Your Friendly Family Dentists In Ipswich

child friendly

A look at our role in helping your children to grow up with healthy teeth and gums.

It may sometimes appear that the dental profession often focuses largely on the more complex procedures that offer both oral health and aesthetic benefits, such as dental implants.

Digging deep into complex procedures can be fascinating and they are also very important for those patients that need to receive these treatments.

At the Foxhall Dental Practice, whilst we are delighted to be able to offer specialist treatments for our patients, we still feel that it is important to emphasise our role as family dentists for Ipswich patients. The oral health care that children receive, from very young, right through their teenage years, can have a long term effect on their life. With many oral health issues now being linked to long term medical conditions, this is becoming even more the case.

Your child’s first visit to the dentist

It isn’t unusual for parents not to bring their children to see a dentist until they are at primary school, and sometimes well beyond that. The argument may seem logical that until they have their teeth, there is little point, but this is not the case. There are many benefits to taking them to see a dentist at around one year old, despite their lack of teeth at this age.

This very early visit allows us to check their overall oral health. Despite having no teeth, gum problems can still occur. In most cases, no treatment will be needed though we may offer advice on how to keep their mouths healthy. There is also evidence to suggest that visits at such a young age help children to avoid any fear of the dentist in later life, due to their early familiarity with the dental environment.

First teeth

We have heard it said that a child’s first teeth are not that important as they only have them for a short while, and it is the adult teeth that are important. From a layperson’s perspective, this line of thinking may be understandable. But from a dentists, and child’s, viewpoint, it certainly isn’t.

Poor teeth, even the first set, can cause problems with eating and even create speech impediments. Both of these could have long lasting effects which could affect a child’s quality of life as they grow up. In addition to this, poor oral care may affect not only their first teeth but also the next set of teeth that are growing beneath them, ready to erupt.

Whatever age you are, a decaying tooth that is causing you pain is no fun. We are sure that no parent wants to see their children in pain and preventing their teeth from reaching this stage, through regular checkups, alongside good oral care at home, is the best way to avoid this. Where appropriate, we can also offer fissure sealants and fluoride treatment which can help your child avoid tooth decay.

The teenage years

Read more ›

A Better Smile With Straighter Teeth!

Invisalign braces

How removable orthodontics can be a dental ‘game changer’ for our Ipswich patients.

Many problems that visibly affect the way that our teeth look can often be corrected with a one off procedure.

Dull looking teeth can be whitened with a tooth whitening treatment, or through the use of porcelain veneers in more severe cases. A broken tooth can be restored using a crown and even missing teeth can be replaced with dentures or dental implants. One problem which does take longer to correct though, is where the teeth are crooked or uneven.

Where only minor adjustment is needed, orthodontics such as the Quick Straight Teeth system, can often correct problems in between one and six months. However, for some patients, straightening their crooked teeth is likely to take a year or more in order for the treatment to be fully effective.

The problem with braces

One of the ‘problems’ of wearing traditional dental braces is, of course, that they are very visible and there can be no hiding from the fact that you are in the process of having your teeth straightened. Although modern braces are more refined than in the past, many do still use traditional wiring that is very visible. Newer generation cosmetic dental braces are an improvement, and may use a tooth coloured material to replace the widely used metal wiring and brackets. This is less visible, though can often be seen when in close proximity to the wearer.

Even these latter types of braces are not without their drawbacks though. Any system that uses wires and brackets runs a risk of causing food to become trapped in them, potentially leading to problems like tooth decay and gum disease. Cleaning your teeth well when wearing them is very important.

The ‘no wires’ alternative

Because dental braces may have to be worn in excess of a year, it is important for the patient that these will cause the least inconvenience possible, as well as being effective at straightening the teeth. Whilst some cosmetic braces achieve some of these aims, they can fail to some degree, in areas such as visibility and comfort. With this in mind, we recommend that patients of the Foxhall Dental Practice who are considering having their teeth straightened, take a look at the Invisalign system, at least so that they know about all of the options available.

What is Invisalign?

Read more ›

Make Your Winter Diet A Tooth Friendly One!

Hygienist Louise Bambrick

It isn’t just ice cream and sugary drinks that can cause erosion and decay of teeth says Louise Bambrick, our dental hygienist.

