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Tax Relief For Dental Treatment

A lot of people are unaware that you are entitled to  tax relief  of 20% on advanced dental treatments that have been carried out in the last four years. The relief can be claimed regardless of whether its your treatments or someone else’s dental treatment that you have paid for. This is done through the med 2 system, we can talk you through this process when you attend the practice. At Swords Dental we can give you this form and help you with the relevant sections and provide any receipts needed. You can also download the form at: www.revenue.ie/en/tax/it/forms/med2.pdf

A guide to claiming Health and Medical expenses:http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/it/leaflets/it6.html

The eligible treatments are :

Crowns.  Restorations fabricated outside the mouth and are permanently cemented to existing tooth tissue. Income tax relief is allowable for expenditure on core preparation for crowns and temporary conditioning crown

Veneers/Etched Fillings. These are a type of crowns

Tip Replacings. This is regarded as a crown where a large part of the tooth needs to be be replaced and the replacement is made outside the mouth.

Post and Core Build-ups. These are inserts in the nerve canal of a tooth, to hold a crown. Income tax relief is allowable for post and core build-ups made from materials other than gold.

Inlays. An inlay is a smaller version of a crown. However, tax relief is only allowed if the inlay is fabricated outside the mouth. Income tax relief is allowable for inlays made from materials other than gold.

Endodontics – Root Canal Treatment.

This involves the filling of the nerve canal and not the filling of teeth.

 Periodontal Treatment

The following treatments qualify for tax relief:

  • Root Planting, which is a treatment of periodontal (gum) disease
  • Currettage and Debridement, which are part of root planing
  • Gum Flaps, which is a gum treatment
  • Chrome Cobalt Splints, if used in connection with periodontal treatment

(if the splint contains teeth, relief is not allowable)
• Implants following treatments of periodontal (gum) disease which included bone grafting and bone augmentation.

Orthodontic Treatment.

This involves the provision of braces and similar treatments. Income tax relief is allowable for the cost of temporary implants in circumstances where they form part of the overall orthodontic treatment.

Surgical Extraction of Impacted Wisdom Teeth.Relief is allowable when undertaken in a hospital or by a dentist in a dental surgery.

Bridgework. Dental Treatment consisting of an enamel-retained bridge or a tooth-supported bridge is allowable.

You should make your claim at the end of the tax year, but you can actually claim relief on any eligible expenses dating back four years (including medical expenses, which require the Med 1 form). It is possible to choose whether to claim relief in the year when the expenses were incurred, or in the year that they were paid (if they happen to fall into two different years).You do not need to submit all your dental receipts to the Revenue, but you should hold onto them for a period of 6 years in case you are asked to prove or clarify any expenses. If you’re self-employed you can claim your relief when you file your annual tax return.

If you have any queries you via give use ring on 01 8401001

www.swords-dental.ie

 

Dental Emergencies

Accidents happen, and knowing what to do when one occurs can mean the difference between saving and losing a tooth. Here are some common dental emergencies and how to deal with them. For all dental emergencies, it’s important to visit your dentist as soon as possible. At Swords Dental we always try to fit in appointments for patients who have urgent problems.

Question: What do I do if I knock out my tooth?
Answer: For a knocked-out adult tooth, keep it moist at all times. If you can, try placing the tooth back in the socket without touching the root. If that’s not possible, place it in between your cheek and gums or in milk. Then, get to your dentist’s office right away.

Q: What if I crack my tooth?
A: For a cracked tooth, immediately rinse the mouth with warm water to clean the area. See your dentist as soon as possible.

Q: If I bite my tongue or lip, how do I treat it?
A: If you bite your tongue or lip, clean the area gently with water and apply a cold compress. See your dentist or go to the emergency room as soon as possible.

Q: How do I treat a toothache?
A: For toothaches, rinse your mouth with warm water to clean it out. Gently use dental floss to remove any food caught between your teeth. Do not put aspirin on your aching tooth or gums; it may burn the gum tissue. If the pain persists, contact your dentist.

Q: What if I think my jaw is broken?
A: If you think your jaw is broken apply cold compresses to control the swelling. Go to your dentist or a hospital emergency department immediately.

Q: How do I remove an object that’s stuck in my mouth or teeth?
A: For objects stuck in the mouth, try to gently remove with floss but do not try to remove it with a sharp or pointed instrument. See your dentist or go to the emergency room as soon as possible.

