Don’t Take Your Teeth For Granted!

Teeth are living things and need regular care to minimise damage, or worse, complete loss

fast dental careIf we look at our teeth in the mirror, they look like solid inanimate objects. Unlike our eyes, mouths etc, they don’t move (or shouldn’t anyway!) and may be seen as a ‘dead material’, something similar to, say, our fingernails.

Whilst we don’t expect our Ipswich patients to understand the components of a tooth in great detail, it is important to recognise that teeth are actually quite complex and therefore need to be taken care of on a regular basis.

Although some dental problems can happen quite suddenly, such as when a tooth breaks after a fall or similar, most occur slowly and over a period of time. By the time we start to notice the problem, it is already there and will need treating as soon as possible.

The best thing to do, of course, is to do what we can to avoid these issues from arising in the first place. This is best achieved through regular daily care, combined with twice yearly check ups at the Foxhall Dental Practice.

Keeping teeth clean

One of the most obvious things that we can do to keep our teeth healthy is to clean them regularly. Even if we consider that we already do this, there are still often ways that we can improve on it. We can start by asking ourselves the following questions:

  1. How old is the toothbrush you are using?
  2. Do you clean all of the tooth and surrounds, or just the flat surface?
  3. How long do you brush for?
  4. Do you rinse your mouth after brushing?
  5. Do you use dental floss?

If the answer to question 1 is more than 3 months, you need to change it. Worn bristles are less effective at removing food and bacteria. For question 2, you should clean all parts of the tooth, including around the gum line, an area often neglected. For answer 3, you should be brushing for at least 2 minutes each time. For 4, if you have been taught that way, it is time to change. You should spit but allow the toothpaste to remain in the mouth. This allows the fluoride more time to help strengthen your teeth. Finally, for question 5, if you don’t use floss, you really should. It is a great way of keeping the spaces between your teeth, where food can get trapped, clean.

The above might seem like small changes or additions to your daily cleaning regime, but they are important ones that can make a significant difference and will help to keep both your teeth, and your gums healthy.

Dental hygienist appointments

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Tooth Preservation – Root Canal Treatment

How we treat root canal infections and help to save the infected tooth

Root canal x-rayIf you were asked what is the worst pain that you could imagine, we are sure that some of you would say ‘root canal’. This is unfortunate and also untrue. It is likely that its reputation stems from a time when anaesthetics and x-rays were not so effective and where an abscess was present, it certainly could be quite painful.

Patients of the Foxhall Dental Practice need have no such worries. If you need to have root canal treatment, we will always take an x-ray prior to the treatment and if any abscesses are discovered, these will be treated first. Needless to say, modern local anaesthetics will numb the nerves of the tooth and, treated by our experienced dentists, you should feel no significant discomfort.

Having clarified that, let us take a look at why you might need this treatment and what it entails.

Why might you need root canal treatment?

This is a specific procedure which falls under the dental field of ‘endodontics’, literally meaning ‘inside the tooth’. It applies where the root canals have become infected. This is most likely due to the exterior enamel of the tooth having been compromised either through decay or perhap a crack or breakage. When this happens, bacteria can enter the root canals and cause infections to occur. Root canal infections can cause a significant amount of pain. This is because the nerves of the tooth are located there, along with other soft pulp materials. Whilst antibiotics can sometimes be used to address this, infections are likely to reoccur and a root canal treatment is the best, permanent solution to the problem.

The only other option to resolve this problem is to extract the affected tooth. This should only be done if there are other circumstances which dictate that this is the best choice. In most cases, our Ipswich dental team is likely to recommend root canal treatment.

What happens during the procedure?

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Dental Check Ups Are Important – Don’t Miss Out!

Although often routine, check ups are important to prevent minor issues from becoming more serious.

Dentist check-upApart from how well you look after your teeth at home, the twice yearly check up at your local Ipswich dental practice is one of the most important things that you can do to keep your mouth healthy.

It may sometimes be considered relatively unimportant by some, and it might be tempting to skip yours, especially if it is inconvenient on the day. There are many good reasons why you shouldn’t though.

At the Foxhall Dental Practice Ipswich, we encourage our patients to make sure that they attend their appointments. Not only is it frustrating for us when someone is a ‘no show’, but they also take a spot that someone else could have had as well as putting their own oral health at risk. If you really can’t attend for some reason, please do let us know as soon as possible so that we can arrange a suitable new date.

Why are check ups so important?

Check ups usually take place every six months or so. Some patients who are at higher risk of problems may be requested to have their teeth and gums checked more frequently.

The key role of a check up is to look for any problems that you might have with your teeth, gums and the oral cavity in general. By having them at regular intervals, and with good oral care at home, any problems that we find are likely to be treatable with a relatively minor procedure. If you miss appointments, these problems are almost certain to worsen and any treatment you might eventually need to have are likely to be more extensive.

