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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: Dental team

Do I need a mouthrinse?

Leila Haywood

Mouth rinses are either cosmetic or therapeutic

  • Therapeutic mouthwashes can be purchased over-the-counter and may be recommended by your dentist to reduce or control plaque, gingivitis, bad breath, and tooth decay
  • Children younger than the age of 6 should not use a mouthwash because they may swallow the liquid and is not required for a child
  •  No child should be given an alcohol containing mouth rinse. 
  • Using a mouthwash does not replace the need for optimal brushing and flossing. 

A cosmetic mouthwash might taste pleasant and temporarily control bad breath but has no use beyond this.  Therapeutic mouthrinses have active ingredients which may control or reduce conditions like bad breath, gingivitis, plaque, and tooth decay.

Active ingredients may include the following:

  • cetylpyridinium chloride 
  • chlorhexidine - can help to control infections, plaque buildup and gum disease
  • essential oils
  • fluoride - proven to prevent decay
  • peroxide - present in whitening mouthrinses
dental mouth wash

 

Mouthrinses should not be used as a replacement for daily brushing and flossing, but may be helpful for some people to address certain conditions as per the below:

Dry Socket is an infection that can occur following a tooth extraction and chlorhexidine based mouthrinses, without the use of antibiotics, has been shown to be effective, to reduce the chances of an infection. There may be minor reactions to chlorhexidine use, including brown staining of teeth and an altered taste. The Swiss brand Curasept has anti staining technology added to it

Bad Breath

Volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) cause bad breath from the breakdown of food, and the bacteria associated with dental disease.  Cosmetic mouthwashes can temporarily mask bad breath with their pleasant flavour, but do not have an actual effect on the bacteria or VSCs.  Mouthwashes with therapeutic agents like antimicrobials, may be effective for bad breath, however it should be prescribed by a dental professional, in case there is active decay, an infected tooth or periodontal disease which needs to be addressed with some treatment or for preventive measures.


Plaque and Gingivitis
When used in mouthwashes, antimicrobial ingredients like cetylpyridinium, chlorhexidine, and essential oils may reduce the plaque levels and gum disease when combined with daily brushing and flossing. Chlorhexidine has been found to be better for plaque control than essential oils, however both may cause brown staining of the teeth and any restorations.


Tooth Decay
Fluoride promotes remineralisation and a Cochrane  review found that with regular use there is a reduction in tooth decay.

Topical Pain Relief
Mouthwashes with topical local anesthetics such as lidocaine, benzocaine/butamin/tetracaine hydrochloride, dyclonine hydrochloride, or phenol may provide pain relief, for example for an ulcer


Whitening
Mouthwashes with carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide  among the active ingredients may reduce extrinsic staining of the teeth. 


Xerostomia
Xerostomia is a reduced amount of saliva which protect the teeth and the tissues in the mouth, which increases the risk of caries, and a fluoride mouthwash may reverse the risk. Mouthwashes containing enzymes or cellulose derivatives have the composition and feel of saliva.

Oral Cancer Concern
Alcohol consumption is a known risk factor for head and neck cancers and there has been some debate about whether the use of alcohol containing mouthwash  increases the risk.

Conclusion

With regular dental checks, hygiene appointments with the dental hygienist and bitewing x-rays each 2 years, your dental health can be monitored closely by your dental professional. With meticulous home care and care from your dental professional, use of an electric toothbrush with a pressure sensor and timer for 2 minutes morning and night, a health diet, and daily flossing there is no need for the average person to use a mouthrinse with any regularity. For mouth ulcers that heal within 3 weeks, the use of warm salt water rinses should be adequate. For severe periodontal disease or bleeding gums, Curasept might be recommended for plaque control, along with regular maintenance at 3 monthly intervals with your dentist, or periodontist. 

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. 

dental implants Brisbane

 

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.

