Deep pits and grooves can be found on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. Such pits and grooves are termed ‘fissures’ and are usually so narrow that toothbrush bristles and streams of water are not able to clean them effectively. These form a favourable environment for bacteria to flourish, often resulting in tooth decay.
What can be done?
Fissure sealants can be applied to the teeth. Fissure sealants are special materials used by dentists to seal off pits and fissures from the oral environment. Sealing the tooth surface protects fissures from bacteria and fermentable foods like sugar and starches to prevent decay from starting deep within the fissures. Any tooth with pits and fissures can be treated, provided the surface to be filled is sound and has not been previously filled. The most commonly treated teeth are the molars and premolars.
How are sealants applied?
Sealants are applied easily and painlessly. No drilling is required. The tooth is properly cleaned, treated, dried, and the sealant applied. It then hardens to form a protective coating over the tooth.
How effective are sealants and how long can they last?
Many studies show sealants to be very effective in preventing decay in fissures. They do, however, require regular maintenance by your dentist. This can be performed with your six- monthly check-up. Recent studies show that a properly placed sealant will last as long as a typical amalgam filling. Even if a sealant is damaged or lost, it is easily repaired and replaced. Regular maintenance by your dentist will help them last. This can be done with your six-monthly check-up.
When should sealants be put on the teeth?
Sealants are most effective when applied after the eruption of the tooth. Early application ensures pits and fissures are sealed before the decay process begins.
For more information please do not hesitate to get in touch with us by email or why not give us a call on 01323 725081
Periodontal disease is the Number One cause of tooth loss amongst adults. This is because a certain number of people (15-20%) have immune systems that overreact to the bad bacteria in their mouths. When this overreaction occurs, the immune system attacks and breaks down the bone and tissue that surround the tooth. This destruction is not predictable and can occur sporadically. None of us knows if we are part of this 15-20% because we can’t usually feel or notice the onset of gum and bone (periodontal) disease. Both adults and children should be routinely checked for gum disease.
Keeping your gums in shape
Keep in mind that healthy gums DON’T BLEED. You are the key player on the hygiene team. If you don’t do the essential daily brushing and flossing, the rest of your dental team (the dentist and hygienist) is playing short-handed. And sometimes with everyone fighting the good fight, stubborn plaque and bacteria will require some new maintenance techniques for battling gum infection.
GUM DISEASE IS NOT CURABLE,
BUT IT IS TREATABLE,
AND IN MOST CASES, CONTROLLABLE
Are you living at high risk for gum disease?
Smoking: Numerous studies have shown that smokers have more gum disease. Smokers have increased levels of tartar in the mouth, and experience more tissue irritation, which makes their gums more susceptible to disease. Smokers have more bone loss and heal less quickly than non-smokers.
Stress: When our immune system is stressed it is difficult to fight off the bacteria that cause gum infections.
Dental neglect: Avoiding the dentist is a lifestyle choice that puts you at risk of contracting diseases of the mouth, teeth and gums.
Floss or die! Your hygienist or dentist works to prevent infection in your mouth from entering the bloodstream and reaching vital organs.
Heart disease: Gum inflammation products and bacteria in gum disease can cause heart disease, and in some cases, double the risk of a fatal heart attack. In addition, bacteria from your mouth may combine with blood-clotting cells called platelets, forming heart-stopping blood clots.
Stroke: New studies show that 70% of the fatty deposits of stroke sufferers contain bacteria, of which 40% comes from the mouth.
Diabetics: This group of people are more likely to have gum disease than most people and gum disease makes it more difficult for diabetics to control their blood sugar.
Premature birth: Pregnant women who have periodontal disease may be as much as seven times more likely to have a baby born early. Some research suggests that gum disease may increase the level of hormones that induce labour.
Our Dental Hygienist cannot only carry out scale and polish treatments to ensure teeth are thoroughly cleaned, but also apply preventative materials to the teeth and gums and advise on diet and individual home care regimes. She can also carry out detailed and precise treatments to restore oral health for patients suffering from gum disease.
Our Dental Hygienist is an integral part of our dental team. Hygiene services are often used alongside other specialised dental treatments, such as adding artificial teeth. This care not only helps to restore good oral health, but also advises on how to tailor a lifelong oral regime to your individual requirements, which can be followed at home.
Regular repeat visits to the hygienist are recommended to ensure good oral health is maintained.
A scale and polish cleans your teeth very thoroughly.
Scaling removes the hard tartar which forms on your teeth like scale inside a kettle. You can’t remove it just by brushing your teeth. Scaling also removes trapped food and plaque containing millions of germs, which can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Stains from coffee, tea, cigarettes or red wine are also cleaned away when your dentist polishes your teeth.
We are specially trained and will scale your teeth. If you clean your teeth very thoroughly anyway, your scale and polish will take less time.
For a full list of our treatment prices please click here.
We aim to provide dental care without fear, pain, or anxiety for our patients. We use a wide range of techniques to provide the most comfortable dental care possible. Some patients find that dental care with intravenous anesthesia may be the most comfortable and relaxing solution to their dental problem.
