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Are you grinding away your Teeth?

by Dr. Sean

 

Bruxism is the fancy name for grinding, clenching or gnashing the teeth together.

Most people who grind their teeth are unaware that they are doing it. Only about 5% of those who grind will seek early treatment. Although some people clench and grind during the day, the majority of damage is done at night while asleep. This explains why most people are not aware that they may grind or clench.

 

What causes bruxism?

Emotional stress, tension and anxiety are the main reasons why we grind or clench our teeth. When speaking to patients after diagnosing bruxism, we may find a life changing event such as moving house as an underlying contributor to stress.

Other reasons are physical such as an irregular bite (the way the teeth fit together) or improper relationship of the upper and lower jaws.

 

So what are the signs and symptoms.. How do you know if you are grinding your teeth?

 

  1. Your teeth have recently become more sensitive than usual.

Teeth grinding or clenching, when done over a period of time will cause loss of the protective layer of the tooth- the enamel. Enamel cannot be replaced! Without enamel, our teeth are extremely sensitive to temperature and other stimuli.

  1. You have chipped some enamel or broken a filling.

Whilst enamel is an extremely hard substance, grinding or bruxing while asleep can cause large chunks of enamel to break away from a tooth. Similarly, fillings can be broken when subjected to the high forces that we create when grinding or clenching.

  1. Your partner notices strange sounds coming from your mouth while you sleep.

Because bruxism primarily happens during sleep, sometimes the only indicator will be a partner noticing the terrible sound of grinding. Think nails on a chalkboard!

  1. You wake with a dull headache or tension in the jaw muscles.

Bruxism can be a cause of morning headaches with or without tension in the jaw muscles.

  1. Flattened and worn teeth or yellowing of the teeth

Due to loss of the enamel layer. Under the enamel is a layer known as “‘dentine” which is more yellow in colour compared to enamel.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you need to see a dentist immediately!

 

What are the outcomes of bruxism?

  1. Worn down enamel. This will gradually result in the teeth appearing shorter and flatter on the edges. Once the enamel is worn through, the teeth can appear yellow due to dentine exposure.
  2. Chips, cracks and fractures in teeth and fillings. This can result in pain when chewing food and requires urgent attention by a dentist. In some cases, the result of fractures in teeth can lead to loss of the tooth.
  3. Muscular tension in the jaws and neck muscles. This can also precipitate headaches.

 

Treatment Options:

There are no medications that will prevent bruxism. Treatment tends to be focused on provision of a night guard or Splint.

Similar to a sports mouthguard, a splint fits securely around the upper teeth. It is made of hard acrylic and prevents tooth wear when worn at night. A splint will also aid in relaxing jaw muscles by not allowing full muscular contraction (due to presence of the splint between the teeth).

Improving the quality of sleep may help reduce your bruxism – this can include eliminating consumption of caffeine and nicotine and ensuring you have enough duration of sleep.

Reducing life stress will usually reduce bruxism – easier said than done!

Sometimes we take a wait and see approach. Stress can be transitory, thus bruxism may be too. Many children grind their teeth from a very young age. Studies have shown that the majority of children will “grow out” of bruxism when their permanent teeth come through.

If you are concerned that you may grind or clench your teeth excessively, and worried about the repercussions of this, contact Bay Dental Brighton on 95962092.

Or make an online appointment here.

 

 

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Bleeding Gums? Why You Should See Your Dentist ASAP!

By Dr Sean

That little bit of blood in the sink is not something you should ignore.

Bleeding gums should never be considered normal. In fact, it is most likely an indicator of gum disease.

In the early stages, this is known as gingivitis. When it becomes more advanced, it is termed Periodontal Disease.

Would you ignore bleeding from your scalp every time you brushed your hair?

Most commonly, gingivitis occurs because of plaque (bacteria) left behind on the teeth – plaque is the white soft stuff removed during brushing and flossing. If plaque sits on the teeth for long enough it forms hard tartar- both tartar and plaque contain bacteria that will irritate the gums – causing inflammation.

