Swords Dentist

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First visit to the dentist

First visit to the dentist:

Opinions vary on the recommended age for a first visit to a dentist. At Swords Dental  we recommend parents bring their child along for their first visit before the age of three. Before this, I also encourage parents to bring their child along when having their own routine check-ups or with their older siblings. This helps to normalise the experience, so the child knows what to expect and lets me have a quick look to screen for any problems.

It is very important to see the child’s teeth before the adult teeth start to erupt around 6. If there is decay in the baby teeth before this age we need to consider any changes that should be made to reduce sugar in the diet. It is also worth planning to fissure seal the adult first molar teeth, to protect them,  if this is the case.

A first dental visit should fun. Tell the child that they will get a ride in the magic chair and that they will have their teeth counted. Bringing a favourite soft toy along can be very helpful. I often examine a teddy or dolls mouth first before I look at the child’s. Seeing what will happen beforehand can help the child prepare them for  what is involved. Sitting on a parent’s knee can also help relax a nervous child.

It is important to be as positive as you can in advance of the visit. There are several books about visiting the dentist that can also be helpful. We have copies of ‘Topsy and Tim Go to the Dentist’ in the waiting room. The first visit to the dentist episode of Peppa pig is also mentioned on a regular basis. Giving young children an idea of what’s to come helps to reduce any anxiety that they may have. We give young children stickers at the end of the appointment to reinforce that the appointment has been a positive experience.

I am happy to see most children once a year for a check-up unless there is a specific problem or issue that needs urgent attention.

www.swords-dental.ie

Tel 01 8401001

Toothpaste

Which toothpaste should you use?

The basic answer is that most of the popular toothpastes are very similar. Fluoride is the key ingredient, which strengthens the enamel and helps remineralise areas damaged by tooth decay. Avoid fluoride free toothpaste e.g Euthymol – the burning sensation does not make it more effective, its just the type of flavoring agent that’s used (the same can be said about most mouthwashes).

Colgate Total and Oral B Pro-expert are good general toothpastes which most dentists and hygienists recommend.

Sensitivity toothpastes e.g Sensodyne and Colgate Pro-Relief are good options if you have a sensitivity problem. This is often caused by areas of gum recession. Standard toothpaste options are better if you don’t suffer from sensitivity.

Care should be taken with whitening toothpastes, many are very abrasive and can cause damage longterm to the enamel coating covering your teeth. Dr Lyndsey McTavish recommends Sensodyne Pronamel Gentle Whitening or Kin Whitening Toothpaste for people looking to minimise stains.

Pronamel toothpaste is designed for use on teeth that are at risk from acid erosion (wearing away of the outer layer by acid in food and drinks).

Duraphat toothpaste can be used for patients with high rates of decay, it has a much increased fluoride content but is only available by prescription from a dentist.

For patients with Dry mouth (xerostomia) Again there are lots of brands but I find that Biotene, BioXtra and Curaprox enzycal toothpaste are great options.

Charlotte Quinn, our hygienist, recommends Colgate total for mild gum disease along with Kin products such as perio kin gel, Corsodyl products and some Curasept products. Please be aware that apart for the Colgate total the other products are not for long-term use and patients are all treated on an individual basis when recommending these products.

www.swords-dental.ie

Bad Breath

Bad Breath is a common condition that can cause much embarrassment. About 90% of the time the mouth is the source of this problem. The good news is that by taking a few simple steps, to improve oral health, it can often be resolved.

There are a number of possible risk factors that can contribute to bad breath.
Smoking: As well as inducing halitosis smoking can also stain the teeth, induce gum disease and is catastrophic for general health.
Dry Mouth: Saliva is important help clean the mouth and prevent bad breath. It can be caused as a side effect to many common medicines. It is important to clean the teeth before going to bed as salivary rates fall during the night.
Food: Certain foods such as garlic and onions can affect the breath.
Health Problems: Sometimes these can have an effect. Diabetes, , Sinus problems, Liver, Kidney or Gastric problems have all been shown to contribute to bad breath. If the more common causes have been excluded we often advise the parent to follow up with their GP to look into these areas.

It is important to start by improving the overall health of the mouth. This will include brushing twice a day (including the top part of the tongue) for two minutes with a fluoridated toothpaste and flossing on a daily basis. Regular trips to the dentist or Hygienist will help improve the health of the mouth. Dentures should be left out at night. Stop smoking: www.quit.ie have a range of support material to help with this.
Mouthwashes that contain Chlorhexidine e.g Corsodyl should help but be careful about using them on a longterm basis as they can stain the teeth.

If you have this problem and would like to make an appointment at Swords Dental  you can call us on 8401001.

www.swords-dental.ie

Flossing

Flossing

After tooth-brushing, flossing once a day is the next most important way of keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Brushing the teeth is great for cleaning the tooth surfaces but about 40% of the the bacteria that cause dental decay and gum problems are in the area where the teeth meet. Flossing is a great way of removing these bacteria (plaque). It is particularly good where the teeth are tight together as inter-dental brushes such as tepes won’t be able to get into these spaces.

