Seven Things You Should Know About Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening questions answered for our Ipswich patients.

Teeth whitening, when performed by a qualified practitioner, is a straightforward procedure which is pain free and effective. Its affordability is also another factor why it is one of the most common treatments that our Ipswich cosmetic dentists perform.

Even though this treatment is entirely safe, providing that you are a suitable candidate, it is always worth being aware of the facts surrounding any treatment. Here at the Lighthouse Dental Practice in Ipswich, we like our patients to be as informed as possible about any treatment that they are about to receive. In today’s blog, we discuss what you need to know about having your teeth whitened.

It is non invasive

The first phase of teeth whitening treatment involves taking impressions of the teeth to allow the manufacture of personalised whitening trays which contain the whitening gel. The gel is placed into the trays which are then worn for a few hours a day for a week or so, depending on the instructions given to you by the dentist.

Only natural teeth will be whitened

If you wear a crown or have a dental implant, it is important to be aware that these will not be whitened. Only natural teeth will benefit from this treatment, and, if you have implants or crowns, please discuss this with the cosmetic dentist.

Side effects are very rare

We will discuss whether you are a suitable candidate before the treatment starts. Most patients are, but a few, such as pregnant women, are not able to receive the treatment. The only side effect you may notice is a little additional sensitivity of your teeth for a few days afterwards, but this should return to normal quickly.

It isn’t permanent

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Older Patients And Oral Health Problems

Taking care of all generations at our Ipswich Dental Practice.

However young we may be at the moment, inevitably we all grow older and  have to face the challenges that this can bring. Even our teeth and gums are affected by ageing, and in today’s blog, we look at some of the particular problems growing older brings for our teeth and gums. Along with this, we’ll also take a quick look at treatments available at the Lighthouse Dental Practice which can restore teeth to a strong and healthy state which some of us may need as we age.

General wear and tear

However well we look after our teeth throughout our life, the longer we live, the more likely we are to suffer from problems such as worn or broken teeth. Whilst a healthy tooth is much less likely to break than an unhealthy and therefore weaker one, accidents can, and do, happen. Where the damage is not too severe, teeth that have broken, or decayed, can generally be restored with a filling or a dental crown.

Lost teeth

Some teeth may break so badly that it is no longer viable to restore them. In these cases, the teeth may need to be extracted. These can then be replaced by the use of either a partial denture, a bridge or dental implants and we will discuss these options with each patient as circumstances will be different from person to person. Dental implants though, are the most realistic, long lasting and strong tooth replacement method and are well worth considering.

Gum disease

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How much do you know about your teeth?

The importance of healthy tooth enamel explained by your local Ipswich dentist

Avoiding common dental problems, such as tooth decay, begins with making sure that the enamel on our teeth remains strong and healthy.

The enamel provides a protective layer which covers the softer dentine portion of our teeth. When the enamel becomes damaged, the porous dentine layer is exposed, and decay and root canal infections can occur.

The thickness of the enamel will vary according to each individual but can be up to 2.5mm at the cusp. This thickness reduces as it reaches towards the gum line; another good reason, aside from gum disease concerns, to make sure that we brush and floss correctly in this area.

It is also worth remembering that children have thinner enamel on their teeth and this, along with a fondness for sugary sweets, is another good reason to make sure that your children visit the Lighthouse Dental Practice in Ipswich to have their teeth and gums monitored on a regular basis.

Protecting the enamel

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Three Uses Of A Dental Crown

Treatments involving the use of a crown at the Lighthouse Dental Practice.

After fillings, dental crowns are one of the most commonly used ways to restore teeth.

Sometimes also referred to as a dental ‘cap’, as they are used, in effect, to ‘cap’ a tooth, they offer a means to restore teeth to a strong and functional state that would not have been possible with a straightforward filling.

In today’s blog, we take a look at three cases where dental crowns are used at our Ipswich dentists.

Broken or badly decayed teeth

Where a tooth breakage occurs that is quite extensive, or where tooth decay has taken hold to the extent that a significant part of the tooth is affected, a dental crown is often the best available option to restore it.

