Our Swadlincote and Ashby cosmetic dentists discuss why DIY teeth whitening is never a good idea.
The internet is a fantastic thing. It allows us to keep up to date with the latest news, minute by minute. It also allows us to contact someone across the other side of the world in just a few seconds. It does have its drawbacks though, and the fact that anyone can post on the internet also allows people to do just that. The rise of ‘fake news’ shows that this approach can lead to outright lies being accepted as facts in some cases.
Even dental care can suffer from this fake news, or perhaps, being more generous, misguided information. There is a lot of good information available about how to look after your teeth and gums, but also a lot of information that could prove to be positively harmful.
Don’t look for ‘shortcuts’
Patients will usually contact Alexandra Dental Care for an appointment when they are in pain, or have done something such as broken a tooth, as they know that these problems are best left to a qualified dentist. Few people would try to remove decay and fill a tooth themselves, for example. The story isn’t always the same though when it comes to cosmetic appearance.
Perhaps the name ‘cosmetic’ makes it seem as though any treatment carried out with this intention would be harmless; but of course this is not the case when done incorrectly. Our teeth are not just a solid block of enamel and contain living cells and nerves, and even treatments intended to improve the appearance of your teeth can have an adverse effect if done incorrectly and by the unskilled.
DIY cosmetic dentistry
Examining the non surgical aspect of dental care provision
To become a dentist takes many years of intense training. We learn not only the basics about oral health, but also micro examine procedures and all other aspects of dental care. For those who wish to add even more advanced techniques to their practice, such as the placing of dental implants, further study is required, often taking several years.
All of the surgical team at Alexandra Dental Care have undergone this training and are highly proficient in their skills. Being able to perform complicated procedures is essential for this line of work in order to ensure the best possible outcome for the patient, but it isn’t the only essential thing.
A caring profession
We know and understand, that many, perhaps most, of our patients do not enjoy going to see the dentist. Getting patients to attend on a regular basis is a big part of the challenge for any dental practice and ours is no different. A good practice will look at ways in which they can encourage people to do this and also, especially for very nervous patients, encourage them to go ahead with any necessary treatment.
So, as dentists, we know we have the necessary skills for the procedures that we need to carry out, but a question that we have to continually ask ourselves is how to keep our patients as happy and positive about their care as possible.
Our Ashby and Swadlincote team takes a look at New Year dental opportunities.
So, Christmas has been and gone, and some of the luckier ones will have just returned to work after a nice relaxing break. This time of the year though is often also one where we both reflect and look forward, often making new year resolutions. These resolutions, if carried through, can be of significant benefit to us and may include losing weight or getting fitter, both of which are likely to have health benefits. As most of us probably know though, too few of us actually manage to achieve what we had hoped to do.
One of the reasons for this ‘failure’ is that we all too often depend on our own willpower, which may be lacking at times. Resolutions that are carried out with the aid of professional help though, have a much better chance of being carried through, as we are not relying on our willpower alone.
And this is where we come in….
Help and advice
It isn’t uncommon to hear patients tell us that they had intended to look after their teeth better, when they come to us with a toothache in the latter part of the year. The reality is that taking care of your teeth and gums isn’t that difficult, but it does require persistence. Many problems may also start off very small and almost unnoticeable; being almost invisible to the patient until such a time that the problems becomes significant, and sometimes painful too.
It is for this reason that we always recommend that patients of Alexandra Dental Care, pay us a visit for a check up at least twice a year. Any small amounts of decay, that may not yet be causing discomfort, can be removed and replaced using a small filling. Our dental hygienists are also available for regular appointments and we invite you to take advantage of this too. Not only will this enable the removal of tartar from the teeth and gum line, but also affords you the opportunity to discuss and improve your own oral health care.
Considering your smile
As patients of our Swadlincote and Ashby dental practice will be aware, we don’t only deal with problems like decay and gum disease, but are also pleased to provide an extensive range of cosmetic dental procedures. Whilst some treatments that fall into this category can also be used for restoration purposes; crowns and dental implants for example, these treatments also offer an excellent opportunity to improve your smile.
Your 2019 smile makeover
A little seasonal fun for our Ashby and Burton patients.
After writing our dental blogs for the year, and with this one probably being the last one before the Christmas break, we thought it would be fun to see how well you have read our posts and how much of it you can remember. With this in mind, we offer a few questions on subjects that we have covered and you can find the answers at the bottom of the page. Let’s go….
