Age One Dental Visit

When parents or caregivers mistakenly say, “They are only baby teeth, they are going to fall out anyway” they have the wrong impression. The Age One Dental Visit sets the tone for lifelong dental health. The fact is, primary teeth serve as the guides for the permanent teeth and are critically important to the health and function of their adult successors. What’s more, primary teeth are the child’s teeth for most of childhood — children don’t usually begin losing them until about age six, and the last primary teeth aren’t lost until around age twelve. It’s just as important to care for them as for the permanent teeth that come later.

An Ounce of Prevention

What really is prevention anyway? Prevention in the truest sense of the word means stopping an anticipated problem before it even starts. The importance of primary teeth and preparing for a lifetime of good oral health are the main reasons why parents should bring their children to see a dentist or pediatric dentist (children’s specialist), preferably before their first birthday. It’s more than just a casual visit: even a one-year old needs a comprehensive examination and even some preventive applications. Parents will benefit from the guidance of “Family Oral Health Education” including: risk assessment for decay; training (hands on) in teeth cleaning; nutritional counseling and use of cups for drinking; fluoride recommendations based on individual needs and important follow-up appointments for monitoring based on the level of risk determined by your dentist.

A baby’s first visit to the dentist sets the stage for lifelong oral health.

The Age One Visit may also reveal underlying conditions that may indicate future problems, and determine how often follow-up visits might be needed. Children with low risk for oral or dental disease might only be seen annually or semi-annually until the primary (baby) teeth are all fully erupted in the mouth and in occlusion (biting function). Children assessed at high risk might be seen as often as every two to three months.

Diagnosing and Treating Tooth Decay

One of the prime purposes for an Age One Visit is to examine the child for a number of forms of tooth decay that can affect babies and small children. For many years, health and childcare professionals have recognized a specific pattern of such decay, known as Baby Bottle Tooth Decay (BBTD). BBTD was believed to be primarily associated with the use of a sleep-time bottle that contains a liquid with natural or added sugars such as formula, juice or Kool-Aid. It generally occurs between the ages of twelve to eighteen months.

In recent years, similar cases of early and severe tooth decay have been found in children who do not fit the classic BBTD pattern of bottle use. The term Early Childhood Caries (ECC) is now being used to reflect a broader concept of the problem of tooth decay in infants and young children. ECC includes cavities associated with many causative factors, mostly sugars. These include continuous use of a “Sippy-cup,” at-will breast-feeding throughout the night, use of a sweetened pacifier or the regular use of sugar-based oral medicine to treat chronic illness.

For many years, health and childcare professionals have recognized a specific pattern of decay, known as Baby Bottle Tooth Decay (BBTD).

ECC develops rapidly — the progression from the hard, outer enamel layer of the tooth into the softer, inner dentin can occur in six months or less. It first affects the upper front baby teeth, which usually erupt at around eight months of age, followed by the primary molars (back teeth), which begin to erupt at about twelve months of age. At its most severe stage, ECC may then affect the lower front teeth.

The extent and severity of ECC can vary depending on culture, the child’s genetic makeup and socio-economic factors. On the other hand, ECC is really much like any other type of tooth decay, dependent on the presence of three conditions: specific bacteria in dental plaque on the teeth, unprotected teeth and the right mix of carbohydrates from food and drinks, such as natural or refined sugars.

Porcelain Veneers Without the Drill

The notion of adding materials to teeth in order to change the way they look is nothing new to dentistry. Traditionally, teeth are prepared in some way or fashion in order to place and retain a restorative material — typically a filling, porcelain veneer or crown. Not only is tooth reduction generally necessary to restore lost or damaged natural enamel as a result of the ravages of tooth decay or trauma, but it is also necessary to create room to place an aesthetic and functional “restoration.”

The purpose of this article is to introduce and provide a clear understanding of an alternative cosmetic treatment option, the “no-prep” or “prepless veneer,” whereby no drilling is required to enhance a smile. It also endeavors to bring clarity and understanding to the numerous areas of confusion regarding this treatment modality. Most importantly, it examines the case selection process; when prepless dentistry will work and when it won’t. As with almost all dental and medical procedures, there are risks, benefits and alternatives. It is with the help of a dental professional experienced in these advanced techniques, together with your own goals and understanding, that you can make decisions that are right for you.