In order to do so, any damaged or infected material will need to be removed, and the tooth will then be prepared into a shape suitable for the crown to be attached to. Once this has been done and the crown returned from the dental laboratory where it was prepared, you will be recalled to the Lighthouse Dental Practice, and the crown attached using a strong dental adhesive.

Root canal

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Don’t Frighten Your Teeth This Halloween!

The Lighthouse Dental team offers some non-scary advice for parents.

It is only a couple of weeks away from Halloween now, and many parents are probably dreading the thought of their children coming home with big bags of sweets and the general hyperactivity that often goes with it. From an oral health perspective, this can obviously be a potentially challenging time for children’s teeth.

In today’s Lighthouse Dental Practice blog, we take a look at a few ways that parents can help to keep their kid’s teeth healthy at Halloween.

Be selective and strict

Every child will have their favourite sweets, but as parents, our responsibility is to look after them, and this can sometimes mean denying them the things that they want, or ‘need’ as children often state. The worst sweets for children to eat are those that remain in the mouth for a long time. Sweets that are sucked over a period of time, or very chewy sweets, such as toffees, means that the teeth come into contact with sugar for longer periods of time. Removing these from the trick or treat ‘stash’ whilst they sleep, or agreeing a deal to swap sweets, or offer toys as a reward instead, will pay dividends in the long run, helping to avoid dental problems such as tooth decay and gum disease.

You should also make sure that your children do not eat sweets continually. Allowing lengthy breaks between sweet eating allows the saliva to wash away some of the sugar and helps to restore the mouth to normal levels of acidity.

Alternative activities

Whilst it is unlikely that you will be able to stop the consumption of sweets altogether; making Halloween a family event and taking part in activities can help to distract their attention fromover-indulging. Making a Halloween pumpkin can be fun and allows the kids imaginations to flow. Why not also roast some of the pumpkin flesh to eat, or even make a delicious pumpkin soup?

Additional attention to cleaning

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Don’t Be Afraid Of Root Canal Treatment

Dispelling the myths surrounding this essential dental procedure

It is likely that you will have heard the term ‘root canal’ in a film or on TV, maybe denoting something extremely painful? Unfortunately, this myth has been around for a long time now, and many patients still exhibit initial anxiety when told that they need the procedure at our Ipswich dental surgery.

In today’s blog, we take a look at why the root canal procedure may have gained this undeserved reputation, and why you really should not be afraid, if told that you need it to save an infected tooth.

The myth

The likelihood is that the root canal’s reputation stems from a time when x-rays were not routinely used. If an abscess was present and undetected, this could have been extremely painful indeed when the treatment proceeded.

Patients of the Lighthouse Dental Practice can be assured that we routinely x-ray the problem tooth to check for any abscesses. If any are detected, the procedure will be postponed until they have been treated, often with antibiotics. The absence of a dental abscess, along with the fact that local anaesthetics are now more powerful than in the past, means that you should experience little discomfort during the treatment, and generally no more than with many other invasive dental procedures.

Saving the natural tooth

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Could A Brighter Smile Mean A More Fulfilling Life?

An Ipswich dentist asks whether whiter teeth can improve more than just your smile.

Having teeth whitened is one of the most common ways in which people seek to improve their smile. Whether they use a whitening toothpaste (with the minimal improvement it offers) or a teeth whitening procedure, such as those performed by our Ipswich cosmetic dentist team, it is almost certain that the majority do so purely to benefit their smile.

Whilst this is an obvious response to discoloured teeth, there are potentially valid claims that it can also benefit patients in more diverse ways.

Looking good, feeling good

Most of us would probably agree that when we buy ourselves new clothes or have our hair done, we generally feel better about ourselves; “clothes maketh the man” as a famous playwright once said. The same is usually true with patients who have had their teeth whitened at our Ipswich dental practice, and many patients have told us how much better they felt in themselves following this procedure.