- What material are dental implants made of?
- What type of filling is used during a root canal procedure?
- What is the best time to ring us for an emergency dental appointment?
- Name a common cause of persistent bad breath/halitosis
- Name the orthodontic system that uses trays that fit over the teeth, rather than using a ‘wires and brackets’ approach
- What are the ‘social six’ teeth?
- Name the 2 main stages of gum disease
- Name the treatment routinely carried out by the dental hygienist
- Name the two common treatments that can be provided to reduce lines and wrinkles on your face
- And finally …. name the sport that Yogi is more than highly competent in!
The onset of winter can be a painful time for some people.
Perhaps, as a nation, we are a little obsessed with the weather. When it’s too hot we complain and likewise, when it is too cold. For some people though, the biting winds and winter chills affects not only their general temperature, but can also lead to discomfort due to them having sensitive teeth.
The odd occurrence of a sensitive tooth may simply mean that whatever you are eating is much too cold. If the sensitivity is persistent though, whether when eating or just breathing in cold air, it is likely that you have a dental problem that needs attention.
What causes sensitive teeth?
There can be a number of potential causes of teeth sensitivity. Some of these occur as a one off event and are logical, such as following a filling when the treated tooth may be a little sensitive as the anaesthetic wears off. This should not be long lasting though, and, if it is still there a couple of days later, you will need to contact the dentist again to have it checked.
For those who have more persistent tooth sensitivity though, there are a number of potential causes which we list below.
This is one of the most common causes of sensitive teeth. If we do not take care to protect the enamel on our teeth, it can weaken and thin, exposing the dentin layer beneath it. This layer is porous and therefore allows the extremes of temperatures to affect the nerves within the root canals. Common causes of worn enamel include a diet high in acids, with sugary and energy drinks being a particular culprit. Brushing your teeth too hard will also wear down the enamel of your teeth, especially if you do so too soon after eating, when the enamel is soft.
Tooth decay and other damage
The dentin area of the tooth can also be accessed when the exterior enamel is damaged in other ways. Tooth decay will almost certainly lead to heightened sensitivity, as might a leaky dental filling or a broken or cracked tooth. Regular dental visits and good home care should help keep this risk to a minimum.
Winter is only just here, but now is the time to plan your straighter smile for 2019.
After the long hot summer, some of us may be a little relieved at the cooler weather ahead of us for the next few months. The novelty of this often wears off quite quickly though, and many of us will already be looking forward to the arrival of spring next year. Spring is a time when we often renew aspects of our lives, and particularly the way that we look, with new clothes and a generally brighter appearance.
Cosmetic dentistry can play a part in this too, and some treatments, such as teeth whitening, are especially popular around this time of year. This treatment, can be completed at any time with almost instant results. Other cosmetic dental issues though may take a little longer to resolve and hence need some degree of forward planning.
Crooked front teeth
If you have front teeth that are crooked, you will know how this can distract from an otherwise attractive smile. The nature of this problem though means that it can’t simply be resolved with a one off visit to our dental practice near Ashby. To straighten teeth too quickly could cause damage to them and also the bone holding them in place. Many orthodontic treatments can take a year or more to correct the positioning of the teeth, particularly for complex cases; some types though, are aimed specifically at minor improvements and consequently work more quickly.
One of the best known braces systems that is designed to correct the positioning of the ‘social six’ teeth is the Six Month Smiles orthodontic method. This uses the traditional method of wires and brackets to reposition your teeth, albeit the materials used are more refined than those used in standard dental braces and are also tooth coloured, making them more discreet.
Restoration options for patients whose teeth are in very poor condition.
The health and general condition of our teeth and gums depends on a number of factors. These include whether we have looked after them or neglected them, whether we have seen a dentist on a regular basis as well as our age and general health, which can also be factors. Whatever the reason, it is fair to say that some of us will be unhappy with the state of our teeth and may feel that it is already too late to do anything significant to improve them.
At Alexandra Dental Care, we believe that there is no ‘point of no return’ where a patient will have to live with poor quality teeth that make it difficult to eat, or make them reluctant to smile or laugh out loud because of their poor condition. Modern dentistry now offers many procedures that can restore your teeth to good health and also improve the way that they look.
Get them checked
The chances are that if your teeth are in a poor state of health, you won’t have seen a dentist for some time. This is the first step that you should take. If you live in the Ashby or Swadlincote area, giving us a call on 01283 216347 is a great place to start. We will arrange an initial consultation with you to assess the health of your teeth and gums and discuss a suitable treatment plan.