Most often the only symptom of gum disease is bleeding when cleaning your teeth. Other symptoms include redness and swelling of the gums. Think of bleeding gums as an open wound – millions of bacteria can enter the blood stream via the diseased gum!

If left untreated, gingivitis or periodontal disease can cause a myriad of problems- not only in your mouth, but your body too!

 

  1. Gingivitis and Periodontal disease can lead to gum recession

If your bleeding gums are left untreated for some time, the gum tissue will begin to “recede”. Receding gums expose the roots of the teeth which not only look unappealing, but can result in sensitivity to everyday things like a glass of water.

 

  1. The end result can be loss of a tooth!

As gum disease advances, the bone surrounding each affected tooth begins to erode and shrink away. The tooth is loosing its foundation! Eventually, the tooth can become loose and be lost soon after.

 

  1. Gingivitis and Periodontal disease have been linked to Heart Disease and other medical conditions

Numerous studies have shown a link between Periodontal Disease and Coronary Artery Disease. Research has indicated that those with periodontal disease have increased risk of heart disease.

Links to other diseases including diabetes have also been established.

 

  1. Bad breath

You may not have noticed, but the bacteria causing gingivitis and gum disease can cause bad breath.

 

So what is the treatment for gingivitis and gum disease?

We recommend you book in to see your dentist without hesitation.

Usually, gingivitis can be resolved by a thorough professional clean at your dentist, along with improved cleaning at home. And this means flossing daily!

We educate all of our patients on the correct way to brush teeth and clean between the teeth (with floss or interdental devices).

When gingivitis has progressed to Periodontal disease, treatment is similar but may involve deeper cleaning around the affected areas. Sometimes we recommend you see a gum specialist or Periodontist.

In most cases, gum disease can be controlled. There is no magical cure, but changing your cleaning habits at home is the most effective measure – in combination with professional dentist cleans on a regular basis.

If you have bleeding gums or would like to be assessed by a dentist, contact us on 9596 2092 or book an appointment using the tab above.

 

 

 

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The 5 Most Effective Ways To Get Whiter Teeth

by Dr. Sean

 

What makes an attractive, pleasing smile?

In answering this question, most people would make some mention of white teeth. Various products and procedures exist improve the colour or ”whiten” the teeth.

When looking to enhance your smile, whitening teeth can be considered quite conservative and offers good value – compared to other methods of improving a smile (such as braces, veneers, fillings, etc.). The desire for whiter teeth has seen an increase in the availability of over the counter products, blogs spruiking ‘natural’ alternatives, dentists marketing in every available medium and even beauty salons entering the market. So what actually works?

Will it be suitable for you?

We are asked on a daily basis “how can I make my teeth whiter” so here are the ways to do it.

Firstly, we’ll take a look at over the counter products, or those you can find on supermarket shelves and pharmacies. These whitening products come in a variety of mediums including pastes, mouth rinses, strips and so on.

 

1. Whitening Pastes

Supermarket shelves are now stacked with toothpastes offering whitening results. Every toothpaste brand will have one or more “whitening” variations. So do these work? Yes and no. The main difference with these toothpastes is that they will contain more abrasive particles and other products to lift surface stains from the teeth. Surface stains may include tea/coffee stains, red wine, smoking and others. The actual bleaching effect is likely to be minimal – there are strict regulations that allow only small amounts of peroxide in toothpastes.

In a nutshell – if you regularly develop surface stains from habits such as daily tea drinking, a whitening toothpaste may help remove these stains and thus make your teeth appear whiter.

Unfortunately, it is not always surface staining that makes our teeth look less appealing than what we would prefer. Deeper staining ‘within’ the teeth will not alter from the addition of an abrasive, and in these cases – bleaching may be indicated.