Make sure that you book an appointment to have your check up, and you may wish to take advantage of our current special offer of a private dental check up for £75.

The following are some of the things that our Ipswich dentist team will look for when they examine your mouth.

Tooth decay

Most of our patients are likely, at some point, to have been told that they need a filling due to tooth decay. Some may have probably expected this but ignored early symptoms such as a slightly throbbing tooth, hoping that they were wrong. In many cases though, we detect small areas of decay that are causing no discomfort at all to the patient, but, left another six months, would almost certainly do so. As we detect these small areas of decay early, they can usually be treated with a filling, often quite a small one. These can now also be provided in a natural looking white filling material to make them less visible.

Chips and breakages

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Are Your Teeth Looking Dull?

If your teeth have lost their former brightness, the Foxhall Dental Practice in Ipswich can help to renew your smile.

white smiles on older peopleHopefully, most of our older patients will now have had their Covid vaccinations and are beginning to look forward to the future with a little more hope than many of us have probably been feeling over this last year or so. For those who have not yet had their vaccinations, we do encourage you to do so when your turn comes along.

Each of us will have had different circumstances during the lockdowns, but given that we have had a lot more time to ourselves, we may well have reflected on some aspects of our lives. Some of us may have reflected on our own advancing years and the fact that we are no longer as young as we once were. A few moments in front of the mirror may well confirm that as we notice a few lines and wrinkles appearing on our face and as we notice that our smile is not as bright as it once was.

We will write a blog in the coming weeks about how we can help you ease some of those ageing lines and wrinkles, but in today’s blog, we would like to focus on how we can help you have a whiter and more attractive smile.

The first step

Some of you will probably have bought and used a tooth whitening toothpaste and discovered that it made little difference. This is not surprising as although all whitening products contain a bleaching agent, it is only logical that anything sold over the counter is likely to be restricted in the amount of this ingredient that is allowed because of safety concerns. In fact, whitening toothpastes contain very small quantities of this and may possibly be helpful in maintaining whiteness following a teeth whitening procedure, but is unlikely to significantly improve the whiteness of your teeth if they are already discoloured.

We would recommend that, in the first instance, you arrange an appointment at our handy Ipswich dental clinic to see the hygienist. This is always a good start to any oral health improvement but can also improve the appearance of your teeth. These improvements are due to the scale and polish procedure that they will carry out which removes tartar from the teeth and gum line. This is a build up of bacteria and minerals which leaves a rough surface. Not only can this attract further bacteria but also helps staining products attach themselves to the tooth surface. Once this has been removed and your teeth have been given a high speed brushing, you will often notice an improvement in the whiteness of your teeth.

The second step

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Receding Gums And Related Oral Health Issues

Poor gum health can have a number of repercussions. Here’s how to avoid them….

Gum disease checkMost of you are probably quite strict about brushing your teeth and do so both morning and night every day. Of course, there is always room for improvement and we will touch on that a little later.

It is likely that when most of us brush our teeth, we pay more attention to our teeth than to our gums. In fact, you should pay equal attention to both as poor gum health can have a number of consequences that can negatively impact your life.

Having regular check ups at the Foxhall Dental Practice in Ipswich, along with seeing our hygienist on a regular basis is essential and we can offer help and advice to enable you to have healthier gums. Much of the responsibility lies with how you look after them yourself though, and in today’s blog, we will look at some of the consequences of poor gum health and what you can do to keep yours healthy.

Gum problems

Gingivitis and Periodontitis – As regular readers of our blogs will know by now, these are the main stages of gum disease. Gingivitis is the earlier stage and can often be reversed and managed  through better home care and a scale and polish by our Ipswich based dental hygienist. Periodontitis is a more advanced form of gum disease that not only affects the gums but also the roots of the teeth and sometimes the surrounding bone as well. Treatment for this is much more invasive and requires the attention of a suitably qualified dentist to attempt to reverse it in order to prevent tooth loss.

Peri-implantitis – This is similar to periodontitis and can affect anyone with a dental implant. The surrounding bone and tissues are affected and this can cause the implant to become loose and potentially fall out. It is especially important to make sure that you clean around a tooth implant well as advised by your dentist.

Receding gums – One problem that is associated with gum disease but perhaps receives less attention than bleeding gums and bad breath is the problem of receding gums. This has a visual effect of making our teeth look longer and tends to happen to some degree as we get older  (hence the saying ‘long in the tooth’). It can happen prematurely if we don’t look after our gums though. In addition to this problem, receding gums also expose the root section of the tooth. This is less well protected by enamel and once exposed is more vulnerable to both tooth decay and tooth sensitivity.