Although the sun may still be shining and the occasional bit of warmth may still be left, there is little doubt that we are entering the colder part of the year. It can be a beautiful time, with the Autumn leaves and the snowy Winter landscapes ahead, but along with the weather, many of our habits will also change, and not always for the good.

What we eat and drink affects our health, and that includes the health of our teeth and gums as well as our body in general. Whilst the hotter weather usually sees us eat lighter meals, we also often consume a higher number of potentially tooth damaging food and drinks, such as ice creams and fizzy and sugary drinks. Although we are unlikely to consume anywhere near as many of these in the colder months, they are often replaced by food and drinks that are equally damaging.

Enamel damage

At the Foxhall Dental Practice, myself and the hygienist team do our best to educate people on how to prevent dental problems from arising, through better oral care. Cleaning by better brushing and flossing plays a big part in this, but so does diet. Foods that harm the enamel on our teeth mean that they are less well protected from decay than if the enamel remains strong and healthy. Excessive starchy and sugary foods also increases the risk of gum disease as these provide fuel for the bacteria that contribute to it.

In addition to an increased risk of decay, when the enamel wears down, it also exposes the underlying layer, known as the dentin layer. This is a porous material that leaves the nerves within our teeth more exposed. When this happens, an increased sensitivity is likely to be noticed. This can be quite uncomfortable, especially when consuming hot or cold products.

Foods to avoid

Read more ›

Advantages Of Dental Implants Over Other Tooth Replacement Methods

double dental implant

The treatment period may be longer, but dental implants offer benefits that other techniques don’t.

Losing a tooth can be traumatic for the person involved and this is especially the case if the missing tooth is one of the ‘social six’ teeth that are visible when we smile.

Very few people will choose not to replace the missing tooth with an artificial one when this happens, but there are also strong arguments for replacing a non visible tooth too. Although the gap may not be seen by others, losing a non visible tooth can cause a number of potential problems, including:

  • Other teeth encroaching into the space, leaving teeth crooked
  • Thinning of the bone in that area, potentially causing facial changes
  • Chewing and grinding of food with other teeth that are not designed for that purpose. This can lead to premature wearing down of these teeth
  • Compensation made for a missing tooth can lead to bite problems and also potentially TMJ, a painful jaw disorder

Whether you can see a missing tooth or not then, it is strongly advised that a replacement be sought.

Dentures and bridges

Before we take a look at what dental implants can offer for our Ipswich patients, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of two of the most popular alternatives; dentures and dental bridges.

Dentures are still the most widely used tooth replacement method and they do have certain advantages in that they often require no dental surgery at all. This makes them especially popular with patients who are anxious about receiving dental treatment. Modern dentures are also more natural looking and comfortable than dentures of old. There are still drawbacks to this method though, and most denture wearers will admit to at least some degree of dissatisfaction with them. One of the main problems for some people is their lack of stability which can cause them to move around a little when eating. Not only does this make it more difficult to eat certain foods, but the friction involved can lead to soreness of the gums as well.

Bridges have an advantage over dentures in that they are more stable. The biggest disadvantage in this method is that their fitting often requires the teeth either side of the gap to be shaped in order to secure the bridge by means of dental crowns. Where these teeth are healthy and strong, it is not surprising that many patients are reluctant to have this done.

For both of the methods above, cleaning the replacement teeth involves more effort and can be quite tricky. Additionally, neither method resolves the problem of bone loss in the area of the missing teeth and in particular, this is a significant reason why dentures become less stable over time.

Dental implants

Read more ›

Endodontic Treatment Recovery

root canal work

Advice on what to expect following root canal therapy.

Root canal treatment may cause anxiety in some patients when they are told that they need it and this is understandable given its historical bad press.

Fortunately, this anxiety is generally unfounded and a root canal procedure should cause no more discomfort than most other invasive dental procedures. A combination of an effective local anaesthetic and the skills of our Ipswich dental team, means that patients should have no cause for concern and any discomfort should be minimal.

Before we look at ways to help you recover from the procedure; our principal dentist Hiten Pabari offers a brief reminder about why endodontic treatment may be needed.