 

2. Teeth Bleaching with Whitening Strips

We all love an affordable, convenient solution.

Whitening strips offer these attributes and may provide a decent whitening effect.

Whitening strips are also available over-the-counter. We would still recommend you consult a dentist before considering use of a bleaching product.

Strips contain a form of peroxide – either carbamide peroxide or hydgrogen peroxide, in a percentage that is safe to use at home.

 

3. Teeth bleaching – Professional

Before considering the two options listed above, we generally recommend discussing your options with the dentist at your routine check-up and clean appointment.

This way we can tailor a solution to your particular situation. Each situation is unique and what’s appropriate for one person is not always appropriate for the next.

For example, your teeth may be looking darker when you smile, and so you go and try an abrasive toothpaste for 3 months. The problem is that your teeth are looking darker due to acid erosion and thinning enamel. The abrasive toothpaste will only make the situation worse! And potentially result in sensitive teeth.

Professional teeth whitening is another option. We recommend (where appropriate) a take-home bleaching system. This involves fabrication of custom made trays (like a thin mouthguard) which are used to carry the bleach solution.

Like the whitening strips, the bleach solution consists of either Carbamide Peroxide or Hydrogen Peroxide – the difference being we can provide the strongest percentage available. For this reason, the results can be much more drastic. Used on the right person, take home bleaching can have profound results.

To see if you are suitable, we just need a short appointment to assess your teeth. Then we can take some moulds of the teeth and a technician will fabricate your custom trays. We then provide you with the trays and a tooth whitening kit.

The best thing about having custom trays is that you can keep them for years and re-bleach when you like.

The cost of professional teeth whitening at Bay Dental Brighton can be found in our pricing section. Remember – not everyone is suitable for this treatment, so we need to assess your teeth first. We can discuss alternative methods if you are not suitable.

 

4. Back to Basics – the most important way to keep your teeth shiny and white.

Brushing AND flossing

Not only will you prevent dental disease (decay, gum disease, etc) but you will keep your teeth looking youthful and white.

We see a lot of stain between teeth – so don’t forget to floss daily or use an interproximal brush.

Brush with a soft toothbrush or use an electric toothbrush. The ‘Sonic’ types of electric toothbrush may remove more surface stains than conventional electric toothbrushes.

Diet

Maintain a diet that is low in acidic food and beverage. We commonly see teeth ”yellowing” as a result of thinning enamel. Thinning enamel can be a result of a diet high in acid – causing loss of tooth structure. Once enamel is lost, it is gone forever. The tooth under the enamel is yellow, thus will become more prominent as the enamel thins.

The result is yellower teeth, and a situation that is more difficult to rectify with standard teeth whitening methods.

 

5. Professional scaling and cleaning

Your teeth will become ‘naturally’ whiter after a professional scale and clean. This will remove all plaque, calculus (yellowish hard build-up) and surface stains. Not to mention the main benefit of a clean- to ensure healthy gums and prevent dental disease.

For stubborn or widespread staining, we can use an air abrasion system – prophyflex.

 

Contact Bay Dental Brighton for an appointment today. We are happy to discuss the most appropriate whitening treatment for your teeth.

Summer is fast approaching!

Dr. Sean

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Wisdom Teeth – Wise to Remove? Pain, Costs & Symptoms.

by Dr.Sean

 

Wisdom Teeth – An Overview

Wisdom teeth or third molars are a common source of pain and discomfort for teenagers and young adults.

So what makes these teeth different to the rest?

The main reason for this is a lack of space at the back of the jaw to fit these large teeth. If the jaw size is large enough, wisdom teeth can come through and function as normal teeth.

Most of the time this is not the case. The wisdom teeth may:

a)  Partially erupt into the mouth,

b) Fully erupt on an odd angle to the rest of the teeth

c) Not erupt at all – often described as “impacted” wisdom teeth.

 

At what age are they a problem?