 

WISDOM TEETH

Leila Haywood

Wisdom teeth are also known as third molars, and come through in a position which is the furthest back in the mouth. They usually come through or erupt around the ages of 17 to 21. If they come through straight where they line up with the other teeth and in a position where they can be cleaned properly, it is possible that they can be kept for life.

Most people have difficulty cleaning them, and food debris gets trapped up behind them, down at the gum line where the cheek fits against the tooth, or in between them and the tooth in front. A lot of people have the teeth come through at unfavourable angles, or where they cannot come through due to lack of space.

DOES EVERYONE GET WISDOM TEETH?

Most adults have 4 wisdom teeth, and some people have these for life if they are in a good position and able to be cleaned properly. Some adults have less than four. If the teeth stay buried in the gum and bone, termed impaction, they may be a source of infection at a future date, especially if they allow bacteria to get stuck under the gum, and in this case it is prudent to consider removing them. 

CAN I KEEP MY WISDOM TEETH?

If the wisdom teeth are in a straight position, lining up well, being used in the bite, and able to be cleaned properly, they can be kept for life. It is important that just like any other tooth, that they are checked and cleaned professionally, to ensure that any early issues are tended to.

If the wisdom teeth are affecting the other teeth as they develop, the dentist may recommend that they are removed.

Generally there is a lack of room when wisdom teeth come through, so they are at risk of periodontal disease and cavities. Less than 2% of people over the age of 65 are thought to have been able to keep their wisdom teeth in a healthy state. 

WHAT DOES IMPACTION MEAN?

It means that the wisdom tooth is at an angle where it is trapped by the tooth in front, or covered with gum or bone, where it can't come through properly. 
 

HOW CAN I TELL IF I AM USING MY WISDOM TEETH?

To be able to bite, there has to be a top and bottom tooth that line up. We call this occlusion. If there isn't an opposing tooth, we call this non functional, meaning the tooth isn't being used. We then have to ask ourselves about what the point is in keeping a tooth that isn't being used. 

If the tooth isn't lining up properly or leaning at an angle, it is likely to cause food debris to get trapped around it, which can cause infection if it is not removed promptly. 

WHAT HAPPENS IF I JUST HAVE ONE WISDOM TOOTH OUT?

The opposite tooth can grow down to try to find a spot to meet something to bite on. Sometimes it will drift down out of the line of the other teeth. This is called overeruption. It causes the tooth to sit at an angle to the tooth in front so there is a space where food debris is more likely to get stuck in between it and the tooth in front. It can also change the bite. If a wisdom tooth is removed, usually the opposing wisdom tooth (the one above or below it)  is removed, because they are in a balance. 

CAN WISDOM TEETH MOVE OTHER TEETH?

This is an area of differing opinion. When braces are used, they apply pressure to the teeth to move them to an ideal spot. The same pressure is likely to be caused by a wisdom tooth that is stuck in the bone and pushing up at the teeth in front. It is possible though that teeth can move without any wisdom teeth. The teeth aren't cemented in the bone, so they can drift and move. The only way to really stop the teeth from moving is to have a bar put behind the teeth that are moving to physically prevent them from drifting, termed a retainer. These are usually bonded in by your dentist or orthodontist and consist of a metal bar that is bonded to the teeth. 

DO I NEED TO HAVE A GENERAL ANAESTHETIC TO HAVE WISDOM TEETH REMOVED?

The most important part of determining if wisdom teeth are complex is to look at them clinically. If most of the tooth can be seen in the mouth, then it is might be possible to have them out with a local anaesthetic in the dental chair with the dentist. All dentists and specialists will request an OPG, or full jaw x-ray to determine where the wisdom teeth are lying in relation to critical structures, like the sinuses, and the nerve that supplies the lower lip and lower front teeth. 

An OPG xray will allow the dentist to find out where the roots are lying and whether there is any risk of losing nerve sensation, and whether there will be complications. 

WHAT DOES THE OPG SHOW?