What treatments you undergo will obviously depend on what is needed to restore your teeth. We will advise procedures that we feel are necessary, as well as some which we feel would be beneficial from an aesthetic viewpoint if you want to have the best looking smile possible. These ‘cosmetic’ treatments may include the likes of modern orthodontics such as Invisalign, along with teeth whitening to bring out the whiteness of your new smile. You will not be ‘pressured’ into having these treatments though and they are purely a beneficial option.
For the purpose of this blog, we will take a look at some possible treatments that could be used to restore your teeth, rather than to specifically improve their appearance.
Gum disease treatment
Local dentist Baldeep Jalf explains how you can help your children maintain healthy teeth and gums.
As a father of twins, I am constantly aware of every little knock or ache and pain that they suffer. Any type of injury or illness is a natural concern to a parent, especially when their children are too young to communicate effectively what it is that is wrong with them, or why it occurred in the first place.
Very few children will go through life without banging their heads, or grazing their knees. We can only do so much to prevent these types of accidents from happening, and they are just a part of the ‘growing up’ process. There are other areas of their health that we can affect, however, and one of these is their oral health.
Growing incidents of tooth decay in children
As parents, it is quite shocking to read about the number of children who are having to have teeth extracted in hospital due to tooth decay . There really shouldn’t be any need for this at all, providing that a few basic guidelines are followed. Generally speaking, for most healthy children, making sure that they have a healthy mouth really should not be that difficult and by following these basic tips, you can certainly help them on their way:
Cut down the sweets
This is perhaps the biggest challenge for a parent. There is no getting away from the fact that kids love pretty much anything that contains lots of sugar. Sweets, pop, candy floss etc; all of these are probably at the top of children’s favourite ‘foods’. Most of us will also probably have given way at one time or another, and let them eat more than they really should, just for a bit of peace and quiet. However, this is still an area where we can exercise control, especially in their younger years.
There is no need to ban sweets altogether, but whilst they are largely in your care, and not free to roam as they will when older, try to keep their sweet and fizzy drink intake down. Not only will they benefit directly from it, but it may also help them to develop better eating habits, and hopefully reduce their desire for sugary foods as they become teenagers. There is no need to be too restrictive, but a sensible balance, combined with a good teeth cleaning regimen, should be sufficient.
Patient advice following IV sedation.
Conscious, or IV, sedation is available at our local dental practice and can be very useful for nervous patients, as well as those undergoing longer treatments, such as tooth implant placement. It is a perfectly safe option and is a great way to ensure that even the most anxious person is able to receive essential dental care. There are a number of things which patients need to consider if they are due to have sedation. These are important, not only to make the experience as straightforward as possible, but also, ultimately, to keep you safe following your treatment.
What does IV sedation feel like?
Before we look at the safety issues surrounding sedation, it is worth exploring how it actually feels when you have it. The sedation is administered intravenously and works very quickly. It isn’t unusual for patients to tell us that they fell asleep during the treatment, but the truth is that they wouldn’t have. IV sedation puts you into a very deeply relaxed state and it is quite possible that you may not even remember the treatment. Despite it occasionally being referred to as ‘sleep dentistry’ though, you should not fall asleep.
Bring a friend
When you have an appointment time for your treatment where you will be receiving sedation, you will need to find someone to take you home following the appointment. This is very important as the sedative will remain in your system for up to 24 hours and you could feel slightly “groggy” after receiving it. It is absolutely essential that you do not drive during this period. If you were planning to take public transport; whilst this is preferable to driving, we still strongly recommend that you bring a responsible adult with you to make sure that you get home safely.
We recommend that you take time from work to allow yourself to recover from both your procedure and IV sedation. Even if you work from home, you may find that you struggle to focus. If your work involves driving, using machinery or one that requires caring for others, you should definitely take some time off from work for your own and others safety.
Here at Alexandra Dental Care in Swadlincote, we often see patients who want to have brighter and whiter teeth. Over the years we have helped many people to feel confident again about the appearance of their teeth with the help of teeth whitening systems such as Boutique Whitening & Enlighten.
To show you some of the results our patients have seen with their teeth, we want to share a recent case with you. This patient was unhappy about the colour of her teeth and the treatment she chose was Enlighten whitening.
Simply scroll down to see the full case study, and use the zoom tools to make it larger or smaller.