How to do it:
Break off a piece about 18 inches long.
Wrap most of the floss around the middle finger of one hand, and a small amount onto the middle finger of the other.
Gently slide the floss between the teeth and be careful not to let the floss snap between teeth, cutting the gum.
Make a C shape with the floss as you wrap it around the tooth. Then carefully pull the floss upward from the gum line to the top of the tooth.
As you move from one tooth to the next, unroll a fresh section of floss from the finger of one hand while rolling the used floss onto the finger of the other hand.Don’t forget to floss the back side of each tooth.As long as you use the correct technique the type of floss isn’t super important, but we recommend Satin Oral-B floss.

If you’re having problems with the gum or would like some more information on oral hygiene you might want to consider making an appointment with our hygienist, Charlotte Quinn.

To make an appointment give us a call on 018401001

www.swords-dental.ie

Dental Sedation

Swords Dental are delighted to be offering the option of conscious sedation for our patients.

Nervous Patients

Many people are a bit anxious about attending a dentist. For some people however, this fear is more pronounced and can be classified as a dental phobia. This is an intense, irrational fear of dentistry. It may be related to one specific procedure or to a more general fear of dentistry. This phobia can be triggered by a bad experience in childhood. Dental anxiety and phobia can lead to people delaying or avoiding the treatment that they need. Often the most difficult step in overcoming this fear is making the initial appointment for a chat and an assessment. The availability of relaxation techniques, modern anesthetics and sedation means that dentistry can be performed in a relaxed and pain free manner.

Premedication

This involves the use of a tablet before treatment to help the patient to relax. It offers mild sedation. Sometimes patients take a tablet the night before the treatment to help them get a good nights sleep.

Nitrous Oxide

This is a safe and effective agent that is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a special mouthpiece to help you to relax. The use of nitrous oxide or “happy air”induces a feeling of lightheadedness and is often accompanied by a feeling of warmth and tingling. It makes you feel calm and comfortable. The effects wear off once the sedation is finished. This is particularly suited to children and is the only available sedation for people under the age of 16. It also works well for mild to moderately anxious adult patients. We offer this particular service in our branch practice Balbriggan Dental Clinic,  but assessments for Nitrous Oxide treatment can be performed in Swords.

IV Sedation

This involves using a drug called midazolam to establish a strong level sedation. It allows us top perform a broad range of dental treatment. The relaxed state is often described as something between sleep and wakefulness. It leads to sense of detachment from the treatment. Most patients can’t remember much of the appointment afterwards. You are conscious through the appointment however and can respond to any requests. We carefully control the level of sedation to ensure the correct level is achieved.

Who carries out the sedation?

Dr Lyndsey McTavish BDS (UWCM), MFDS, RCPS (Glasg), Dip Clin Dent (TCD), Dip Con Sed. (TCD).

Lyndsey undertakes the sedation at Swords Dental.  Lyndsey completed her Postgraduate Diploma in Sedation at Dublin Dental Hospital in 2017. Lyndsey is particularly interested in helping nervous patients and is a member of the International Society of Dental Anxiety Management. Lyndsey enjoys treating children and has a young family of her own. Her friendly and relaxed approach will help make your visit to the dentist an easier experience.

If you’re interested in making an  assessment appointment for dental sedation or have any questions you can give us a call on 8401001.

www.swords-dental.ie

Dental Hygienist Swords Dental

Charlotte Quinn

Charlotte joined our team during 2016 and brings with her fourteen years experience as a Dental Hygienist. Originally from South Africa, Charlotte completed a Certificate Course in Dental Nursing followed by a Diploma in Dental Hygiene at the University of Stellenbosch, Cape Town.

On completion she was awarded Best Dental Hygiene student and Best Student Research Project by the University. She started her career in London’s Harley Street as a Dental Nurse. She went on to work in a commercial environment as a Territory Sales Manager for Braun Oral B.

Charlotte moved to Ireland during 2002 where she completed the Irish Dental Council registration exams and has been practicing in General Dental Practice since. She served as Membership Secretary for the Irish Dental Hygienists Association 2007 – 2010 and frequently updates her qualification with additional courses; including a recent certificate from the HSE, Intervention in Smoke Cessation.

Her experience alongside her genuine interested in patient care and comfort ensures the very best quality oral health care for our patients.

Dental Council Registration 5RDH200

To make an appointment with Charlotte give us a call on 01 8401001

www.swords-dental.ie

Chewing gum and your teeth.

It can help prevent tooth decay, as long as you choose a sugarless gum.  Acid  forms in your mouth after eating food or drinking sugary drinks. This acid would otherwise attack the tooth and cause tooth decay. Chewing gum helps to produce saliva. Saliva is naturally alkaline and neutralises the acid. It also helps to wash away acid as it builds up.

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The minerals generated in the extra saliva can even help strengthen your tooth enamel, which reduces your risk of a dental cavity. This would also help to counteract the acidity of some food types such as citrus fruits and fizzy drinks which will also wear down the enamel on teeth. People who suffer from gastric reflux (acid coming into the mouth from the stomach) or regular vomiting (e.g during pregnancy) would benefit from gum for this reason.

Parents can share this tip with children and teens, who often chew gum. Just be sure that they choose sugarless gum, not a sugary bubble gum, which can have the opposite effect and contribute to the buildup of plaque on teeth.

Gum-chewing is not a substitute for a regular  routine of twice-daily tooth brushing and flossing but will help to keep the teeth healthy when done is combination with these.

www.swords-dental.ie

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