Although harder to prove, there is also a long standing school of thought that if we feel good about ourselves then we tend to feel healthier, perhaps taking better care of ourselves. If this point is true, then we may even benefit from better general health as well as having more attractive teeth.

First Impressions

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Natural Tooth Coloured Fillings For A Nicer Smile

Fillings which match your natural tooth colour available in Ipswich.

Most of us who have had a dental filling have most likely had this done using a material known as amalgam. Amalgam is a mixture of metals which includes tin, silver and mercury and whilst this filling material is undoubtedly very strong, it does have the very significant drawback of also being highly visible.

Especially on the top and bottom six front teeth, but even on rear teeth when we laugh or yawn, these dark coloured fillings can really detract from what might be an otherwise attractive smile.

At the Lighthouse Dental Practice in Ipswich, we are now happy to offer our patients fillings that can be produced to match the natural colour of your teeth.

The strength question

Although white dental fillings have been around for some time, these were previously only considered for use on the front teeth. Originally, white coloured dental fillings were not thought to be sufficiently strong for larger fillings, or for those on the rear teeth which grind our food. Gradually though, advances in modern dentistry means that we are now able to use white dental fillings in most situations, as they have become progressively stronger. There may still be some cases, such as large fillings on the rear teeth, where an inlay or onlay may be preferable from a strength perspective, but otherwise, white fillings are now considered to be almost as strong as amalgam.

Benefits

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Dental Implants – Aftercare Advice

Keeping implants healthy with diligent aftercare in Ipswich.

Having taken the decision to replace missing teeth with dental implants, patients of the Lighthouse Dental Practice will undergo a fairly detailed procedure, followed by a few months wait until the implants have successfully fused with the bone.

Given the commitment to this process, and the fact that they may not be the cheapest tooth replacement method available, it makes very good sense to look after the new implants to make sure that they remain both strong and healthy, providing you with the maximum benefits.

In today’s blog, we look at the various stages of dental implant aftercare.

Immediate care

As you would expect from a procedure such as this, there may be some minor initial bleeding following the procedure, followed by a period of soreness. This is to be expected and can usually be managed with your regular pain killer.  Even though the area of the procedure will be too sore to brush initially, it is imperative that you keep the area clean. This can be done by using a warm (not hot) saline solution which is tipped gently over the area before being allowed to fall from the mouth – try not to spit. You will be given full instructions about how to do this by your Ipswich implant dentist.

Care should also be taken when eating. We generally recommend that liquid or very soft foods are taken for a short period of time to allow the implant to start the osseointegration process, where it begins to bond with the bone.

Care during osseointegration (bonding)

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Don’t Let The Strains Of Daily Life Ruin Your Teeth

Some simple daily oral health guidance from our Ipswich dentists.

In today’s busy world, we sometimes simply don’t have enough hours in the day to do everything that we want or need to achieve. This can result in cutting corners to save time and whilst there may be some logic to this, it is sometimes the essentials that get cut!

Looking after teeth and gums is one example of an area where we might consider cutting corners, but doing so, along with other stresses of daily life, can have a serious impact on the health of our teeth.

Junk food

Few people now seem to take a proper lunch break. With deadlines to be met and a constant stream of information flow, many of us simply grab something to eat at our desks. These are not always healthy options either and especially if we feel under pressure, we may well fill ourselves with the likes of chocolate and fizzy drinks. Both of these are likely to cause significant damage to the teeth if maintained for any length of time. Try to either pack your own lunch or buy some sandwiches in the morning and be prepared for a quick, but healthy lunch.

Smoking

Smoking contributes to many serious diseases. It can also contribute to periodontitis which may eventually result in lost teeth. If your job is highly pressured and you need a release, smoking is not the answer. We would strongly recommend that you replace cigarettes with non sugar chewing gum if possible. Even e-cigarettes are likely to be much better for your general and oral health, although research into the health implications of these is at an early stage. Make sure to have your oral health checked regularly at the Lighthouse Dental Practice, particularly if you smoke.

Bruxism

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