. Doses are carefully controlled so that a patient remains alert enough to respond to simple instructions, but won’t be able to recall much (if anything) about the treatment.

Intravenous sedation

Another method of conscious sedation is delivered intravenously via a small vein in the arm or hand. Again like relative analgesia, intravenous sedation, doesn’t have any side effects and patients tend to recover from the sedative quickly, usually within 15-30 minutes of the end of the treatment.

What about injections?

Normally, when under conscious sedation anaesthetic is still used in and around the implant site but generally people don’t remember or feel it as the sedative has normally taken hold by this stage.

Oral sedation

Again this works in the same way as above except it’s taken in a pill form usually 1-2 hours before the start of surgery. Oral sedation is generally used for uncomplicated surgical methods taking short amounts of time.

If you want to find out more about pain-free dentistry using conscious sedation methods or indeed anything else regarding dental implants in Northern Ireland then contact Blue Sky Dentistry. We’ve been fitting dental implants in Belfast for a number of years, so contact us on 028 9068 7722 or visit our website at www.blueskydentist.com

Dental Implants In Northern Ireland – Am I A Good Candidate?

The good news is that when you’re considering a dental implant in Northern Ireland, or indeed any other part of the UK there aren’t too many issues or problems that prevent a person from having the treatment. That said, there are certain issues or problems which will need to be dealt with before you can go ahead with the procedure. So with this in mind how do you know if you’re a good candidate and how do you know if you need any form of pre-treatment? Let’s take a look.

Dental Implants Northern IrelandInitial checks

The first thing you’ll do when you agree to dental implants is to meet with the team performing the procedure. They’ll look to give you a thorough examination so that they can build a tailor-made treatment plan. They’ll check your overall health as well as your oral health and will look at the state of your remaining teeth to ascertain whether there are any further dental problems. You may also be required to undergo up-to-date X-rays and/or CT scans in order to get more precise details of your mouth. On some occasions photo’s and mock-ups will be needed so that these can be examined closely after your visit. You’ll also be required to answer a multitude of questions on your life-style and medical history. The more information you can provide at this stage, the less chance there will be of encountering problems later on down the line.

Pre-treatments

If pre-treatments are needed then your dentist in Belfast will make this clear to you. At Blue Sky Dentistry we make sure patients understand that pre-treatments are necessary and are in fact a good way of establishing a base level of dental health which is key to any successful dental implant surgery. These include everything from eradicating gum disease and tartar build-up, through to bone grafting.

The bottom line is that even if you do have existing oral problems they can be dealt with by your dentist so that you can move on to have dental implant surgery. However do bear in mind, that this may be both an added cost and an added time frame, depending upon what needs to be done.

To find out further information about whether you’re a good candidate for a dental implant in Belfast then contact Blue Sky Dentistry on 028 9068 7722 or visit our website at www.blueskydentist.com . Book your no-obligation consultation with us today and start the ball rolling towards a healthier and happier you!

Assessing Oral Health before Fitting Dental Implants

It’s often wrongly assumed that bad oral health is a prerequisite to having dental implants. After all, surely that’s why a person is seeking a dentist in Belfast? However the reality is that this couldn’t be further from the truth. For any implant to thrive and succeed, it simply must be placed into a healthy mouth.

So what is meant by the term healthy mouth?

A mouth is considered healthy when it’s Dental Implants Northern Irelandfree from gum disease, decay, bacterial build-up and abscesses. Yet there is a misconception that having missing or misaligned teeth automatically means poor oral health. The fact is that a dental implant can and will solve the issue of missing, misaligned or broken teeth, but if placed into an unhealthy mouth then it’s going to encounter problems that can lead to implant failure. For this reason having a healthy mouth before receiving implant treatment is vital.

Why is this?

With all that’s been written about the strength and durability of dental implants they are still considerably vulnerable to attack from bacteria, especially in the first few weeks/months after initial surgery. For this reason, in order to give them the best chance of success, they need to be placed into a healthy environment. For example if you undergo a dental implant in Northern Ireland per se, and it’s inadvertently placed into an area that shows signs of gum disease, then it can undermine and weaken the implant area (namely the jaw bone and surrounding gum) causing it to become loose.

How can I tell if I have a healthy mouth?

Before any implants are fitted a patient will undergo a complete health check and from this, the dentist will ascertain pretty quickly whether they have gum disease or insufficient bone to place the implant into. If all is good then the dentist will move on to the next phase of the procedure. However if not, then the issue/s have to be dealt with first.

Does this mean that I’m not entitled to dental implants?

On the contrary, there is very little exclusion that totally prevents a person from undergoing dental implants. If for instance you have the early stages of gum disease (gingivitis) then regular and thorough brushing, coupled with a good antiseptic mouthwash can eradicate the problem in as little as a few weeks. However if excessive bone loss (resorption) has occurred and there is insufficient bone mass to attach the implant into, then it may require a more complex approach, namely a bone graft. Either way your dentist will build this into your overall treatment plan.

If you want to find out more about how undergoing surgery to fit a dental implant in Belfast can benefit you, then speak to Blue Sky Dentistry. We’re an experienced clinic dealing in all aspects of preventative, cosmetic and restorative dentistry, including implants. Call us on 028 9068 7722 or visit our website at www.blueskydentist.com and find out more about your dental options.