An OPG shows all of the teeth, the jaws, and lower facial structures. The lower wisdom teeth root structure is analysed, and the distance that the root tip is located from the inferior dental nerve, the nerve that runs through the jaw bone to supply the lower lip and front teeth, is measured. If it is less than 3mm away from the nerve, the dentist will ask you to see an oral surgeon. This is to give you the best chance of avoiding damage to the nerve, termed paraesthesia. There are some people in the world who have lost sensation in this nerve due to removal of wisdom teeth, so it is critical for your dentist to analyse this. 

The upper wisdom teeth are analysed as to their root formation, and their distance from the maxillary sinus. If they are positioned inside the sinus, this can cause immense complications, and require a referral to an oral surgeon. 

HOW LONG WILL I HAVE TO TAKE OFF WORK?

This really depends on how the teeth are positioned. If the tooth is able to be reached to remove it without uncovering it from the gum and bone, the healing will be much more straightforward. If the tooth is buried inside the bone and needs to be uncovered, the healing will take longer. In general, we call people the next day and they are ok, for a single wisdom tooth removal in the dental chair. 

WHAT IS A DRY SOCKET?

A dry socket is where the gum and bone healing is delayed or disrupted. An appointment will need to be made with the dentist to place some medicine into the areas where the tooth came out, called the socket. Warm salt water rinses can soothe and settle the inflammation and help to cleanse the area. 

People who are more prone to dry socket are diabetics, people who have lower immunity and smokers.

HOW TO CARE FOR THE AN AREA WHERE A WISDOM TEETH HAS BEEN REMOVED

1. Warm salt water rinses up to 12 times a day, with a gentle swishing motion

2. Don't poke anything into the area or do anything to dislodge the blood clot in the area where the tooth was removed.

3. Chlorhexidine mouth rinse 3 times a day, to decrease the bacterial count, such as Savacol or Curasept. Curasept is favoured by dentists because is has non tooth staining technology.

4. Don't go for a run or do anything that might raise the blood pressure and cause bleeding from the space where the wisdom tooth was removed.

5. Don't take Aspirin because it causes the blood to thin

6. As long as there is no allergy, stomach issues, asthma history or adverse reasons, anti inflammatory pain relief is recommended for a short period of time, if required

7. If intense pain develops in the area, the dentist will flush out the socket with Chlorhexidine and place a specialist iodine based dressing.

8. Don't smoke or drink alcohol for 48 hours

9. Brush all of the teeth, but not right into the socket

10. Don't eat anything that can get trapped in the space where the wisdom tooth came out, like peanuts, chips etc

 

WHO IS AN ORAL SURGEON?

An Oral Surgeon is someone who has trained to be a dentist, a doctor, and oral and maxillofacial surgeon. They have extensive experience and training in removing teeth, placing implants, and facial reconstruction and surgery. 

WHY DO WE HAVE WISDOM TEETH?

Wisdom teeth are thought to have been helpful to our ancestors, who had larger jaws, to grind down plant tissue. With agricultural progress, human diets became softer and it is thought that there was less forward growth of the jaws, than that in our ancestors. There is some historical evidence of a woman with an impacted wisdom tooth in the year 10 000 BC, so it is not entirely a modern issue. 

WHAT ARE THE WISDOM TEETH CALLED?

The wisdom tooth on the top right is called 18. The wisdom tooth on the top left is called tooth 28. On the lower left, it is termed tooth 38, and on the lower right it is termed tooth 48. When dentists talk about wisdom teeth, we called them the 8's, because they are the 8th tooth from the front. 

WHAT AGE ARE WISDOM TEETH ASSESSED?

In general, it is possible to estimate if a wisdom tooth is in a reasonable position by the age of 23. It is unlikely for a wisdom tooth to change a lot after this. If considering removal of wisdom teeth, it is recommended that this be done prior to the age of 25, because the bone becomes denser and there is an increased chance of infection. 

