Cosmetic Dentistry For The More Mature Patient In Ipswich

Having great looking teeth shouldn’t be restricted to the ‘selfie generation’.

The common perception of cosmetic dentistry is that it is mainly for the younger generation, and  adverts for products such as whitening toothpastes probably only reinforce this view. The truth is that all ages can benefit from these treatments, with older people especially noticing the differences it can make to their lives.

At the Lighthouse Dental Practice, we believe that all of our Ipswich patients should have access to both healthy and attractive teeth, and offer a wide range of procedures to help them achieve that aim.

Teeth whitening

This is one of the most popular and accessible cosmetic dental treatments for all ages. Older people though, can really benefit from this treatment. As many of you may have noticed as you have become older, your teeth lose the sparkle that they once had when you were younger. Whilst some of this may be down to surface staining of the enamel, caused by eating or drinking habits, for most older patients, it is caused by the unavoidable darkening of the inner part of our teeth.

The dentin layer, which lies below the enamel, is a light colour when we are young. The older we get though, the darker it becomes, and this change is visible through the translucent enamel. The only way to whiten this effectively is with our teeth whitening procedure which enables our older patients to have nicer looking white teeth once more.

Dental implants

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DIY Dentistry – The Dangers

However tempting it might be, don’t do it!

Whether it is connected to the cost of dental treatment, a fear of seeing a dentist or simply the wider availability of ‘information’ on the internet, it seems that some people are choosing to attempt to treat their own dental issues.

Although we do encourage our Ipswich patients to take responsibility for their oral health care, when it comes to treatments, they are most definitely best left to the professionals!

Below, we take a look at some of the most common DIY dental treatments that patients of the Lighthouse Dental Practice may have come across on a certain video channel and beyond.

Teeth whitening

Although this might seem like the most obvious cosmetic treatment that you could safely do yourself, it is worth reminding patients that even this seemingly straightforward treatment can go badly wrong. Whilst some ideas you may come across may not be too damaging (though totally ineffective), others may be anything but. Most DIY whitening treatments that will have any effect at all almost always use acids to ‘bleach’ the teeth. Even a natural acid such as lemon juice, a popular ingredient, is highly damaging to the enamel on our teeth and should be avoided.

DIY dental braces

Although instances of this have been relatively rare in the UK, this phenomenon really took off in the USA, with teenagers attempting to realign their teeth through a series of rubber bands attached to them.  Not only would this be uncomfortable but completely lacks control, often making the situation even worse. In addition to this, teeth have to be straightened slowly and too much pressure, such as in this instance, could cause the teeth to become loose and unstable.

Tooth extraction

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How to get rid of wrinkles

Wrinkles Excessive sun exposure, pollution, normal aging, inherited quality of collagen, smoking, diet, alcohol abuse, vitamin C deficiency.

Want to know why TV stars tend to look so good without a wrinkle in sight? The rich and famous have access to a whole host of wrinkle removal/reduction treatments. However, it is still possible for you to achieve a more youthful look without spending an absolute fortune. Simply follow our guide on how to get rid of wrinkles, prevent more and help to reduce the ones you have.

Getting rid of wrinkles

As you grow older, the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines is inevitable. However, there are procedures you can undertake, which should smooth out wrinkles relatively quickly at an affordable price. Two of the best ways in which to help diminish those creases in your skin are facial aesthetic treatments and dermal fillers. At Lighthouse Dental Practice, we offer both of these remedies however, each works in a very different way. So, which one should you choose?

Facial aesthetic treatments
These are best described as muscle relaxing injections, which work by blocking signals from nerves to muscles. This can decrease the muscle activity which causes skin to wrinkle leading to the disappearance or softening of the wrinkles and the smoother skin. This innovative method works best on wrinkles, which are more obvious, when you move your face for example, such as frown lines. It’s also possible to treat up to three areas on your face in one treatment. The treatments usually last from around three to six months (depending on product) and will help you wage a war on your wrinkles. What’s more, the treatments are quick and relatively painless so what’s not to like?

Dermal fillers
These offer a different way in which to help you get rid of wrinkles. Fillers literally fill the line, crease or an area so they can act as a ‘volumiser’. From filling out thin lips to increasing the definition of your cheeks, dermal fillers can give your skin a more hydrated, plumped look. Consequently, results should be subtle and long-lasting. The treatment can typically last from three to 12 months. However, this will depend on where the injections are located and the number you have.

