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4 Rogers Street
Spring Hill, QLD, 4000
Australia

+61 7 3391 2504

Brisbane Dentist - excellence in general and aesthetic dentistry with Drs Amy Daley, Leila Haywood, UQ graduates with 20 years of experience in Spring Hill, Brisbane

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dentistry life at Brisbane Smile Boutique

The life and times of our dental practice, up to date news in dentistry and celebrations, happy moments in dentistry. Our blog outlines dentistry life at Brisbane Smile Boutique in Spring Hill in inner city Brisbane

Filtering by Category: East Brisbane Dental

About gingivitis

Leila Haywood

HOW IS GINGIVITIS TREATED?

The best cure for gingivitis is to catch it early. This is especially true for people who are prone to developing periodontal disease, a bacterial infection where the bone is eaten away from around the roots of the teeth causing them to become loose and wobbly. This happens to around a quarter of the adult population.

Gingivitis is the earliest, mildest stage of gum disease. At this stage, the gums may become red and slightly swollen and they may bleed easily. Most people experience very little discomfort on a day-to-day basis, at this stage, so they may not bother to see the dentist. Even if you see your dentist regularly, schedule an extra appointment as soon as possible if you notice redness, swelling or bleeding in your gums, even if it isn't painful. Early intervention is the key to combatting the infection before it becomes serious.

Some medical conditions make you more likely to develop gingivitis. If you are pregnant, have diabetes, are being treated for cancer, or having other hormonal changes, you are at increased risk.  Even if you are perfectly healthy, you should still pay attention to your oral health and see your dentist at the early signs of gingivitis.

Your genes may be against you. Research has shown that approximately 30 percent of the human population overall is at increased risk for gum disease independent of other health factors.

The best intervention for gingivitis is twice yearly professional dental cleaning. Then it’s up to you to maintain a consistent oral health care routine of twice-daily toothbrushing and daily flossing. In addition, your dental hygienist or dentist may recommend a mouth rinse as part of an early intervention to help keep plaque at bay,  although this is usually only if the condition of the gums is exceptionally bad.

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MY GUMS BLEED WHEN I BRUSH. IS THIS A PROBLEM?

We would be very concerned if another part of our body was bleeding when we touched it.  Bleeding from the gums is a sign that there is disease either in the gums around the teeth, or the bone that supports it.  In some cases, with professional scaling and cleaning, careful monitoring of the gums and modifications to home care, the gums can become healthy again. In other cases, where there is irreversible and extreme damage, extensive dental treatment may be required with your dentist, dental hygienist and specialist care.

ADVANTAGES OF INVISALIGN TREATMENT

Leila Haywood

 

Teeth straightening shouldn't get in the way of a busy lifestyle

01

Better oral health

Invisalign aligners are removable, so it's easier to clean your teeth and maintain your oral health during treatment. Unlike traditional braces, there are no metal brackets and wires getting in the way of flossing and brushing.

02

Smile with confidence

Many patients start to see improvements in their smile within just a few months. Unlike metal braces, most people won't realise you're going through orthodontic treatment when you're wearing Invisalign clear aligners because they are virtually invisible

03

Freedom to celebrate

Got a special occasion coming up? No problem, just take your aligners out for the event and pop them back in when you're done.

04

Keep an active lifestyle

With Invisalign clear aligners, you don’t have to worry about your treatment interfering with your active lifestyle.

05

The predictable, comfortable way to beautiful smiles

Are you deciding whether teeth-straightening is for you, but feel worried about the discomfort? With innovative technologies, the Invisalign system effectively straightens your teeth predictably and more comfortably.

06

Potentially fewer dentist visits

Invisalign treatment is ideal for your busy schedule, with dentist visits only required approximately every six to eight weeks (compared to three to four weeks with braces). That means you can spend more time doing the things that are important to you.

ivisalign dentist

3D PRINTING TECHNOLOGY FOR RESTORING TEETH 

Leila Haywood

There are two type of tooth coloured restorations that are placed by dentists. One of these is COMPOSITE RESIN which is matched by the dentist to the remaining tooth structure.  It is an advanced kind of plastic with glass filler particles, usually lasts about 5 to 7 years in a back tooth, but can chip, debond and stain with wear and tear. Resin is placed by the dentist straight on to the tooth, and set with a light and can be a good filling material when there is enough tooth structure to support it but if there is more tooth missing than present, it isn’t usually strong enough to hold up in the long term.