Q: How can I avoid a dental emergency?
A: There are a number of simple precautions you can take to avoid accident and injury to the teeth:

Wear a mouthguard when participating in sports.
Avoid chewing ice, popcorn kernels and hard sweets, all of which can crack a tooth.
Use scissors, NEVER your teeth, to cut things.

If you have an emergency and need to see a dentist you can give Swords Dental a call on 01 8401001. We are open on Saturdays and have early morning and evening appointments: www.swords-dental.ie

Dental Specialists

There are various dental specialities. Dental specialists often deal with the more difficult cases within their own particular discipline. I’ll give a brief outline of some of the more common ones-

Orthodontists: Straighten teeth. Braces tend to be fixed in place but sometimes a removable brace can do the job for more straightforward problems. 12-16 is a good time to consider a referral but people can have orthodontics at any age.

Endodontists: Specialise in doing root canal treatment. This is a more complicated filling that is done to save a tooth when the nerve is dead or about to die. We would often refer a patient to an endodontist if the tooth looks to have a particularly difficult root or roots to fill.

Paedodontists: Specialise in dentistry for children. This can be very useful if there are any major problems at any early age.They can often save teeth that would otherwise be removed. Saving baby teeth helps to align the adult teeth as they erupt. They are also a great option for children who are very nervous about visiting the dentist.

Sedation: Dentistry can be performed under sedation for nervous patients. Dr Lyndsey McTavish can perform a large range of dental treatment under  nitous oxide or iv sedation at our practice.

Oral Surgeon: Often perform the most difficult extractions e.g complicated lower wisdom teeth. They are a good option if someone needs a lot of extractions. They also specialise in implant work . We have an Oral Surgeon, Eimear McHugh who works in our practice in Swords. She can also offer iv sedation as an option for difficult cases.

Periodontist: A dentist who specialises in the treatment of complicated gum treatment. They often work in conjunction with a dental hygienist who will perform a lot of the treatment as planned by the periodontist.

Oral Medicine: A speciality that deals with any medical conditions of the mouth. They often deal with neuralgia type pains which can be difficult to control.

Prosthodontist: Someone who replaces missing teeth. This is often done with dentures or implants (or dentures on implants!).

If you do need a referral to any of these people you can come to the practice for a check up and we’ll organise the rest:

www.swords-dental.ie

Dental Implants

Dental implants

Durable, long-lasting and natural in their appearance, dental implants are the most modern method of replacing missing teeth.

The procedure involves fitting an implant which is made of Titanium, into the bone of the jaw. It is important that we have enough bone in the area and that this bone is of good quality. If this is not the case, a procedure called bone augmentation can be used, to help build up the bone levels prior to the implant procedure.

We then allow time for the bone to heal and grow in around the implant. The implant can now hold a single false tooth, called an implant crown in place. This is generally the best way of replacing a missing tooth. Implants can also be used to hold multiple false teeth (an implant bridge) or to fix a full denture in place. An implant supported denture has advantages over a standard denture in that it can greatly increase the biting force. Also it won’t cover the roof of the mouth in the way that a traditional denture would.

Procedure time will depend on how many implants you’re having. It’s possible to have several implants fitted in the same procedure.

Dental implants are usually fitted under local anaesthesia. If you’re feeling nervous about the procedure we can arrange for you to have some sedation. Both nitrous oxide and intravenous sedation options are available.

At Swords Dental our implants are fitted by our specialist oral surgeon Dr Eimear McHugh. If you’re interested in making an appointment to discuss implants or for an implant assessment give us a call on 01 8401001.

www.swords-dental.ie

Oral Cancer

How can I make sure that my mouth stays healthy?

Visit a dentist regularly even if you wear dentures. This is especially important if you smoke and drink alcohol. We will check your mouth for any areas of concern at each check up.

When brushing your teeth, look out for any changes in your mouth or neck. Early warning signs include ulcers that do not heal within three weeks, red or white patches in the mouth, or other unusual changes in the mouth or neck. If you have any areas that are swollen or ulcerated it is very important to attend a dentist and have them checked out.

When exposed to the sun, make sure to use the correct type of barrier cream on your lips.

Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. A good diet, rich in vitamins A, C and E, helps the body to protect itself from most cancers.

Avoid the risk factors for mouth cancer. These include:
Smoking tobacco – cigarettes, roll-ups, cigars, pipes or cannabis.
Excessive alcohol consumption.
Using tobacco and alcohol together – this greatly increases your risk.
Excessive exposure to sunlight or radiation (for lip cancer).
Chewing tobacco, betelguid, gutkha and paan.
A diet lacking in fruit and vegetables.
Viral infections, e.g., human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV can be spread through oral sex.

www.swords-dental.ie

Toothbrushing

TOOTHBRUSHING

This is a very easy thing to do yet we are all busy rushing around that we tend to miss the same surfaces all the time.