Improving your gum health

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Invisalign – Discreet And Comfortable Teeth Straightening

Ipswich cosmetic dentist Nuggehalli Nandini discusses why this has become one of the most popular orthodontic systems

Invisalign bracesThere are a number of cosmetic dental procedures that can greatly improve your smile in a very short period of time; teeth whitening being perhaps the most well known of these.

Not all improvements can be made as rapidly though and in some cases, to do so would significantly risk the health of your teeth. One ‘longer term’ treatment is the wearing of dental braces, or orthodontics.

There may be some situations where minor corrections might be needed and there are ‘fast acting’ orthodontic systems such as Quick Straight Teeth which can straighten mildly crooked teeth in just a few weeks. For many people though, these would not be sufficient and braces may need to be worn for a longer period of time in order to achieve their aims.

If we think of dental braces, most of us probably go back to our childhood and remember the unfortunate school pupil who was mocked or even bullied because they had to wear braces. The old style braces were very visible and other than keeping your mouth closed, there was no way of hiding them. Things have changed though and even if you are told that you need to wear braces for some time, quite possibly a year or more, there are now discreet ways of doing so.

Invisalign

At the Foxhall Dental Practice in Ipswich, we believe in offering our patients not only the opportunity to have healthy teeth but also attractive teeth in as discreet a manner as possible. Because dental braces may have to be worn for longish periods of time, it is in our, and the patient’s interest, that these are as comfortable and discreet as they can possibly be. Enter the Invisalign system. If the only thing that you ‘know’ about dental braces is that they are uncomfortable and very visible, you are in for a pleasant surprise. Invisalign have done away altogether with the use of metal wiring and brackets that make them look so obvious and now use a different method and material entirely.

Instead of wires and brackets, the Invisalign orthodontic system uses a series of thin ‘trays’ that are produced to fit over your teeth. These are made from a transparent medical grade plastic that is strong and almost invisible when you are wearing them.

Depending on the nature of the problem you have, you will be given a number of these trays which are made from impressions that we take of your teeth, ensuring a comfortable fit. Each tray is to be worn for a short period of time and then replaced with the next tray with each working to move your teeth gradually and gently towards the desired end position. This gradual approach will move your teeth to their correct position whilst also preventing any damage to them, or the underlying bone, through exerting too much pressure.

Discreet, comfortable and convenient

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‘Gold Standard’ Tooth Replacement With Dental Implants in Ipswich

Could lockdown savings provide the opportunity to have arguably the best tooth replacement option available?

Implant in the jaw2020 was a tough time for most of us and we are all hoping that this year will prove to be a better one and there are cautiously optimistic signs of that. Even though we may have struggled during the various lockdowns and restrictions though, they may, for some of you, have presented opportunities as well.

Although it may have been frustrating and isolating, those of you who have been working from home and whose business was not significantly affected by the pandemic may have found that whilst your income stayed the same, your spending opportunities declined to the point where you have started to build up a level of savings.

No doubt, there are many things competing for any money that has been saved but if you are a denture wearer or have a gap in your teeth that you haven’t done anything about yet, this could be the perfect opportunity for our Ipswich patients  to have teeth implants at Foxhall Dental Practice.

Why dental implants rather than dentures?

Some might argue that dentures work perfectly well when it comes to replacing a missing tooth, and if that is the case for you, then that is fine. There are benefits to having dentures; probably the main one being that they often require no invasive surgery to have them. For many wearers though, and especially those who have had them a while, dentures can prove to be inconvenient and sometimes uncomfortable and unstable.

The reality is that dentures do not replace the missing root of the tooth and whilst this part may not be visible, it does play an important role. If you lose the root of a tooth, the supporting bone structure is no longer needed  and will gradually be reabsorbed by the body for use elsewhere. This in turn will cause minor changes in the shape of your face (and possibly more significant ones in the case of multiple tooth loss). As your face changes shape, your dentures will no longer fit as securely as they did before. This can cause them to rub against the gums, causing discomfort and may also move around in the mouth a little, sometimes creating speech issues.

Even in the best situation, dentures are fiddly and a little messy to clean as they have to be removed at night for cleaning; something that doesn’t apply to implants.

Reasons for choosing tooth implants

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Reasons To Smile in 2021

Brighter times are ahead of us so why not make the most of it and show off a new smile?

White teethWithout a doubt, for many of us, 2020 has been a horrible year. We may have started it with renewed optimism but it wasn’t long before we’d all heard about Coronavirus and Covid-19.

As time has gone on, we have all become aware of how deadly this virus can be and most of us will hopefully have abided by the restrictions that have been placed upon our lives.