Here we try to answer some of your questions. If there is something that you would like to know that is not covered by this information please contact the practice.
What dental treatments are available under Intravenous Sedation?
We can use sedation techniques for any level of dental treatment from simple hygiene treatment to more advanced surgical procedures and cosmetic dentistry.
What is IV (intravenous) sedation?
Conscious sedation is a form of anxiety control that makes treatment more pleasant for the patient. It is effective, predictable and safe and is the modern alternative to general anaesthesia for most dental procedures.
Sedation Dentistry is an ideal solution for those patients who suffer from dental phobia. It is used by dentists to perform dental surgery on patients in a stress and worry free way. It helps many patients overcome their fear of visiting the dentist, as they do not feel the stress and
anxiety that they may usually feel prior to visiting the dentist.
Intravenous sedation (aka “IV sedation”) is the most commonly used form of sedation in adults. Intravenous Conscious Sedation is where a drug, usually of the anti-anxiety variety, is administered into the blood system during dental treatment. Conscious sedation will make you feel sleepy and relaxed. Most patients can remember little or nothing of the procedure, but it does not affect any part of your memory before the drug is given.
What does it feel like? Will I be asleep?
During IV sedation, you will remain conscious and will be able to understand and respond to requests from your dentist. After treatment, you may not remember much about what went on.
Will it be necessary to be numbed with local anaesthetic, if so will my dentist numb my gums before or after I am sedated?
The drugs used for IV sedation are anti-anxiety drugs, not painkillers. They will relax you and make you forget what happens, but you will still need a local anaesthetic before treatment begins.
If I have a fear of injections how will the anaesthetic be administered?
If you have a fear of injections, administration of the anaesthetic occurs after the IV sedation has fully kicked in. You will probably be relaxed enough not to worry by this stage. Before starting any procedure your dentist will wait until the local anaesthetic has taken effect (ie until you are numb).
How is IV sedation given?
“Intravenous” means that the drug is administered into a vein. An extremely thin needle, wrapped up with a soft plastic tube, is put into a vein close to the surface of the skin (either in the arm or in the back of the hand). The needle is then removed leaving the soft plastic tube in place. The drugs are administered through the tube. The tube stays in place throughout the procedure.
What drugs are used?
The most commonly used drugs for IV sedation are benzodiazepines. These are anti-anxiety sedative drugs. The most commonly used drug for IV sedation is Midazolam, but occasionally Diazepam is used. Midazolam is the first choice because of its relatively short duration of action (meaning that it will be out of your system faster).
Valium is longer acting and a bit “harder” on the veins, so you may feel a burning sensation in your arm/hand when the drug first enters.
Diazepam can be mixed with a local anaesthetic solution to make things more comfortable. The latest IV Diazepam is an emulsion, which is claimed to be easier on the veins.
Is it safe? Are there any contraindications?
IV sedation is extremely safe when carried out under the supervision of a specially trained dentist. Purely statistically speaking, it is even safer than local anaesthetic on its own.
Known allergy to benzodiazepines
Some instances of glaucoma
Cautions (relative contraindications) include:
Impaired lung, kidney or liver function
Heart disease is generally not a contraindication.
Inform your dentist if you have been taking benzodiazepines for many years, as your tolerance may be very high.
What are the main advantages of IV sedation?
IV sedation tends to be the method of choice if you do not want to be aware of the procedure.
It allows the patient to visit their dentist without any pre-visit nerves.
The dentist is able to complete the course of treatment in fewer visits than would normally be necessary for phobic patients.
It is both highly effective and highly reliable.
The gag reflex is hugely diminished – people receiving IV sedation rarely experience difficulties with gagging.
Unlike General Anaesthesia or Deep Sedation, Conscious IV Sedation does not introduce any compromises per se in terms of carrying out the actual procedures, because people are conscious and they can cooperate with instructions, and there is no airway tube involved.
Are there any disadvantages?
It is possible to experience complications at the site where the needle entered, for example hematoma (a localized swelling filled with blood).
Recovery from IV administered drugs is not complete at the end of dental treatment. You will need a responsible adult to escort you home.
You should want to be sedated. If you are unwilling to “let go”, (eg because you are terrified of not being in control) it will be more difficult to be successfully sedated.
Can I take Valium tablets or other Benzodiazepines beforehand?
Yes. If the medication has not been prescribed by your dentist, you must notify him in advance that you will be taking these.
What about eating and drinking before sedation?
Your dentist will advise you beforehand whether you are able to eat or drink prior to treatment.
Advice for post IV Sedation care:
A responsible adult will need to escort you home, either by private car or by taxi. Do not travel on public transport.
An adult must stay with you until you are fully alert.
Rest for the remainder of the day.
Do not perform any strenuous or hazardous activities.
Do not drive a motor vehicle for the rest of the day.
Do not eat a heavy meal immediately. If you are hungry, eat something light (eg liquids and toast).
If you experience nausea, lie down for a while or drink a glass of coke.
Do not drink alcohol or take medications for the rest of the day, unless you have contacted your dentist first.
Take medications as directed by your dentist.
If you have any unusual problems, call your dentist.