Crowns – So Much More Than A Filling

dental crown

If your dentist has suggested that you have a crown installed instead of a filling, you may be balking at the idea. After all, crowns can be more expensive than fillings. However, there is a very good reason why your dentist might suggest the use of a dental crown rather than a standard filling and that’s because dental crowns are so much more than just another type of filling.

Dental crowns provide a special kind of protection

Dental crowns are designed to fit over the whole area of your tooth, providing a complete cover to the tooth. Fillings, on the other hand, are designed to protect a small part of your tooth, usually a spot where decay or other damage has put your tooth at risk of further deterioration.

Both dental crowns and fillings are useful for keeping your teeth healthy but the complete covering of the tooth involved with having a dental crown fitted means that they offer a special kind of protection to the tooth that is over and above that provided by a standard filling.

Cavity size matters in the decision to crown a tooth

If there is a small amount of damage to your tooth, such as a small cavity, a filling will probably be your best option. However, in cases of a larger cavity, a crown is likely to be a better solution. This is because a filling replaces the damaged piece of tooth, which is drilled away before the filling is placed. If too much tooth is decayed and needs to be removed by drilling, it can affect the structural stability of the remaining tooth. In these instances, a dental crown is recommended.

With a crown, there is no risk to the structure of the tooth because the entire tooth is encased inside the crown, protected from the force of chewing. The crown acts like a splint that holds the sides of the tooth together so that even if a large area is affected by decay, the structural integrity of the tooth can be maintained.

Crown versus filling – deciding on the most appropriate option

Your dentist’s assessment will consider the size of the cavity and the structural stability of a tooth. From these considerations, a recommendation for a dental crown or filling will be made. If the cavity is small, the dentist will probably suggest a filling. If the cavity is large or on a part of the tooth that makes it difficult to treat without weakening the tooth, the dentist will most likely recommend a dental crown.

Fillings can be used in instances of larger cavities but your dentist will assess the likelihood of problems occurring later should the tooth weaken. Your dentist will usually recommend the best treatment option to ensure long-lasting protection for your teeth.

Click here to book an appointment at Dr Martin Jest Dental Surgery to discuss your options

Professional Vs. At home Teeth Whitening – Which Is Better?

at-home whitening

So, you took a look in the mirror after you brushed your teeth this morning and you weren’t quite happy with your stained teeth? I think we’ve all been there. The cups of coffee and the occasional glass of red wine can really add up and start to make your once white teeth tinged with yellow. Now you’re faced with an important question: do I go out and try one of the many DIY teeth whitening methods or stick with a professional treatment?

There’s no shortage of products stocking the shelves at your local pharmacy or on the internet claiming to bring out the shine in your pearly whites. Strips, bleaching trays and even whitening pens are only some of the at-home teeth whitening methods available to you.

But are they reliable? Are they even safe? Let’s take a deeper look.

It turns out that some teeth whitening methods can leave you with unintended side effects, the least of which is increased tooth sensitivity and the worst including damaged gums. That’s why it’s always important to consult your dentist before a whitening pen or a bleaching tray ever comes close to your mouth. Your dentist will be able to assess the health of your teeth and decide whether it’s safe for you to whiten them, and if so, which method would be the best.

Your dentist may recommend a professional whitening treatment, which would be the safest option of all. Since teeth whitening is something dentists have been trained in, your dentist will be much more equipped to handle the process.

Not only that, but professional whitening methods are usually stronger than teeth whitening methods. Most whitening toothpastes, for example, have about 3% hydrogen peroxide in them, while a dentist is able to bleach your teeth with a solution of up to 35% hydrogen peroxide. It’s much more concentrated, leading to a more dazzling smile in less time than if you were to do it on your own. No more waiting weeks for your whitening strips to take effect.

So, if you’re looking to bring out the natural whiteness of your teeth once more, it’s best to skip the boxed products from the pharmacy. Head over to your dentist. Your dentist will be able to recommend whether whitening is right for you and which type of treatment is best, leaving you free of worry about any unnecessary pain or side effects from an at-home teeth whitening kit or how long the kit will take to work. You’ll be able to relax and focus on the sparkling smile you’ll be walking out of the dental clinic within only a matter of hours.

Click here to find out more about teeth whitening at Dr Martin Jest Dental Surgery

5 Important Things You Can Do For Your Children’s Teeth

children's teeth

Good dental care starts in childhood. When you make sure that your children’s teeth are taken care of, their risk of developing dental caries becomes significantly lower. The following tips are essential to keep in mind for protecting your children’s teeth.

Visit the Dentist

You don’t have to wait until your children start getting their permanent teeth to take them to the dentist. In fact, you should take them for an initial visit when they’re around a year old. This helps them get used to sitting through dental exams, which makes these visits easier as they get older.

