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Feb 2010 newsletter

05 July 2010

Money Concerns Can Lead To Teeth Grinding

Stress and anxiety can lead many people to become occasional teeth grinders. The economic downturn may be exacerbating the problem. Many dentists found that their patients were anxious, stressed and very concerned about their financial futures, which resulted in tooth grinding at night.

Toothgrinding is known as “bruxism,” a condition characterised by constant grinding or clenching of teeth during the day or while asleep. In addition to stress and anxiety, bruxism can be caused by sleep disorders, an abnormal bite or teeth that are missing or crooked. Symptoms include a dull headache or a sore jaw. In severe cases, teeth may become fractured. That irritation can lead to sensitivity—particularly to temperature extremes. There are also indications of a relationship between bruxism and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.

Genetics can play a factor in bruxism, but stress is often a catalyst. As dentists, we can determine the extent of the problem and fit nightguards to protect teeth during sleep. If stress is the cause, relaxation techniques may be recommended, such as physical therapy, muscle relaxants, counselling and even exercise to help reduce tension.

FREE LUMINEERS Information Evening

Want to know more about how you can hide your crooked, worn, chipped or stained teeth without removing your tooth structure?
If so, then come along to our Free Information Evenings to find out more about how you can achieve this using LUMINEERS.

LUMINEERS are porcelain veneers that offer the painless way to a permanently whiter and perfectly aligned smile. These contact lens- thin “smile shapers” can be applied to teeth without any grinding or shaving of sensitive tooth structure. LUMINEERS can even be placed over existing crown or bridgework without having to replace them.

LUMINEERS are made from patented Cerinate porcelain available only from accredited dentists. In just 2-3 visits, we can create a naturally beautiful smile that looks perfect for every individual – and it is completely reversible since your natural tooth structure is still intact! It is the permanent solution that has been clinically proven to last over 20 years. To book, please call: 9904 2880

Evidence Says Dental Sealants Improve Children’s Oral Health

Looking for an extra weapon to fight tooth decay in your child?

Thorough brushing and flossing helps remove food particles and plaque from the smooth surfaces of teeth, but toothbrushes can’t reach all the way into the depressions and grooves to extract food and plaque. Sealants can help protect these vulnerable areas by “sealing out” plaque and food. A dental sealant is a plastic material that is usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth — premolars and molars. This plastic resin bonds into the depressions and grooves of the chewing surfaces of back teeth and acts as a barrier, protecting enamel from plaque and acids.

In a recent study published in The Journal of the American Dental Association, school- based sealant programs were lauded as an effective public health approach to preventing dental disease.

Sealants take only a few minutes to be applied and are about one-fifth the cost of a conventional one surface filling.
The teeth that will be sealed are cleaned then the chewing surfaces are roughened with an acid solution to help the sealant adhere to the tooth. The sealant is then painted onto the tooth enamel, where it bonds directly to the tooth and hardens.

As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and usually last several years before a reapplication is needed. While often recommended for children, at- risk adults also benefit for this very simple procedure.

Taking Care Of Your Gums Could Decrease Risk For Diabetes

Regular dental visits aren’t just good for your mouth—they could be helping you decrease your risk for diabetes.
A new study in the Journal of Public Health Dentistry has linked periodontal infections with an increased risk for diabetes.
The researchers determined that 93 percent of the subjects with periodontal disease were considered high risk for diabetes and should be screened for the disease, compared to the 63 percent without periodontal disease.

Given that patients with periodontal disease visit a dentist more often than they would a medical GP, it would be prudent for us to advise patients at risk to test for the disease

Want fresh breath all day, every day?

Use the mouthwash dentists recommend: CloSYS

With CloSYS, you get an oral health system that kills bacteria that causes plaque, eliminates bad breath, reduces bleeding and inflamed gums and provides many other benefits for optimum oral health.

Research links even mild gum diseases with a number of other serious illnesses, making oral health one of the most important and easiest measures to improve your overall health. Using CloSYS daily improves the health of your teeth and possibly your whole body!

Laser Frenectomies And Tongue Ties

Everyone has a muscle attachment (frenum) that connects their lips to their gums. However, when this attachment is too close to the teeth, it can cause a gap (diastema) in between the teeth, usually the front upper teeth and the front lower teeth. Braces or orthodontics will not be able to close the gap without the fibrous frenum being removed.

The frenulum is a piece of tissue that attaches the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. When a baby has a restrictive or tight frenulum it is referred to as tongue tie, and can impair the ability of the tongue to move properly and may affect breast feeding. Your frenulum may look like a string that holds the tongue in place. You can see your frenulum in the mirror by opening your mouth and sticking your tongue out and up. Many babies can find it difficult to breastfeed if they are tongue tied.

A person with a tongue tie will commonly have a reduced ability to move their tongue and may not poke their tongue out as far as a normal person. It can also be the cause of speech problems. Lactation specialists, early childhood nurses and speech therapists will often see this and can advise if a laser frenectomy or tongue tie revision is necessary.

The conventional surgery to release frenums/frenulums is quite traumatic, painful and can take a long time to heal. With lasers, we can precisely and almost painlessly remove the tissue making it more comfortable for you. There is minimal bleeding afterwards, no sutures and hardly any discomfort. Children go to school the day after and adults can go back to work the same day. Eating is normal and a baby will suckle immediately after the procedure! It truly is an amazing way to have surgery. To find out more, phone us on 9904 2880

Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Wisdom teeth are the third molars that are the last teeth to erupt in the back of your mouth.

