An open letter to dental patients: You see a hygienist regularly and have a dentist check your teeth. Perhaps you’ve just had a filling, a crown, veneer, or even a root canal. You’re on the right track for dental health.
The restoration that’s just been placed in your mouth should be looking good and functioning comfortably for years or decades. It’s now part of your body – 24/7.
That foreign-to-the-body material will now be subject to extremes of heat, cold, abrasion, acid, bacteria and digestive enzymes from saliva.
New evidence shows filling materials of nearly any type can slowly break down, releasing minute amounts of the filling/restorative material/cement into the mouth over time.
Amalgam contains approximately 50 percent mercury by weight, along with silver and other metals.
Most composites and some cements used to fix crowns to teeth contain chemicals such as BPA, TEGDMA, HEMA, phthalates and sometimes titanium dioxide.
All or any of these chemicals can cause health concerns.
Biologic Dentistry seeks to use materials that are safe as possible while still allowing for excellent clinical results.
Swiss dental materials manufacturer Saremco is a manufacturing company with the same goal.
Its restorative system is reported to be the only one where every component is free of HEMA and TEGDMA (as well as above-listed chemicals) and very recently designed to resist enzymatic dissolution.
It is available to all New Zealand dentists through Bioholistic New Zealand Ltd – www.bioholistic.co.nz.
Why not choose the healthier alternative, as the team at Dentistry on Merivale has? Phone 03 355 8297.
When it comes to gum health care, the quality of the dental cleaning matters, says Dr Yasmin Akrum.
Having practised dentistry for more than 25 years, which includes working as a periodontist for 16 years at the Singapore Dental Centre and in a specialist private practice in Singapore, she knows gum disease can be prevented and treated, provided it is detected early and thorough cleans are instituted.
Yasmin moved to Christchurch in 2012 and in March this year, she opened Christchurch PerioHygiene, offering high-quality dental hygiene services which support treatment for implants as well as periodontal (gum) treatment.
“Christchurch PerioHygiene was conceived to bridge the gap between dental hygienists and periodontists (gum specialists),” Dr Akrum says.
“We can definitely prevent gum disease if we have good preventive care with the use of technologically advanced and specific instruments. Almost all gum diseases can be treated, if detected early. There’s no need to lose a tooth due to them.”
Dr Akrum supervises her team of hygienists closely (who can treat moderate gum disease cases), possibly lessening the need for full specialist treatment. “I guide our hygienists to clean the way specialists clean.”
With the latest technology at their fingertips, Christchurch PerioHygiene also offers a range of anaesthetic options in an environment that strives to be comforting for patients. Even the dental chair is overlaid with a medical grade memory foam cushion.
Christchurch PerioHygiene is located at 140 Idris Road. You can find out more by visiting www.periohygiene.com or phoning 03 928 1878.
Let’s not forget our bottom teeth.
Research tells us that whether you had braces or not and whether you have wisdom teeth or not, your bottom front teeth will crowd with age. As the teeth concertina up at the front they can cause extra pressure onto the back of the top teeth when you bite together and then move or chip your upper teeth. Crooked teeth are more difficult to clean and your gum health can deteriorate.
With age you also show more of your bottom teeth and less of your top teeth as gravity takes its toll. So the bottom teeth are more visible when you talk or smile.
For these reasons it is now recommended internationally that the retainer wires that are placed after braces are left there forever and replaced if needed.
If you notice your bottom teeth crowding as an adult, modern orthodontics can correct the problem in as little as eight weeks. Often invisible braces are an option. Once the bottom teeth are straight, any chips or wear on the top and bottom teeth can be replaced and that lovely youthful smile can return.
Duxton Dental’s expert team can also discuss reliable tooth whitening options for the return of that extra sparkle.
As part of a very thorough new patient examination, Duxton Dental completes a smile assessment to discuss all your cosmetic concerns and options. For more information visit duxtondental.co.nz or phone 03-348 5488.
Do you have one or several missing teeth? Have you had dentures for years but want something solid and natural looking to chew and smile with? Dental implants may be the solution for you.
Dental implants are small, pure titanium screws that are surgically placed in your jaw and have proven themselves to be a reliable addition to the treatment options currently available in high quality dental practice.
Implants are placed and then left to heal for three or more months, during which time ‘osseointegration’ occurs – the bone heals around the implant fixtures, locking them into place permanently. False teeth, crowns, or other appliances can then be attached, either with screws or cement.
If only one tooth is to be replaced, generally a porcelain crown will be attached to a single implant fixture. If a few teeth are missing, more than one fixture may be required – a three or four teeth bridge can often be attached to two implants. Or if a full arch (all the upper or lower teeth) is to be restored, several fixtures can be placed, with the denture either screwed to or clipped onto the fixtures.
Dental implant treatment can initially be more costly than conventional treatment options. However, as it provides a very long term solution, the cost is often comparable over time.
Doctor David Walsh has more than 25 years of experience with providing implant based solutions for people of all ages and backgrounds. For more information contact Dentistry on Merivale, upstairs inside Merivale Mall, on 03-355 8297 or at