Nerve damage

Where a tooth has become damaged or decayed, bacteria can sometimes reach the root canals of our teeth. These are the ‘prong’ like parts that go down into our jawbone. In these canals are blood vessels, and, most notably for patients, the nerves. If bacteria enter this part of the tooth and damage the nerves, it is almost certain that you will know about it due to the pain which can become quite severe. Unlike decay in other parts of the tooth, the canals cannot be treated using a regular filling, and a root canal treatment will be necessary.

Although some patients may feel reluctant to have this treatment, for reasons mentioned above, there are really only two other alternatives. One is to live with the pain, which will only get worse and is something that, even if you can stand it, we certainly don’t recommend. The other is to extract the tooth. Whilst this would eradicate the pain, it would mean that you risk other teeth from becoming misaligned or would need to consider a replacement option, such as a bridge, denture or dental implant.

Using root canal treatment, we can usually save your natural tooth, giving it a reasonable level of strength and function.

Treatment

We have covered the actual treatment in an earlier blog, but to briefly remind patients of the Foxhall Dental Practice, this involves accessing the root canals and removing the infected material. The now hollow canals are cleaned and then filled with a material called gutta percha before finally attaching a dental crown to complete the treatment.

Aftercare considerations

Read more ›

The Energy Drinks ‘Ban’ – Our Thoughts

Dr Chirag Kothari

Dr Chirag Kothari offers a dentist’s viewpoint about this recently announced initiative.

Some of our Ipswich patients will have picked up the papers today and read about the ban on sales of energy drinks to children. Whilst a few people may complain about this being a restriction of ‘choice’, the vast majority will, we feel, see this as very good news indeed.

These are exactly the high sugar type of drinks that are thought to be responsible for a dramatic rise in the number of children needing to have teeth extracted in hospital, due to tooth decay.

In many cases, these high energy drinks are not bought simply to give a bit of a boost before or after playing sports or other energy draining activities, but are often used as a replacement for food. This is especially the case where breakfast is concerned and it is far from uncommon to see schoolchildren on their way to school with a can of this type of drink in their hand.

What is wrong with high energy drinks?

There are two main reasons that this ban will hopefully come into being, namely two of the key ingredients in the drink, caffeine and sugar.

The dentists at Foxhall Dental are not doctors, so it is not right that we discuss in too much detail, the caffeine issue. From a dental perspective, there is probably little harm in caffeine on its own (where sugar content is not relevant). The only area that it may affect is when the patient becomes too ‘edgy’ and anxious because of their caffeine intake. This may cause some to grind their teeth, potentially causing dental wear and even breakages.

More generally, caffeine is thought to be responsible for a rise in problems such as stomach problems, inability to sleep properly and hyperactivity. There is a school of though that claims that the fast energy boost provided by these drinks and other high energy foods, leads to a ‘slump’ later on, potentially affecting the child’s ability to focus and learn whilst at school.

High sugar drinks

Read more ›

What Is A Complete Smile Makeover?

Dr Hiten Pabari

Dr Hiten Pabari explains the many benefits of modern cosmetic dentistry.

Cosmetic dentistry is very popular nowadays because it is so much more accessible. It used to be reserved for movie stars and those with endless cash to spend; but now it is more affordable, it is available in various different forms, and treatments can be combined to create a total smile makeover.

Here at Foxhall Dental we offer a wide variety of treatments in cosmetic, general and restorative dentistry. These treatments are available individually or combined to complete transformational makeovers for patients who are ready to have the smile they always dreamed of.

Why Patients Might Want A Smile Makeover

Lots of patients want teeth whitening or straightening to improve their smile, but others want a more comprehensive smile makeover. This can be for a number of reasons, but often they have lost confidence in their smile and may even cover their mouths out of embarrassment. Their smile may have degraded due to:

  • Dental injury
  • Dental disease
  • Life habits like smoking and excessive drinking
  • Poor oral care
  • A combination of factors

A person may have stained teeth, chipped teeth, missing teeth or a combination of lots of different issues that could have caused them to be so ashamed of their smile, their personal and professional life has been affected.

Here at your Ipswich dentist we are not here to judge, we are only here to help you. There is always a dental solution for your smile, no matter how affected it might be.

Smile makeovers provide the opportunity to ‘start from scratch’ and get the smile you have always dreamed of!

Smile Makeovers At Foxhall Dental In Ipswich

Read more ›

What Should You Do When You Suffer A Dental Injury?

