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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Posted in Dental implants

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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Dental Implants And Gum Disease

How failing to look after your gum health can threaten your dental implants.

We have mentioned before, the importance of looking after your gums. Whilst there are many unpleasant symptoms associated with gum disease, including halitosis, or bad breath, the most serious of these occurs during the latter stages of gum disease, known as periodontitis.

Not only are the gums affected at this point, but the bone in the jaw also begins to deteriorate. This can cause teeth to become loose, or even fall out altogether.

This stage of gum disease  also presents a serious threat to dental implants. In today’s blog, we look at why your gum health is very important for the health and longevity of your implant.

Bone and gum health

When you arrive for your implant consultation at the Lighthouse Dental Practice, one of the things that we check for is the suitability of your bone structure, and whether it is healthy enough to place a dental implant into. Where it is not, a bone graft may be necessary prior to the procedure. Where there is sufficient healthy bone, an implant can readily be placed for most people.

In addition to checking the bone health, we will also conduct a thorough examination of your gum health. Any signs of gum disease will need to be treated before the implant placement takes place at our Ipswich dental surgery.

The threat of periodontal disease

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Posted in Dental implants

4 Ways To Help Prevent Stained Teeth

Some useful tips from our Ipswich dentists to help you have great looking teeth.

Most people would like to have whiter teeth, and to achieve this is entirely possible, for a while anyway (but more of that later). At least in your earlier years, there is no reason why you should have to put up with discoloured teeth, and with just a little extra care, much discolouration and surface staining can be avoided with relative ease.

In today’s blog, the dental team at the Lighthouse Dental Practice, offer a few ‘top tips’ for keeping your teeth whiter for as long as possible.

Look after your teeth – This one should go without saying; healthy teeth are far more likely to retain their whiteness if you look after them properly. Regular brushing and flossing will help to keep your teeth stain free and free from the tartar that would otherwise build up on them. This creates a rough surface that staining materials easily stick to.

Avoid staining food and drinks – Whilst some foods do stain, it is drinks that cause the main threat in two ways. Some drinks, such as tea and red wine, contain high levels of tannin which will stain your teeth. Others, such as fizzy, sugar filled drinks, may even be clear in colour but can, over time damage the surface enamel of your teeth, leaving them more susceptible to staining. Strong coffees, such as espresso, are also very likely to cause tooth staining.

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Posted in Advice

Smoking And Oral Health – Advice From Your Ipswich Dentist

If you still smoke, here are some good reasons to quit.

Sugar has, quite deservedly, earned the reputation of something to be minimised if you want to have healthy teeth. It is not the only culprit though and, although not affecting as many people as in years gone by, smoking can also have a devastating affect on your teeth and oral health in general.

At the Lighthouse Dental Practice in Ipswich, we believe in doing all that we can to help our patients have a healthy mouth. Convincing them that stopping smoking will play an important part in this is essential. In today’s blog, we look at some of the damage that smoking can do, from a dental perspective.

Stained teeth

The most immediate and noticeable effect of smoking is the discolouration of your teeth that follows. Much of this is due to surface staining of the enamel from the tar in the cigarettes which can detract from what would otherwise be an attractive smile. Providing that the staining is not too severe, a fast acting teeth whitening procedure can restore the whiteness of the teeth; however, more severe staining may require dental veneers which are used to replaced the heavily stained surface enamel.

Gum disease

Gum disease can cause a number of symptoms; from bleeding and soreness of the gums, to degrading of the bone that holds the teeth in position. It is this later stage, known as periodontitis which can lead to tooth loss. Whilst other factors also come into play, smoking both irritates the gums and slows down any healing process that might be necessary. It also contributes to a dry mouth which provides a perfect breeding environment for harmful oral bacteria.

Oral cancers

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Posted in Advice

Why Are Dental X-Rays Necessary?

Modern x-ray equipment allows accurate diagnosis of problems at our Ipswich dentists.

Most of our Ipswich patients will have had an x-ray taken at the Lighthouse Dental Practice at least once in their life, and very often more.

Sometimes this is done early on, soon after the patient registers with us, and sometimes, it is done to investigate specific problems.

In a similar manner to an iceberg; although we often consider the ‘tooth’ to be that which we can actually see, there is a lot more of the tooth that is hidden beneath the gum, and deep down into the bone in the jaw. It is this latter fact that enables our teeth to remain stable, providing that the bone is healthy.

It is always useful to x ray a new patient to get an overall view of their oral health before we decide on any treatments that may be needed, or to determine areas where the patient needs to take special care. Often though, x-rays are also used to diagnose specific problems and we take a look at a few of these below.

Cavities

Whilst some smaller cavities may be straightforward to detect and may only require a small filling, others can go very deep into the tooth. Naturally, you would not wish your dentist to drill away the decayed matter only to find that it was too extensive to be filled. By taking an x ray beforehand, your thorough Ipswich dentists are able to determine whether a tooth can simply be filled, or may need more extensive treatment such as a crown, inlay or onlay. Determining this in advance means a much better experience and outcome for the patient.

Root infections

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Whiter Teeth ‘Off The Shelf’?