Keep Teeth and Gums Clean

Brush and floss your children’s teeth at least twice a day, preferably after meals, to reduce the risk of tooth decay. Introduce your children to brushing when they get their baby teeth and get them used to a daily routine of brushing. You can start flossing your children’s teeth when they start growing closer together, typically between two and six years of age. Make sure you use children’s toothpaste with fluoride when brushing for better protection from tooth decay. Plan on helping your children brush and floss until they’re old enough to do so on their own.

Limit Sugary Foods and Beverages

What your children eat has a big impact on their chance of developing tooth problems. Encourage your children to eat healthy snacks, such as fresh vegetables, rather than lollies and other sugar-filled foods. The sugar in these foods can lead to a higher amount of plaque build-up, which increases the risk of tooth decay. Keep in mind that many fruit juices contain high amounts of sugar, so it’s important to provide your children with healthy drinks as well.

Understand the Importance of Fluoride

Fluoride is a mineral found in most water supplies throughout Australia. Fluoride helps lower the risk of tooth decay, so it’s important to make sure your children are drinking plenty of water each day. Your children can also get fluoride protection by using toothpaste that contains this mineral and receiving fluoride treatments at the dentist. By taking advantage of the protection fluoride provides, you can considerably lower your children’s risk of getting tooth decay.

Consider Dental Sealants

When your children’s molars come in, these permanent teeth often require extra protection from decay. The surface of molars contains many grooves that food can become trapped in, leading to decay. Talk to your dentist about whether they would recommend fissure sealants for your children’s molars and any other teeth that are at an increased risk of tooth decay. Dental sealants are coatings placed over these teeth to cover the grooves, which helps keep food and dental plaque from building up on these surfaces.

Following these tips on a regular basis is the most effective way to keep your children’s baby and permanent teeth in good condition. The combination of dental care at home and routine visits to your dentist can help prevent tooth decay and ensure that your children receive prompt treatment for any problems that are detected early.

Click here to book your child in for an appointment at Dr Martin Jest Dental Surgery

Crowns – What You Need To Know

A dental crown is essentially a cap used to cover weak, decayed or broken teeth. If you have a tooth that is decayed to the point of cracking or breaking, a dental crown will likely be one option available to restore strength to the tooth. Dental crowns are affixed to the affected tooth with a hardening material that not only keeps the crown in place but also protects the tooth down to the gum line.

What’s involved with getting a crown?

X-rays are generally performed to determine the condition of the tooth in question. It is essential to evaluate the tooth above the gum line as well as the underlying root and bone structure. X-rays are part of the process which assists in reducing the risk of any complication, such as infection.

Your dentist will use a local anaesthetic to numb the area of the affected tooth before filing the tooth down to prepare it for the crown. If your tooth is too decayed or broken down, the dentist may use a filler treatment to increase the tooth’s surface area so the crown can be securely applied. After the tooth is prepared, a cast is taken so that a customized crown can be moulded to fit over the tooth. It is not uncommon for there to be a period of a few days to a couple weeks before the crown is applied to your filed down tooth as dental crowns are individually crafted. Whilst you wait for your customized crown, your dentist will apply a temporary crown to protect the tooth until the permanent one is in place.

The actual application of a crown is less involved than the initial prepping and fitting. Once again, a local anaesthetic will be applied to the area and your dentist will use a cement-like material to affix the crown to your tooth.

What are dental crowns made from?

Today, dental crowns are made from a variety of materials, from ceramic to metal and porcelain, we can also use a zirconia-based material. The type of crown you choose is entirely dependent on your preference and budget and also what the Dentist would recommend to best suit your individual situation.

How long do dental crowns last?

Generally speaking, a dental crown can last up to 15 years as long as it is cared for with regular flossing and brushing.

If you have a cracked or broken tooth, we recommend attending to it as soon as possible to minimize the risk of complications.

Click here to contact Dr Martin Jest Dental Surgery

Wisdom Teeth – The Facts

wisdom teeth

Here are some of the facts that you should be aware of regarding wisdom teeth;

Fact #1

Wisdom teeth are the last of the permanent teeth to erupt. They are also called third molars.

Fact #2

Wisdom teeth usually appear in the late teenage years or early twenties. Most people will have four wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth can be responsible for causing misalignment or crowding of the front teeth and for this reason some people opt to remove them.

Fact #3

In some cases, wisdom teeth never erupt through the gums and are referred to as impacted wisdom teeth (or impacted third molars). Impacted wisdom teeth are typically blocked from erupting due to the positioning of other teeth. If wisdom teeth remain impacted, they can cause pain and inflammation and infection may occur. In some cases, impacted wisdom teeth can cause damage to adjacent teeth. For these reasons, it is often necessary for individuals with impacted wisdom teeth to have them surgically removed. Your dentist can advise the most appropriate time for extraction.