No-Drilling: Reality Or Ridiculous?

“Prepless veneers” is a concept that elicits various reactions and opinions among dentists, ranging from absolute disbelief that they can facilitate effective restorations, to appreciation for these conservative and advanced works of art! This range of opinion about a novel approach to cosmetic dentistry is vast and with good reason. The concept of “additive only” restorations intuitively causes the experienced clinician reason for concern as visions of bulky, over-contoured teeth quickly come to mind. Unfortunately, some prepless techniques and products circulated heavily in the media have shown thick, bulky looking restorations, causing skepticism among some dentists and consumers alike.

And yet, despite these concerns, an undeniable trend is emerging among many esteemed cosmetic dentists to incorporate not only minimal prep, but also “no-prep” restorations into their compendium of viable treatment options and alternatives.

In recent years, new developments in techniques and materials have resulted in a fresh look at the aesthetic possibilities for the no-prep veneer option. Cases done by talented dentists and lab technicians have produced results which would meet the highest standards in cosmetic dentistry [Figures 1 and 2]. Part of the advanced level of training for prepless veneers includes the important aspect of proper case selection. Not every situation lends itself to a no-prep approach, but when it does, the results can be not only beautiful, but also stable and reversible!

Paradigms and Beliefs — A Shift

The promotion and endorsement of “prepless” veneers is predicated on the following paradigms and beliefs:

  • It is not necessary to prepare a tooth to create a border (known in dental terms as a “margin”). Highly skilled dental technicians can design a custom-fit veneer that feathers into the tooth just short of the gumline.
  • Aside from the other obvious benefits of prepless veneers, they are not placed under the gum tissue. This eliminates the risk of the restorations having a negative impact on the periodontal (gum tissue) health.
  • In many cases it is possible to use an additive-only approach to create aesthetically pleasing and natural-looking restorations without reducing the underlying tooth structure.
  • Consumers who are looking for a way to enhance their smiles are more likely to seek out and accept a no-prep approach with a highly-skilled dentist in situations in which they don’t need aggressive enamel removal.

Tooth Decay — How To Assess Your Risk

Tooth decay is one of the most pervasive diseases of our time but modern dentistry has made major strides in the battle against cavities. Based on years of scientific and clinical research, dentists are now moving towards an approach to dental caries (tooth decay) management that is tailored to your personal risk rather than a “one size fits all.”

The previous method of “drilling and filling” to treat decay does not actually change the conditions that lead to the disease and the risk for further infection still remains. By profiling the degree of risk and implementing individualized preventive strategies, today’s dental professionals are using a more proactive approach — that works.

Dental Decay — A Dynamic Infectious Disease Process

The mouth is an ecosystem — living organisms continually interact with every other element in their environment. The teeth are composed of an outer covering of enamel, a highly mineralized crystalline structure composed mainly of calcium and phosphate. They are also bathed in a remarkable fluid — saliva, which plays a crucial role in maintaining a neutral environment or balance between the acids and bases in your mouth.

Acidity is measured by the pH scale, which ranges from 1 – 14. A pH value of 1 is extremely acidic while a pH value of 14 is extremely basic. The pH of the mouth is generally 7 — neutral.

Specific acid producing (acidogenic) bacteria attach themselves to dental plaque, the whitish sticky biofilm that collects and forms on the teeth. When you eat sugars or carbohydrates, these particular bacteria break down the sugars and produce acid as a by-product, which also makes the mouth more acid. At about pH 5.5, the minerals just below the enamel surface of the teeth begin to dissolve or “de-mineralize.” During this process, more calcium and phosphate leave the surface of the teeth than enter it — the first step in the decay process. And because the layer beneath the enamel, and the roots of teeth are made of dentin, which is softer than enamel, it is more susceptible to decay. For example, the roots of an exposed tooth will de-mineralize quickly and easily with even weak acids at pH 6.2 – 6.8, which is closer to neutral saliva.

Why Me? Individualizing Risk Assessment

Given similar habits, you might wonder why some people get cavities and others don’t? Dr. John Featherstone, an imminent researcher, introduced the concept of the Caries Balance in 2002, in which he demonstrated that dental caries (tooth decay) and dental health are the result of a delicate balance between pathologic (disease causing) and protective (health promoting) factors. Each person has his/her own unique balance that is constantly changing. The challenge is to identify what is out of balance and how to tip it towards health and protection.

