dental fear

Dental phobia has stopped many people from visiting the dentist. Many people fear visiting a dentist due to a previous negative dental experience, either their own or something that has happened to a friend or family member. Other people might be afraid of the pain and the equipment placed in the clinic, which makes them fearful. These fears can prove to be dangerous for your oral health.

Tips to overcome the fears:

Here are a few tips that could help an adult overcome their dental phobia:

  • Relax: Make yourself comfortable and relax by taking deep breaths.
  • Visualize: Imagine yourself somewhere pleasant and replace the feeling of fear with some nice thoughts.
  • Be aware: A reason that many patients are fearful is various misconceptions about what happens at the dentist. Dentist and their staff are always happy to answer any questions you have about your procedure before your visit. Don’t hesitate to call them and enquire about what will happen at your visit. Tell them if you are worried.

Dental fear in children

Children especially can have dental phobia and this can come from uncertainty and also fear of pain and equipment used.

Here are some strategies that parents can adopt for helping your child with dental phobia:

  • Calm confidence – show your child that you are not afraid and they will feel comfort in that
  • Introduce your child to the dentist or oral health therapist before your visit so they can have a friendly conversation which may ease the fear
  • Visit the dentist yourself – take your child with you to watch a routine check-up at the dentist for yourself and the child will see that it is nothing much to be afraid of.

Laughing gas

At our practice, we can offer laughing gas during your treatment, which can be of great use for nervous patients, young children or those with special needs. Please call us today to discuss your needs if you think this may be helpful for yourself or a family member.

dental emergencies

Many people know first aid basics and what to do in medical emergencies. But handling dental emergencies is not always common knowledge. Your first experiences with dental emergencies may be when they happen to you or a loved one. Here are the top 3 dental emergencies and how to handle them.

Knocked-out tooth

When a tooth gets knocked out, you need to see a dentist as soon as possible. The tooth has the best chance of being saved if it’s returned to its socket and seen by a dentist within one hour.

Before seeing your dentist, pick up the tooth by the crown, which is the part that’s exposed when in the mouth. Rinse it with water if dirty. Don’t remove any tissue fragments or scrub it. Try to put it back in its place inside the mouth if possible. Don’t force it if there is a lot of bleeding or swelling.

If you can’t put the tooth back in the socket, put it in a small container of milk. If you don’t have milk, use a cup of water with a pinch of salt. A cell-growth medium, such as Save-a-Tooth, can also be used. Another alternative if there is no other choice is to hold it in the mouth next to the cheek making sure it doesn’t get swallowed. It just mustn’t dry out.

Lost crown

Call your dentist for an appointment and bring your crown with you. If you can’t see the dentist right away and the exposed tooth is painful, dip a cotton bud in clove oil and apply it to the tooth. Clove oil is available at your chemist’s shop or in the spice aisle of your grocery store.

Abscess

An abscess is an infection that can lead to serious health consequences, so it’s important to see your dentist right away. It usually looks like a swollen pimple. The infection is usually around the tooth root or space between the teeth and gums. Not only can it cause tissue damage, but the infection can spread to other parts of the body if left untreated. Until you can see a dentist, rinse your mouth several times a day with a mild warm salt water solution to ease any pain and draw out the pus.

If you are currently experiencing a dental emergency, please contact our reception staff and explain your circumstances. We will usually be able to see you the same day.

dental xray

Your dentist is able to check for signs of dental problems by looking at your teeth and gums, but some problems might be hidden from sight. Dental x-rays help dentists detect problems with teeth, gums and jaws that would otherwise go unnoticed.

Examining dental x-rays allows dentists to check for signs of dental problems and determine the most effective form of treatment. Here’s a closer look at the different ways in which dental x-rays help determine oral health.

Decay and damage

X-rays help dentists discover tooth decay, bone loss, broken roots and other dental problems that are usually hidden. With the use of x-rays, dentists have a better chance of detecting these problems at an early stage, which helps reduce the risk of complications or the development of more serious issues.

Growths

Dentists can use x-rays to look for abnormal growths in the mouth and jaw, such as tumours and cysts. They can also be used to look for lesions and other possible signs of oral cancer. Abscesses, which require prompt treatment to lower the risk of infection, can also be diagnosed with the help of x-rays.

Impacted teeth

X-rays can show dentists that teeth are impacted, which might require the removal of one or more teeth. Impacted teeth are teeth that have no room to come through the gums. This often occurs with wisdom teeth, resulting in the need to have them removed.

Baby teeth

Dentists can check dental x-rays to see where a child’s permanent teeth are and how they’re growing before they break through the gums. These x-rays are typically done on young children who still have their baby teeth in order to determine how many permanent teeth there are and whether any are missing.

Treatment assessments

Root canals, orthodontic treatments, periodontal treatments, dental implants and other dental procedures require the use of x-rays prior to treatment. These x-rays help dentists determine the best course of treatment.

Types of x-rays

Dentists use several different types of dental x-rays, including the following:

  • Bitewing – which enables a view of the teeth in the back of the mouth and is used to assess tooth decay, tooth alignment, gum disease, bone loss and infections
  • Occlusal – which provides a view of the floor and roof of the mouth and is used to see teeth below the gums and to assess decay, extra teeth, abnormal growths, impacted teeth and abscesses
  • Periapical – which shows the whole tooth, including the roots and the bones around the tooth to enable dentists to see growths, impacted teeth and abscesses
  • Orthopantomograph (OPG) – which provides a wide, panoramic type view of the entire mouth area, including the jaw joints and the nasal area, so that dentists can check for growths, infections, bone problems, impacted teeth and fractures
  • Computer Tomography (CT) scans: a cutting-edge x-ray that provides a three-dimensional view of the jaws and teeth and allows dentists to plan more complex treatments such as dental implants and root canal

During your next appointment, we can discuss your how often you should have dental x-rays taken in order to maintain good oral health.

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

cosmetic dentist

Cosmetic dentistry can help you in many different ways. It can make your smile brighter giving you confidence in your everyday life. It can fix broken or decayed teeth making them look like new. Cosmetic dentistry can improve your overall appearance making you look younger. There are many different ways cosmetic dentistry can positively change your life and following is information on some of the leading techniques:

Teeth whitening

The most commonly used cosmetic dentistry technique is teeth whitening. This procedure takes care of the stains we accumulate over time on our teeth. Drinking beverages like tea, red wine and coffee as well as smoking can leave unsightly stains on our teeth. Teeth whitening or bleaching is the simple solution. You can make an appointment with your dentist for a professional in-chair whitening or visit the dentist for a do-it-yourself kit.

Fillings

Fillings, inlays, and on-lays are necessary when dealing with tooth decay or some types of structural damage. Even though they are necessary they can still be considered a type of cosmetic dentistry. Previously, when a cavity was filled, a dark compound would leave the tooth looking dark and bruised. Now dentists have found a way to use porcelain and other compounds to match your natural tooth colour, making it hard to tell if any work has been done to the damaged tooth.

Dental implants

There is now an alternative to dentures. Dental implants are a permanent artificial tooth replacement. These prosthetics are surgically implanted into your mouth to replace missing teeth.

These are just a few of the cosmetic options available to patients now. Though some are not necessary for your health, having a smile you can be proud of helps you feel better about your appearance and boosts your overall self-esteem. As with all dental procedures, talk to your dentist to find out what would be best for you.

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

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

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

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

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.

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