The usual age of eruption of these teeth is 17-21 years old. They are the last teeth to enter the mouth.

 

Do I need to have them extracted?

A number of factors influence the decision to extract wisdom teeth. It really depends on the individual situation.

Impacted wisdom teeth, or teeth that cannot fully erupt may present problems including infection, pericoronitis (inflammation) and difficulty maintaining hygiene in the area leading to dental decay or gum problems.

Initially, when the wisdom teeth push through the gum some mild discomfort is felt. This is not necessarily  an indication that your wisdom teeth require removal.

From around age 15 onwards, the dentist may arrange for an x-ray known as an OPG (orthopantogram) to assess the position of the wisdom teeth. This gives us the best indication as to whether they will be a problem or not.

For some lucky people, we discover missing wisdom teeth.

 

Some wisdom teeth questions we are commonly asked:

1. My wisdom teeth are not giving me any trouble, can I leave them?

The decision to remove wisdom teeth that are not symptomatic is dependent on the potential of the teeth to present problems down the track. We will provide an opinion as to the potential for the wisdom teeth to become problematic in the future- then it is up to you to decide.

If the wisdom teeth are partially erupted (not fully through), there is always some potential for infection to occur between the gum and tooth. It may be a ticking timebomb.

Often, your own immune system will take care of this. Patients will tell us that the wisdom teeth were “a little tender” for a few days then settled.

Sometimes it won’t resolve and antibiotics will be required.  Occasionally we see severe infections related to infected wisdom teeth that have arisen very quickly, necessitating a hospital visit and emergency removal.

If we recommend wisdom tooth removal, it is to avoid these risks and complications.

 

2. My wisdom teeth are sore, what is involved in getting them out?

Firstly, book in to see your dentist.

We will then arrange for a full mouth x-ray (OPG).

Some wisdom teeth can be more complicated to remove – as such we often refer patients to see an Oral Surgeon (specialists in wisdom teeth removal). Your dentist can arrange a referral to an Oral surgeon.

Treatment can be carried out to reduce symptoms prior to consulting with the oral surgeon. The dentist may clean thoroughly around the wisdom teeth to reduce bacteria levels. A chlorhexidine rinse may be advised, and sometimes a course of antibiotics and pain medication is needed.

 

3. Are there any risks involved?

As with any surgery, there are risks involved that require appropriate management.

Your dentist or Oral Surgeon will discuss these with you.

Your recovery form wisdom tooth surgery depends on many factors, but is often a lot shorter than you may think.

 

If your wisdom teeth are giving you trouble or have done in the past, we strongly recommend booking an appointment with the dentist. If you are currently in pain, call or email an appointment request and we will endeavour to fit you in on the day for assessment.

And if you have any questions, please feel free to give our Melbourne clinic a call on (03) 9596 2092 to discuss.

– Dr. Sean

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The Truth About Root Canals – Treatment, Cost & Pain

by Dr.Sean

Overview

Toothaches can be extremely debilitating. They can start as a result of:

  • An infection within the tooth
  • An infection involving the gum surrounding a tooth
  • An inflamed tooth that may be related to a large cavity or deep filling
  • Trauma to a tooth

And a number of other causes.

There are circumstances whereby a filling or other “simple” measure is not enough to resolve a toothache. Your dentist may suggest a Root Canal procedure.
A lot of patients dread the words “root canal”.

There is a lot of inaccurate information out there. We try to educate our patients with facts so that they can make an informed decision regarding their teeth.

So why do you need a root canal and what exactly IS a root canal?

Within a tooth lies nerves and blood vessels.

In effect – each tooth is a living structure like any body tissue.

When the tooth is irritated (eg. By a cavity, filling, night time grinding, etc) the nerve within the tooth (or root canal) is traumatised. Over time, the nerve can become super-irritated and be extremely sensitive to a glass of water or something warm. Sometimes these irritated teeth feel worse lying down at night.