A closer look at the promises of teeth whitening toothpastes.

You will probably have noticed an increasing number of advertisements on TV for teeth whitening toothpastes and this is probably a good indication that people are looking to have a more attractive smile these days.

The question though, is how much difference these toothpastes can really make?

The opinion of our dentists at the Lighthouse Dental Practice in Ipswich is that, whilst these toothpastes will do no harm, patients will possibly be disappointed by the end result.

Minimal effect

The reality is that toothpastes are restricted by health and safety laws as to the amount of the active whitening ingredient that is allowed within them. Given that the whitening ingredient is a form of bleach, it is hardly surprising that common household items such as this need to be safe from the prying eyes, and mouths, of young children especially.

Because the amount of whitening agent allowed is very small, it is unrealistic for patients to expect to see great improvements in the whiteness of their teeth, although very small improvements may be noticed by some. Generally, we would only suggest these toothpastes for anyone who has recently had a teeth whitening procedure and wishes to maintain the whiteness for a little longer, or for people whose teeth are naturally already quite white.

Teeth whitening procedure

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Posted in Teeth whitening

Our Ipswich Dentist Explains The Basics Of Tooth Extraction

How dentists ‘pull out’ a tooth.

Extracting a tooth is always the last resort at the Lighthouse Dental Practice and our team will always do their best to restore a damaged or infected tooth wherever possible.

Through procedures such as fillings, crowns and even root canal therapy, it is often possible to save even fairly badly damaged teeth. In some cases though, it no longer becomes possible, or practical, to do so, and the tooth may need to be removed.

It is important that you should never attempt to remove a tooth yourself. Doing so may not only potentially cause you a great deal of pain, but may also result in both damage to the jawbone in the area and also greatly increase the risk of infection. Always seek assistance from your local dentist in Ipswich.

The extraction

Although some people describe having a tooth extraction as having a tooth ‘pulled out’, this is only a part of the story. Naturally, the area of the extraction will first of all be numbed using a local anaesthetic. Once we are happy that the anaesthetic has taken full effect, the dentist will use special implements to grip the tooth in question. Rather than ‘pull out’ the tooth directly though, the dentist will manoeuvre the tooth gently from side to side, gradually releasing it from the surrounding bone. Once this has happened, then the dentist can extract the tooth from its socket.

Inevitably, there will be some bleeding following the extraction and you will be given a piece of sterile gauze to bite on to stem the flow. This will be left until a blood clot has formed.This clot plays an important role in the healing of the area and should not be dislodged. You will be given full aftercare advice following the procedure, and we are always on hand should you have any questions or concerns.

Wisdom teeth extraction

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Facial Rejuvenation For Our Ipswich Patients

Roll back the signs of ageing lines and wrinkles at Lighthouse Dental Practice.

As well as offering general and cosmetic dentistry at our Ipswich dental practice, we also offer an extensive range of facial rejuvenation treatments. Lines and wrinkles, which can add to the ageing appearance of your skin, can be reduced quickly, leaving you with younger looking skin.

Whilst some extreme cases of facial treatments have received bad press in the past, these procedures are perfectly safe in the hands of experienced practitioners such as those at the Lighthouse Dental Practice.

You can be assured that you will be safe in the hands of our dedicated and fully trained facial aesthetics team.

Muscle relaxants

The lines and wrinkles that appear as we get older are almost impossible to avoid. A healthy diet, good hydration and possibly even the use of some moisturising creams may help to reduce or to delay their appearance. You can though, be certain that they will eventually come. When they do, the only way to reduce them is to use muscle relaxing injections to minimise the effects.

These injections are placed just under the surface of the skin in the relevant areas using a very fine needle. There should be no significant discomfort, although you may feel a little pricking sensation as the needle enters the skin. The injections work by encouraging the muscles that cause the wrinkles to gradually relax. You should start to first notice this effect after a few days, with the full results being seen in just over a week. The effect of these injections can last for a number of months and the procedure can be safely repeated as desired.

Dermal fillers

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Posted in Facial aesthetics

Dentures or Dental Implants?

Why both are viable options, depending on the patient’s needs.

When a tooth is lost, especially a visible one, it is only natural that people want to replace it with an artificial one. There are three main ways in which this can be done, dentures, bridges or dental implants.

At the Lighthouse Dental Practice in Ipswich, we offer all three of these options for patients with missing teeth.

Below, we discuss these options, focusing especially, on whether dentures still have a role to play in restoring a person’s smile.

Bridges and Implants

We will cover these two procedures together as both require slightly more complex dental surgery. A bridge is so called because it ‘bridges’ the gap between teeth. Essentially it consists of one or more replacement teeth which are attached to the natural teeth either side of the gap using dental crowns. Whilst this is an effective method, it does require otherwise healthy teeth to be shaped so that the crowns can be attached to them.

Dental implants are, in the opinion of many, the best teeth replacement option currently available. Not only do they replace the actual visible tooth, but also the root of the tooth. This provides additional strength and security as well as helping to prevent bone loss in the jaw.

Dentures

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Posted in Dental implants