Useful Information

Initial Consultation

The first people you will meet will be our friendly reception staff, who will ask you to complete a medical form.

Our dentist needs to be aware of your general state of health as this can often impact upon the condition of your teeth and gums and may effect medication such as anaesthetics and antibiotics we may use for you.

At your consultation you will have the opportunity to discuss any dental concerns you may have or how you would like your teeth improved.

Your dentist will give you a full oral assessment to help accurately plan which treatments would be best for the health of your mouth. During this examination we will be looking at -

  • Teeth and the way you bite
  • Original restorations – Filling, crowns, veneers etc
  • The health of your gums and surrounding bone around each tooth
  • Your tongue, throat, cheeks & lips for signs of oral cancer
  • Jaw joint evaluation

Dental X-rays will also be taken of your teeth to check for -

  • Decay inside the tooth or between the teeth.
  • Abscess or cysts on the roots of your teeth.
  • Decay inside the tooth or between the teeth.
  • Abscess or cysts on the roots of your teeth.

Once the examination is complete the dentist will dicuss the findings with you.

We will then create a treatment plan with alternative options for you, including all the benefits and risks of each procedure and the costings. This will allow you to decide what is best for your long term dental health.

"Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner."


Home Care

Home care is an important part of your oral hygiene. The key to good oral health is 2 x daily removal of plaque and bacteria. Plaque is a sticky colourless film of bacteria that covers the teeth and it is constantly forming. If plaque is left, it continues to build up and usually after a couple of days starts forming a much more stubborn matrix called calculus or tartar. This subsequent calculus layer cannot be removed at home by brushing and needs to be removed by a dental professional otherwise it can lead to advanced gum disease known as periodontitis. This can lead to tooth mobility and potential tooth and bone loss. This should be a significant concern because poor oral health has been linked to heart disease and has been shown to shorten life expectancy by around 6 years on average.

Follow these simple guidelines and you will be off to a great start:

  • See your dentist at least every six months for your important dental hygiene appointment.
  • Brush your teeth every morning and every night
  • Clean in between your teeth every day
  • Use a fluoride toothpaste
  • Eat a well balanced diet
  • Use a tongue cleaner to keep your tongue & breath fresh
  • Smile!!!

Dietary

Every time you eat or drink anything sugary, your teeth are under acid attack for up to one hour. This is because the sugar will react with the bacteria in plaque (the sticky coating on your teeth) and produce the harmful acids. It is important to keep sugary foods only to mealtimes, limiting the amount of time your mouth is at risk. Acidic foods and drinks can be just as harmful to your teeth. The acid erodes the enamel, exposing the dentine underneath. This can make the teeth sensitive and unsightly.

A diet that is rich in vitamins, minerals and fresh produce can help to prevent gum disease. Gum disease can lead to tooth loss and cause bad breath.

What foods can cause decay?

All sugars can cause decay. Sugar can come in many forms; many processed foods contain sugar and the higher it appears on the list of ingredients the more sugar is in the product. The key is to remember everything is to be consumed in moderation.

Acidic food and drinks can cause decay and/or erosion. Foods with pH levels below 5.5 can cause decay and erosion.

Examples of pH in food:

  • Mineral water (still) pH 7.6
  • Milk pH 6.9
  • Cheese pH 5.9
  • Orange juice pH 3.8 (Acidic)
  • Cola pH 2.5 (Highly Acidic)
  • Vinegar pH 2.0 (Extremely Acidic)

(Unflavoured Sparkling Mineral Water is not normally considered harmful to tooth enamel, although flavoured sparkling water, especially citrus flavoured can have a similar erosive effect as fruit juice.)

If you do eat snacks and eat between meals remember to choose foods that do not contain sugar, and if you eat acidic foods as a snack try to have water straight afterwards. Try to have acidic drinks with meals and water in between meal times.