Other times, the nerve may react by dying. The tooth may no longer react to cold or hot like it used to, but over time the ‘dead’ tooth will become infected, resulting in toothache.

At this stage we have two options:

  1. Root canal procedure
  2. Removal of the tooth.

The decision to complete a root canal vs to extract a tooth depends of several factors including position of the tooth in the mouth (ie. Front tooth vs back molar), affordability, function on the tooth etc.

You will need to discuss the pros/cons with your dentist.

 

What is a root canal treatment?

A root canal procedure involves the cleaning and disinfection of the middle part of the tooth (the ‘root canal’) following by filling of the space with material designed to seal the tooth and prevent infection.

The purpose of a root canal is to allow you to KEEP the tooth.

As mentioned, the alternative is removal of the tooth- and where required, replacement of the tooth.

 

What happens during the procedure?

Root canal treatments are generally done over 2-3 visits, with 30 minutes to over 1 hour being the general treatment time (depending on complexity).

Your dentist will numb the tooth (as per a regular filling).

A rubber dam is placed over the tooth – preventing any disinfectant or dental material entering your mouth, while keeping bacteria (from Saliva) out of the tooth.

The dentist carries out the procedure – cleaning, disinfecting, shaping and finally filling the root canal/s.

Front teeth have 1 root canal, molars often have 3/4 root canals (thus take longer and are generally more complex).

 

Will my tooth last now that its had a root canal?

Root canal procedures have good success rates. If we feel your tooth will not last a good amount of time we will generally not recommend a root canal, and suggest extraction and replacement.

We can control part of the success by completing high quality work and providing a strong and durable restoration of the tooth. Root canals can fail as a result of missed canals, leaking fillings, bacteria left behind in the root canals, cracks/fractures and many other reasons.

For long term success – meaning restoration of function, aesthetics, keeping the tooth – we will advise on the best type of restoration for the top part of the tooth.

For a molar – this may be a crown or ”cap”.

Your dentist will factor this in when providing a quote.

 

A couple of myths regarding root canal procedures

1. Root canal procedures are painful.

Root canal procedures are mostly done to relieve pain or prevent pain from arising. This may be due to an inflamed tooth, an infected tooth or trauma to a tooth.

The majority of patients will experience no pain during the procedures, and generally significant improvement in their symptoms after the procedure.

It is similar to having a regular filling done, whereby we use local anaesthetic to numb the tooth. As the procedure may be considered more “invasive”, your dentist will often administer a larger dose of anaesthetic, to minimise the chance of any discomfort.

The perception that root canal procedures are painful is likely to have stemmed from procedures and techniques used in the past. Thankfully, technology has changed and root canal procedures are nothing to be feared!

2. Root canal procedures are expensive.

When a dentist suggests you require a root canal procedure, it is generally advised in order the save the tooth – the only alternative is often extraction of the tooth and replacement.

Certainly, an extraction is generally cheaper than a root canal procedure – this is, if you plan to NOT replace the removed tooth.

If you want to replace the tooth – either a bridge, implant or denture is required which are generally more expensive options than a root canal.

You also have to weigh the benefit of being able to keep your own tooth vs having something ‘prosthetic’ in your mouth.

The price of a root canal depends on the number of canals in the tooth. For example, a front tooth often has only one root canal whereas a molar tooth may have four. Molars will be more expensive due to the amount of time required and additional instruments. For our root canal fees, see our PRICING page.

Finally, if a root canal is recommended and we feel it is beyond the capability of a general dentist to complete treatment, we can refer you to an ”endodontist” or root canal specialist.

If you have been told you need a root canal or think you may need one, request an appointment today.

– Dr. Sean

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Does my tooth need a filling? What you need to know.

by Dr. Sean

Overview

Dentists (like us) like to harp on about getting regular check-ups and preventative care.