Caries risk assessment can be likened to that for cardiovascular (“cardio” – heart; “vascular” – blood vessel) disease wherein a physician reviews your health history, takes your blood pressure, monitors your heart, and provides an individualized treatment plan to reduce or manage risk. If your blood pressure is high, it doesn’t indicate that you have had a heart attack or stroke or that you definitely will one day. However, it does mean that you are at a higher risk and it would be wise to take preventive actions.

Teeth whitening options

Your smile is the first thing a person notices on introduction. Everyone smiles in the same language, and a smile represents humoru, joy and happiness around the world. But, the stained look of your teeth can devastate an otherwise gorgeous smile.

Is a dull, darkened, or yellowed smile preventing you from making the right first impression? At YOUROCDENTIST, tooth whitening can brighten your smile. Getting your teeth whitened is considered to be one of the safest and most conservative cosmetic dentistry procedures available. Giving your pearly whites a beautiful shine with tooth whitening  can often have the biggest impact on your overall smile.

Teeth Whitening in BrentwoodWhy do teeth darken?

Teeth darken for several reasons such as medication, certain foods, tannin-based beverages, dental traumas and even genetics. Other factors include using tobacco products, having severe decay or infections, the ageing process and not taking adequate care of your oral health.

Professional whitening at home

Our cosmetic dentistry patients can also opt for take-home tooth whitening kits. If you prefer the convenience of at-home teeth whitening, but you haven’t found success with over-the-counter teeth whitening products, you can get a professional teeth-whitening kit from our  practice.

Dental care for pregnant patients – what you need to know

Pregnancy can be an exciting yet anxious time, with many things to think about. Whilst choosing a name, painting the nursery, and working out a birth plan may all be at the forefront of your mind, it can be easy to forget about visiting the dentist. However, taking care of your oral health during pregnancy is vitally important – for you and for baby, too.

YourOcDentist  provides free NHS dental treatment for pregnant patients. It’s important to monitor your dental health along with other changes in your body during pregnancy, and to contact your dentist promptly if you experience anything strange.

pregnant-womenThere are certain conditions that pregnant women are more prone to developing. One of the most common is gingivitis, or gum disease. Pregnancy gingivitis is characterised by swollen, reddened gums that may bleed when you brush your teeth or bite into crunchy foods such as apples.

Gum disease is common in pregnant patients because of hormonal changes in the body. Levels of the hormone progesterone can be up to ten times higher than normal when you are pregnant, and this affects how your body reacts to toxins – including dental plaque.

By visiting your dentist you can have all traces of plaque removed, and can gain valuable advice on how to manage the condition.

If you suffer from severe morning sickness, which is very common in the first trimester of pregnancy and is often one of the ways people learn that a new arrival is on the way, your teeth can suffer from enamel erosion. Again, this requires prompt intervention from a dentist, because otherwise tooth sensitivity can become a problem.

Another common dental complaint among pregnant women is pregnancy granuloma. In this condition, red nodules appear spontaneously on the gums, most frequently in the upper jaw. Whilst these nodules are harmless, they can be frightening if you haven’t experienced them before, and can sometimes cause discomfort or pain.

They usually drop off soon after baby arrives, although if they are causing you pain your dentist may painlessly remove them.

By visiting your dentist during pregnancy, you can gain reassurance and any necessary treatment, so that you can get back to focus on the new addition to the family.

Crowns: Everything You Need to Know About this Restorative Dental Treatment

Have you recently visited a dentist only to be told you require a new crown? If so you might have a few questions about this treatment and how it can help your dental health. In fact a crown is a very good way of protecting a tooth that has been badly damaged and which has lost quite a lot of its original structure. This might be due to trauma or decay or a tooth might have quite a large filling, perhaps as a result of root canal therapy. Whatever the reason, losing a substantial amount of tooth structure leaves a tooth weakened and vulnerable to further damage and a crown will protect your tooth, covering it up completely right down to the gum line.

dental crownsYou will find our dentist in  can provide you with a beautiful and very natural looking crown that will be made from the very latest ceramics to blend in with your existing teeth. Once the crown is in place, you will be able to eat and chew normally and after a very short while it should feel like your own tooth.

Are There Any Other Uses for Dental Crowns?