Top tip!

SLOW DOWN

It takes a good 3 minutes to brush your teeth properly, it is important to do this at least twice a day, morning and night.
Some tips to help maintain a happy and healthy mouth:
1. Use a small head with soft to medium texture made of nylon , germs are small!.
2. Use a pea size amount of toothpaste.
3. Angle the toothbrush at approximately 45 degree and make contact with the tooth and gumline.
4. Gently using circular motions and massage the gums.
5. Place the brush over the biting surfaces of the teeth brush in an over and back motion.
6. Change your toothbrush at least every 3 months.
If you see bleeding it is a sign of gum disease.

Gingivitis is a word you might hear at your dentist this when the gums around the teeth become red, inflammed and swollen. Bad breath can occur.
This is curable. Bleeding is the first sign. Bleeding is not good so do not ignore it.

Another word you might hear is Periodontal disease, this is irreversible which means damage is permanent. The bone levels get damaged, treatment can only maintain the bone that is undamaged.

Generally there is no pain is associated with gum disease so it can sometime come as a shock to patients.

It is therefore so important to get regular checkups with your dentist and hygienist.
Paula Cavanagh Dental Hygienist at Swords Dental  Tel 8401001

What health problems can dentists spot?

Regular dental care is critical to the overall health of your gums and teeth. What you may not know is that we can also spot signs of non-dental medical issues in your mouth during an exam. Some of the diseases and conditions that show signs within your mouth include diabetes, infections, oral cancer, HIV, stress, poor nutrition, and osteoporosis.

Diabetes

A few of the signs that can indicate a diagnosis of diabetes include loose teeth, dry mouth, and receding, dry, and bleeding gums. Poor immunity and an inability to fight disease effectively also make it much more difficult for wounds and gum infections to heal in diabetic patients. Bleeding gums don’t always mean that you have diabetes. This problem can also come from gingivitis and other gum diseases. However, these early warning signs might lead us to encourage you to visit your doctor for a blood sugar check.

Infections

If we see any troubling signs of infection in your mouth, we can prescribe some antibiotics to fight the problem. Signs of infection include severe pain, swelling, redness around the affected area, a surface that feels hot to the touch, fevers, and drainage from the wound or tooth. Infection can spread to other parts of the body, including the lungs and heart, so it’s critical to treat it urgently.

Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is the sixth-most common type of cancer, with more than 30,000 new cases being reported each year. When you visit a dentist twice a year, we can look for signs of this disease. Most cases appear as red and white lesions on the floor of your mouth, palate, lip or the tongue. Risk factors that increase the chances of oral cancer include heavy alcohol use, smoking, and exposure to HPV (the human papillomavirus), which also causes cervical cancer. We perform an oral cancer screening at each check up.

HIV

Some oral conditions may indicate that a patient is suffering from HIV. In children, patients might have salivary gland swelling, which can result in a dry mouth. Children infected with HIV are often more prone to oral lesions and viruses. Adults with HIV might exhibit signs like oral warts, lesions, white, red, purple, or brown spots on the tongue or in the mouth, and other infections.

According to some studies severe gum problems occur in up to 5 percent of HIV-positive adult patients.

These symptoms alone don’t necessarily mean that you have HIV, although a these signs might lead us to recommend seeing your doctor for a blood test. Anyone engaging in risky behaviours should be tested for HIV regularly.

Stress

When you are stressed, your body may respond in ways that affect your mouth. One of the most common physical manifestations of stress is grinding your teeth. You might grind them when you’re feeling stressed, or commonly it happens when you’re asleep.

Grinding your teeth can do serious damage, so we often make night guards to protect against this. It’s also worth considering ways to reduce your stress levels.

Poor Nutrition

Patients suffering from eating disorders or getting poor nutrition also show signs in their mouths. Most people who suffer from bulimia will do everything they can to hide it from others, but it’s hard to hide it from your dentist. We look for signs such as dry mouth, bleeding gums, and erosion on the insides of the front teeth. Stomach acid is erosive to the enamel that covers your teeth, so forced vomiting can wear away that protective enamel and cause increased sensitivity. Morning sickness during pregnancy or acid reflux can cause similar problems.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is especially common in post-menopausal women, although this weakening of the bones can happen to anyone. We look for signs like loose teeth or receding gum line, which can indicate changes in the bone that supports your teeth. These signs, especially in a patient at higher risk for osteoporosis, will often lead us to refer you back to your doctor for a bone density test.