They normally erupt between 18 and 21 years of age. Occasionally, they find their way out much later than that; some never erupt at all. Thanks to evolution, we’re evolving into the proud ownership of smaller jaws; unfortunately our teeth aren’t quite keeping pace. Most of our jaws only have room for 28 teeth; but with the wisdom teeth we have 32. This means that they have nowhere to go if there’s not enough room remaining. Impacted wisdom teeth are frequently food traps and breeding grounds for bacteria. Thus, maintaining their cleanliness is difficult and infection is very common. Research lately has shown that overall dental condition improves after removal of wisdom teeth.

Extracting wisdom teeth can be uncomplicated or it may involve surgery to remove bone surrounding the teeth. More importantly, the roots of these teeth can be closely involved with two nerves around that area of the jaw. It is important to know where these nerves are prior to extraction to give an accurate prognosis of the likelihood of trauma to these nerves.

A panoramic x-ray known as an OPG gives us information as to the proximity of the nerve to these teeth. However, as an OPG is a 2D representation of a 3D object it cannot always provide sufficient information.

To give these details, a CT scan is required. With the state-of-the-art PaX Uni-3D Cone Beam CT x-ray that is available at Cosmic Smile Dental, this 3D relationship can be accurately determined. Wisdom teeth extraction can thus be safely performed in our office, or if necessary referred to an Oral Surgeon with the CT scan. The procedure usually takes approximately 15 to 45 minutes. Most of it is preparation time. Most of our patients report they can get back to normal daily activities within a few days.

For more information, phone our surgery on 9904 2880.

Gummy Smiles

Some people smile with a little bit of their gums showing but for some others, a significant amount of gums can be seen when they smile. Their teeth appear short in proportion, giving rise to the term “gummy smile.”

Although people with gummy smiles may have healthy teeth and gums, they may be self-conscious about smiling, and thus reluctant to smile. The good news is that there are options available to correct gummy smiles.

Causes of Gummy Smiles

  • Excessive display of gums due to the abnormal eruption of the teeth;
  • Hyperactive lip muscles which causes the upper lip to rise higher than normal when smiling, showing more gum tissue;
  • Prominent upper jaw;
  • Prominent position of upper front teeth; or
  • Severely worn teeth, resulting in the teeth looking shorter relative to the gums.

Treatment Of Gummy Smiles

The main benefits of gummy smile treatment are an improved and enhanced smile which in turn, boosts self-confidence and social acceptance. There are several treatment options for those with gummy smiles:

  • Laser Gum lifts: Adjustment of the gums with the dental laser that requires no sutures and has no swelling.
  • Crown lengthening: procedure which adjusts excessive gum tissue and the underlying bone. This may be combined with crowns or veneers to give the teeth the final aesthetic look;
  • Orthodontics (realignment of the teeth): If the cause of the gummy smile is due to front teeth that are set too far forward, crowns and/or jaw surgery may be required
  • Some cases may require lip surgery

The most important aspect of treatment for gummy smiles is the cause of the imbalance. Laser gum lifts take about 1/2 hour to perform without the stitches of conventional gum surgery.

If crowns are indicated, then they can usually be prepared in 2 weeks compared with the usual waiting period of about 1-3 months. Where braces and/or jaw surgery is required, the treatment period will take longer, depending on the dental condition of the patient. You will always have teeth and look normal during the whole treatment period.

Gum surgery is NOT a temporary solution – with careful planning and execution, the results will last for years. Proper maintenance and professional follow-up will be essential for a successful long term treatment outcome.

Invisalign – A new way to straighten teeth without braces

Dr. Jason Pang is an Invisalign certified Sydney dentist and offers the Invisalign solution at Cosmic Smile Dental.
Invisalign uses a series of nearly undetectable aligners instead of brackets and wires. So even up close it’s really hard for people to tell you’re wearing Invisalign. This new treatment can give you the smile you’ve always wanted without the braces you’ve always avoided. No metal wires and brackets.

Because there are no metal wires and brackets, Invisalign is more comfortable than traditional braces. And because they are removable, eating, brushing and flossing are no problem. You can still enjoy your favourite foods and smile without holding back. With Invisalign, there’s nothing to hide.

Diagnosis and Treatment Plan

Our office will give you an initial examination to determine if Invisalign treatment is right for you. If it appears that Invisalign is an option, we will take photographs, x-rays, and an impression of your teeth, then complete further diagnostic analysis to verify that Invisalign will work for you and create a treatment plan that will determine exactly how the teeth are straightened. We will be able to let you know the estimated cost and length of treatment.

When the treatment plan is complete, your records will be sent to Invisalign. Using the latest advances in 3-D computer technology, Invisalign will translate our instructions into a series of precisely customised aligners. You will wear each set of aligners for about two weeks. Each set of aligners will gradually move your teeth closer and closer to the desired result. You will need to wear these aligners all the time except when you are eating, drinking, or cleaning your teeth.

Convenient treatment at our office

Throughout treatment, we will arrange for check-up appointments about every six weeks to make sure that treatment is progressing as predicted. As treatment nears completion, we will design a retention plan to help you keep your smile for life.

Call our office today on 9904 2880 to organise an obligation free consultation to see if Invisalign is right for you.