DO ALL WISDOM TEETH HURT?

The lower wisdom teeth will often be uncomfortable around the age of 19 or 20 as they are coming through. There is a gum flap at the back when they erupt, and sometimes debris gets trapped underneath this and causes the area to become inflamed. 

WHY DOES IT HURT?

Generally this is because debris is trapped around the wisdom tooth, in between it and the tooth in front, or underneath the gum flap around the tooth. Flushing this out with warm salt water rinses and thoroughly brushing the area, may help to soothe the area.

WILL ANTIBIOTICS SETTLE THE WISDOM TOOTH?

If the wisdom tooth is extremely bad inflamed, causing general sickness and fever, then maybe antibiotics will be prescribed, but it masks the underlying cause of the infection. Antibiotics are a last resort, because their overuse is causing a worldwide problem with no antibiotics left for life threatening illnesses. 

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO CLEAN WISDOM TEETH?

An electric toothbrush with a pressure sensor and timer and a small soft head will allow thorough brushing at the back and edge of the wisdom teeth, where a regular toothbrush may not fit. The electrical motion generally allows movement at the back and cheek side of the teeth, where it might not be able to be accessed or manoeuvred well with a standard toothbrush. Flossing in between the wisdom tooth and the tooth in front is important to remove the bacterial film that gets trapped in between the tight areas where the teeth meet each other. This is an area where debris and particles like to sit and cause problems if they are not regularly removed. It also contributes to bad breath. A water flosser can be very helpful to kind of blast away the bacteria that sits at the edges of the teeth. 

wisdom teeth

Baby teeth are so important

Leila Haywood

Although primary (or baby) teeth are only present during early childhood years, they play an important role in the development of your child’s smile and long term oral health.

This is because primary teeth:

  • Help protect developing adult teeth
  • Prevent jaw bone loss and gum deterioration
  • Retain space within the mouth for the correct positioning of adult teeth
  • Support the development of your child’s jaw and facial structure

It is highly important to invest in the health of your child’s baby teeth by maintaining a comprehensive at home dental care routine and visiting the dentist and dental hygienist every six months for a check-up, or yearly at least.

TOP TIPS TO CARE FOR BABIES AND TODDLERS' TEETH

1. Give your baby and toddler whole and unprocessed foods, as much as is possible.

2. There is no reason to ever give your baby or toddler anything with refined sugars, including cakes, biscuits, lollies, ice-cream and sugary drinks, including juices. Some fruit or cheese is a good little treat.

3. Breast feed your baby as long as is possible, and as long as your are comfortable.

4. Never add anything to formula or milk in a bottle or cup. Adding honey or something like that will not make your baby sleep better. 

5. Start brushing your baby's teeth as soon as they come through, around 6 months of age, but don't worry if they come through later than this.

6. Do brush your toddler's teeth even if they get upset with you about this. The night time brushing is incredibly important to remove all of the food debris that gets stuck in the back teeth to prevent decay.

7. It sounds impossible, but if you can, floss your toddler's teeth from 2.5 years of age.

8. Take your toddler to the dentist around the age of 2.5 for a gentle introduction and ride in the chair, and to make regular dental preventive care a part of life for your child. Six monthly dental checks are best. Polishes with the dentist are normally done around the age of 5 to keep the teeth stain-free.

9. Use a baby toothbrush twice a day from when the teeth come through, and use the smallest dab of child's toothpaste. Keep the toothpaste away from your baby and treat it like a medicine. Change your baby's toothbrush regularly.

10. The baby teeth are critically important to keep the bite in the correct place, and toddlers are often seen with draining and painful abscesses which require General Anaesthetic work with Dental specialists. Although they do all fall out by the time your child is a teenager, the condition of the baby teeth is a marker of how the adult teeth will most likely be.

Good habits from a very early age create good habits for life.

 These angels are some of our lovely little patients

These angels are some of our lovely little patients

Dentist children Spring Hill baby teeth