Some people are lucky and have a low risk of tooth decay or gum disease. We occasionally see a patient in their 80’s without a single cavity or filling. Their good fortune is no doubt linked to:

  1. Good oral hygiene (yes – flossing included) throughout their life
  2. Diet – not just low on sugars but low in dietary acids (those found in soft drinks, juices, etc).
  3. Saliva – good quality saliva provides significant protection to the oral tissues.
  4. Other factors – fluoride (preferably in contact with the teeth soon after they erupt into the mouth), bacteria levels in mouth, etc.

Unfortunately, most people aren’t so lucky and may require one or many fillings throughout their life.

Yours truly has five fillings – related to a significant consumption of a sugary cereal during school years.

 

So how do you know if you need a filling?

You will have pain, correct?

Unfortunately, this is most often not the case. Dental disease (whether it be decay or gum disease) has the inconvenient trait of being almost painless or mild in its early stages. So if you haven’t been to the dentist in years, get in quick!

Dental decay generally becomes painful by the time it hits the nerves, ie. Very deep! By this stage, sometimes a ‘filling’ is not possible and more extensive treatment is required – such as root canal treatment or tooth extraction.

On occasion, a smaller cavity will be noticed if the tooth chips or fractures, or if food starts to collect where it never used to.

Some cavities will get sensitive when you have a hot or cold drink.

Take the example below:

  • This patient came in for a routine checkup. It had been many years.
  • She had no complaints, no pain, just some bleeding from the gums.
  • The first photo shows the tooth (top left molar) as it sits in the mouth- all good yeh?
  • An x-ray was taken and a large cavity found.

The tooth was opened up and look what was underneath!

Tooth Filling

This patient was very lucky in that we provided a filling for this tooth and so far so good. Due to the size and depth of the filling, the tooth may need future work- either root canal or extraction.

If picked up earlier, a simple (and a lot smaller) filling would have done the trick!

 

So remember:

  1. Don’t put off your check-ups – 6 monthly checks and regular x-rays (very 1.5-2 years) are the best way to prevent dental problems and catch things early. Most dental disease is painless until it is a long way advanced!
  2. If you think you need a filling or have been told you need fillings, don’t delay! They will not spontaneously heal and delaying can lead to bigger cavities, longer term problems, more time in the dental chair and significant financial burden.

 

I only want white fillings.

That’s great, we only place tooth coloured (white) fillings.

The material of choice that we use is called “composite resin”. It is a great material for most situations. We do not use dental amalgam due to concerns regarding its mercury content and the fact that NOBODY has ever requested a black filling.

Sometimes composite is not strong enough for very large fillings. We can then recommend other types of fillings or tooth restorations (eg. Ceramic or porcelain crowns). Rest assured we can always use tooth coloured materials.

 

Should I replace my amalgam fillings?

We recommend only replacing amalgam fillings if there is a legitimate reason to do so. This may be because of decay under the filling, cracks in the tooth or filling or cosmetic concern. Removal of amalgam fillings when there is no good reason to do so can weaken the tooth, irritate the nerves of the tooth and lead to other problems. If you would like to remove your amalgam fillings, we are quite happy to discuss the pros and cons with you.

 

How long will a filling last?

This is largely dependent on the individual and their lifestyle/habits.

A well placed composite filling should last a minimum of 5-10 years. They are quite capable of lasting a lot longer under the right circumstances.

Fillings will last a long time when:

  1. Oral hygiene is consistent and strict (good brushing, daily flossing, nag nag)
  2. Diet that is kind to the teeth (minimal dietary acids, sugars, very hard foods and regular exposure to fluoride such as drinking tap water and using toothpaste)
  3. There is an absence of factors such as a grinding/clenching habit, nail biting, etc.
  4. It has been placed well by the dentist!

Unfortunately, a really well placed, perfectly sculptured filling will fail at about the same rate as an average placed filling if there are dietary, oral hygiene or other factors at play.

 

My filling is sensitive.