You may now be asking ‘can I still have sweets?’ The answer is ‘yes’, however the main point to remember is it is not the amount but more the frequency of consumption. Sweet foods can be permitted but it is important to eat them only at meal times rather than random times during the day.

Fluoride

What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a natural mineral that is found in many foods and in all drinking water. The amount of fluoride in water varies from area to area.

What are the benefits of fluoride?

Fluoride can greatly help dental health by strengthening the tooth enamel, making it more resistant to tooth decay. It also reduces the amount of acid that the bacteria on your teeth produce. Children who have fluoride when their teeth are developing tend to have shallower grooves in their teeth so plaque can be more easily removed. Plaque is a thin, sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on your teeth. The addition of fluoride to water has been researched for over 50 years and water fluoridation has been proven to reduce decay by 40-60%.

Smoking & Oral Health

Most people are now aware that smoking is bad for our health and that it can cause many different medical problems and in many cases fatal disease. However many people do not realise the damage that smoking does to their mouth, gums and teeth.

Smoking can lead to periodontal disease and eventual tooth loss, tooth staining, bad breath and mouth cancer. Patients who smoke are more likely to produce bacterial plaque that causes periodontal disease. The gums are affected because smoking causes a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream, so the infected gums fail to heal. Smoking causes people to have more dental plaque and for gum disease to progress more rapidly than in non-smokers. Gum disease still remains the most common cause of tooth loss in adults.

Digital Radiographs (X-Rays)

Dental radiology is a vital diagnostic tool in dentistry. It allows a visualisation of tooth structure, an assessment of the periodontal and pulpal health of the tooth as well as any bony/soft tissue pathology that may be present.

Digital x-rays have numerous advantages over the traditional x-rays. Advantages include time efficiency, (bypassing chemical processing), the ability to digitally transfer and enhance images, and also significantly less radiation is used to produce an image compared to conventional radiography.

Why have dental x-rays?

Dental x-rays are an important part of routine dental care for both adults and children. Not only do dental x-rays reveal potential problems with incoming teeth, they can also reveal potential problems caused by hidden plaque. In addition to detecting common problems with teeth, dental x-rays can help detect gum disease and even osteoporosis.

There are two different types of dental x-rays that we routinely take at our practice: bitewing and periapical. The bitewing x-ray is taken when the teeth bite down together and shows the crown portions of the top and bottom teeth. The periapical is a more selective x-ray taken to show one or two specific teeth from crown to root.

In children and adults dental x-rays are recommended because they show the position, number, and size of teeth and because they can detect the presence of decay before they can be seen on the surface of the teeth. Without dental x-rays, a dentist must rely only on a visual examination of the teeth. Sometimes decay begins forming from plaque lodged between the teeth where a dentist can’t see. With the aid of dental x-rays, hidden decay can be detected and intercepted early so there is less damage to the tooth.

Routine dental x-rays can also detect impacted teeth, which can be a problem from childhood to early adulthood. In the event of injury, dental x-rays help determine the type and extent of injury.

Two other types of x-rays used as part of dental treatment are OPGs and Lateral Cephs.

Post Operative Instructions

After the extraction a blood clot will form in the socket were the tooth used to be, this is NOT to be disturbed by vigorous rinsing or poking the site with your tongue or finger as it is a very important part of the healing process.

If the socket does start to bleed after you have left the dental practice, place a clean tissue or handkerchief over the extraction site and apply pressure by biting down, the bleeding will normally stop within a few minutes. Again do NOT disturb the blood clot.

Your mouth will still be numb for an hour or so after the local anaesthetic, please take care not to bite your cheek or tongue or burn your mouth when drinking hot liquids.

Avoid Smoking and Alcohol for 24 hours as these can have an effect on the healing process.

You may be in discomfort after the anaesthetic has worn off, taking a household painkiller will help (headache tablet) following the manufactures instructions. Do NOT take Aspirin as this may cause the socket to bleed.

"Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner."

If the bleeding does persist please contact your dentist for further advice.