 

The causes of wrinkles
As we age our bodies produce less collagen, which is what makes our skin elastic and, ultimately, smooth. So, less collagen essentially means you’ll suffer from more wrinkles. Furthermore, we lose compounds which exists naturally in skin and which bind water giving us a plump and full skin appearance while we are young. However, there are some ways in which you can help your skin improve its elasticity at home. And these range from topical treatments to using more sun protection cream.

 

Exfoliate your skin
Exfoliating is a great anti-ageing defence, which will help to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. As skin cell regeneration slows as we get older, this process actually removes old skin so new skin is encouraged to grow. It can also help your skin absorb anti-ageing cream more effectively. So, exfoliating once a week will help to encourage new collagen and should ultimately help to get rid of wrinkles.

Cream of the crop
If you’re hoping to achieve a more youthful look, there are plenty of day creams available for just this purpose. After all, this should be top of your (yes, we mean men and women) beauty list to help against the signs of ageing. Some of these lotions claim they will help to perk up and smooth skin, making lines less obvious. So, don’t expect to be wrinkle free but you should be able to find a cream, which will help to smooth and hydrate your fine lines and wrinkles. These creams are suited to anyone who sees the first signs of ageing, which tends to be from around your late 20s to early 30s.


Stop smoking
Now you should already know the dangers when it comes to smoking. For example, it can cause serious diseases such as lung cancer. However, this is also one of the worst things you can do to your skin. Smoking breaks down your collagen, which means you’re likely to have more wrinkles than a non-smoker of the same age.

Lessen sun damage
Frequent sun exposure may make you ‘look’ better initially with a tan. But there are so many ‘fake tan’ lotions and creams available, which can do that for you. After all, UV radiation penetrates the skin and will help to break down your collagen. Having said that, some sun can actually be good for your skin in moderation as it stimulates Vitamin D. This contributes to skin cell growth, repair and metabolism, which can help to reduce premature ageing. Even small amounts of exposure to the sun can lead collagen to break down if your skin is not protected.

 

Find out more about the treatments we offer to help you get rid of wrinkles by visiting our Facial Cosmetics and Regeneration section on our website.

How to get a whiter smile

How to get a whiter smile
Every day, photos of celebrities’ dazzling white smiles are splashed all over social media, TV and newspapers. However, there are plenty of ways for you to feel like a star by achieving a brighter smile. So, follow our advice on how you can help your pearly whites look their best:

Watch what you eat and drink
Tea, coffee, red wine and cola are just some of the well-known culprits, which can stain your teeth. Add tomato-based sauces, some dark coloured fruit juices, berries and curry to the mix and these can all stain or discolour your teeth. Of course, you can try avoiding them but this would be unrealistic.

 

A helping hand
Instead, we recommend limiting the food and drink mentioned above when you can to help you achieve a whiter smile. Also, drink a glass of water after a meal as this will help to wash away food and drink residue left on your teeth. Once you’ve eaten, why not spend just ten minutes chewing sugar-free gum? Chewing gum actually stimulates saliva production, which helps to protect your teeth by neutralizing acids formed during eating. It also creates a cleaning action by lifting food debris from your teeth. Try mint-flavoured gum as the fruity, tangy ones may be acidic and further damage your teeth.

Lifestyle changes
You could try replacing some of the dark-coloured food and drink that you enjoy with lighter alternatives for a brighter smile. For example, choose white wine over red and carrots in your salad instead of beetroot. Carrots contain Vitamin A too, which is vital for strengthening tooth enamel. Try to stop smoking. Apart from this being a contributing factor to gum disease, the tar and nicotine found in a cigarette can darken your teeth and eventually, through years of prolonged use, can even turn them a shade of brown.

Brushing advice
To help you retain a whiter smile, you need to keep an eye on your toothbrush.  Make sure you change your manual or the head of your electric model every two or three months. Otherwise, this will transfer bacteria back to your mouth. If you don’t already have an electric toothbrush, consider upgrading. You can even buy models with teeth-whitening settings. Add a good fluoride, whitening toothpaste to your brushing regime and this can help to remove surface stains from your teeth and may strengthen your enamel, too. However, these toothpastes contain very small amounts of whitening so remember results are likely to be minimal.

Add the little extras
Don’t forget to floss after brushing in your quest for a whiter smile. After all, dental floss helps to remove staining between your teeth. Then, why not complete your brushing routine with some mouthwash? However, choose carefully as dark-coloured mouthwashes contain a pigment, which can actually stain your teeth.