If recently done, a filling may stay sensitive for a few days.

Your tooth has just be traumatised and takes a while to recover. We generally tell our patients to expect some mild sensitivity for up to a week after placement. This is usually not the case and most people report no problems at all.

Sometimes fillings will remain sensitive for longer periods and you should then contact your dentist.

If you have an old filling that has recently become sensitive, go to your dentist ASAP.

Your old filling may be failing – it may have new decay under it, it may no longer join the tooth properly or the nerve could be irritated.

 

Will it cost me an arm and a leg?

The cost of fillings varies based on how many surfaces it will need to cover.

It also depends on the material used and the tooth involved.

As a rough guide, see our pricing page.

Obviously, we need you here to give you a correct quote. A full, thorough examination with x-rays is recommended prior to undertaking any fillings. This way we can get an overall picture of your teeth and find out why you require treatment and what we can do to reduce your risks of further problems.

 

In a nutshell, be kind to your teeth and hip pocket by taking a preventative approach to your dental health. Regular dental checks and avoiding delays with treatment will keep you in good shape. Call Bay Dental Brighton for an appointment today!

– Dr. Sean

 

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Veneers – Everything you need to know to smile with confidence!

by Dr. Sean

Ever wonder how or why most people on TV have amazing smiles?

Not everyone is blessed with the perfect set of pearly white teeth – change is possible!

In fact, most people have some aspect of the teeth or smile that they would like to change – this can be a major gripe or something very minor.

Dental veneers are one form of treatment that can provide you with a confident and beautiful smile.

You may have experienced one of the following conditions, all of which can be legitimate reasons to consider dental veneers:

  • Discoloured fillings or ‘caps’ on the front teeth
  • Permanent staining
  • Chipped or worn edges
  • Misshapen teeth
  • Spacing issues such as crowding or gaps

A smile makeover involving veneers may be the solution for you. Don’t know what’s involved in getting veneers?

Read on…

 

So what exactly is a veneer?

A dental veneer is essentially a thin shell of material that is placed over the outside surface of the tooth. This shell or cover is custom-made to fit your tooth and can be altered in order to change the shape and colour to create your ideal smile. That’s the crux of a veneer – we can vary the size, shape and colour of the veneers to provide an aesthetically pleasing result.

Dental veneers come in two forms- composite veneers and porcelain veneers.

 

The difference between composite and porcelain veneers

Composite is what dentists use when placing a ‘white’ filling in your tooth. It may also be used to veneer a tooth.

Porcelain is a hard material made in a dental laboratory that closely mimics tooth structure. It is also used in dental ‘crowns’.

Both composite and porcelain veneers can provide substantial aesthetic improvements. The choice of material depends on the individual and your suitability for either would need to be assessed prior to making this decision.

In general, porcelain veneers would provide the most life-like and natural improvement. These veneers are constructed in a dental laboratory by an experienced technician who specialises in porcelain work. At Bay Dental Brighton, we stick to using reputable Australian laboratories for quality assurance.

 

How long do veneers last?

Veneers are permanent.

They should last a minimum of 5 years. If done well and carefully maintained, porcelain veneers can last 20 years +.

Composite veneers will generally have a shorter lifespan but are quite capable of lasting 10 + years. One downside of composite veneers are that they tend to discolour over time and can stain at the junction of the tooth.

 

What is Involved?

The process for a smile makeover involving veneers consists of the following appointments:

Appointment #1:

Consultation- assessment of the smile and discussion of the options available for cosmetic enhancement.

At this appointment we will discuss you expectations and ‘ideal smile’ and if this can be achieved with veneers. We will sometimes recommended tooth whitening prior to veneers for an optimal result. A quote will be provided at this appointment.

Appointment #2:

Tooth preparation- One of the benefits of veneers vs caps or crowns is the limited amount of tooth preparation required. Porcelain veneers generally require just 0.5mm of tooth removal from the outer surface. The idea behind aesthetic veneers is to utilise your own tooth structure to give the veneers vitality and a lifelike quality.