Keeping up with regular dental appointments has a number of advantages. We can watch for changes in your mouth, some of which can indicate more serious problems. Catching problems early enables you to have treatment earlier and leads to a more successful outcome.

www.swords-denral.ie

State Support for Dentistry in Ireland on the Wane.

State support for dental treatment, through PRSI and medical card schemes, has fallen from a high of almost €150 million in 2009 to less than €75 million last year.
Data also shows, from 2009 to 2015, the number of extractions of teeth among medical card patients increased, while cleanings and fillings fell. And, according to a study at St James’s hospital in Dublin, there was a 38 per cent increase in patients admitted for severe infections caused by dental decay, after the State dental supports were cut.
Following the economic collapse in 2009, entitlements to treatment, under the PRSI Dental Treatment Benefit Scheme, were severely cut. Workers had been entitled to a free check-up and cleaning, as well as subsidised gum cleaning, fillings, extractions, root canal treatments, X-rays and denture work. After the 2009 budget, only the free examination was retained and workers were required to pay for the cost of all other treatments.
In 2010, the medical card Dental Treatment Services Scheme was also cut back. Entitlements to cleaning, gum cleaning and X-rays were suspended, root canal treatment could only be performed on an emergency basis and only on front teeth, denture work was only allowed on an emergency basis and people could only have two fillings per year. But extractions, the cheapest of dental pain remedies, could still be performed on an unlimited basis.
Since then, data on medical card dental patients shows extractions have increased by 15 per cent, from more than 108,000 in 2009 to almost 124,600 in 2016. And surgical extractions have increased by 40 per cent, from just over 37,200 to more than 52,000.
The number of fillings carried out for medical card patients dropped by 37 per cent, from more than 604,000 to almost 380,000. And cleaning, which is essential to help prevent gum disease, fell by 96 per cent, from 255,000 treatments in 2009 to almost 10,100 in 2016.

Spending on the PRSI scheme fell from €55.7 million in 2009 to €10.5 million in 2016. It is expected to increase to €15.4 million this year because benefits under the scheme were extended to self-employed people for the first time, but none of the old dental treatments have been reinstated.

www.swords-dental.ie

Is Chocolate Bad for your Teeth?

The answer is maybe not as bad as you might think. Studies have suggested that eating chocolate on a daily basis over years can actually improve your overall brain function. The  The Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal Study  was conducted observing 968 participants over an 18-year period and the results indicated higher scores on various cognition tests in participants who consumed chocolate on a daily basis. Having said that the devil is in the detail…

Milk chocolate, such as Cadburys,  is probably one of the most popular and widely consumed types of chocolate. Unfortunately, it contains more sugar than dark chocolate. It is made from a combination of cocoa, powdered milk, and sugar. The breakdown is usually 20-30% real cocoa, with the balance consisting of sugar and powdered milk. The higher sugar content that is contained in milk chocolate can cause tooth decay more so than dark, raw, or organic chocolate.

Dark chocolate is by far the better choice when it comes to keeping your teeth healthy and cavity free. There are some studies that even suggest that it can actually inhibit cavity formation. Chocolate is made up of over 300 compounds and is a highly complex substance. Dark chocolate contains polyphenols. These chemicals can help fight the overgrowth of bacteria and other organisms in the mouth. They can neutralise organisms that cause bad breath and they can prevent some sugars form turning into acid, which can break down the enamel of your teeth and cause tooth decay and cavities.

Dark chocolate contains Flavonoids which have been shown to slow tooth decay. Dark chocolate also contains antioxidants. These are beneficial to overall health in many ways but when it comes to oral health, having higher levels in your saliva helps fight gum disease. It is made up of around 70% cocoa and only 30% powdered milk and sugar. This drastically reduces the negative effect that it could have on tooth enamel when compared to milk chocolate.

When we consume sugar, bacteria in the mouth break it down and produce acid which attacks the tooth enamel.  However, decay can be prevented by cutting down on your sugar intake, watching what types of foods you eat, both sweet and savory, and ensuring that you are brushing and flossing your teeth on a daily basis. It also helps to visit your dentist two times per year to identify oral problems early and remove plaque and tartar buildup.

As with everything in life remember that moderation is the key!

www.swords-dental.ie