A crown can be a good solution for improving the appearance of a tooth that is very badly discoloured or strangely shaped and we often use crowns during cosmetic dentistry. Crowns can also be used to hold a bridge in place, covering up the abutment teeth either side of the gap. You may also need a crown as part of dental implant treatment, restoring your tooth as the final part of the procedure.

What Materials Can Be Used to Make Dental Crowns?

There are a variety of materials that can be used to make a crown. Quite often we will fabricate a crown with substructure made from a precious metal alloy that is covered up with tooth coloured porcelain. Some people prefer the look of gold and we can create crowns made from this material which will be polished to a high sheen. Another alternative is to have an all-ceramic crown that will not contain any metal and this can be a particularly good solution when aesthetics are important, for example when replacing front teeth. An all-ceramic crown is extremely strong as the materials used to make these restorations are very advanced and this porcelain crown can look extremely natural, closely replicating the translucency found in real teeth.

What Is the Procedure for Having a Crown?

You will normally have to visit dentist at least twice. The first appointment is for your tooth to be prepared. To do this, our dentist will need to remove any areas of your tooth that are damaged or infected and will carefully shape it. The next step is to take an impression of your tooth that is used by the dental laboratory to custom make your crown. We will cover up your prepared tooth with a temporary crown until your new crown is ready, a process that normally takes a couple of weeks. At your next appointment, your new crown can be tried in and fitted before being permanently cemented in place.

My Tooth Is Cracked What Should I Do?

My Tooth Is Cracked What Should I Do?

If you’ve spotted a crack in your tooth then the first thing to do is schedule an appointment with your dentist. A crack is a fine line which you can see extending from your gumline to the pointed part of your tooth where you bite. Although the tooth is still in one part, it’s quite likely that the tissue inside the tooth is damaged, and if you don’t get it fixed, then the tooth will split into two.

dental crownOften adults have fine cracks in their teeth often called ‘craze lines’ which occur randomly inside the enamel and shouldn’t cause pain or need treatment.

If you can’t see a crack, then other signs that you may need to pay your dentist a visit are:

  • Discomfort from hot and cold food and drinks
  • The area near the tooth is swollen
  • Sometimes it’s painful when you chew
  • Discomfort is caused by sweet foods or drinks

A cracked tooth can be treated with either a dental crown or a veneer.

Dental crown

A dental crown is usually chosen if a tooth has insufficient structure to support a veneer. Or in the event that your nerve is damaged, in which case you might first need to have root canal therapy. The crown covers the whole of the visible part of the tooth to protect it. Crowns can last several years if they’re cared for properly.

Veneers

If your tooth still has plenty of structure remaining then a veneer is a great solution to conceal the cracked tooth. A veneer is a really thin layer of porcelain that is applied to the front surface of the tooth, a little like a false nail, to cover any defects or blemishes below. In order to fix a veneer your dentist will need to remove a thin shaving of enamel to make room for the veneer. An impression will then be taken of the prepared tooth so that a custom veneer can be made. This will be colour matched to your other teeth to give a seamless natural finish. Again, like a dental crown, with care your veneer should last for several years.

It’s Not Too Late to Improve Your Smile for Summer

Summer, we hope, will soon be here as the days gradually get lighter and warmer. It’s a time of year when many of us want to look our best, perhaps for summer holidays or special events and of course it is coming up to the wedding season. So is your smile ready for summer? If not, it’s still not too late to take action and cosmetic dentistry  can help you get the smile you desire. Some treatments are surprisingly quick to complete but can still make the world of difference to your appearance. These include professional teeth whitening treatments and renewing old fillings, crowns and bridges. We find teeth whitening is extremely popular and by opting for a professional treatment you can be sure of receiving excellent results that will not harm your teeth or gums in any way.

smile-makeoverAbout Our Teeth Whitening Treatments

We offer power whitening in our comfortable dental practice, or we can supply fully customised home whitening kits, containing everything you need to safely whiten your teeth at home. Whichever treatment you choose, you will need a check-up with our dentist. This is vital to ensure treatment is safe and comfortable and will not harm your oral health in any way. Once we have checked your teeth and gums, you can decide which treatment you would prefer. Both are highly affordable and very effective.