Porcelain is a natural looking option to restore teeth, that is not porous, and is much stronger than composite resin fillings. It is the most durable way to repair a damaged tooth with high aesthetic and functional demands. It is computer generated to match the defect in the tooth, without removing too much more tooth structure and is seamlessly bonded by your dentist. It is extremely durable, has excellent aesthetics  and is very stable.  It is made outside of the mouth with computer technology and hand finished and glazed by a master ceramist.. It takes two appointments to complete, where the first appointment is the preparation appointment, a temporary restoration is placed, and two weeks later the porcelain restoration is bonded into the cavity. They are bonded seamlessly to the remaining tooth by your dentist and look as good as the day they were placed many years later.

porcelain inlays

Dental implant information

Leila Haywood

A DENTAL IMPLANT is a small titanium fixture (insert) that is placed in the jaw bone to replace one or more missing teeth. Implants and their artificial teeth closely resemble the look and function of real teeth. The implants form a secure base for the replacement of teeth, restoring full function and renewing self-confidence and peace of mind. They are an appealing alternative to dentures and bridges.

A single implant can be used to replace one, or several missing teeth, depending on the circumstance. Multiple implants can be used to bridge spaces and secure full dentures to the jaw bone. Dental implants integrate into the jaw bone and provide a very solid platform to re-create function (chewing ability) and aesthetics, by building and connecting the tooth to the base of the implant, which incorporates the new tooth into the existing bite or smile. 

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WHO IS SUITABLE FOR AN IMPLANT

Nearly everyone who is missing one or more teeth, and is in good health is a candidate for dental implant treatment. Dental implants can last a lifetime, unlike bridges and partial dentures that may need to be replaced several times. They can withstand biting pressures, they prevent collapsed cheeks that can follow tooth extraction, and they are  more comfortable than dentures, because they are fixed in the mouth. Dental implants prevent the bone loss that occurs when teeth are missing, so the natural appearance of the smile is also preserved. With implant treatment, there is no compromise to the adjacent teeth; they are not cut down to place a bridge, or loosened by the hooks on partial dentures. 

Implants can only be placed in adults, because growth must be complete before placement. 

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HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE

In most cases, the healing period is between 3 and 6 months before teeth can be attached to the implants. A temporary appliance can be made if aesthetics are absolutely critical during this period.

After initial implant placement, another visit is required to ensure that healing is progressing well and to test how well the implant has integrated. After the implant crown is attached to the implant, regular dental check-ups are needed every 6 months to examine and  ensure that the supporting gum and bone remains healthy, and professionally cleaned with specialised instruments. X-rays are also taken digitally each couple of years to examine the bone structure around the implant and to ensure that it remains healthy.

 

HOW TO CARE FOR AN IMPLANT

Dental implants also do not usually require special cleaning products and just like your natural teeth, you clean them with dental floss and brush with regular toothpaste.

For the implant to function well and to remain healthy, good oral hygiene and home is required on a twice daily basis. Special hygiene appliances  (brushes, and floss) are available and may be helpful if there is any difficulty with routine cleaning techniques.

 

HOW DO THEY WORK?

The implant material, which is usually pure titanium, is extremely biocompatible and the bone treats the implant just as if it was made out of bone. The bone cells attach themselves to the implant in a process called osseointegration. In most cases, implants can be placed using local anaesthesia by your dentist.

 

IMPLANTS FUNCTION LIKE TEETH

Implants are not made to come out, just like teeth.  Implants are not the same as natural teeth but they function and feel virtually the same as natural teeth. For patients who have had dentures or false teeth, the implant will feel much more secure. We use a technique where we are able to remove the attached implant crown if we absolutely must access the implant.

 

IMPLANTS CAN FAIL

Some implants fail because the bone has not integrated correctly with the implant surface. This may occur if the bone is very soft at the time the implant is placed or if the implant is initially unstable.  Infection may also cause an implant to be lost. In most situations, an implant can be replaced if it fails to bond with the bone, provided that adequate bone and gum tissue is present. Most implant systems have success rates of 85-95% over a 5 to 10 year period.

 

SMOKING AND IMPLANTS?

Smoking affects the healing of the bone and soft tissue by reducing the nutrients and minerals in the tissues, and  reducing the blood supply.  Smoking is considered one of the biggest risk factors in the failure of dental implants with the chances of failure increasing 2 to 3 times in a smoker, which are not good odds for a complex and expensive treatment option.

 

Tooth grinding solutions and muscle relaxant injections

Leila Haywood

What is bruxism?

Excessive clenching or grinding of the teeth, is called bruxism, and is thought to be caused by physical or psychological stress, or a sleep disorder. If untreated, bruxism can cause excessive wear of the teeth leading to permanent damage of the teeth and sometimes of the jaw joints. Treatments involve repairing worn or damaged teeth with restorations, crowns or inlays, to replace the damaged tooth surface, and making an occlusal splint, or night guard, custom made from hard plastic that fits over the top teeth, and is worn at night to prevent further wear of the tooth surfaces, and to allow the jaw joint and muscles to relax. 