Fact #4

Depending on your specific circumstances, wisdom teeth can be surgically extracted by your dentist in around 20 – 30 minutes. You’ll then need to spend some time under supervision in recovery as the sedation wears off.

If you have pain in the area of your wisdom teeth or are concerned that your wisdom teeth have not erupted, make an appointment with your dentist today to discover your treatment options.

Handling A Dental Emergency

emergency red cross

Dental emergencies do happen. Despite being careful with your teeth, mishaps and accidents can happen. Therefore, it is important to be aware of some of the ways in which dental emergencies can be managed. Here are some tips on handling dental emergencies.

Injured tongue and lip

Like other oral tissue, the tongue and lips are very sensitive. When they are injured, controlling blood loss can be a tough job.

The first step is to relax and refrain from panic. Then, try the following:

  • rinse your mouth with lukewarm water
  • firmly hold a piece of cotton or gauze to the area that is injured to stem the bleeding
  • place an ice cube folded in a cloth on the affected area to alleviate pain and reduce swelling and bleeding
  • make a dental emergency appointment with your dentist

Toothache

An extreme toothache can be very painful. To reduce pain until you can see your dentist, try:

  • gently rinsing your mouth with lukewarm, salty water
  • flossing in the gap between the teeth that are hurting to make sure nothing is stuck that might be causing pain
  • using pain relief medication such as aspirin or paracetamol

In the case of severe pain, see your dentist urgently.

Loose crown or tooth cap

If your crown or tooth cap becomes loose or falls out, immediately:

  • wrap the loose crown in a tissue or other protective covering so that it remains safe
  • make a dental emergency appointment, even if you are not experiencing any pain

Broken tooth

In cases of a broken tooth, follow these steps:

  • immediately call your dentist
  • keep the broken pieces of the teeth as our dentist may need the pieces to mend the tooth
  • place an ice cube folded in a cloth on the affected area to alleviate pain and reduce swelling and bleeding

When you have experienced a dental emergency, it is important to ensure your teeth are checked by your dentist even if your pain subsides and your bleeding stops.

Call us immediately if you are experiencing a dental emergency

Dental Crowns – More Protective Than Standard Fillings

dental crowns

Dental crowns have a reputation as being nothing more than an expensive filling. However, a dental crown is far more protective than a standard filling and can ensure the structural integrity of a tooth in ways that a standard filling cannot. Here’s why and when dentists will recommend the use of dental crowns.

Full coverage treatment

Dental crowns are designed to fit over the entirety of your tooth, providing an all-over protection. Alternatively, fillings are designed to protect a small part of your tooth, usually a spot where decay or other damage has put your tooth at risk of further deterioration.

Both dental crowns and fillings are useful for keeping your teeth healthy but the complete covering of the tooth involved with having a dental crown fitted means that they offer a special kind of protection to the tooth.

Cavity size and dental crowns

If you have a small amount of damage to your tooth, such as a small cavity, a filling may be the best option. However, if the cavity is large, a crown is likely to be a better solution. This is because a filling replaces the damaged piece of tooth, which is drilled away before the filling is placed. If too much tooth is decayed and needs to be removed by drilling, it can affect the structural stability of the remaining tooth. In these instances, a dental crown is recommended.

With a crown, there is no risk to the structure of the tooth because the entire tooth is encased inside the crown, protected from the force of chewing. The crown acts like a splint that holds the sides of the tooth together so that even if a large area is affected by decay, the structural integrity of the tooth can be maintained.

How your dentist decides which option is best

The first thing your dentist will consider when assessing whether a dental crown or filling is required is the size of the cavity in need of repair. If the cavity is small, the dentist will usually suggest a filling. If the cavity is large or on a part of the tooth that makes it difficult to treat without weakening the tooth, the dentist will likely suggest a dental crown.

Of course, a filling could be used in the instance of a larger cavity, but your dentist will assess the likelihood of problems occurring later should the tooth weaken. Your dentist will usually recommend the best treatment option to ensure long lasting protection for your teeth.

Teeth Whitening For A Celebrity Smile

whitening

Teeth whitening is as easy as visiting your dentist. It is a simple treatment to lighten your teeth and remove stains or discoloration. It is a very popular and effective way to create a celebrity-style smile.

When is teeth whitening used?

Teeth whitening is used to treat extrinsic stains on teeth.

The outer layer of your tooth is called the enamel. The enamel helps to give your teeth their natural colour. If your enamel is too thin, the underlying dentin will show through. The enamel and the dentin can become stained from daily use. Some of the most common reasons for stains include drinking fluids with a dark colour, not taking care of your teeth properly and ageing. These types of stains are known as extrinsic stains.