 

Regular check-ups & cleans

Having whiter teeth is attainable so a regular visit to your dentist is a must. After all, a six-monthly check-up is essential and this will also help to prevent any bigger problems from arising such as tooth decay. At Lighthouse Dental Practice, you can also benefit from scale and polish, when your dentist recommends this treatment. They simply scrape away hardened plaque and tartar from the surface of your teeth. The polish will then buff your teeth, making them look cleaner and brighter.

Teeth whitening

If you want to return your teeth to their original natural colour in your quest for a whiter smile, then consider a teeth-whitening treatment.  Speak to our team and our trained dentists will then examine your oral health to check whether you are suitable for teeth whitening. Our process is proving so popular because it enables you to whiten your teeth in the comfort of your own home. The full results can usually be seen in around three weeks, too. We take an impression of your teeth to produce your bespoke whitening tray. This way, the fit will feel more comfortable and it’s safer too. You simply follow our instructions and add the correct amount of whitening gel to the tray. The trays are easy to use and you only need to wear them for a just a few hours every day for the duration of the treatment.

Avoid DIY whitening kits
Over-the-counter kits should be avoided where possible because they contain very little whitening ingredients when compared to dentist treatments. Therefore, the results you will achieve could be insignificant as these will not have any real effect on tooth colour. But what’s worse, these can be very acidic, which can harm your teeth and, if not used correctly, could cause mouth ulcers.

 

Teeth bleaching
This is a fantastic option if you’re looking for teeth, which will whiten beyond their natural colour. It works in a similar way to teeth whitening, however the results will be a lot brighter and, of course, whiter! This is because the products actually bleach the teeth with reliable bleaching products. As a result, teeth become whiter than they were originally.

 

Veneers
Porcelain dental veneers may be just what you’re looking for if you want to achieve a perfect, whiter smile. This procedure is probably best if your teeth are heavily stained as this involves replacing the front surface enamel. However, your dentist can advise you whether this would be your best course of action. After all, this treatment is more invasive than whitening or bleaching and it includes a local anaesthetic to minimise discomfort.

Call our practice now on 01473 257379 for more information on how to achieve a whiter smile.

What Do You Know About Enamel Erosion?

Our Ipswich dentists explain this common dental problem.

The enamel on our teeth is very strong, and not only helps us to bite efficiently, but also protects the more vulnerable inner parts of the tooth from decay and infections. If we look after the enamel, the chances of needing dental treatment for other problems are greatly reduced. Despite this, it seems that there is a general lack of understanding about enamel erosion.

Because, unlike a break for example, it can be hard to notice the visible signs of enamel erosion in its earlier stages, it is likely to continue until detected during a checkup at the Lighthouse Dental Practice. Although affected teeth can be restored using various dental techniques, it makes good sense to prevent the problem from occurring in the first place.

What causes enamel erosion?

There are a number of factors which can lead to the thinning of the enamel of our teeth.

These include:

  • Drinking sports drinks – Despite the ‘health’ claims of some of these drinks, they contain very high amounts of sugars, albeit often natural sugars. Unfortunately, these are as tooth damaging as the most refined sugars.
  • Constant snacking – Not leaving time between meals for your mouth to recover means that your teeth are bombarded with an almost constant supply of sugar. This provides additional ‘fuel’ for bacteria that produce acidic bi-products.
  • Bulimia – Whilst a serious medical issue in itself, regular vomiting also allows stomach acids to come into contact with our teeth. This is very corrosive and will quickly damage the enamel.
  • Fruit and fruit drinks – Whilst offering some health benefits, natural fruits such as oranges are also very acidic, and when consumed in excess, will contribute to erosion of the tooth enamel.
  • Excess brushing – Brushing is good but don’t use too much pressure when doing so!

If you avoid the above and take good general care of your teeth, your protective enamel should remain healthy for much longer.

Problems caused by enamel erosion

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Minimally Invasive Dentistry

What is it and how does it benefit your teeth?

You may have noticed, on our website, that we provide minimally invasive dentistry.

To many patients, this may seem a strange term as a large number of procedures do indeed require invasive dental surgery to be carried out in order to restore a tooth.

At the Lighthouse Dental Practice, we believe in offering the best treatment possible to all of our Ipswich patients, and minimally invasive dentistry has an important role to play in this.

What is it?

Whilst some treatments, such as a scale and polish, require no surgery at all, most do. If we take the well known dental filling as a common example; every patient understands that we need to drill into the tooth to remove any decaying material before it can be filled. Minimally invasive treatment, in this case, simply means that our dentists will do all that they can to preserve as much of the healthy natural tooth as is practically possible.