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TMJ disorders and muscle relaxant therapy

Disorders of the jaw joint, or TMJ (temporomandibular joint) are not uncommon and may lead to symptoms of pain and discomfort in the jaw called temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD) . Patients may complain of earaches, headaches and a limited ability to open their mouth.  Other symptoms can include clicking, popping or grating sounds in the jaw joint,  pain when opening and closing the mouth,  a general tightness and pain in the muscles of the jaw, or broken teeth due to the excessive forces.

Muscle relaxant injection treatments are available for jaw pain caused by excessive tooth grinding. These can reduce the muscle activity of the jaw and provide relief from wear in the joint system, and can prevent the teeth grinding excessively.

Dentists will try to determine the cause of tooth grinding and associated symptoms, and offer a range of treatment options to reduce the discomfort and intervention before the excessive forces damage your teeth. There are several treatment options that can be used to immediately stop  clenching or tooth grinding , and hopefully relieve the jaw pain.   

People who clench or grind their teeth are able to relieve the pain in the jaw joints and muscles with physiotherapy treatments, pain relief, prescribed sedatives, occlusal splint therapy or therapeutic use of muscle relaxant injections into the jaw muscles. 

Current management for bruxism

Current management by dentists for jaw muscle pain caused by grinding or clenching is with occlusal splint therapy or night guards made by the dentist, orthodontics, pain relief, full mouth rehabilitation,  muscle relaxant injections, and very rarely, surgery. 

Muscle relaxant injections with Botulinism Toxin A can decrease the destructive effects of tooth grinding. A diluted form of the muscle relaxant is injected in the jaw muscle to partially weaken muscles for a period of 4 to 6 months.  

Bruxism is a disorder of repetitive and unconscious contraction of the masseter muscle, the large muscle that moves the jaw.  Muscle relaxant injections weaken the jaw muscles enough to reduce the effects of teeth grinding and clenching, but not so much as to prevent proper use of the jaw muscle for eating and normal facial movements. A muscle relaxant treatment typically involves injections into the masseter muscles. It takes a few minutes per side, and you can start to expect feeling the effects after 5 days.

What is the muscle relaxant injection? 

The muscle relaxant injection is Botulinism Toxin A, a prescription medicine which contains 100 units of muscle relaxant liquid and is a natural, purified protein that is used therapeutically in medicine to relax facial muscles, and is approved by the FDA (US) and TGA to treat medical conditions such as cerebral palsy. It is widely known for its uses in cosmetic work, as anti wrinkle injections.  

How are muscle relaxant injections used in  dentistry? 

Dentists who have undergone appropriate training can use muscle relaxant injections to treat muscular pain and headaches due to muscle contractions in the head and face, focusing on the jaw area.

Severe and undiagnosed tooth grinding and clenching can lead to headaches, pain in the jaw joint, muscles of the jaw, enlarged masseter muscles, tooth wear and broken teeth, and is thought to be cause by fatigue, stress and emotional extremes. 

How does the muscle relaxant injection work?

Approximately 90% of all headaches are thought to be caused by muscle contraction. Pain is minimised with muscle relaxant injections into the muscles of the jaws so that they cannot be contracted fully, therefore the pain is minimised.   

What does the treatment involve?

Muscle relaxant injections are usually administered by a very fine needle into the muscles that are causing the pain (eg. masseters, temporalis, frontalis) with a selected appropriate dose. The rest of the muscles still can function normally therefore chewing is mostly unaffected. No anaesthetic is required since the procedure has minimal discomfort, with just a slight sting at the injection site.  The treatment generally takes around 15 minutes for a full treatment. The muscle relaxant treatment takes around 5 days to begin taking effect and up to 7 days for the full effect to be felt.   

How long does it last? 

This varies from individual to individual but usually 3-6 months.  Repeat injections may result in the effects being prolonged.   

Contraindications to using muscle relaxant

  • Pregnancy or breastfeeding
  • Allergy to albumin
  • an infection, skin condition or muscle weakness 
  • Have Eaton-Lambert syndrome, Lou Gehrig’s disease or myasthenia gravis.

Risks

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, we recommend that you ask any questions that you wish, advise of any associated issues and seek a second opinion from another qualified health practitioner.   

What are the Side Effects? 

The amounts are carefully measured appropriately for your case and the injection site is very localized therefore the side effects are minimised.

Possible side effects include but are not limited to discomfort, burning/stinging, swelling, redness or  bruising around the injection site. Side effects are minimised by using a trained professional and usually minimal.