Stains can also form on the inside of your tooth. These are known as intrinsic stains. They are caused from having too much fluoride as a child, taking tetracycline antibiotics and trauma. Teeth whitening will not treat intrinsic stains.

What method of bleaching do we use at the surgery?

There are two main types of tooth bleaching: in-office bleaching in the dental chair and the home bleach technique. After attending courses on the techniques involved, we do not believe that in office bleaching gives lasting whitening. As a result, we use only the home bleach technique which is normally less expensive.

What does treatment consist of?

At your initial visit we discuss the whitening process and procedure, taking impressions of your teeth and constructing custom-fitting soft, clear silicone bleach trays.

At your next visit we take a pre-treatment photograph and check the trays for fit. You will be shown how to use the bleach gel in the trays which is a simple procedure. The normal process is for you to wear these trays for seven to ten nights while you sleep (which don’t have to be consecutive). We also take a pre-treatment photo at that visit.
Three weeks later we review you on a complimentary visit and take a post-treatment photo and check your tooth colour to ensure that you have been happy with the results.

What to expect during and after whitening

After the procedure, you may feel some minor sensitivity throughout your mouth which will diminish. Provided you regularly brush, floss and attend dental appointments, your teeth should remain whitened for up to two years.

Your Top Dental Questions Answered

Dr Martin Jest DentistWhen it comes to oral health, there are always many questions. Here are the answers to the top 10 most commonly asked oral heath questions:

How often do teeth need to be cleaned by a professional?

Brushing teeth is recommended twice daily and flossing once daily. Getting the teeth professionally cleaned by your Dentist or Hygienist is also very important. It is suggested to get teeth cleaned professionally every 6 months to once a year, this depends on how well you are doing at home with your brushing and flossing.

What sort of brush should I use for brushing my teeth?

Various types of brushes are available today. Whichever brush you select, it must have soft bristles and a rounded shape is best. Soft bristles ensure that teeth enamel is not damaged by harsh brushing.

Should I use waxed or unwaxed dental floss?

It really doesn’t matter what type of floss you use. The thing that matters is using it in the right way. When you floss correctly, all the food particles that cannot be removed by your toothbrush will be removed with the floss.

Can I use an electric brush to clean my teeth?

Studies have revealed that electric brushes are more effective at cleaning teeth than manual ones. But did you know that the incorrect use of electric brushes can lead to more severe root wear of the teeth? Please ask us at your next visit if you are not sure.

Do bleaching products work?

Bleaching products do work. However, before you think of using any of them, it is recommended that you consult your dentist. He will recommend the right brand to use and make sure there are no existing issues going on prior to commencing whitening, which will be perfect for your oral health too.

Will bleaching be harmful?

Use of the right product should not be harmful. Again, consult your dentist for the best advice.

How long do veneers and crowns last?

Veneers and crowns can last for up to fifteen years. Both are made from strong material but they can still be damaged and damage can decrease their life span. Regular check-ups with your dentist and hygienist are recommended to optimise the lifespan of your veneers and crowns.

How often do I need to visit the dentist?

It is recommended that you see your dentist at least twice a year. You can discuss your oral health and seek tips to ensure healthy teeth.

Contact our friendly staff today to make a booking.

Dental Implants – A Permanent Solution For Missing Teeth

missing teeth

For a long while, bridges and dentures were the only dental solutions available to people with missing teeth. Today, however, dental implants are growing in popularity and have become one of the leading dental procedures performed to close the gap left by missing teeth.

Instead of merely covering over the space of missing teeth, dental implants replace the tooth roots and are covered by permanent or removable replacement teeth made to match the colour and spacing of your original teeth. These new teeth look and feel like your own teeth because they are permanently fused with your jawbone.

Why choose dental implants over other solutions?

There are a number of benefits that implants offer over dentures and bridges. They are permanently fixed in your mouth, so there is no danger that they might slip out of place or cause your speech to slur.

While removable dentures can be uncomfortable, you won’t realize that dental implants are there in your mouth – they actually become part of you as they are permanently fused to your jawbone. This makes eating easier and improves your self-esteem with a natural smile you can be proud of.

What does the implant procedure require?

Unlike bridges, which rely on additional support, your dental implants will not alter any nearby teeth. Implants work best for those who have good overall oral and gum health with adequate bone in their jaws to support them.

Dental implants can replace anywhere from one tooth to all of your teeth. Depending on how many teeth are being replaced with implants, you may need to be on a soft food diet for several weeks while your mouth heals. Once the implants have stabilised and your mouth is healed, your new teeth will be permanently fixed in your mouth.

How do I know if I need implants?

Dental implants are a great option for anyone with a healthy mouth who is missing one or more teeth. It is a permanent dental solution and any implants you do have won’t adversely affect the health of your other teeth.

Call and schedule an appointment with us today and get back to owning a confident smile!