In addition to drilling away the minimum amount of natural tooth, we will also discuss with our patients, alternative options that might help to preserve even more natural tooth. Again, we can use a filling as an example.

Amalgam vs White Fillings

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Same Day Dental Implants In Ipswich

Implants – an excellent ‘full arch’ teeth replacement solution.

Most of our Ipswich patients are familiar with dental implants as a solution for replacing individual missing teeth.

What is perhaps less well known is that they can also be used where a full arch of teeth are missing. This is not a matter or replacing each missing tooth with a dental implant, but instead, using specially designed implants to minimise the number needed to attach a fixed bridge of teeth.

At the Lighthouse Dental Practice, we are pleased to provide this treatment, from placing of the implants to replacing all missing teeth, often in just a single day. Indeed, this procedure is often referred to as ‘same day implants‘, though is also sometimes called ‘all on 4’ or ‘all on 6’.

Same day implant procedure

Before you have this treatment, it is necessary to undergo an examination to make sure that you gums are healthy (gum disease is a potential threat to implants). Scans and x rays will also be taken to determine bone quality and exact placement positions.

For the procedure itself, a local anaesthetic is used to minimise any discomfort you might feel. Sedation is also available for those nervous of dental procedures or to ease any stress that may be caused by undergoing a longer procedure. Once the anaesthetic has taken affect, your dental implants can be placed.

There are two types of dental implants used for this procedure. The two implants that are placed at the rear of the mouth are specially designed to enter the jawbone at an angle. This provides significant extra strength and stability and allows just a few implants to be needed for this procedure. The remaining two (or sometimes 4) implants are conventional implants and these are placed towards the front of the mouth.

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Are White Fillings The Answer To The ‘Mercury’ Issue?

Cosmetic dental fillings offer our Ipswich patients a number of benefits.

For years now, amalgam has been used for dental fillings, whether large or small. There is little doubting its strength and durability, but it is not without its drawbacks either. The most obvious one of these is the dark colour of the filling which can even be seen on the rear teeth when we laugh or yawn.

For some patients though, the main concern is that they contain mercury, a potentially harmful substance.

We should be clear here that the General Dental Council and other professional bodies, have deemed that the use of mercury in amalgam compounds is perfectly safe and presents no health risks. That said, there is a general move away from them however, partially to reduce the amount of mercury in the environment, a reasonable amount of which comes via amalgam fillings.

According to a report today, the use of ultra high strength MRI scans may also cause mercury to leak from amalgam. This type of scan is not yet widely used, but could be more so in the future. With these factors in mind, it is worth considering having white fillings next time you need to have a tooth filled at the Lighthouse Dental Practice.

What are white fillings?

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Protecting Your Teeth In A Heatwave

With this week promising to be a ‘scorcher’, our Ipswich dentists offer some timely advice.

If the weather reports are anywhere near accurate, this week we are likely to see temperatures reaching 30 degrees and possibly beyond. These temperatures are more typical of places like Rome and Athens than Ipswich!

We shouldn’t complain though given the unreliability of the British weather, but these temperatures don’t come without risks and we need to protect our teeth and gums when the weather gets hot.

Below, we offer our patients some basic but useful tips.

1 – Don’t use the weather to skip your dental appointment. If you have an appointment made for a checkup at The Lighthouse Dental Practice, please keep it. Postponing it until it cools down may result in a longer delay than you intend. We will do our best to see you as soon as we can when you come, so that you can get back out in the sun.

2 – Stay well hydrated. It is easy to become dehydrated in the hot weather and this is bad for our general health but also for our gums. Gum disease is more likely to be present in people with a dry mouth so try to drink plenty of water throughout the day.

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Hate Your Teeth?

white smile transformation

It’s never too late to do something about it. Call us in Ipswich today!

Have you ever felt a tinge of jealousy at a friend, or someone in your social circle who has great looking teeth, when yours are far from how you would like them to be? If so, you are surely not alone.

The reality is that many things can happen over time which leave our teeth looking much less attractive than we want them to be.

But fortunately many of these issues can also be treated successfully through the use of the cosmetic procedures that we have available at the Lighthouse Dental Practice in Ipswich.

Teenagers

Providing that they look after them well with good brushing and personal oral care, many teenagers should have little problem with the colour of their teeth, but crookedness can be an issue. Especially with the rise of ‘selfies’ and social media, even a relatively small unevenness can be magnified many times, potentially causing a sense of poor self image. Modern orthodontics are now available which can correct this without the high visibility of traditional metal braces.

Adults

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