Renewing Old Fillings

This is another treatment that can make quite a bit of difference to your smile and which won’t break the bank. While this is regarded as being a cosmetic dentistry treatment, it can also help protect your dental health. We can safely remove silver amalgam fillings, replacing them with cosmetic, tooth coloured fillings that are extremely hard wearing and which will protect the tooth against further decay. It’s surprising just how much difference this can make as it will eliminate darker areas in your mouth created by silver coloured amalgams. If you have any stained white fillings in your front teeth then it can also be nice to renew these. You do need to replace your fillings every few years and it’s an easy way to protect and improve your smile.

Replacing Old Crowns and Bridges

The previous two treatments are quick to complete, but replacing old crowns and bridges will take a bit longer, typically a few weeks as these restorations have to be handcrafted in our dental laboratory. As with all types of dental restorations, crowns and bridges do need renewing every so often as they can begin to leak with age, letting in bacteria that cause infection and decay. Additionally, dental technology has improved significantly over the past few years and modern porcelains look amazingly lifelike and natural and are ideal for improving your smile. We can even make these restorations entirely metal free using the latest all ceramic materials as these provide the very best quality aesthetic results.

What Are the Best Remedies for Toothache?

What Are the Best Remedies for Toothache?

Toothache can often be due to cavities, perhaps because of untreated tooth decay or where a filling has become loose or has begun to crumble away. Anything that enables bacteria to get into your tooth will greatly increase the chances of it becoming infected and painful. An infected tooth requires treatment as soon as possible as otherwise your condition could worsen and the infection can spread.

dentist in Downham MarketToothache can be utterly miserable but what can you do if you can’t get to an emergency dentist in Downham Market straightaway? A toothache is your body’s way of saying something’s wrong so you do need to take action by contacting a dentist to make an appointment as soon as possible. In the meantime there are is a wealth of home remedies you can try but they should never be relied on as a cure. We’ve only listed a couple below as we do want to stress the need for proper dental care.

Oil of Cloves

One popular and very traditional remedy is to use clove oil which contains eugenol and this is a natural anaesthetic. However this oil does need to be used very carefully and you should never just try and pour it on to the affected tooth as it could worsen the pain, particularly if you get it on your gums or your tongue. All you need do is put a couple of drops onto a piece of cotton wool and placed this against tooth until the pain begins to dissipate.

Warm Salt Water Mouthwash

A warm salt water rinse can be quite comforting and all you need to do is dissolve a teaspoon of salt into a cup or mug of boiling water and allow it to cool slightly. Swirling this mouthwash around for about 30 seconds will help clean away any debris and reduces any swelling. You can use this treatment as often as needed.

So How Will the Dentist Treat Toothache?

We will thoroughly examine the affected tooth and we may carry out various tests to see if it is sensitive to cold. Dental x-rays help us diagnose any infection, enabling our dentist to recommend the most suitable treatment. If the tooth is infected then this will almost certainly involve root canal treatment, an excellent procedure that can help save badly infected teeth. Without root canal treatment the tooth would need to be extracted and this is something we definitely want to avoid wherever possible. This is why we do urge you to seek out an emergency dentist if you do develop toothache as a treatment can be much more successful the sooner it is carried out and we will have a greater chance of being able to save your tooth.

 

How to Improve Your Smile

If you don’t smile often because you feel insecure about your teeth, make it your resolution in 2018 to feel confident in your smile again! Here are a few ways our cosmetic dentist near Lakeview can help you achieve your goal:

Straighten Your Smile

If you have an abnormal bite due to crooked teeth, injury, or crowding, then straighten your smile with Invisalign Clear Aligners.  The almost invisible aligners will transform and move your teeth into the perfect placements for your smile. Plus, they are easy to accommodate your lifestyle! View our before and after gallery to see for yourself how straight your smile could be in 2018 with a personalized Invisalign treatment plan.

Finish Your Restorative Dentist Work

The New Year is the perfect time to start or complete your overdue restorative dental work, such as implants, fillings, and more. Completing these procedures will help improve your tooth alignment and prevent additional oral issues. Don’t delay, make your restorative dental appointment today!

Whiten Your Teeth

A bright, white smile can do a lot for your self-confidence. You don’t have to wait weeks to see improvements, either! Make an appointment for In-Office whitening or Take-Home whitening trays at our cosmetic dentist near Lakeview. Maintain your bright smile by brushing twice a day every day for two minutes at a time floss frequently, and avoid including coffee, red wine, and tea.