We are probably at the darkest moment as we write this blog and we urge all of our Ipswich patients to follow the guidelines and keep all contact to an absolute minimum as much as possible. Gradually, we should see the number of cases and deaths start to fall, and, as the vaccine rollout hopefully gathers pace, life will hopefully start to gradually return to something like normal.

A Spring renewal?

Although it is unlikely that things will be back to normal by Spring, we should, with a bit of luck and determination, start to see some light at the end of the tunnel. It is likely that some of the restrictions at least, will have been lifted or eased and we will once again be able to see friends that we may not have seen for some time.

What has this got to do with dentistry you might ask. Well, because many of us have barely been out for some time, we probably have only taken action to look after the basics of our appearance as we weren’t coming into contact with others much at all. As things start to ease and we meet old and new friends, it makes sense to want to look your best and this should also help you to feel more optimistic for the ‘new dawn’ ahead.

This is where dentistry, or more specifically, cosmetic dentistry, comes into its own, and at the Foxhall Dental Clinic, we have a number of treatments that can really help to give you a beautiful smile. Some of these treatments have almost immediate results whereas others may take a little longer and you may wish to start thinking about these a little in advance.

So, let’s take a look at some of the cosmetic dental options that are available to our Ipswich patients.

Orthodontics

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Keeping Your Teeth Healthy At Christmas

And what to do in the case of a dental emergency

Dr Hiten PabariNo-one can deny that it has been a strange and difficult year, and even our usual looking forward to the festive season takes on a different look with likely restrictions and smaller gatherings for many of us.

Even so, we are sure that many of you will be doing your best to have as good and normal a Christmas as is possible under the circumstances.

Everyone deserves to be able to relax and enjoy themselves, especially this year, and, inevitably, more alcohol and sugar laden foods will be consumed at this time of the year. Keeping this in mind, the team at the Foxhall Dental Practice in Ipswich have put together a few suggestions on how to avoid dental problems over the break.

Monitor your sugar intake

Even if we don’t usually eat too many chocolates and sweets throughout the year, most of us will relax this over the Christmas and New Year period. The chances are that even if we don’t intend to, we will be given chocolates etc as presents and as we already have them, well, why not! The reality though is that sugar is bad news for your teeth and gums and especially if you eat them throughout the day. Eating them in this way supplies an almost constant food supply to the potentially harmful bacteria in our mouths. If you must eat sweets and chocolates, try to leave significant time between them to allow your mouth to recover and for the saliva to wash away some of the sugars.

Watch the alcohol

Aside from the sugar content of some alcoholic drinks, there can also be other problems which stem from drinking alcohol, especially to excess. A common problem is that it can leave us with a dry mouth, and whilst it might be unpleasant to wake up feeling like that, the real problem is that if the mouth has been dry overnight, the number of bacteria that is potentially harmful to our teeth and gums will have multiplied. This is one of the possible causes of gum disease and also explains why older people are more prone to it as they produce less saliva.

The other issue with alcohol consumption of course, is drunkenness. If you become too intoxicated, there is a higher risk of falls and collisions that could result in a broken tooth or two. Our advice is to enjoy yourself but drink in moderation.

Drink plenty of water

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Which Type Of Tooth Filling?

Ipswich dentist, Dr Chirag Kothari, explains the pros and cons of different types of dental fillings.

Dr Chirag KothariBy far the most common procedure carried out by dentists is the humble filling. This is used when a cavity appears in the tooth, usually caused by tooth decay. The decaying material is firstly removed and the cavity then filled using one of a number of materials.

There are two main types of filling materials that are most often used in dental practices in the UK and each have its own pros and cons.

Some types may not be suitable for all cavities and here at Foxhall Dental our team will always discuss the most appropriate one for your own particular needs so that you receive the best treatment outcome possible.

Without further ado then, let us take a look at these fillings, along with a brief look at other possible restorations.

Amalgam fillings

This is the type of dental filling that many of our patients will be most familiar with. It is a strong but dark coloured material that is made from a mixture of metals that include tin, copper, silver and mercury.  It does offer a very high level of strength and also lasts for a long time before it will need to be replaced and the tooth refilled. Amalgam dental fillings are not without their drawbacks though. The most obvious of these being the dark colour which makes a tooth filled in this manner very visible when we laugh or smile, or even yawn. For this reason, many of our patients are increasingly turning to cosmetic options when a filling is needed on a particularly visible tooth such as those at the front of the mouth, sometimes also called the ‘social six’ teeth.

Amalgam fillings can also shrink a little over time. This can lead to tiny gaps appearing between the filling and the tooth. This small gap can attract bacteria and further decay is quite possible. Finally, the use of mercury in amalgam fillings has caused some discussion over the years. It has been shown to be safe to use in this situation but the potentially negative impact of mercury in the environment means that it is likely to be phased out in the coming years ahead.

Tooth coloured fillings

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