Dr Samuel Ofori-Attah

Emergency dental appointments in Ipswich.

Dental injuries can happen for a number of reasons.

A simple fall, sports or road accidents can cause an injury to occur and any blow to the face can cause the soft tissues or gums to become damaged and/ or the teeth to loosen or come out completely.

If you suffer a dental injury, this article will give you an idea of what to do. Dr Samuel Ofori-Attah of Foxhall Dental Practice offers advice below.

First Aid

In the event that the person who has been injured has had a blow to the head, then emergency medical advice should always be sought. Visit your nearest A&E and get an assessment just to check there isn’t any injury or concussion. Emergency medical help should also be sought if the injury seems to be causing a risk in the way of bleeding or swelling (if it is blocking the airways or threatening to).

If a tooth has been knocked out try to avoid touching the root and pick it up by the top of the tooth, rinse it and then place it back in the socket gently. Don’t worry about placement, just place it back in the socket and dentist will adjust it when they see you. You should bite down gently on the tooth if possible. If the tooth cannot be replaced, it should be kept in milk, or if you do not have any milk, then saliva will do. Any broken teeth should be kept, but not placed back in the mouth.

In most situations seeking medical advice, whether that is an emergency department or your Ipswich emergency dentist, is really important so that you get the right treatment for your injury. Even if you think you are OK, it is possible there could be injury beneath the surface that you can’t see.

Treating Dental Injuries

Read more ›

Key Things To Tell Your Dentist

fast dental care

The next time you have a check-up….

Here at your Ipswich dental practice we have a thorough list of things we check when you come in for a checkup; like symptoms of mouth cancer, signs of tooth decay and any evidence of bite problems. However, we can be aided in our efforts to help ensure your optimum oral health if you let us know certain things when you come in to see us.

The more we know, the more informed we are about your dental health needs. We can then create a detailed and unique care plan to suit your individual oral health needs. Dr Avina Gandecha from our clinical team advises 10 key things to tell your dentist next time you have a checkup:

1. If You Have Been Having Any Oral Pain

If you have been experiencing any oral pain, it is important for us to know so that we can find out the cause. Even sensitive teeth are usually sensitive for a reason. If we know you have pain in a specific area, we can investigate it for you.

2. If Your Gums Have Been Bleeding

Bleeding gums is a common sign of gum disease which can be more easily treated once it is identified in the early stages. If the disease develops it becomes much more serious and can lead to tooth loss. The sooner you tell us about this symptom the better your long term prognosis.

3. If You Are Pregnant

We need to know if you are planning on becoming pregnant so that we can do any dental work and diagnostics beforehand. If you are pregnant already we need to know so that we can understand your unique needs during this time. Any information about vitamins, medications, specific health advice from your doctor, cravings and morning sickness is information we need to know.

4. If You Want To Improve Your Smile

Read more ›

How Damaging Is Alcohol For Teeth And Gums?

Many people drink alcohol to some extent, but is this really harmful to our oral health?

You may have noticed in some of our Ipswich dental practice blogs, that alcohol is often mentioned alongside smoking when discussing certain problems, such as gum disease.

Whilst the majority of us would acknowledge smoking to be harmful, something that is now well established in fact; we may feel more ambivalent when it comes to alcohol. Although not everybody drinks, many of us do drink in moderation and may not feel that the little we consume could cause significant harm, especially to our teeth and gums.

Inevitably, the odd drink here and there will be less harmful than if you drink heavily each day. Even if you are a light drinker though, it is worth understanding the different ways that alcohol can affect your oral health.

Gum disease

Regular consumption of alcohol is likely to have a negative effect on your gum health. As many of us will know, alcohol causes dehydration and very often leaves us with a dry mouth in the morning. When you wake up like this, you may also notice a sticky ‘goo’ in your mouth. This is actually a collection of bacteria, and, although these bacteria are always present in our mouth, when our mouths are dry, they multiply much faster. The increased number of potentially harmful varieties can soon lead to gum disease if this is a frequent occurrence.

Halitosis

Linked to the increased number of bacteria is the possibility of halitosis. Whilst the smell of stale alcohol on the breath is unpleasant, it is nothing compared to the offensive odour of halitosis. The gases expelled by these bacteria, along with the smell of decaying soft tissue, can be very unpleasant indeed.

Poor healing

Read more ›