Following tooth preparation, moulds of your teeth are taken and sent to the dental laboratory. The dentist will then construct temporary veneers to be worn while the porcelain veneers are made (usually 2 weeks).

Appointment #3:

Veneers are first tried-in to ensure you are completely happy prior to permanent cementation. The veneers can then be ‘bonded’ to your teeth- essentially becoming part of the tooth.

 

What is the cost of a veneer?

This is largely dependent on the type of veneer. Due to their more natural and life-like appearance and the laboratory process required, porcelain veneers are more expensive than composite veneers.

The price of porcelain veneers can vary significantly depending on the quality of dental laboratory chosen by the dentist. Some dentists will choose a cheaper lab and this is usually reflected in the quality of the work. At Bay Dental Brighton, we insist on using only the best local Australian dental technicians and ceramists. There is no substitute for quality. We often ask that our patients attend the lab for ‘shade taking’ – this allows you to discuss your expectations directly to the dental technician.

For a rough guide on pricing, please view our website tab Pricing. Use this as an estimate only- a specific quote will be provided following a dental examination to assess suitability for porcelain veneers.

 

Will I be able to eat all foods on my veneers?

Generally speaking, yes!

As with any filling or restoration in your  mouth, nothing is as strong as your natural teeth. Porcelain veneers are very strong and develop their strength once bonded to the tooth. Normal foods are perfectly fine. We caution on ‘foods’ such as minties and redskins or similar, pork crackling and the obvious like seeds and olive pips. Although extremely strong, porcelain veneers can chip if subjected to extreme loading. Veneers are more at risk with habits like nail-biting, chewing pens and tooth grinding.

 

How many veneers do I need?

This will depend on the state of your teeth, your concerns and expectations. As a general rule- they need to be symmetrical ie. Front two teeth only, front four teeth, front six, etc.

We often find that the best results are achieved by fewer veneers. This can involve a combination of deep bleaching of the other teeth (tooth whitening) followed by veneers that match the bleached teeth. Other times, bleaching cannot get us to an acceptable colour shade so it is necessary to veneer these teeth also.

 

What next?

If you are interested in veneers, call our friendly staff on (03) 9596 2092 to arrange a consultation with one of our dentists at Bay Dental Brighton, located near Melbourne.

You can visit also book an appointment online here.

– Dr. Sean

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Healthy Teeth for 2014

We would love you to set some goals for your oral health in 2014, and here is a starting point. Resolve to do the following and you should be on your way to a tick of approval from your dentist:

1. BRUSH – The obvious first. Brush for a minimum of 2 minutes, twice per day. To cover all tooth surfaces properly it will take 2 minutes, whether using an electric toothbrush or a soft regular brush.

2. FLOSS daily – (not just before you next dental appointment). If you don’t floss daily you will put yourself at risk of interproximal cavities. The contact points between teeth cannot be reached by brushing alone- hence the need to floss.

3. LIMIT your intake of sticky, sugary foods and carbonated beverages. Drink water regularly and limit snacking. You will significantly reduce your risk for dental caries (cavities).

4. VISIT us for regular check-ups. We recommend 6 monthly visits. Prevention is always the best option.

5. If you notice a problem, DO NOT procrastinate- come in to have it assessed. When dental problems are left they will usually lead to more complex issues, often requiring more invasive and costly procedures.

For a dental assessment, please contact us on 9596 2092 or request an appointment by selecting the “Book an Appointment” tab on this website.

See you soon!

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Welcome to Bay Dental Brighton

Welcome to Bay Dental Brighton. We pride ourselves on providing quality, caring dentistry for you and your family. Located on Bay Street in Brighton Victoria, we offer a full range of dental services including emergency, cosmetic and general dentistry- whilst maintaining a focus on prevention.

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